Packed with flavour this easy 30-minute turkey curry is an incredible way to use up turkey leftovers. Made with a mix of Indian-style curry spices, rich tomatoes and creamy coconut milk, it's a quick and simple way to use up leftover turkey, and it's perfect for boxing day turkey ideas.
After Christmas, you may find yourself with lots of turkey leftovers. They can become dry and uninspiring, but a curry keeps the turkey moist and brings new flavours into the mix.
⭐️ Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This easy turkey curry only takes 30 minutes to make.
- Packed with flavour and spices it reinvents leftover roast turkey (or chicken) into something completely new.
- It makes use of spices and tinned tomatoes and coconut milk making it a pantry hero.
- You can add leftover roast vegetables and potatoes to it so that you keep waste to zero.
- Making a curry is a moist cooking method so you can say goodbye to dry leftover turkey.
- Curry powder- you can use mild or medium curry powder.
- Smoked paprika- can be a little bit spicy, so you may want to use regular if you're very sensitive to spice.
- Garam masala- is a blend of many different spices, and adds so much depth of flavour. If you don't have any just add a little extra curry powder.
- Leftover turkey- whether you have thigh, breast, or leg meat, it all works well in this recipe.
See recipe card for quantities.
📖 Substitutions & Variations
Because this turkey curry is making the most of leftovers the ingredient list is very short, however, there are a couple of options you can substitute.
- chopped tomatoes- use passata instead for a smooth curry.
- coconut milk- you can use regular coconut milk in this curry recipe, but I've opted for reduced fat because you won't notice a taste difference in this particular recipe. But you will have a thinner consistency. Just simmer for an extra 5 minutes, uncovered to thicken it up.
- turkey- feel free to use leftover roast chicken, or rotisserie chicken instead.
Seasoning a recipe
A note on seasoning- Every recipe will require salt. I do not specify the amount because the seasoning is very subjective to taste, tolerance, and diet. The best way to use salt is to start early in the cooking process and taste and layer as you cook and as the dish develops.
👩🏻🍳 Step By Step
1 & 2
- Start by heating some vegetable or olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add in the onions ginger and garlic and sautée until they are soft and fragrant but without any colour. This should take about 5-6 minutes.
- Add in the spices and mix well. Continue to cook for a further 3 minutes to warm the spices to release their flavour.
3 & 4
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer.
5 & 6
- Add the spinach to the pan to let it wilt in the heat and stir in the leftover turkey.
- Because the turkey is already cooked, it just needs to get hot, which should only take about 5-6 minutes- the perfect amount of time for the spinach to wilt.
Hint: taste the curry and experiment with the spices by adding more of your favourite flavours. For a spicier curry add some extra smoked paprika and for a more fragrant curry add extra garam masala or ground coriander.
Finish off the turkey curry with a squeeze of lime juice and plenty of chopped coriander (cilantro).
- Fridge- this easy curry recipe keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days with the flavours developing even further.
- Freezer- you can freeze this curry for up to 3 months only if you haven't already frozen your leftover turkey.
- Turkey- you can pick the leftover turkey off the bones and freeze that in order to make this curry at a later date. Just be sure you don't then re-freeze the curry.
💡 Top Tip
Remove any skin from the turkey before adding it to the curry. The texture just doesn't fit well with a moist cooking method.
Absolutely! If you have leftover roast vegetables, add them in when you add in the spinach and turkey so that they don't overcook.
Alternatively, you can just use some fresh or frozen chopped vegetables like carrots, peas, and sweet corn in this curry recipe.
This turkey curry is still amazing without spinach. Just make it as directed but skip wilting the spinach.
The BEST Easy Leftover Turkey Curry
- 500 g leftover turkey, or use cooked chicken breast *see notes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 ¼ tablespoons curry powder, mild or medium *see notes
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes, or use passata *see notes
- 400 ml tin coconut milk, light or regular *see notes
- 200 g fresh spinach
- ½ bunch chopped fresh coriander
- 1 lime, juice only
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan or high-sided skillet. Once the oil is hot, it will shimmer, add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook over medium heat until the onions are softened and fragrant.
- Add the curry powder, Garam Masala, turmeric, smoked paprika, and ground coriander to the pan and stir well to coat the onions in the spices. Add a tablespoon of water to the pan so that the onions don't stick.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk. Add in the cooked turkey and simmer gently until the turkey is hot. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- If you’re adding in spinach then simply stir the spinach into the hot curry and let it wilt. It will only take about 5 minutes to wilt.
- Stir in the chopped coriander and squeeze of lime juice.
- You can use cooked chicken breast for this recipe instead of turkey if you prefer.
- Mild or medium curry powder work really well in this recipe. If you’re using mild curry powder you may want to add a pinch of red chilli flakes to spice it up a little bit.
- Use passata if you prefer a smoother curry sauce.
- Light coconut milk works in this recipe too, but it is a little bit thinner in consistency so you will need to simmer the curry for a little bit longer, about 5 minutes uncovered.
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