Ready in just 15 minutes, this Leftover Turkey Curry recipe is a great way to use up that post Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey. Not only does it use leftover turkey, but you can add any leftover vegetables to it too. A really simple curry dish, that is packed with flavour, and uses ingredients you most likely have in your cupboard right now. You can easily use leftover chicken, or cook some chicken or turkey fresh for this dish too.
By the time it gets to about the 27th December, I am ready to scream if I see yet another turkey sandwich! But, we hate wasting anything, so we are always looking for leftover turkey. There are lots of ways to add vegetables to this turkey curry too.
The best thing about this turkey curry recipe is how easy it is. You just throw what ever you have leftover into a pan with some shredded turkey, spices, tomato and a little coconut milk and it is ready in just 15 minutes.
This Turkey Curry is one of our favourite leftover turkey recipes because it is so simple and doesn't need any fancy ingredients. If you are looking for more recipes with leftover turkey, why not try our Leftover Turkey Pasta, Leftover Turkey Soup or Leftover Turkey Quesadillas?
Why you will love it
- An easy way to use Christmas meat leftovers - After a couple of turkey sandwiches, you are probably bored of them. This turkey curry is a delicious way to use up leftovers.
- Low calories - After all the calories of Christmas (nothing wrong with that), it can be nice to have a lighter meal. There are just 259 calories for a big bowl of this turkey curry.
- Uses ingredients you probably already have - For the actual curry sauce, you probably already have all the ingredients you need as they are store cupboard staples in our house
- Ready in under 15 minutes - I bet you have spent enough time in the kitchen this Christmas, so save yourself some time and make this quick turkey curry.
- It has a green veggie boost - We added a big serving of spinach to this curry to give it a nutrient boost.
- Shredded turkey - We use this as our main turkey leftovers recipe and use the majority of our turkey in it. We shred ours, but you could chop it in to chunks. Only got chicken? Use that instead. You can use this recipe with out leftovers too, just cook some chunks of chicken or turkey breast fresh.
- Vegetables - After an indulgent festive season, we like to pack as many vegetables in to this leftover turkey curry as possible. A base of onion, mushrooms and peppers work, and we like courgette and/or aubergine too. We sometimes throw in leftover roasted vegetables from Christmas day too. Just before serving, we had a couple of handfuls of spinach to give it a green boost too.
- Spices - The spices is the most important part of a curry, but we wanted to keep it simple with just a couple of tablespoons of curry powder. But you could use a tikka or korma powder or even you favourite curry paste.
- Sauce - This is a tomato based curry, with just a tin of chopped tomatoes. We wanted to make it a little bit creamy, so we added half a tin of coconut milk which also adds loads of flavour. But you could leave it out or swap it for double cream, which you might have leftover from Christmas anyway.
- Mango Chutney - If you haven't tried mango chutney in a curry before, then you are seriously missing out. It adds so much flavour, with very little effort. So always have some in your fridge for a quick flavour boost to your favourite homemade curry. You could swap it for cranberry sauce if you have a lot of that that needs using up.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make leftover turkey curry - Step by step
One: Cook the vegetables in the oil for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Two: Add the garlic and curry powder. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Three: Add the turkey, tomatoes, coconut milk and mango chutney. Stir and simmer for 7 minutes.
Four: Add the spinach and continue cooking until it has wilted.
What to do with leftover turkey
Well, apart from this recipe of course, we have a few other ideas for you.
We love throwing the leftover roast turkey and vegetables into a quesadilla with some BBQ sauce and mixture of leftover cheeses for an easy late night dinner after a festive party.
You could also use some to make our Healthy Caesar Salad if you want a change from chicken! It works well in our Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake too.
Make sure you have the carcass and make your own homemade stock with it. Just follow our recipe for Chicken Stock, but use turkey instead. This can be frozen and then used to make some healthy soups in the new year.
What to serve with leftover turkey curry
This is a pretty healthy curry, so we don't tend to go overboard with sides and keep them light. We love a brown rice and quinoa mix with this curry and then some mini popadoms and mango chutney. It has mango chutney in the actual curry (it's our not so secret ingredient for most of our homemade curries), but you can never have too much, right?
Why not try serving some Peshwari Naan with it or our Easy Naan BreadI dipped in some Homemade Mango Chutney. If you wanted some rice, then our Turmeric Rice or Coconut Rice is a delicious side.
The great thing about this curry (apart from the amazing taste) is how simple it is. That's why we wanted to use a ready made curry powder to keep it simple. Try to go with the best quality one that you can find, as you really can taste the difference. If you want to make it spicier (as this is a pretty mild curry), then you can add extra cayenne or even a sprinkle of red chilli flakes before serving.
