A deliciously creamy, lightly spiced leftover turkey curry with coconut milk that the whole family will love. If you've just spent hours preparing a roast and are after a quick and easy curry to use up the leftovers, this is the perfect recipe for you. You can get this yummy curry on the table in 20 minutes using a few simple ingredients.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
This tasty turkey curry is inspired by my mother-in-law's turkey curry recipe that was passed down from her mother-in-law. I've simplified some aspects of it and added coconut milk to make it a little creamier.
✅ 5 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Quick and easy - on the table in 20 minutes.
- Uses simple everyday ingredients - you will be able to get everything you need to make this curry from your local store. You may even have most of the ingredients sitting in your pantry already.
- Reduces waste - the perfect way to use up the leftovers from a roast. You can also throw in your leftover veggies too.
- Flavourful - this creamy, slightly sweet and lightly spiced curry beats cold turkey sandwiches hands down.
- Versatile - this curry can be made with any leftover roast meat and can also be made with fresh chicken or turkey. It tastes great with hard-boiled eggs, and you can throw in your leftover veggies too. You can also use low-fat coconut milk for a lighter option.
🦃 Turkey Leftovers
It’s not uncommon to have leftover turkey after Christmas or Thanksgiving and be left wondering what to do with it. Thankfully there are lots of ways to put the leftovers to good use.
Most people are not up for another long stint in the kitchen after they have cooked a large roast, which is why simple turkey sandwiches are a popular option. However, you probably don't want to be eating them for several days in a row and if you’ve got a lot of leftover turkey, this curry is a great option. It’s quick, uses simple everyday ingredients, and if you can’t face the thought of eating more turkey straight away it can be frozen and enjoyed later.
🛒 Ingredients and substitutions:
This tasty turkey curry is made with a few simple ingredients. You will be able to find all of them at your local store and probably have some of them in your kitchen already.
- Rogan josh paste - I use Patak's, but any brand will do the job.
- Coconut milk - the recipe has been tested with full fat, but you can also use a light / low fat version. The consistency of the curry might be thinner if you use a light coconut milk, so you might need to add an extra tablespoon of cornflour slurry.
- Leftover turkey - you can also use fresh turkey or leftover roast chicken or goose.
🧑🍳 Leftover turkey curry in 3 simple steps
1. Fry the onions and add the paste
Place a pan on a medium heat and add oil. Add the onions when the oil is hot and fry until they are soft and translucent. Then add the curry paste and continue to cook for another minute or two.
Pour on the chicken stock and coconut milk and bring to simmer. Then add the turkey and apple and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the eggs to the pan for the last 5 minutes if using.
Mix the cornflour and water together in a small bowl, pour into the curry and stir until it starts to thicken. Serve with rice or naan, topped with fresh finely chopped coriander/cilantro.
🍽 Serving suggestions:
- Rice: this curry tastes great with basmati rice or pilau rice
- Bread: naan, roti or parathas
- Healthier options: try cauliflower rice for something lighter or serve with quinoa
- No leftover turkey? No problem, you can also use leftover chicken, buy rotisserie chicken from the supermarket or cook some chicken from scratch.
- Got leftover veggies? You can put them in the curry too. It's a great way to reduce waste and get some goodness into your body.
- Wondering what to do with leftover gravy? Add it to the curry instead of stock.
👍 Top tips
- Put leftover roast turkey in the fridge as soon as it cools - turkey can grow nasty bacteria if it is left out for too long.
- Add eggs if there's not enough leftover turkey to go around - boiled eggs are a tasty addition to this curry especially when there is not enough leftover turkey to feed everyone.
- Use low-fat coconut milk for a lighter alternative - Looking for a light meal after a big roast? Use light coconut milk instead of full fat. Note that this might make the curry sauce a little thinner, so you might need to add some additional slurry.
Can leftover turkey be reheated?
Yes it can. As long as it reaches 75 C or 165 F it is safe to eat, but it's not advisable to reheat leftover turkey more than once.
How long will leftover turkey keep in the fridge?
You can store leftover turkey in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure you place it in the fridge as soon as it is cool.
Can you freeze leftover turkey curry?
You can freeze the curry for up to three months. Make sure you put it in the freezer as soon as it is cool.
Alternatively, you can freeze your leftover turkey and then make the curry at a later date. However, you can not refreeze the cooked curry if you do this. It’s not safe to make turkey curry with turkey that has already been frozen and defrosted.
Turkey sandwiches are the most common way to use up turkey leftovers, but there are also lots of other options including tacos, pasta dishes, salads, soup and curry.
Cooked turkey curry can be frozen for up to 3 months as long as it is not made from frozen turkey. Just portion it into airtight containers and freeze as soon as it is cool. Then defrost in the fridge and reheat on the stove or in the microwave until piping hot. Note that it is not safe to refreeze turkey that has already been frozen.
Spoiled turkey leftovers may appear slimy and have a greenish/grey tinge. They will also have a bad smell. Usually, turkey has a subtle gamey smell, but when it’s off the smell will be much stronger than usual and it may also have an acrid ammonia odor.
😋 Check out my other quick and easy curry recipes
Curries are warming, delicious and nutritious. They also create tasty leftovers and freeze well. If you enjoyed this recipe, you'll love these other easy curry recipes too.
Did you try this recipe? It would be really great if you could leave a comment and a star rating ⭐️. I would love to receive your feedback and know that other readers find it helpful too.
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