Leftover Turkey Curry

Leftover Turkey Curry

The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
402 Calories
20g Fat
24g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 402
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 574mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 12mg 58%
Calcium 68mg 5%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 537mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Leftover turkey from the holidays can get boring very quickly, but this recipe proves the poultry can be used for something other than sandwiches. This simple recipe for turkey curry makes a warming and filling meal, and the spices and fruit make it flavorful and different. Diced turkey, curry, ginger, and pineapple will be a welcomed surprise to your family, especially on a cold winter evening.

Curries are a great way of repurposing leftover meats like chicken or turkey, and because the spice mixes vary depending on the brand, cook, culture, and preference, the dishes may taste different even if the basic ingredients are the same. Cumin, turmeric, and coriander are usually included, but fenugreek, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, fennel, and black pepper can also be present. You can make your own spice mix by experimenting with flavors and amounts.

Serve the curry over white rice, or baked potatoes or fresh naan if you prefer.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 (8- or 9-ounce) can pineapple, crushed, undrained

  • 3 cups diced cooked turkey

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

  • Chopped fresh cilantro, mint, or parsley, optional

  • 2 cups cooked rice, hot, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for leftover turkey curry recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the curry powder, stirring for 2 minutes.

    Heat butter and curry powder in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

  3. Add the chopped onion and stir frequently, cooking until soft and translucent.

    Onions with the curry mixture in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

  4. Add the flour and ginger. Stir vigorously to avoid large clumps.

    Flour and ginger added to the onion mixture in the pan

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

  5. Add chicken broth and pineapple. Mix well until there are no visible clumps of flour. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

    Chicken broth and pineapple added to the onion mixture in the pan

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

  6. Stir in the diced turkey to coat all the pieces well.

    Turkey added to the curry mixture in the pan

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

  7. Cover the mixture and simmer for 10 minutes, or until heated through.

    Turkey curry cooking in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

  8. Add the lemon juice and stir.

    Curry cooking in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

  9. Garnish with fresh herbs if using. Serve over hot cooked rice and enjoy.

    Leftover turkey curry in a bowl with rice

    The Spruce Eats / Sonia Bozzo

Recipe Variations

This simple curry recipe leaves a lot of room for substitutions. Here are suggestions for other wonderful curries:

  • Coconut milk: Replace the chicken broth with the same amount of full-fat coconut milk. If the mixture is too thick, add 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth. Taste and add salt, if needed, as the coconut milk brings sweetness to the overall flavor.
  • Greens: Add 3 cups of chopped spinach, kale, collard greens, or a combination of the three. Add them during the last 10 minutes of simmering.
  • Apples: Peel and cube 2 Granny Smith apples, or another tangy and firm variety, and add them during the last 10 minutes of simmering.
  • Potatoes: Boil 2 cups of cubed sweet potatoes for 8 minutes. Drain them and add during the last 10 minutes of simmering.
  • Carrots and Parsnips: Slice 2 medium-sized carrots and 2 medium-sized parsnips and add them right after the onion is soft and translucent.
  • Eggs: Skip the pineapple or apple but do use 2 cups of cubed cooked yellow potatoes and the coconut milk. Make hard-boiled eggs, 1 per person. Serve the turkey-potato curry over rice, and place 1 hard-boiled egg on top. Garnish with fresh coriander.

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