A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Leftover Turkey Curry

Wondering what to do with leftover turkey?

How about my Easy Leftover Turkey Curry, it's quick and simple.

Ready in just 40 minutes this curry recipe is packed full of flavour. 

Leftover turkey curry with rice.

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*Updated November 2023. This post was originally written in 2012 so I thought it was time for it to have a makeover!

A great way to use up that seemingly never-ending amount of leftover turkey!

This curry is 'slightly' sweet-tasting, although you can control that simply by not adding as much brown sugar.

It's nicely spiced and you can, of course, make leftover chicken curry without coconut milk.

I've seen Jamie Oliver has a few leftover turkey recipes, although I haven't tried them, they are all great for using up leftover turkey at Christmas or Thanksgiving, of course.

Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients, most are just spices and it's really easy to make!

Important - Please Read!

Because the turkey has been reheated this recipe is NOT suitable for freezing, or re-heating.

Tinned tomatoes

I always use Cirio plum tomatoes - I always used to think the brand Napolina was the best, that was until I tried Cirio. But with that said Naplolina are still good.

Money saving tips

If you can, get Cirio tomatoes I know they are a little bit on the expensive side. But once you try them you will be converted.

I only buy them in Tesco or Waitrose when they are half price, which is actually quite often and then I stock up!

Straight after Christmas (sometimes on Christmas Eve), you can almost always buy a frozen turkey at half-price and then you can cook it and freeze it.

But before you freeze your leftovers, don't forget turkey sandwiches are most certainly the way to go for Boxing Day lunch!

Ingredients in this recipe

  • vegetable oil
  • onion 
  • fresh ginger 
  • garlic
  • red chillies
  • ground coriander
  • ground cumin
  • chilli powder
  • ground cumin
  • ground cinnamon
  • tomato puree (paste in the US)
  • good quality tinned tomatoes
  • full-fat coconut milk
  • soft brown sugar 
  • Knorr chicken stock cube 
  • cooked turkey
  • black pepper
  • chopped coriander to serve

How to make the curry

Onions and spices in a frying pan

Once the onions, chilli, garlic and spices have cooked nicely, add the tomato puree and cook for a minute more.

Now add the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk. Cook to reduce a little before adding the cooked turkey.

Making turkey curry.

Wait, what's that?! 

You don't have any leftover turkey or chicken?

No worries, you can always buy one of those ready-cooked rotisserie chickens you see in supermarkets - just avoid the one that is cooked in BBQ or any other kind of sauce.

One of my favourite Boxing Day dinners is leftover turkey with mashed potatoes served with Piccalilli and homemade pickled onions 😋

Leftover turkey curry.

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating in the recipe card below!

leftover turkey curry, turkey curry, what to do with leftover turkey,
Christmas, Boxing Day, Curry,
Yield: 4
Author: Jan Bennett
Leftover Turkey Curry

Leftover Turkey Curry

Don't forget this recipe is NOT suitable for freezing or reheating again since the turkey has now already been reheated.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 35 MinTotal time: 40 Min


  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion - peeled and cut into small dice
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger - peeled and very finely chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves - peeled and minced
  • 2 red chillies - deseeded - finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree (paste in the US)
  • 1 x 400g good quality tinned tomatoes
  • 400ml full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of soft brown sugar - adjust to taste later
  • ½ of a Knorr chicken stock cube - crumbled (OXO are not the same)
  • 4 small handfuls of cooked turkey
  • black pepper - to taste
  • chopped coriander to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion while stirring for about 10 minutes, until softened but not coloured.
  2. Now add the ginger, garlic, chilli and spices and tomato puree. Cook for a couple of minutes until your kitchen smells delicious.
  3. Add the tin of tomatoes including the juice, and coconut milk along with the sugar, and crumble in the stock cube.
  4. Add a good pinch of black pepper and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer (do not cover) and cook for about 20 minutes.
  6. Have a taste of the sauce - fear not if it looks too liquid at this stage, once you add the turkey in a bit, it will be fine.
  7. Adjust the seasoning and add more sugar if you think it needs it and salt but again, only if you think it really needs it, once you're happy with the taste, add the turkey.
  8. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until everything is piping hot.
  9. Serve straight away topped with chopped coriander and rice.
Did you make this recipe?
@aglugofoil #aglugofoil


  1. I hope that 2013 is rich in experiences, filled with love and happiness and of course great food just like this jan. Have a safe and happy New Year. Keep smiling it is contagious.

  2. I cooked your Left-over Turkey Curry and it was excellent, the best meat curry and the best Left-over Turkey dish I have ever done. Cheers, will look around here some more!

  3. But it didn't look as good as yours, Mine was a bit more of a brown indistinct colour! I did use a lot of spice though! Lovely! Didn't have a proper food processer and used the blender, will try just chopping by hand.

  4. Hi Ben thanks for your kind words and so pleased you liked this recipe!


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