This leftover turkey curry is a flavor-packed weeknight meal that requires minimal effort. With just 30 minutes and a short ingredient list, it effortlessly transforms holiday leftovers into an unforgettable dish.
Easy Turkey Curry
Once the Thanksgiving or Christmas feast is over, the big question is what to do with all that leftover roast turkey beyond the usual sandwiches. Enter this leftover turkey curry!
It brings a delightful burst of flavors, so you don't feel like you're stuck in a leftovers loop. And the best part is it requires minimal effort. As a mom juggling two little ones, my mantra revolves around simplicity. If it's not straightforward and easy, count me out!
This turkey curry takes on a Western style, so it's not your traditional Indian or Thai fare. What you'll appreciate about this recipe is that there's no need to juggle a bunch of spices. Just rely on the goodness of curry powder.
It's such a delicious and easy dinner for the whole family. And if you are looking for a vegetarian option, this butternut squash curry with chickpeas will not disappoint!
I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.
- Cooked turkey
- Curry powder - this is a spice blend that's a combination of turmeric, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon. Note that this is different from garam masala which doesn't contain turmeric powder.
- Aromatics - you'll need onion, garlic, and ginger
- Coconut milk - you MUST use unsweetened FULL FAT coconut milk that comes in a can not carton, which is more diluted and oftentimes contain sugar. You can also use coconut cream for an extra creamy curry. be sure to give it a good shake.
- Tomatoes - use either canned crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Step 1: Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened.
Step 2: Add garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Step 3: Add shredded turkey, coconut milk and tomatoes. Bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Step 4: Stir in the peas and spinach and stir for a couple of minutes. Squeeze some lime juice, if desired and enjoy!
- No turkey? you can make this with chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu, or beans
- Vegetables - feel free to add whatever vegetables you have on hand. Chop up some zucchini, carrots, red bell pepper, sweet potatoes, etc. and cook alongside the onion. Frozen broccoli, frozen cauliflower, or frozen mixed vegetables will work beautifully here too.
- Adjust the heat - I use a mild curry powder blend but feel free to switch it up with a spicier blend or add some chili powder. If you're anything like my husband, a final drizzle of sriracha does the trick as well :).
Here are our favorite ways to enjoy this creamy turkey curry!
- Over grains and legumes - Enjoy the creamy curry sauce with some white rice or brown rice, quinoa, or red lentils (for some extra protein and iron).
- With noodles or pasta like this Thai curry pasta!
- With bread - mop up this rich curry with naan bread, pita bread, or roti.
- As a sauce - add to baked potatoes or sweet potatoes. It's delicious with cheesy mashed potatoes too!
- In a salad - as a topping for a bed of crisp salad greens for a lighter option.
Just like with most one pot meals, this curry will taste even better the next day as the flavors get a chance to meld together.
Transfer leftovers into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.
More One-Pan Dinners
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Leftover Turkey Curry
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 pound leftover turkey, shredded
- 1 can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
- 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Handfuls of spinach
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the turkey, coconut milk and tomatoes. Bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in the peas and spinach and stir for a couple of minutes. some lime juice, if desired. Enjoy!
- Serve over rice, noodles, or pasta. For a burst of brightness, Top with some fresh herbs, like cilantro or parsley, and a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice.
- Transfer leftovers into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.