This turkey stir-fry recipe is such an easy and tasty way to use up leftover turkey. It's VERY simple to make, and the sauce is super flavorful!
This delicious stir-fry is one of my most requested leftover turkey recipes. All my family members love it! And I love the way leftover turkey forces me to be creative.
Back when I didn't mind bread, it was easy! Turkey salad, turkey quesadillas, paninis, enchiladas, and even leftover turkey pizza were the obvious solution. Now that I've changed my way of eating, things have become more challenging - and more interesting. I definitely need to be more creative these days, and this turkey stir-fry is a great way to go about it.
The ingredients needed to make this recipe
Here's an overview of the ingredients you'll need to make this tasty stir-fry. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below.
Cooked turkey meat: I typically use turkey breast, but dark meat is fine too. Just make sure to remove the skin.
Frozen stir-fry vegetables: I like to use a frozen mix that I get at Whole Foods (link provided in the recipe card below). It contains broccoli, carrots, green beans, onions, red bell peppers, and mushrooms.
Sauce: A mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch.
Avocado oil: I use it for frying. It's an excellent cooking oil with a neutral flavor and a high smoke point.
Aromatics: Garlic and ginger. It's best to mince the garlic and grate the ginger by hand, but I'm lazy, so I often use the jarred products.
For garnish: Sesame oil and chopped scallions.
How to make turkey stir-fry
This recipe is ready fast, especially if you use a frozen vegetable mix. Please scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. To make the sauce, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and cornstarch.
2. Cook the frozen veggies, garlic and ginger in avocado oil. Then add the cooked turkey meat and the sauce.
3. Stir-Fry until the sauce thickens. Then drizzle the dish with sesame oil, sprinkle it with scallions, and serve.
Don't overcook the turkey meat
An important tip when making this recipe is to cook it minimally. After all, the meat is already cooked and you don't want to dry it out.
So at the last step, when you add the meat and sauce to the skillet, really do cook the whole thing no more than the time it takes to heat through. That should take about 2 minutes.
How to serve turkey stir-fry
I often serve it on a bed of cauliflower rice. It's also good on top of mashed cauliflower (omitting the parmesan) and even on a bed of raw spinach leaves - the hot stir-fry wilts the spinach just enough to lightly cook it.
Variations on the basic recipe
I love this recipe as is - it has lots of umami flavor from the soy sauce and just the right level of heat. However, it's definitely spicy, so use just ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes if you don’t like your food spicy.
It's not a bad idea to balance out the flavors by adding just a bit of sweetness. A teaspoon of honey (real or sugar-free) is a nice addition to the sauce.
Instead of red pepper flakes, you can add a teaspoon of sriracha to the sauce.
Needless to say, this turkey stir-fry recipe works beautifully with leftover chicken!
How to store leftovers
Since you're making this stir-fry with leftover meat, you should take into account how much time that meat has already spent in the fridge when you decide how long you can store it.
Cooked poultry is safe when refrigerated in an airtight container for no longer than 3-4 days. As for reheating the leftovers, you can reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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- ¼ cup light soy sauce (or use a gluten-free alternative and add salt as needed)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (¼ teaspoon if you don’t like your food spicy)
- 1 lb. leftover white turkey meat skinless, cut into thin strips (about 3 cups)
- 1 (1 lb.) package frozen stir-fry vegetables*
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ cup green onions thinly sliced, green parts only
- Whisk the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the avocado oil over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the frozen vegetables, the garlic and the ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the veggies are defrosted and tender, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Give the sauce another stir, then add the turkey meat and the sauce to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until everything is well-coated and the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the turkey stir-fry to a serving platter. Drizzle with the sesame oil and scatter the scallions on top. Serve immediately.