Deep-fried turkey becomes a sensation when Thanksgiving is around the corner.
But it’s a dish perfect for any gathering.
And if you’ve had it before, you know how savory and addicting the meat tastes.
You also know that this savory fried dish can overwhelm the palate.
So, you’ll eventually have to decide what to serve with deep fried turkey because a meal without side dishes is incomplete, especially when you’re expecting guests.
Luckily, this guide will help you find some fresh favorites.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Deep Fried Turkey?
Deep-fried turkey is a protein-packed dish with a decent amount of fat.
It is crispy, meaty, tender, and a treat for the eyes and palate.
While they may be quite delicious on their own, your meal will not feel proper without some sides to complement it.
You should also consider that it might be too heavy on your palate without something refreshing.
As such, side dishes rich in fiber are a must when considering turkey dishes.
They ensure a healthy metabolic process while keeping the meal’s flavors balanced.
What to Serve with Deep Fried Turkey? 10 BEST Side Dishes
You cannot serve only greens with a fried turkey dish.
Here are ten of our favorites to prove you can serve veggies and meat without tasting bad.
1 – Cranberry Couscous Salad
Turkey is a fall favorite, and guess what other food reflects the season? Cranberries.
Their sweet and bitter flavors, paired with the nutty couscous, make a filling side dish for the meaty and protein-rich turkey.
Fresh cranberries are juicy and fruity, but if you like them tart and chewy, consider using dried cranberries in your salad.
You’ll be able to find them in most grocery stores.
To add crunchy elements to the salad, consider adding crushed pistachios; they will also provide additional carbs and protein to the meal.
2 – Steamed Silken Tofu
Tofu comes in many types, but the tender, curd-like silken tofu is best suited for side dishes.
It also makes an excellent substitute for dairy products.
This side dish has an easy preparation; all you must do is pour an aromatic sauce of garlic, scallions, and sesame oil over steamed silken tofu.
It is a flavorful dish rich in plant protein and heart-healthy fats.
Garnish the tofu with scallions, cilantro, and white sesame to enhance its visual appeal.
This side dish tastes best when hot, so always remember to reheat it before serving.
3 – Stuffed Bell Peppers
If you remove the seeds of bell peppers, you will have a nice little cup that can hold all kinds so fillings.
So, what better way to spice up your meals than to stuff colorful peppers with minced meat, veggies, and cheese?
Despite being centered around bell peppers, this side dish doesn’t rank on the heat scale.
The primary flavor you’ll receive is the savory and tender filling.
The best way to bring this side dish to perfection is to cook the peppers and meat filling separately.
Once the meat and peppers have tenderized, assemble them for a final bake to combine the flavors.
4 – Apple Hand Pies
Hand pies are mini pies with a filling wrapped in pastry; they give a more exciting eating experience than regular pies.
Since the fried turkey meat is a savory dish, you can go light on the pie’s flavor, so the sweet and tart flavors of apples make them a fitting option.
While this side dish may be a lot of work, the result is worth the effort.
And it all gets better with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice in the apple mixture.
Peaches and pears are great alternatives to give a seasonal punch to your dishes.
5 – Shiitake Gyoza
Gyoza is the name for Japanese dumplings; they have thinner wrappers than traditional dumplings and often have a crispy crust.
They’re easy to customize and make suitable side dishes for many meaty and veg-based dishes.
While the fillings for gyoza aren’t limited, minced shiitake is a suitable option for a meaty dish like deep-fried turkey.
And if you don’t like having meat-free gyoza, consider cooking the shiitake mushrooms in a meat broth.
The vitamins and minerals of shiitake complement the protein of turkey meat and make your meal complete in taste and nutrition.
6 – Pickled Daikon
Daikon, or winter radish, may not be on everyone’s list of favorites; it tastes crisp and peppery and may be too overwhelming for many palates.
However, you can still find a way to enjoy its flavor and receive all the valuable nutrition.
The pickling solution can be as simple as white vinegar seasoned with pickling salt, sugar, and peppers.
As regards the daikon, they are best when julienned as thinner slices absorb the pickling solution better.
If you’re looking for alternatives, kosher salt has large grains and makes a good substitute for pickling salt.
Meanwhile, mixing julienned carrots with the daikon gives more flavor to the pickle and makes it more appealing for guests.
7 – Spaghetti Meatballs
Spaghetti meatball is a classic meatball dish suitable for just about any veg or meaty meal because it contains animal and plant-based ingredients.
If you’re making meatballs from scratch, consider using something with a low-fat and high-protein ratio.
Having a low-fat percentage in your meatballs makes them suitable for many diets.
Veggies make a significant part of any spaghetti dish, so add a combination of veggies with varying colors and flavors to combine complex flavors.
You can never go wrong with bell peppers, zucchini, and peas.
8 – Bacon-Wrapped Shishito Peppers
Shishito peppers are green Asian peppers with mild heat.
They’re best suited for dishes where you need to relish the peppers’ crunch and smoky flavors.
But the thing about them is they make great side dishes.
Wrapping the shishito with bacon slices gives it a savory accent while also adding some meaty texture.
They’re a treat for the palate and the eyes and are a crowd-pleaser despite their simplicity.
This side dish will provide a decent amount of protein and vitamin A to complement the protein-rich turkey.
So, you will have nothing lacking in your meals.
9 – Butternut Squash Soup
There are plenty of ways to enjoy squashes besides grilling and steaming them.
So, if you’re looking for an exciting way to serve the sweetness of butternut squash, consider serving a soup.
A butternut squash soup is packed with carbs, and its bright yellow broth is not only brimming with flavor but also has a pleasant aroma; it’s a dish for chilly days in the fall.
Soups always pair well with meaty dishes, especially because of their flavorful broth.
Besides being a warm and comforting dish, this soup is rich in antioxidants.
It’s a treat for your palate and health.
10 – Sesame Chili Oil Noodles
Noodles are one of the easiest and most versatile recipes, yet they always reward your palate with the most exquisite flavors.
When you cook them in sesame oil seasoned with chili paste and aromatics, it attains rich flavors with an aroma that lingers and are best served hot.
Garnishing with white sesame seeds heightens its visual appeal.
Being so easy to make, this dish comes together in under 20 minutes, so you have enough time to prepare a flavorful fried turkey dish.
Its spicy and aromatic flavors perfectly complement the savory turkey.
Whether serving deep-fried turkey for a weekend dinner or a more significant gathering, you can never go wrong with serving side dishes with a complementing texture and flavor.
Remember to keep the flavors minimal if you pair a meaty side dish with the turkey.
You don’t want your side dishes overshadowing the entrée.
And as always, the right seasonings can set the right mood, so use them to your advantage.
Your guests will be impressed by the amount of thought you’ve up into the meal prep.