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What to Serve with Smoked Turkey Legs: 13 Best Sides

If you’re like most people, smoked turkey legs at Thanksgiving dinner are always a hit at the dinner table.

But when it comes to planning everything else that’s on your dinner table, where do you start?

What to Serve with Smoked Turkey Legs

There are so many choices, and it can be overwhelming.

Read Also: Smoked Turkey Wine Pairing – The Best Wines for Smoked Turkey

We know the food is important.

After all, you want to get compliments on all of your hard work.

Just thinking about entertaining can make you want to take a nap!

So, what goes well with smoked turkey legs?

The best side dish for smoked turkey legs is mashed potatoes. The creaminess of the mashed potatoes helps to soak up the smoky flavor of the turkey legs and the potatoes also help to add some flavor to the meat.

Other side dishes that are perfect for pairing with smoked turkey legs include corn, green beans, and sautéed mushrooms.

Still looking for more options?

Then keep reading!

What to Serve with Smoked Turkey Legs: 13 Best Sides

Smoked Turkey Legs Sides

Not sure what to serve with smoked turkey legs??

Don’t worry.

We’ve got you covered with a few fantastic recipes that can be served at your next event.

1. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish to smoked turkey legs.

They’re both comforting and delicious, they go well with a variety of other dishes, and they’re easy to prepare.

Best of all, mashed potatoes are a crowd pleaser – everyone loves mashed potatoes.

Whether you’re serving up a plate of mashed potatoes with your favorite meat or just serving them as an appetizer, these delicious potato recipes will satisfy any craving.

2. Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Roasted potatoes

These potatoes are absolutely delicious and they go great with the smoked turkey legs.

They’re quick and easy to make and they can be cooked right along with the turkey legs in your smoker.

3. Coleslaw


While smoked turkey legs are delicious all on their own, they can be a little boring to serve by themselves.

If you want to prepare a simple side dish to go along with them, try coleslaw.

It’s easy to make and goes great with the smoky flavor of the turkey legs.

  1. To make your own coleslaw from scratch, shred 1/2 head of cabbage and finely chop 1/4 medium onion.
  2. Mix the vegetables together, then stir in 1 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before serving.

4. Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

Smoked turkey legs are a great way to feed hungry people, especially if there is a crowd to be fed.

They are easy to prepare and cook and very tasty when done right.

If you are looking for a side dish to go with the smoked turkey legs, you may want to consider macaroni and cheese.

This is a hearty side dish that can help fill everyone up and prevent them from filling up on turkey legs alone.

Macaroni and cheese will also go well with any type of sauce that you may use on your smoked turkey legs.

If you do not want the macaroni and cheese to over power the flavor of the smoked turkey leg, you may want to consider using a milder cheese when making this side dish.

For example, instead of using cheddar cheese for your macaroni and cheese, try using Velveeta.

This will give it a milder flavor than most other cheeses used in macaroni and cheese.

5. Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed Cauliflower

The mild flavor of cauliflower is perfect for complementing the smokiness of smoked turkey legs.

The easiest way to make mashed cauliflower is in an electric pressure cooker (see also these Cuisinart pressure cooker recipes).

  1. Put 1 head of cauliflower and 2 cups of water into the pot.
  2. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes and then slowly release the pressure.
  3. Strain the cauliflower and put it in a food processor to mash it up.
  4. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and olive oil while blending until smooth.

This makes a great alternative to mashed potatoes!

6. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetables to pair with turkey, especially smoked turkey.

They have a sweetness that goes well with the smoky flavor of the turkey, but they also have a slightly bitter taste that can cut through the fattiness of the meat.

Roasted Brussels sprouts is a classic side dish that brings out their naturally sweet flavor and crispness.

A simple recipe is to toss them in olive oil and salt, then roast them in an oven until they’re fork tender.

7. Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole

Sweet potato casserole is a popular choice for smoked turkey legs.

A classic sweet potato casserole consists of mashed sweet potatoes mixed with eggs, vanilla extract, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

The mixture is then baked in the oven until it is hot and bubbly.

The casserole is topped with mini marshmallows that become toasted during baking.

Some people add pecans to the top of their casseroles.

8. Baked Beans

Baked Beans

One of the best side dishes to serve alongside smoked turkey legs are baked beans.

They are a very popular item to serve with any smoked meat, and they go great with turkey legs.

You can always make your own beans from scratch, but there are many different canned bean products out there that taste just as good.

You can also add your own ingredients such as pork belly to spice up the flavor.

9. Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Smoked turkey legs are the best thing since sliced bread.

You can’t go wrong with them. You can smoke them, or grill them.

They are awesome either way.

The only thing better than smoked turkey legs is smoked turkey legs with a side dish of potato salad.

The two compliment each other so well that I find myself hording my potato salad and eating it as a side to everything, not just the smoked turkey legs.

10. Green Beans Casserole

Green Beans Casserole

Green beans are a classic fall vegetable, and the creamy sauce and crunchy onion topping of a green bean casserole will add some extra flavor to your smoked turkey legs.

