Great Side Recipes Ideas For Turkey – Best Of Bloemfontein
Great Side Recipes Ideas For Turkey

D is for dressing / Pass the gravy please / Sauce it up!

No self-respecting Christmas turkey would ever make an appearance without gravy (considered an essential part of the meal, along with roast potatoes!) so don’t forget to include it on your ‘must make’ list. This simple recipe, from the brilliant BBC Good Food website, uses white wine for a pale, light gravy, but can also be made using red wine or Port for a richer feel.


Easy Christmas gravy

Ingredients (serves 8):

1 tbsp flour

200ml white wine or red wine

600ml chicken stock



Pour away any excess fat from the turkey roasting tin but keep any onion halves used in cooking. Set the tin over a medium heat, then sprinkle over the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook for 2 mins, turning the onion over in the mixture to extract the flavour. Slowly stir in the wine and stock, adding any juices from the resting turkey. Bring to the boil, scraping the bits from the bottom, then simmer over a low heat for 15 mins. Sieve and season before serving alongside your Christmas turkey.

Cranberry sauce is another traditional favourite which pairs beautifully with roast cuts of pork or poultry. Fresh or frozen cranberries are hard to come by, so rather than stress, why not try Woolworths’ delectable cranberry sauce, R36.95 per 150g jar, or their cranberry and port sauce, R39.95 per 200g sachet. Both are delicious with camembert and brie too, so can serve double duty with the cheeseboard.

10 11

Sensational side dishes

We’re mildly obsessed with side dishes and love to offer (and eat!) a variety of options with our choice of Christmas meat. Roast potatoes, honey glazed carrots, and cauliflower and broccoli cheese are all festive-season favourites, as are creamy potato bake and Brussel sprouts (try them sautéed in olive oil with pancetta and rosemary, then toss with pine nuts and serve warm). Ah-mazing roasted vegetables, braised greens with garlic and lemon, and (guilt-free) olive oil-roasted cauliflower are also utterly moreish!

In the heat of summer however, our best sides are salads – especially those with a twist. You can expect the easy kale, quinoa and roasted beet salad with marinated feta recipe below to be a crowd-pleasing hit, ditto the vegetable tagine salad (both fantastic meal options for non-meat eating guests). Other classy Christmas sides include the other recipe here: elegant asparagus and green beans with hazelnut and cranberry dressing. Hungry, anyone?

Kale, quinoa and roasted beet salad with marinated feta


Pic and recipe via

Ingredients (serves 4)

­­­­­­­­16 (about 350g) baby carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise if large

12 (about 300g) baby beetroot, trimmed, peeled, halved (or quartered if large)

2 red onion, peeled, cut into thin wedges

1 cup (about 190g) quinoa, rinsed and drained

150g kale, trimmed, leaves shredded

2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1.5 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon honey

60g marinated feta in oil, drained, crumbled

Pink Himalayan salt flakes, to season



  1. Preheat oven to 200°C or 180°C fan forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the carrots, beetroot and onion on a prepared tray, spray with olive oil. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until vegetables are golden and tender.
  2. Meanwhile, place quinoa and 500ml (2 cups) water in a medium saucepan, bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until water has evaporated and quinoa is al dente. Stir through kale until just wilted.
  3. Transfer quinoa to a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables and pine nuts. Whisk the oil, vinegar, orange juice and honey together in a small bowl. Add to quinoa and stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Serve topped with the crumbled marinated feta.


