Smoked turkey legs are a classic comfort food that can be served as an entrée or as part of a larger holiday meal.
Whether preparing a holiday feast or just looking for a new way to serve smoked turkey legs, these side dishes will add flavor, texture, and nutrition to your meal.
The perfect side dishes should complement the smoked turkey legs’ smoky flavor and juicy texture while bringing something new and exciting to the table.
Check out some of the best side dishes paired with smoked turkey legs.
If you are in a hurry, then know what to serve with smoked turkey legs- Roasted root vegetables, Green salad, Coleslaw, cornbread, roasted veggies, rice, sweet potatoes, green beans, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, collard greens, baked greens, baked beans, biscuits, potato skins, sauteed spinach, salad, apple sauce, stuffing, creamed spinach, roasted potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, and many more.
Side Dishes to Accompany Smoked Turkey Legs
1. Roasted Root Vegetables
Roasting root vegetables brings natural sweetness and flavor to any meal. Carrots, potatoes, squash, and turnips work great in this dish.
Cut into cubes, toss with olive oil and seasonings, spread onto a baking sheet, and roast at 400°F until tender.
2. Green Salad
A green salad is a great way to add freshness and balance to your meal. Use a variety of greens like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, watercress, arugula, etc. Top with nuts or seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds for added flavor and texture.
Add some diced veggies like cucumbers or tomatoes, and dress your salad with balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil & lemon juice dressing.
A light and crunchy coleslaw will cut through the smokiness of your turkey legs as no other dish can. Make sure to use freshly shredded cabbage for maximum crispness.
If you want to get creative with your coleslaw recipe, add shredded Brussels sprouts or jicama for added crunch and texture.
A simple dressing of mayonnaise and apple cider vinegar is all you need to finish off this classic side dish.
Cornbread is an absolute must when serving smoked turkey legs! Its sweet yet savory flavor complements the meat’s smokiness beautifully while adding some carbs to the meal too!
For extra flavor, add diced jalapenos or chopped herbs like cilantro into your cornbread batter before baking it in the oven at 375°F for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Cornbread Stuffing: Cornbread stuffing is always a crowd-pleaser! Mix cornbread crumbs with celery, onion, poultry seasoning, and butter until combined.
Spread this mixture into a greased 9×9 inch baking pan before baking it in the oven until it’s golden brown on top. Serve alongside your smoked turkey legs for an unforgettable holiday meal!
5. Roasted Veggies
Roasted vegetables are an easy and nutritious side dish that pairs perfectly with smoked turkey legs. Try tossing diced carrots, potatoes, onions, squash with olive oil, salt and pepper before roasting them in the oven until they are golden brown and tender.
For an extra kick of flavor, sprinkle your roasted veggies with smoked paprika or garlic powder before serving.
You can try roasted asparagus. Roast asparagus spears at high heat along with some garlic cloves until lightly charred, then serve it warm as a flavorful side dish option next to those succulent smoked turkey legs!
White or brown rice is a classic accompaniment to smoked turkey legs. It’s also a great way to add some carbohydrates to the meal.
7. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a delicious side dish and pair perfectly with the smoky flavor of the smoked turkey leg. They can be served mashed, roasted, or as wedges for a crunchy texture.
8. Green Beans
Green beans are high in vitamins A and C, making them a great healthy side dish for any meal. Try sautéing them in garlic and olive oil for an extra flavorful kick!
9. Macaroni & Cheese
Who doesn’t love macaroni & cheese? This comfort food goes perfectly with smoked turkey legs. It can be made healthier by using skim milk instead of whole milk and adding vegetables like broccoli or spinach into the mix.
10. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are another classic side dish that stands well with smoked turkey legs—the creamy texture complements the smoky flavor nicely! Try adding herbs like thyme or rosemary to your mashed potatoes if you want to give them an extra kick of flavor.
11. Collard Greens
Collard greens are a nutritious side dish that goes well with smoked turkey legs—their slightly bitter taste contrasts nicely with the smoky flavor of the meat itself!
Try simmering them in chicken broth or adding bacon bits for added flavor and texture.
12. Baked Beans
Baked beans are an excellent food to eat with smoked turkey legs because their sweet-and-savory taste complements the smokiness perfectly!
Plus, they’re easy to make beforehand, so you don’t have to worry about last-minute prep work when you’re ready to serve your meal!
