In this article, we’ll discuss what to serve with smoked pheasant.
There’s nothing like the comforting smokiness of smoked pheasant—but it’s a rich taste that needs a side dish.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of go-to sides for your smoked pheasant.
Whatever you choose, you’re going to be in for a treat!
Pairing A Side Dish with Smoked Pheasant
In terms of pairing side dishes with smoked pheasant, the only rule to remember is this: don’t overdo it.
Smoked pheasant has a lot going on in the flavor department, so you want to match it with sides that will complement its rich taste without overpowering it.
Think earthy vegetables like green beans or carrots roasted with rosemary and garlic.
You could even balance out the oomph of smoked pheasant by mixing it with some lighter fare—think fresh fruit salad or grilled peaches drizzled with honey.
What to Serve with Smoked Pheasant?
Smoked pheasant is one of the most delicious game meats, but it has a very strong flavor that is best paired with lighter foods like salads and vegetable sides. A good example is roasted baby carrots, which are perfect with smoked pheasant.
When you’re looking for what to serve with smoked pheasant, the sky’s the limit.
There are so many options that it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.
But we’re here to help.
We’ve narrowed down your choices to these ten delicious side dishes that are easy to make and guaranteed to impress!
1. Bacon-wrapped asparagus
When most people think of cooking asparagus, they just stick it in a pan and don’t give it much thought—that’s how simple and easy this dish is to prepare.
We’ve taken it one step further by wrapping the asparagus in bacon for extra flavor, then simmering the whole thing in a delicious sauce that you’ll want to drink straight from the pan (we promise).
The end result will be a dish that pairs well with your meal, perfect for any occasion!
2. Wild rice pilaf
Wild rice pilaf is a great alternative to plain white rice.
It gives your meal a little heft with its protein-packed grains—wild rice contains seven grams per serving—and it’s got a lovely nutty flavor that will complement any meal.
Wild rice pilaf is also a great option for vegetarians who are looking for a filling and tasty side dish.
3. Sweet Potato Wedges
Sweet potatoes are definitely a crowd-pleaser.
They’re rich, creamy, and flavorful. Plus they’re full of vitamins and minerals that help keep your body healthy.
And they go so well with smoked pheasant!
The rich smokiness of the meat pairs beautifully with these richly spiced wedges.
- These are easy to make, too—just cut up sweet potatoes into wedges and toss them in oil.
- Then season them with salt and pepper, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne—whatever spices you love!
- Roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.
4. Pasta salad
You might think of pasta salad as a dish suitable only for summer barbecues or family picnics.
But in fact, it can be an excellent companion to hearty meats like pheasant.
The creamy dressing and the starch from the pasta help to balance out the smoky flavors of the meat and make it feel like less of a meal and more of a well-rounded dining experience.
When you’re making pasta salad, you’ve got plenty of options—just add whatever veggies you like best!
If you’re feeling fancy, try some sliced avocado or roasted cauliflower mixed in with the noodles.
If you’re feeling fresh and crisp, throw in some cherry tomatoes and shredded carrots.
And don’t forget to add a little protein—try some chickpeas or black beans for a fun twist on this classic side dish!
5. Mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a staple of many Thanksgiving tables, and for good reason: they’re easy to make, and are delicious to eat!
They’re also fairly cost-effective and you can get them from most grocery stores (or even make them yourself!).
So when you’re looking for a side dish that pairs well with your smoked bird, mashed potatoes are definitely worth considering—especially if you’re on a budget.
6. Brussels sprouts with bacon and mustard vinaigrette
This is a classic, but we recommend adding shallots for a little extra flavor.
Just add halved shallots in with your sprouts when you put them in the oven and roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes on a baking sheet with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Once they’re done roasting, add them to a bowl with crumbled bacon and mustard vinaigrette dressing and mix!
Cornbread is one of our favorite sides with this main dish because it pairs so well with all of the different flavors you might find, especially the southern-style cornbreads that include cayenne pepper and other spices.
Cornbread can be sweet or savory, crispy or crumbly, and everything in between.
It’s wonderful when served alongside a hot and juicy slice of pheasant with a bit of barbecue sauce.
You could also opt for a sweet cornbread, which would pair nicely with a fruit-based barbecue sauce or even one made with fresh cranberries.
Of course, if you prefer something savory, you can always opt for a more traditional cornbread recipe that doesn’t have any added sugar in it at all (just don’t forget to serve some honey butter on top!).
No matter which kind of cornbread you choose, be sure to add plenty of melted butter while still warm so it melts into every crack and crevice!
8. Maple Glazed Carrots
The sweetness of the maple glaze goes well with the smokiness of the pheasant, and both are light enough that they don’t make you feel weighed down after a delicious meal.
And they couldn’t be easier to make:
- Just grab a bunch of carrots (we usually use about 4 or 5), peel them, and then slice them on an angle into thin strips.
- Then put them in a pan with some olive oil over medium heat, and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until they start to get soft (about 10 minutes), then add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
- Mix it all up really well, then transfer everything to a bowl and enjoy!
9. Caramelized Onions
Caramelized onions are sweet and savory, and they won’t overpower the delicate flavors of the pheasant.
Here’s how you make them:
- Pick up some red or yellow onions from the grocery store.
- Slice the onions into thin strips, then place in a large saucepan with a generous drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Cover and cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and very fragrant.
- Once the onions have cooked for about 20 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of butter, then reduce heat to low and continue cooking for another 30-40 minutes (stirring occasionally) until the onions are deeply browned and completely caramelized.
10. Kale Salad
Kale is more sturdy than your average lettuce, so it’s less likely to wilt under the weight of vinaigrette, and its flavor and texture are strong enough to stand up to bolder ingredients like bacon and hard-boiled eggs.
This makes it a perfect pairing for the hearty smoked pheasant.
You can add or subtract ingredients depending on what you’re in the mood for and what you have in your fridge, but our favorite version starts with kale, then adds bacon, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, and red onion.
10 Easy Sides for Smoked Pheasant
- Bacon-wrapped asparagus
- Wild rice pilaf
- Sweet Potato Wedges
- Pasta salad
- Mashed potatoes
- Brussels sprouts with bacon and mustard vinaigrette
- Maple Glazed Carrots
- Caramelized Onions
- Kale Salad
- Pick any side dish from this list to serve with your dinner.
- Prepare the ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready to eat in less than 30 minutes!
Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.