An easy recipe for a very flavorful and filling turkey curry. It's one of my favorite ways to use up leftover turkey after Thanksgiving!
I adore curries. The bold flavor, the thick texture, the combination of meat (if included) and veggies. It's comfort food at its best.
One of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftover turkey. It actually used to stress me out - how do I use up all that meat! But over the years, I've developed a great collection of leftover turkey recipes, and this turkey curry is one of the best.
The ingredients you'll need
Here's an overview of what you'll need to make this tasty curry. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below.
Oil: I use avocado oil which has a high smoke point. Ghee is another tasty option.
Veggies: I use chopped onions and sliced bell peppers. It's easy to use a frozen mix of sliced peppers, and you can cook them from frozen. But you can also use fresh peppers.
Aromatics: Garlic and ginger add a ton of flavor to this tasty curry.
Spices: I make a spice mix with salt, pepper, curry powder, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Definitely make sure the spices you use are fresh. Spices are delicious, but a stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Cooked turkey meat: Make sure to remove the skin (its texture won't work in a curry), then cut the meat into chunks. I usually use white meat, but you can use dark meat or a mix of both.
Chicken broth: I use the Pacific Natural brand. When I happen to have homemade chicken broth, I use that.
Cornstarch: It helps thicken the curry. Without it, you'll basically have soup - admittedly tasty soup, but soup nonetheless. If you'd rather avoid cornstarch, I believe there are alternatives such as konjac flour.
How to make leftover turkey curry
It's a super easy recipe! The detailed instructions are included in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to mix the spices.
2. Now saute the veggies in some oil.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and the spices, then add the turkey. Stir to make sure everything is well-coated.
4. Now add the broth and simmer for a short while to allow the flavors to meld.
5. The last step is to thicken the curry with cornstarch. Remember to mix it first with a bit of cold water.
Voila! You've got yourself a hot, filling, and very flavorful curry. And needless to say, this recipe works beautifully with leftover chicken too.
How to keep the turkey meat from drying out
The challenge when making a leftover turkey curry is that we're using cooked meat and then cooking it some more. However, as you've probably noticed, we're cooking it minimally - basically just reheating. Having said that, the juicier the meat you start off with, the better the curry will be.
How to serve this dish
You can serve this saucy dish in bowls with a spoon, over cauliflower rice, or over a bed of fresh spinach leaves. The hot curry will wilt the spinach just enough to gently cook it. It's really good!
Can I keep leftovers?
Cooked leftovers generally keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. But since you're using cooked turkey in this recipe, you should start counting those four days from the day you cooked the turkey.
More tasty curry recipes
I have two more curry recipes on this blog that I just love. While this turkey curry is inspired by Indian cooking, those recipes are Thai-style, and they are so flavorful. Coconut shrimp curry is ready in just 30 minutes. And this Thai chicken curry is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken breasts.
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- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 medium onion , chopped (6 oz)
- 1 (14 oz) bag frozen bell pepper slices (or use three large bell peppers, chopped)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- 3 cups cooked turkey breast skinless, cut into chunks (16 oz)
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Mix the spices in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the onions and the frozen bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers have defrosted and the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. If using fresh peppers, add a splash of water if the pan gets too dry.
- Stir in the garlic, the ginger and the spices, then add the turkey and stir to coat.
- Add the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer the curry, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
- Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Stir the mixture into the curry. Keep stirring until the curry thickens, about 1 more minute. Serve immediately, over rice or cauliflower rice.