The sweetness of baked beans pairs perfectly with the smokiness of smoked turkey legs, making them an ideal accompaniment for any backyard BBQ or holiday meal.
For an extra twist, try adding some bacon and brown sugar for an added layer of flavor!
Freshly-baked biscuits pair wonderfully with smoked turkey legs—the softness contrasts nicely against the crispy skin on the outside of the meat itself!
Serve them hot out of the oven slathered in butter for even more flavor!
14. Potato Skins
Potato skins add an extra layer of crunch to any meal – try baking up some twice-baked potato skins as an appetizer before your main course featuring smoked turkey legs!
15. Sauteed Spinach
Sauteed spinach makes for a delicious side dish offering plenty of vitamins A & C plus iron–all essential nutrients which help keep us healthy throughout our lives.
A simple green salad is an excellent accompaniment when serving Smoked Turkey Legs.
17. Apple Sauce
If you want something sweet but not too heavy, try serving up some homemade apple sauce and your Smoked Turkey Legs.
Stuffing is always popular around Thanksgiving, but it works just as well as part of any other dinner where Smoked Turkey Legs take center stage.
19. Creamed Spinach
Creamed spinach is always a crowd-pleaser and pairs well with smoked turkey legs. The creamy sauce contrasts nicely with the smoky flavor of the meat, while the richness of the dish complements the juiciness of the turkey.
If you want to add extra flavor, try adding nutmeg or Parmesan cheese to the dish!
20. Roasted Potatoes
Roasted potatoes are another great option when it comes to pairing with smoked turkey legs.
The smoky flavor from the meat will infuse into the potatoes, making them even more delicious! You can also add other flavors such as garlic, rosemary, and thyme, for an extra burst of flavor.
21. Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is another traditional side dish that combines green beans, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions into one delicious dish that will make your mouth water!
Plus, it’s easy to make ahead, so you can save time on Thanksgiving day!
22. Bacon & Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Crispy bacon and tender Brussels sprouts are a match made in heaven! Roast the Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil and garlic for extra flavor, then wrap each one in bacon before popping them into the oven for about 40 minutes.
More food Pairing : 22 Dishes That Go Perfectly with Bacon-Wrapped Dates
23. Smoked Turkey Leg Hash
Transform leftover smoked turkey legs into a fantastic hash by dicing the meat and sautéing it with potatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and spices of your choice. Serve with a poached egg on top for a hearty breakfast or brunch.
Layer thinly sliced sweet potatoes in a baking dish with cream, butter, thyme, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bake until bubbly and golden brown on top for an indulgent side dish that’ll have everyone swooning.
25. Cornbread Stuffing
Mix cooked cornbread cubes with celery, onion, sage, thyme, parsley, and butter for a wonderfully moist stuffing that pairs perfectly with smoked turkey legs.
26. Butternut Squash Soup
Warm up cool evenings by serving butternut squash soup alongside smoked turkey legs! Add some croutons or crispy bacon to really take it over the top.
27. Sauteed Greens
For an easy side that packs tons of nutrition (and flavor!), sauté kale or collard greens in garlic oil until tender, then finish with fresh lemon juice just before serving next to your smoked turkey legs.
28. Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage Slaw
Combine shredded red cabbage with apple cider vinegar, honey mustard dressing, and diced apples for an unexpected twist on coleslaw that pairs with smoky turkey legs!
29. Apple & Fennel Salad
Brighten things up by serving this sweet-tart salad made from crisp apple slices, and fennel tossed in a simple vinaigrette dressing alongside those juicy smoked turkey legs!
30. Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Risotto
Risotto is a creamy Italian rice dish that takes well to add-ins like caramelized onions and mushrooms—the perfect accompaniment to savory smoked turkey legs!
31. Beetroot Gratin
A sophisticated gratin made from layers of roasted beetroots combined with Gruyère cheese will have everyone reaching for seconds when served next to those tasty smoked turkey legs!
32. Zucchini Fritters
Transform zucchini into delicious fritters by shredding it first, then mixing it with eggs, flour, and herbs of your choice, plus some parmesan cheese, before frying them in hot oil until golden brown perfection is achieved – yum!
33. Fried Sage Leaves
Elevate your sides even further by deep frying fresh sage leaves until crispy – these are especially scrumptious when sprinkled directly over those freshly prepared smoking hot turkey drumsticks!
34. Baked Apples
Try baking apples for a healthier dessert that pairs well with smoked turkey legs! Simply core several tart apples, then fill the centers with your choice of diced nuts, dried fruit, and/or brown sugar before baking in the oven until soft.
