Leftover Turkey Curry Recipe

leftover turkey curry vindaloo pictureIf you read my previous post about cooking up two roasted turkeys for Thanksgiving to feed 25 people, you might not be surprised to hear that it’s possible that a few leftovers found their way into my fridge.  Which, of course, was the plan.

I also made a rather large batch of turkey broth the weekend after Thanksgiving, which left me with a few pounds of turkey meat, and many quarts of broth.  Now if I could only find a recipe that combined both meat and broth, I’d be set!

Some kind of chili or turkey curry recipe should work perfectly, and seeing how my kids just discovered that they really enjoy Indian food, I think the curry is the winner for this year’s leftovers.

Food For Thought

Let’s start with the turkey and turkey broth.  I normally like to review the ingredients in my recipe and make sure I’m doing what I can to provide a healthy nutrient dense meal for my family, that also tastes good.  But with this recipe, it’s a bit too late to look back and rehash whether or not I used the “right” turkey, and how that might affect the broth I made from the bones.

Given that the turkey is already on hand, along with the broth, let’s look at what else I want to include in my turkey curry recipe, even though I’ve vetted most of these items before in other recipes.

I like to start this recipe with a bit of onion, sauteed in fat, so the only questions there are what kind of onion, and what kind of fat.  With onions, I buy organic whenever possible, which is almost all the time, as they aren’t that hard to find and aren’t much more expensive.  However, since they are pretty far down the EWG’s list of dirtiest foods, I wouldn’t worry too much if I weren’t able to get my hands on organic onions.

And when cooking with fats, I use mostly coconut oil, butter or ghee, so that I can avoid the seed oils, like Canola Oil, that are so inflammatory and also very likely rancid.  Coconut oil seems to go hand in hand with a curry, so that was my fat of choice.

IMG_0120To bring some body to the sauce, and because I really like the fatty profile of coconut milk with its abundance of medium and short chained triglycerides, I made to sure to include a full can of full fat coconut milk.  The only other thing I look for when buying coconut milk, since I haven’t gotten into making my own, is making sure that I get cans that are BPA free, and glass jars would be even better, but I haven’t found those yet.

I could probably do without potatoes, but I know some people really love them in their curry, so I went ahead and added them here.  I definitely make sure to buy only organic potatoes, since they are one of the dirtiest foods, according to the EWG list.  I happen to prefer Yukon Golds in stews, which is the only reason I used those, I don’t see any reason I couldn’t use baking potatoes if I really wanted to.

All that is left is the spice mixture that I wanted to use for this leftover turkey curry recipe.  And with a local Penzey’s shop, finding some good spices wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had feared.  I haven’t done a ton of research on Penzey’s, and can’t really vouch for their product, other than to say that I very much enjoyed walking through their spice shop and checking out their products and that it tasted pretty darn good when it came time to eat.

For this recipe, I decided to use a combination of two different curry mixes that they offered, both the Hot Curry Powder as well as the Vindaloo Seasoning.  This dish had a pretty mild heat, noticable and enough to barely make my nose run, but nothing too overpowering.  Perhaps next time I make this dish, I might bump up the Hot Curry Powder from one tablespoon to two, just to see what kind of heat that brings.


2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons Vindaloo Seasoning (Penzey’s)
1 tablespoon Hot Curry Powder (Penzey’s)
1 can full fat coconut milk
3 cups (homemade, right?) turkey stock
2 small gold potatoes, chopped
2 lbs leftover turkey, shredded


  1. Prepare and measure out all of your ingredients
  2. Over medium heat, add your coconut oil to the pan and let it melt
  3. Add the onions, and cook for a few minutes until they start to develop a little color
  4. Add your spices and stir to mix in, cook for a few minutes until very fragrant
  5. Add the coconut milk and turkey stock, and stir to combine
  6. Simmer between 30-60 minutes, depending upon how thick you want your curry, I prefer the longer simmer times, which result in a thicker less soup-like turkey curry
  7. Add potatoes and turkey, and simmer another 30-60 minutes until potatoes are cooked through and the turkey curry has reached your desired consistency
  8. Serve with rice if desired
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