Spice it up After the Holidays with Leftover Turkey and Vegetable Curry

This vegetable curry is perfect for using up some of your turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving, or you can make it without the turkey for a completely vegetarian meal as well. Both ways, this meal is sure to satisfy on cold nights in the winter.

We had a lovely, quiet Thanksgiving. One that I am thankful for because we could use a little return to normalcy around here. And after we stuffed ourselves full, we came home and sat for a while, just us as a family. I don’t think we’d been able to do that in well over a week, so watching the kids play on the floor together, sitting on the couch doing absolutely nothing and generally giving each other a hard time was appreciated the world over.

After Thanksgiving the desire to eat the Thanksgiving meal over and over again fades, but the leftovers may not be fading quite as quickly. The first thing on my post-Thanksgiving agenda is always to make the biggest batch of turkey stock I can, using the carcass and leftover vegetable scraps and herbs from the meal. I then go about utilizing that same stock in various turkey soups and casseroles.

When I really want to switch flavor profiles, though, I move into the spice territory. A bit of curry spice, peppers and tomato paste will wash away all thoughts of sage and thyme. After all those rich foods, plenty of vegetables are in order. Broccoli and cauliflower specifically.

Add to that some leftover turkey and steam in some turkey stock. (Don’t eat meat? Steam in vegetable broth and omit turkey.)

In a frying pan heat a bit of oil and add garlic, ginger, green chilies and onions to it.

Add in tomato paste and all the delicious curry spices: garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder. You could also cheat and just use a premade curry powder if you prefer.

Cook it down a bit and then add in one whole diced tomato.

This will help turn our curry into a sauce to add to the stock and vegetables we already have going.

And then add in the garbanzo beans and continue to cook. Keep the heat on medium to medium-high, and cook until they’re thoroughly heated through before mixing everything together with the broth and vegetables to form a sauce.

This curry is fantastic over rice, but it’s even better with naan. A bowl of curry, warm naan and plopping myself down at the table with the family for dinnertime. Winter perfection.

1/2 head broccoli
1/2 head cauliflower
2 cups leftover turkey, chopped or sliced**
3/4 cup turkey, chicken or vegetable stock**
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 green chili, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1 medium tomato, diced
2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked (or 15.5-ounce can)
salt and pepper
cilantro leaves

Cut broccoli and cauliflower into sections. Place them along with leftover turkey in a large sauté pan. Pour in stock, cover and turn on high heat. Set a timer for 5 minutes once the pan starts steaming. While you’re waiting for the pan to steam, in a medium frying pan, heat the oil. