Traditional recipes

Leftover turkey curry recipe

Leftover turkey curry recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Curry
  • Turkey curry

Despite the best intentions of the family to eat all of the Christmas turkey leftovers, we never manage it! This turkey curry is a great way to use it all up so that it can be frozen as a curry and thawed out when we need something quick a few weeks later, when we have an appetite for turkey again! Alternatively, eat right away and serve with rice and naan bread.

64 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh root ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 180ml water
  • 2 green chillies, halved lengthways
  • 450g cubed cooked turkey
  • 1 teaspoon spicy red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • salt to taste

MethodPrep:25min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon into the oil and stir until fragrant. Stir the onion into the cinnamon oil and cook for 5 minutes, until softened and golden in colour. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and turmeric, and continue to cook for 3 additional minutes. Pour in 1/4 water and cook for 2 minutes, adding a bit more water if mixture is too thick.
  2. Stir the green chillies, turkey, chilli powder, garam masala, and the rest of the water into the sauce. Cover and cook for 10 minutes until mixture has thickened to sauce consistency, adding additional water if mixture looks dry. Taste the curry and add salt if needed.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(16)

Reviews in English (12)


This is a 5 with changes. I followed the recipe as directed and didn't like the texture. I added a can of coconut milk, about 2-3 tsp of garam masala, additional tsp of tumeric, and about 3-4 Tbl of ground cashews (to thicken it up).-03 Jan 2011

by Ryan

This curry tastes just like the curry at an Indian restaurant! I added a little madras curry powder without the green chile peppers in the dish to add a little more curry flavor.-30 Nov 2009

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2.5cm/1in knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 green cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into cubes
  • 570ml/1pt chicken or turkey stock
  • 125ml/4fl oz yoghurt
  • 85ml/3fl oz double cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 large handfuls leftover turkey, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick casserole pot or large saucepan.

Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and ground coriander. Cook over a medium heat until the onion is soft, being careful not to burn the spices.

Add the potatoes and squash and cook until the potato begins to stick to the bottom of the pan slightly. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes and butternut squash are tender.

Stir in the yoghurt, cream and lemon juice. Add the cooked turkey, fold in and simmer to heat through. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Why you're going to love butter turkey curry:

  • The most delicious, creamy butter chicken sauce.
  • So good you'll want to eat it by the spoonful. At your kitchen counter.
  • This is not a Thanksgiving leftovers recipe that leaves you feeling like you're eating leftovers. It's a leftovers recipe for people who don't like leftovers.
  • The bigger pieces of pulled turkey make this so much better than a ground turkey curry.
  • It's a healthy, gluten-free, and paleo dinner recipe.

What do you normally do with all your Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers? I always try to save enough turkey for at least one sandwich with lots of mayo, salt, and pepper, and if I've got some in the fridge, arugula.

The turkey bones I make into stock. As we're cleaning up from dinner, I put the bones in the crockpot, fill it with water, and turn it on. When I wake up in the morning, the turkey stock is ready.

The rest of the leftovers I try to make into something else. These are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving leftover recipes:

This turkey curry is joining the list of favorites.


  • 1 orange pepper, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 500g turkey breast steaks, cut into short wide strips
  • 200g green beans, halved
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Small bunch coriander, chopped
  • 2tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 5tbsp korma curry paste
  • 3tbsp spicy mango chutney
  • 200ml hot chicken stock
  • 400ml tin reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 2tbsp toasted flaked almonds

  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and quartered
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, quartered and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder, preferably Madras
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup “lite” coconut milk
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place onion and bell pepper in a food processor and pulse just until chopped. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion-pepper mixture and cook, stirring, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, return the work bowl to the processor. With the motor running, drop garlic, ginger and jalapeno through the feed tube and process until finely chopped.

Add the garlic mixture to the onions, along with curry powder and coriander cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add broth, coconut milk and bananas. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bananas are very soft, about 10 minutes.

Mash the bananas to incorporate them into the sauce. Add turkey, peas, cilantro and lime juice and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Leftover Turkey Curry

This leftover turkey curry is the perfect way to use up holiday leftovers - plus it is dairy free and gluten free!

Keyword gluten free curry recipe, leftover turkey curry, turkey curry recipe

Author Dairy Free for Baby


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked turkey
  • Cooked rice for serving


Add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, coconut milk, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender and the sauce has reduced a bit.

Recipe Notes

This recipe makes 4-6 servings.

Nutrition analysis (approximate per serving, assumes 1/4 of recipe + 1/2 cup cooked white rice): 497 calories, 16 g fat, 9 g saturated fat, 520 mg sodium, 43.5 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 43 g protein

Turkey Curry

There is often leftover turkey, especially around Christmas time, so this delicately spiced curry is the perfect recipe if you have any to use up!

How to safely store leftover turkey:

It&rsquos imperative you keep your leftover cooked turkey in the fridge or freezer. Refrigerate or freeze any leftovers within 90min of cooking it and make sure it&rsquos covered, either in an airtight container or wrap well with cling film. You can keep your turkey refrigerated for up to two days, and frozen for up to 1 month.

How to defrost frozen turkey:

Defrost your turkey in the fridge overnight. You can't refreeze cooked meat more than once, so it&rsquos best to freeze in portions in order to only defrost as much as you need.

Reheating cooked turkey:

Make sure that when you&rsquore reheating leftover turkey, that it&rsquos piping hot throughout and never reheat cooked turkey more than once.

This recipe would also work well with leftover chicken, lamb shank or shoulder or a vegetarian alternative, such as Quorn.

Here we advise you on how to store any other Christmas leftovers you might have.

To vary the flavour from my other chicken and turkey recipes, I used dried ground garlic and ginger instead of garlic and ginger paste. This is done in a lot of Balti houses.

Powders are used not so much as a substitute to fresh garlic and ginger paste but to give a different zing to the dish. You could use finely chopped garlic and ginger or garlic and ginger paste instead. The flavour will be different but just a good.

If you go the fresh route, use about a tablespoon of each and add them after you cook off your onions. Let them sizzle for about 30 seconds and then continue on with the recipe.

Leftover Turkey & Vegetable Curry

Whether you are making leftover xmas turkey curry or leftover thanksgiving turkey curry, they are best cooked with vegetables.

That is because just leftover turkey on its own is not going to make a big curry.

But add in lots of vegetables and make your leftover turkey curry with chickpeas and you have a big filling hearty turkey curry.

When I make my creamy turkey curry, I will include whatever vegetables I have in. This might be courgette, onion, carrots, celery, cauliflower or maybe some potatoes.

You’ll love this Turkey Curry recipe because:

✅ The perfect home for your Christmas leftovers.
✅ Uses store cupboard and freezer ingredients.
✅ An added dose of vegetables after festive excess!

How do you make Turkey Curry?

You make a simple curry sauce with onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, curry powder and passata.

Along with the sauce goes in butternut squash (or whichever similar vegetable you fancy), plus the leftover turkey, lentils and spinach.

I also add in some mango chutney for sweetness.

It’s so simple to make and really delicious. Perfect for the whole family.

Can I freeze this recipe?

Technically you shouldn’t reheat food more than once, so if your turkey was roasted on Christmas Day, it was then reheated in this curry, you shouldn’t freeze and reheat again.

All that said, I have done it before and been fine. If you want to make it to freeze, just omit the turkey at Step 4, and add it in when the whole sauce is cold and then freeze. That way it hasn’t been reheated and is safe to reheat after defrosting.

Watch the video: Κοτόπουλο αλά Κρέμ. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (January 2022).