35. Grilled Corn on the Cob
Nothing says summer like grilled corn on the cob! Whether you choose to top it with spicy butter or leave it plain, grilled corn goes amazingly with smoked turkey legs for a delicious outdoor meal.
These recipes will tantalize your taste buds and make smoked turkey legs a go-to meal for your next gathering – enjoy!
How to jazz up smoked turkey legs?
Smoked turkey legs are a delicious and hearty meal, perfect for any occasion. If you want to add some extra flavor and spice to your smoked turkey legs, you can do so in several ways.
One way is to lather the turkey legs in a marinade before cooking them.
Marinating will help infuse the meat with flavor and tenderize it. Choose from ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, herbs, spices, and citrus juices to create the most flavorful marinade possible.
Let the turkey legs soak in this mixture overnight or up to 24 hours before cooking them.
Another way of enhancing flavors is by adding rubs. Rubs are mixtures of dried herbs and spices which can be rubbed onto the surface of the turkey legs before cooking.
This will give them a flavorful crust, which will further enhance their deliciousness.
Finally, glazes are wonderful for giving smoked turkey legs an extra sweet and savory kick.
Choose your favorite ingredients, such as honey, molasses, brown sugar, and soy sauce, to create a glaze that will take your smoked turkey legs to the next level. Brush them on before serving or even after taking them off the heat for an added layer of flavor!
What is the best possible garnishing for smoked turkey legs?
Smoked turkey legs are the perfect main course to serve at a special occasion or family gathering. For an added touch of flavor and presentation, consider garnishing this savory dish with any of the following:
– Fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, which will add a fragrant aroma and subtle flavor to the smoked turkey legs.
– Roasted garlic cloves will bring out the meat’s natural sweetness.
– Slivers of lemon zest will balance out the smoky flavor with a hint of citrusy tartness.
– Chopped parsley for a pop of color and herby finish.
– Toasted nuts such as almonds or walnuts, adding delightful crunchiness and nutty goodness.
These toppings would also pair nicely with one another; try serving smoked turkey legs with a combination of garlic cloves, fresh herbs, and slivers of lemon zest for a delicious result!
Nothing brings people together like good food – so delight your guests with this delicious main course garnished in all its flavorful glory!
What is the best way to serve smoked turkey- Ideal Serving suggestion
The best way to serve smoked turkey is to slice it into thin slices and serve it cold or at room temperature.
For a more flavorful and succulent experience, serve the turkey with a variety of accompanying sauces such as garlic butter, honey mustard, cranberry sauce, and hot pepper jelly.
Add some extra texture by topping the dish with crunchy peppers, onions, and other toppings of your choice.
To enhance the flavor even further, try marinating the meat in a mixture of Italian dressing or teriyaki sauce before serving.
When accompanied by fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, the smoky flavor will be highlighted.
Serve the smoked turkey alongside favorite sides like mashed potatoes or macaroni salad for a hearty meal.
Is smoked turkey served hot or cold?
Smoked turkey is typically served cold. It is often seen as a popular deli meat, sliced thin and served on sandwiches.
However, it can also be heated up and served hot with other dishes such as salads or pasta.
The process of smoking the turkey gives it a smoky flavor that can be enhanced by adding marinades or sauces for extra flavor.
Heating smoked turkey will make the texture more tender and juicy, allowing for a unique take on the dish.
Should I wash smoked turkey before cooking?
Yes, it is essential to wash smoked turkey before cooking it. This helps to remove any contaminants that may have come into contact with the bird during the smoking process.
Additionally, washing can help to reduce the amount of salt and seasoning on the outside of the bird, allowing for better flavor when cooked.
Additionally, washing it can help ensure that harmful bacteria like salmonella aren’t introduced while cooking.
It is best practice to wash smoked turkey in warm water before cooking and dry it thoroughly with paper towels afterward.
How do you keep smoked turkey skin moist?
Smoked turkey skin should be kept moist by basting it with oil or butter and adding a few tablespoons of liquid to the cooking pan, like stock, white wine, or apple cider vinegar.
You can also wrap the bird in foil for some time while smoking to help keep the skin from drying out. Additionally, try covering the bird with bacon slices during cooking to create a barrier between direct heat and moisture loss.
Finally, add more moisture throughout the cooking by spritzing it with water or other liquids every half hour. This will help keep smoked turkey skin moist and flavorful!