Leftover Turkey Curry

Leftover Turkey Curry is the perfect boxing day dinner. Delicious and straightforward it’s a fantastic family meal, and a great way to use up your Christmas leftovers.

Turkey’s are massive. Let’s face it, even if you are sensible and buy a crown, and certainly, if you opt for the big roast turkey dinner, you are going to have tons leftover. We all joke about eating turkey for a week, and it’s a reality for many of us. 

This Turkey Curry Recipe is delicious. I had a Turkey Korma recipe online for a long time, but actually, I’m not sure that’s the right approach. After a big Christmas dinner and all of the other festive treats, a creamy curry like a korma feels a little heavy. 

I prefer a tomato-based Leftover Turkey Curry recipe like this one. I’m not an authentic Indian cook (or even close!), so I’m reluctant to name it. But the tomato sauce and mild spices make it more akin to a Tikka Masala than a Korma. 

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Not too spicy for the kids to enjoy, but not as heavy as a creamier curry. You could even skip the ghee and use a calorie-controlled cooking spray, and miss the Greek Yoghurt if you wanted to try and make it even lighter. 

turkey curry in cast iron dish, naan bread and mango chutney to the side.

What to Make with Leftover Turkey?

Turkey is delicious. It’s tasty, easy to cook, works well with lots of flavours, and it’s exceptionally lean, so a much healthier option than many other types of meat. You certainly don’t want to waste it, especially if you’ve spent a fortune on a giant bird. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love a Turkey Sandwich. Jim likes to put sprouts, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, and pretty much anything that he can find on his. I favour a simple Turkey and Stuffing, I think. 

But, after about four, it’s a bit much. 

Wide shot of turkey curry in cooking dish

An Easy Turkey Curry is a fantastic way to use up leftover turkey. Turkey Traybake is great too, and Turkey Ragu, Easy Turkey Risotto and Leftover Turkey Stroganoff are super simple.

We also like turkey chilli, and I like to chop all my leftover veg up and fry it all together with shredded turkey in a kind of turkey hash/turkey bubble and squeak type thing. I do this with Sunday lunch veggies too. 

Close up of turkey curry in cooking dish

In honesty though, any recipe that you use chicken for, you can make with turkey instead. Why not try some of your favourites?

How Long Can You Keep Leftover Turkey in the Fridge?

Cooked turkey can be kept in the fridge for up to four days. This leftover turkey can then be eaten cold or reheated. 

Top view of leftover turkey curry in cast iron dish. Mango chutney, white towel, naan bread and rice surrounding

If you are reheating leftover turkey, it should be piping hot all of the ways through before you eat it. Cooking it up in this Turkey Curry Sauce is a great way to make sure it’s well-cooked and safe to eat. 

Make sure you don’t reheat this leftover turkey more than once unless it’s been frozen in between. 

Freezing Leftover Turkey

So, you can reheat leftover turkey in your mild Turkey Curry and eat it. But, you shouldn’t then put Leftover Turkey Curry in your fridge and heat it up the next day. 

You can, however, freeze Leftover Turkey Curry and reheat that. 

To freeze your turkey breast curry leave to cool until it’s at room temperature, then place in a sealed tub and freeze. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

Close up top view of leftover turkey curry in cast iron dish. Mango chutney, white towel, naan bread and rice surrounding

To reheat your Turkey Curry, make sure it’s fully defrosted in the fridge and then heat slowly until the meat is piping hot all of the ways through. If it’s a little dry while reheating, add a cup of water. 

You can also freeze leftover turkey before making curry, or anything else with it. Leave it to cool, chop into portions and freeze in airtight tubs or bags. 

Thaw fully in the fridge before reheating carefully. 

Always eat any defrosted turkey within 24 hours.

Served curry with rice and naan in white bowl. Fork to side, cooking dish to other side

You can get more tips on freezing and reheating turkey at https://inews.co.uk/inews-lifestyle/food-and-drink/turkey-cooked-reheat-safe-how-long-last-fridge-christmas-dinner-leftovers-238007

How to Make Turkey Curry

I think the best turkey curries are the easy ones. You don’t need any hard to find spices for this curry, just some turmeric and garam masala, which are the staples of many homemade curries. 

Close up of served leftover curry with rice in white bowl

This Recipe for Turkey Curry is really simple, you just throw it all in the pan and simmer it together. 

I use a large cast-iron (af link) dish because I love them and cook nearly everything in one! You could also use a large frying pan or saucepan if you prefer. 

Curry and rice in bowl, naan and mango chutney in background next to cast iron cooking dish

What if You Haven’t Got Enough Turkey?

If you haven’t got much leftover turkey (how is this possible?) I’d say add some other leftovers. If you’ve got leftover potatoes, dice these into smaller cubes and add them with the turkey. You can also add leftover vegetables to bulk it out. 

leftover turkey curry and rice in bowl, plate of naan break and small dish of mango chutney in background

If leftovers are in limited supply generally, peel and dice a potato into 1cm cubes, and add with your turkey. Simmer the curry until the potatoes are soft. 

It should be fine if this takes a little longer than 30 minutes, but if your curry starts to dry out a little, stir in a cup of water. 

If you haven’t got any leftover turkey at all, or you loved this recipe on boxing day, and want to use it again later on in the year, you can use raw turkey or chicken breasts. 

Turkey Curry and rice in pasta bowl

You could either precook the turkey or chicken in the oven, and follow this recipe exactly, or dice them and fry them in a little ghee or oil until browned. Then, remove from the pan and again follow this recipe, adding a bit more ghee or oil to the pan if needed. 

What to Serve with Curry?

3/4 shot of leftover turkey curry and rice, with naan bread to the side

This very much depends on how full up you are. If you’ve been eating Quality Street (af link) all day, you might just to just serve your Turkey Curry with a little rice. Naan bread is of cause always great with curry too!

Yield: 5 Portions

Leftover Turkey Curry

Top view of served curry with rice, chutney, fork and naan to sides

A quick and easy curry, perfect for using up leftover turkey and a fantastic family meal for boxing day.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Ghee (or olive oil)
  • 1 Red onion – Finely diced
  • 3 Cloves garlic – Crushed
  • 1 Red pepper – Diced
  • 1 Yellow pepper – Diced
  • 1 Red chilli – Diced (or 2tsp easy chilli)
  • 1 Inch ginger – Grated (or 1tsp easy ginger)
  • 3 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp Turmeric
  • 750g Leftover turkey – Diced (precooked if using fresh turkey)
  • 400ml Chicken Stock - Made with one stock cube
  • 400g Chopped Tomatoes
  • 100ml Full-Fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp Tomato puree
  • Pinch Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the ghee or olive oil in a large pan
  2. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes until the onions are soft
  3. Add the peppers, chilli, and ginger and stir through
  4. Stir in the garam masala and turmeric until the veg is well coated
  5. Add the turkey, chopped tomatoes, stock, Greek Yoghurt, tomato puree and a pinch of salt and pepper
  6. Stir and bring to the boil
  7. Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

Notes

  • Serve with rice and/or naan bread
  • I use lazy chilli and ginger
  • If using raw turkey, or chicken breasts, precook first, either in the oven or in a little oil on the hob

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1 Portion

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 541Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 201mgSodium: 758mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 55g

The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors.

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