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Easy Turkey Curry Recipe

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Turkey curry is a great easy meal that uses leftover turkey! A flavorful sauce of coconut milk and warm spices like cumin, turmeric and garam masala coat tender pieces of pre-cooked turkey. A flavorful and cozy meal that is ready in 30 minutes!

turkey curry in two bowls with rice and naan

Turkey curry with a coconut milk sauce is a delightful way to use leftover turkey. This meal is a perfect weeknight rescue – it tastes just like it took hours and hours to make, when in reality you can have it on the table in less than 30 minutes. And it leaves you feeling like you aren’t just reheating the same leftovers all the time.

pan with turkey curry and spoon

Kind of a cross between a butter chicken and a tikka masala, this creamy turkey curry recipe has a mild but flavorful sauce that is perfect to pair with your leftover holiday turkey and a great recipe for kids! Everyone will be standing around the stove with a spoon in their hand (or an extra slice of naan bread!) for just another scoop of the sauce! 

bowl filled with coconut milk curry, rice, and naan

How to make easy curry with leftover turkey

For the full set of directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below:

  1. Heat a large saute pan or braiser over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and allow that to heat.
  3. Saute the diced onions until soft and beginning to be translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, garam masala (affiliate link), coriander, curry, turmeric (affiliate link), and chili powder. 
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, and spices to the pan and stir to combine with the diced onion. Sautee, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, until everything is fragrant.
  6. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, and tomato paste.
  7. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.
  8. If desired, you can use an immersion blender to puree the sauce smooth.
  9. Stir in the almond butter until incorporated.
  10. Add in the shredded turkey, stir to coat, and heat for a few minutes to heat. 

*Recipe Note: Don’t have leftover turkey? No problem! You can use this same recipe with leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or a pre-cooked turkey instead! You can also make your own oven roasted turkey breast.

steps to make curry with leftover turkey

Prepping ahead of time

This recipe is already super quick, but if you need to make it even faster, here are some quick shortcuts you can use:

  • Take advantage of your grocery store! Buy pre-chopped onion in the freezer section, and you can find tubes of garlic puree and ginger puree in the produce section. This saves time on prep work.
  • Measure out the spices you need ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container on the counter.
  • You can make the sauce ahead of time (just leave out the turkey) and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it! Then when you need it, warm the sauce and the cooked turkey together until hot and serve. 

Storage and leftovers

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. But because you are using pre-cooked leftover turkey, make sure you start counting the days from when you cooked the turkey. 

Reheat leftovers in the microwave for a minute or so, until warm.

How to serve this to your family

This meal is easy to serve to all members of your family. Serve with white or brown rice on the side, and some homemade naan as well! For even more flavorful meal, serve it with Instant Pot coconut rice!

Here are some great ways you can help your kids to enjoy this meal:

  • Allow kids to choose if they want their curry on top of their rice or beside. 
  • For younger kids, you can pull out pieces of turkey and serve it beside a small container of the sauce for dipping.
  • Encourage kids to top their plate with cilantro themselves.
bowl with curry, rice and naan next to serving bowls

How to make this kid friendly 

With its mild but flavorful sauce and tender pieces of turkey, this meal is a big hit with all ages! But if you have a kiddo (or partner, even….) who is hesitant to try new foods, invite them into the preparation of the food and discussion of the meal to help them open their minds to something new. 

Kids in the kitchen: How your kids can help you cook

When kids help prepare a meal, they take more pride and ownership in it, which in turn helps them be more likely to be curious about trying it! 

This easy turkey curry is a great meal to have kids help because its so easy! There are lots of opportunities for practicing cooking skills. Here are some simple ways your kiddos can help you prepare this meal.

  • Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure out the spices. Encourage them to smell all the different varieties you use as you open and measure them. They can also help pick the cilantro leaves off the stems, and garnish finished plates.
  • Kids aged 4-6 can do everything above plus carefully add ingredients to the pan and stir the sauce as it cooks. They can also help you shred the cooked turkey.
  • Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above.

*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.

Dinner conversations with kids

How we invite conversation around our food is really important and has a big impact on how we respond to new things. 

Try these conversation starters:

  • What other meals we have had before does this remind you of?
  • Do you like the turkey more by itself, with a bite of rice, or with a bite of naan?
  • What is the texture of this sauce like? Is it smooth or chunky? Do you think you would like it better the other way?
  • What colors do you see on our plate? What other things could we add to our meal to add more color?

Read more about how to explore the sense of taste with your kids.

serving bowl filed with easy turkey curry recipe

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Yield: 4 servings

Easy Turkey Curry Recipe

bowl with curry, rice and naan next to serving bowls

Turkey curry is a great easy meal that uses leftover turkey! A flavorful sauce of coconut milk and warm spices like cumin, turmeric and garam masala coat tender pieces of pre-cooked turkey. A flavorful and cozy meal that is ready in 30 minutes!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 14 ounces canned coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 lb cooked turkey, shredded

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saute pan or braiser over medium-high heat.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and allow that to heat.
  3. Saute the diced onions until soft and beginning to be translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, garam masala, coriander, curry, turmeric, and chili powder.
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, and spices to the pan and stir to combine with the diced onion.
  6. Sautee, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, until everything is fragrant.
  7. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, and tomato paste.
  8. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.
  9. If desired, you can use an immersion blender to puree the sauce smooth.
  10. Stir in the almond butter until incorporated.
  11. Add in the shredded turkey, stir to coat, and heat for a few minutes to heat.

Notes

Store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 4 days (start counting when turkey was cooked).

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 618Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 124mgSodium: 513mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 41g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

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