You don't have to use curry powder though. You could use a couple of heaped tablespoons of your favourite curry paste instead, and it would give the curry a more intense flavour. It's a good way to make a different flavour curry each time, by using a korma paste or even a madras.
We wouldn't recommend reheating this curry as it would have already been cooked twice - once for the turkey and again for this curry. Food, especially poultry, should be cooked no more than twice.
Yes, as long as the curry powder you are using is gluten free, this is a delicious gluten free curry. Just be careful of the side dishes you serve up.
Yes, this curry can be made in the slow cooker. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook for 2 hours on high.
Once you have finished your Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, cover the turkey up, leave it to cool and then put it in the fridge. When you are ready to use the leftovers, slice off whatever meat you can, and then use your fingers to take off whatever else you can. You can use the carcass to make stock with, so nothing goes to waste.
• You don't have to wait until you have leftovers to make this. Simply fry some chunks of chicken or turkey breast first, and then follow the rest of the instructions for this recipe.
• Add some extra flavour with a couple of spoonfuls of mango chutney or cranberry sauce. This is optional though.
• You can use any cooked vegetables you have leftover in this recipe, or cook some fresh. We added some spinach in at the end, however you could use kale.
• You can leave the coconut milk out of this recipe (however replace it with a little stock) or use cream instead.
• You can bulk this turkey curry out by chopping up leftover roast vegetables too.
• Add some extra sweetness with a handful of raisins.
• If you want to bulk out this turkey curry a little, then add some cooked lentils.
More turkey recipes
If you’ve tried this Leftover Turkey Curry, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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15 Minute Leftover Turkey Curry
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Onion - thinly sliced
- 1 Red bell pepper - diced
- 1 Courgette (zucchini) - diced
- 6 Mushrooms - sliced
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Spinach
- 300 g (10.5 oz) Leftover turkey - shredded
- 3 Garlic clove - crushed
- 2 tablespoon Curry powder
- 400 g (14 oz) Chopped tomatoes - canned
- 200 ml (0.75 cups) Light coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon Mango chutney
- Heat 1 tablespoon Olive oil in a large pan. Cook 1 Onion, 1 Red bell pepper, 1 Courgette (zucchini) and 6 Mushrooms for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the 3 Garlic clove and 2 tablespoon Curry powder. Stir and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add 300 g Leftover turkey, 400 g Chopped tomatoes, 200 ml Light coconut milk and 2 tablespoon Mango chutney. Stir and simmer for 7 minutes.
- Add 100 g Spinach and continue cooking until it has wilted.
- Serve over rice.
- You don't have to wait until you have leftovers to make this. Simply fry some chunks of chicken or turkey breast first, and then follow the rest of the instructions for this recipe.
- Add some extra flavour with a couple of tablespoons of mango chutney. This is optional though.
- You can use any cooked vegetables you have leftover in this recipe, or cook some fresh. We added some spinach in at the end, however you could use kale.
- You can leave the coconut milk out of this recipe (however replace it with a little stock) or use cream instead.
- You can bulk this turkey curry out by chopping up leftover roast vegetables too.
- Add some extra sweetness with a handful of raisins.
- If you want to bulk out this turkey curry a little, then add some cooked lentils.
When does the turkey go in? It's not mentioned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Apologies, that was missed out from step 5. It has been included now
Easy and quick and very tasty. Just what you need after spending days in the kitchen
So glad you enjoyed it. We will be eating it with leftover roast chicken throughout the year too.
I know what I will be having for dinner tonight; this looks too good to pass up, indeed!
I just made this for lunch and it was amazing!
So glad you enjoyed it :)
Sounds so flavorful! Such an easy way to use up leftovers and ensure there's no waste. Love it!
Love this recipe for turkey Christmas leftovers. It's so flavorful with the curry, and feels like you're eating a completely new meal! Healthy too!
Great idea for leftover turkey, thanks for sharing!
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
Curry is such a great way to use up leftover turkey and this looks delicious. I love that it only takes 15 minutes too!
Yum :) What a great recipe using leftover turkey! I love how easy this is to make!
Love turkey. Love curry. Love leftovers. So, needless to say you've got a fan with this recipe!
Love this recipe! These were so easy and delicious! Will definitely be making again!
I have tried this recipe with leftover chickens and it was delicious. Everyone at the table loved it!
What a great recipe...I wish I had this over the Thanksgiving holiday. At least I have it for this next week. Turkey is on the menu. YUM!
I can't believe this can be made so quickly! Perfect for busy nights!
Thank you for such a creative way to use leftovers. I love how it’s customizable to what’s in your fridge too. Well done!
Love this recipe! It was so easy and absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making again!
Great idea for leftovers. Thanks for sharing!
Now this is the perfect way to use leftover turkey. We love a good curry around here. Sounds delicious!
Great idea for spicing up that leftover turkey! I'm definitely saving and sharing this one.