Vegetable tagine salad


Pic and recipe via

Ingredients (serves 6)

1/2 butternut or pumpkin (around 300g), peeled, chopped into 2cm pieces

1 carrot, sliced 2cm thick

1 zucchini, sliced 2cm thick

400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained

2 tablespoons Moroccan seasoning

1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil

1 cup (200g) couscous

1.5 cups (375ml) vegetable stock, heated

grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red onion, thinly sliced

½ bunch mint, leaves picked

½ bunch coriander, leaves picked

2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted

170g tub tzatziki



  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the pumpkin, carrot and zucchini with the chickpeas, Moroccan seasoning and 2 tablespoons oil. Stir well so the vegetables are evenly coated in the oil and spices, and season. Arrange in a single layer on the baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes until golden and just tender.
  3. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl. Pour over the hot stock, cover with plastic wrap and stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the grains with a fork to separate. Whisk together the lemon juice and zest with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  4. Stir the dressing into the couscous. Gently toss the roasted vegetables, cherry tomatoes, onion, mint and coriander with the couscous.
  5. Spoon the salad onto plates and sprinkle over the toasted almonds. Serve with the tzatziki.



Asparagus and green beans with hazelnut and cranberry dressing


Pics and recipe via


Ingredients (serves 8)

3 bunches asparagus, trimmed

500g green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

120g dry-roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves




  1. Cook asparagus and beans separately in a large saucepan of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Remove to a large platter. Toss gently to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add hazelnuts, cranberries and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until hazelnuts are heated through. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar and parsley.
  3. Place asparagus and beans on a platter. Spoon over dressing. Serve.


Food for the day after…

Christmas leftovers are inevitable, but that certainly doesn’t mean you need to eat the same meal twice! With just a little imagination and a few extra ingredients, you can quickly whip up delicious, nutritious fare for Boxing Day.

Obvious options include turkey burgers and roast beef wraps, served with a simple side salad and sweet potato fries (if the latter is not too much effort!). Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with a homemade Christmas pizza featuring your favourite festive meat and veg, ham pasta or a fresh turkey risotto dish. When the time rolls around, we’re definitely going to try the Moroccan turkey salad below (and possibly substitute turkey with leftover beef or chicken), as well as the chicken (or turkey), kale and sprout stir-fry. Any remaining desserts such as Christmas pud will be crumbled and stirred into slightly soft vanilla ice cream, then popped back into the freezer until we’re ready to serve it with flaked almonds, dark chocolate nibs and a drizzle of hot cranberry sauce or maple syrup. Roll on the holidays!

Moroccan turkey salad


Pic and recipe via


Ingredients (serves 4)

2 pitta bread

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 diced aubergine

1 tablespoon harissa

250g cherry tomatoes, halved

500g leftover turkey, shredded



Tear the pitta into pieces and fry in the olive oil until crisp. Tip into a bowl, then fry the aubergine for 10 mins until soft. Add to the pitta with the harissa, tomatoes, turkey and rocket. Toss well. Scatter over pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.


Chicken, kale and sprout stir-fry (a light, wholesome way to get in extra Brussel sprouts!)


Pic and recipe via


Ingredients (serves 2)

100g soba noodles

100g shredded curly kale

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 lean chicken breasts, or the equivalent in leftover roast chicken (skin removed), sliced into thin strips

25g piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks

1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

handful Brussel sprouts, cut into quarters

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine or white wine vinegar

zest and juice of 1 lime




  1. Cook the noodles following pack instructions, then drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a large wok or frying pan and add the kale along with a good splash of water and cook for 1-2 mins until wilted, with a little bite remaining, then cool under running water to keep the colour.
  2. Add half the oil and cook the chicken strips until browned, then remove and set aside. Heat the remaining oil and fry the ginger, pepper and sprouts until softened a little. return the chicken and kale and add the noodles.
  3. Tip in the soy, rice wine and lime zest and juice along with enough water to create a sauce that clings to the ingredients. Serve immediately.

Shop for your ingredients at these local stores

Farm Fellows

D&J Vleismark

Fenwick Slaghuis

Van Vuuren Wors

Share This


About Best Of

Bloemfontein is limitless when it comes to possibilities. There’s something to do, eat, drink or buy every day of the week.

The Best of Bloemfontein Readers’ Choice Awards celebrates all this and more but, it also gives you the chance to tell us what and who’s the best of the best.

Copyright © 2021 Caxton & CTP Printers. All Rights Reserved