Quick and Easy Leftover Turkey Curry

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This leftover turkey curry recipe is great for using up Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers. It’s healthy and quick to make so perfect for the busy holiday season! 

We eat a lot of curry. It’s one of our favourite easy dinners and there’s so many different variations that it never feels boring even if we’ve had it a couple of times in a week.

Whether it’s a quick veggie curry in a pressure cooker or a healthy salmon version that’s perfect for the warmer time of year it always makes a filling dinner. This leftover turkey curry recipe uses a simple base which works perfectly for any meat or vegetables but I love making a big batch of it just after Christmas to use up all our Christmas dinner leftovers.

Bowl of leftover turkey curry on a blue background

What to do with turkey leftovers?

I realised the other day that it’s less than ten weeks until Christmas. Can you believe that?! This year has gone scarily fast but I am so excited for Christmas!

My parents are coming over for Christmas this year so we’re going to be cooking our first ever Christmas dinner. I’ve found this guide to how to brine a turkey so that it’s deliciously moist and I can’t wait to try it. Once the day is over we’re going to need something to do with those turkey leftovers which is where this leftover turkey curry comes in.


  • Oil
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Chilli Powder
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Chilli
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Leftover Turkey – Or you could use this curry base with any other meat!

Keep scrolling to get the full recipe for this quick and easy leftover turkey curry…

White pot with leftover turkey curry on a light blue background

When I was a kid my parents and I used to go to stay with their friends for new year every year and they would always serve a delicious turkey curry made from their Christmas dinner turkey.

A turkey curry recipe is always a great one to have on hand as it’s such a great way to use up leftover meat and you can easily bulk it up with veg if you don’t have much left. Oh, and if you want a more complete meal then why not add a side of saag aloo as well?

Bowl of leftover turkey curry in a metal bowl on a blue background

Of course, here in the UK we really only have one turkey occasion every year and it honestly doesn’t get much of a look in the rest of the year round.

I kind of think that’s a shame because I think turkey is a bit of an underrated meat, what do you think? If you want some more ideas on how to use turkey any time of year then try out this udon noodle stir fry with turkey mince or how about this turkey chilli! And if you’re in the US this recipe will be equally perfect for your Thanksgiving leftovers!

Bowl of leftover turkey curry on a blue background with purple cloth


  1. Fry the giner, garlic and turmeric then add the rest of the spices and cook until fragrant. 
  2. Add the onion, chilli and pepper and fry until soft then pour in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and add the turkey. Simmer for another couple of minutes until heated through. 

Equipment you need to make this recipe…


  • This recipe is for four but it’s easy to multiply so if you made yourself a huge turkey for Christmas (which I really hope you did) then you can easily make yourself a huge batch of turkey curry with your turkey leftovers and it’ll be enough to feed the whole family
  • This recipe is totally customisable. If you’ve got any other veg that needs using up just chuck it in there, if you have a different meat like lamb or chicken leftover instead then use that. You can easily make this your own.

White pot full of leftover turkey curry on a blue background


As the turkey has already been cooked and reheated once you should avoid reheating the curry as meat shouldn’t be reheated more than once for food safety reasons. If you’d like to make this curry ahead of time simply follow the instructions to make the sauce but don’t add the turkey. When you’re ready to eat simply heat the sauce then add the turkey and simmer for a couple of minutes until the turkey is heated.


As above, you should avoid reheating leftover turkey more than once so freezing isn’t a good idea. However, the sauce freezes really well so you could make a batch before Christmas and then simply defrost and add the turkey when you’re ready to eat as suggested above.


I like the curry served with some naan and rice plus maybe some mango chutney and yoghurt if you have them on hand.

Want more? Try these other leftover turkey recipes!

Keep scrolling to get the recipe…


If you’re anything like me then you’re always looking for ways to save money and avoid food waste so I want to make sure you’ve get plenty of ideas on how to use up any ingredients that are leftover from my recipes!

Healthy Red Lentil Dal with Spinach

Another yummy curry recipe perfect for using those same spices

This red lentil dal is perfect when you're craving that curry flavour but you want something quick and healthy. Serve with yoghurt and mango chutney.

Winter Spiced Apple Cocktail with Rum

Use leftover cinnamon sticks in this delicious winter cocktail

Side on shot of spiced apple cocktail with rum in a mat with a cloth

This turkey curry recipe is great for using up Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers. It's healthy and quick to make so perfect for the busy holiday season!

Quick & Easy Leftover Turkey Curry

This turkey curry recipe is great for using up Thanksgiving or Christmas leftovers. It's healthy and quick to make so perfect for the busy holiday season!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 333kcal
Author: Amy Fulwood


  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Ginger grated
  • 2 cloves Garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Pepper roughly chopped
  • 1 Chilli split in half lengthways
  • 1 400g tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 400-500 g Cooked Turkey Meat


  • Heat the oil over a medium heat and add the turmeric, ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the cumin, coriander, chilli powder and cinnamon stick and cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Add the onion, pepper and chilli and fry until softened. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and add the cooked meat. Simmer until the sauce is thickened and the meat is heated through. Serve with rice.
Nutrition Facts
Quick & Easy Leftover Turkey Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 333 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 109mg36%
Sodium 274mg11%
Potassium 590mg17%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 710IU14%
Vitamin C 30.5mg37%
Calcium 87mg9%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @amycookreport on Instagram and hashtag it #thecookreport!

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  • Reply
    Patty @ Spoonabilities
    18/10/2017 at 10:39 PM

    5 stars
    What a great way to use up left-over turkey. I never would have thought of making a curry dish with it. Love it!

    • Reply
      19/10/2017 at 1:05 PM

      Thanks Patty!

  • Reply
    Lisa|Garlic & Zest
    18/10/2017 at 10:39 PM

    5 stars
    The flavors in this curry are amazing! It’s almost worth making a turkey just so I can make this for dinner. Or maybe just buysome turkey pieces and cook them.

    • Reply
      19/10/2017 at 1:05 PM

      So true, that’s what we did and it was such a nice treat

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    19/10/2017 at 9:28 AM

    5 stars
    A brilliant way to use up any leftover turkey you may have – as we all usually do after Christmas. So important not to waste it.

    • Reply
      19/10/2017 at 1:04 PM


  • Reply
    19/10/2017 at 10:58 AM

    I can absolutely guarantee you that I’ll have an abundance of turkey next month, and now I’ll have a great recipe to use it in! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      19/10/2017 at 1:04 PM


  • Reply
    Lyla Hassan
    28/12/2018 at 9:58 AM

    5 stars
    Such a delicious recipe this is…Will be trying it on the coming weekend for sure

  • Reply
    01/01/2020 at 11:38 AM

    5 stars
    I had never made a turkey curry before. I made your recipe and it was delicious. I added some mango chutney and yogurt and the family loved it. We’ll be making it again. I was worried it would take me a long time to get all the ingredients together (and it did take longer than the 30 minutes suggested to make it) but it was worth it. Totally delicious. I’m hoping that next time I make the recipe it will be faster because I’ll be familiar with it. Thanks for such a great recipe.

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