11. Arugula salad

Arugula Salad

Personally, I think one of the best sides to serve alongside smoked turkey legs would be an arugula salad.

It has a peppery taste that would go well with the smoky flavor of the turkey legs.

Also, because of its nutritional value, it is a great way to balance out the meal.

In addition to being very healthy, arugula is also tasty.

The leaves have a mild but distinct peppery flavor and are delicious when combined with other vegetables in salads or even on their own as part of an antipasto platter with cured meats like proscuitto di Parma.

12. Grilled asparagus

Grilled Asparagus with Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese

Grilled asparagus with a lemon vinaigrette is a great side for the smokey flavor of the turkey leg.

These two items have complementary flavors and textures that are perfect for each other.

13. Roasted root veggies

Roasted root veggies

Roasted root vegetables are an excellent choice, especially in the winter months.

You can roast carrots, parsnips and potatoes — or just pick your favorite!

8 Tips For Serving Sides with Smoked Turkey Legs

Tips For Serving Sides with Smoked Turkey Legs

When it comes to deciding what side dish to serve alongside smoked turkey legs, the first step is to decide what you’re in the mood for.

Turkey legs are meaty, savory and delicious on their own.

The side dishes that you choose to serve with them should complement these flavors rather than overpower them.

If you are serving your turkey legs as an appetizer, it’s nice to offer a variety of vegetable-based side dishes.

If you’re serving the turkey legs as a main course, then consider pairing them with sides that contain starch, such as rice or potatoes.

1. Focus on Things That Cook Quickly

If you’re going to be serving smoked turkey legs, then you’re probably going to have a lot of people over.

That means that you need to focus on cooking things that can be made quickly.

A salad is a great idea because it can be thrown together in minutes.

You can also make some quick side dishes with the help of your slow cooker.

You can add some meat and vegetables to the slow cooker, and they will come out soft and delicious.

2. Think About The Feeling Of Fall

Serving smoked turkey legs calls to mind the fall season, so think about bringing that feeling into your dining room with your side dishes.

Things like roasted sweet potatoes and corn on the cob are perfect for this.

Or consider making homemade applesauce or baking a cobbler made with apples from your local orchard.

You can also add some maple syrup to steamed green beans or roasted carrots for a fall-inspired dish.

3. Offer a Wide Variety of Sides

The key to serving smoked turkey legs is variety.

You can offer family style serving where everyone gets a leg or buffet style serving where you have different dishes out for people to choose from.

The best thing about turkey drumsticks is that they are incredibly versatile, so you can create a wide variety of dishes with them.

4. Add Some Interesting Sauces or Condiments


One of the main things to do when serving sides with smoked turkey legs is to add some interesting sauces or condiments.

You can purchase or create sauces that will help bring out the flavor of the turkey legs.

For example, you can use a curry and coconut milk sauce that can give the dish a little bit of extra spice and flavor.

Or you could create a barbeque sauce using a variety of ingredients such as molasses, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onion and more.

5. Look at Traditional Southern Fare for Inspiration

If you’re going with a smoked turkey leg, it’s likely that you’re putting together a traditional southern-style meal.

Think about some traditional southern sides dishes to go with your main course.

Some great options are succotash, which is a combination of beans and vegetables, collard greens, sauteed cabbage or buttered broccoli.

6. Choose Sides That Are Easy to Make

Smoking turkey legs takes a long time, so the last thing you want to do is spend even more time preparing complex sides.

Instead, look for dishes that are easy to make, such as salads and simple side dishes.

This will allow you to enjoy the company of your guests instead of spending all night in the kitchen.

7. Spice It Up

Rather than serving your side dish blandly alongside your turkey leg, put a little extra oomph into it by spicing it up.

If you’re serving mashed potatoes, add some cayenne pepper or a dash of garlic salt to spice things up a bit.

Another option is to turn boring old green beans into something special by adding bacon bits and shredded cheese.

8. Think Brown

When you think of smoked turkey legs, you probably think about brown food.

There’s a reason for this.

Smoking foods turns them brown, so that’s what you’re used to seeing with these types of meals.

To match the color of your food, try using brown sides.

For example, use a brown salad dressing or serve a dish of rice or rice pilaf on the side.

This can be a great way to keep the colors of your meal consistent and appealing to look at.


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What to Serve with Smoked Turkey Legs

What to Serve with Smoked Turkey Legs: 13 Best Sides

Smoked turkey legs are a great addition to any Thanksgiving table.
However, you should pair them with a delicious side dish that goes well with the flavors of the turkey.
The most common pairing is mashed potatoes.
But, you can also opt for roasted sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli or even mashed sweet potatoes and gravy.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 325 kcal


  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
  • Coleslaw
  • Macaroni and Cheese
  • Mashed Cauliflower
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Baked Beans
  • Potato Salad
  • Green Beans Casserole
  • Arugula salad
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Roasted root veggies


  • Pick any of these delicious sides to serve with your turkey legs.
  • Prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Enjoy your meal in no time!
Keyword What to Serve with Smoked Turkey Legs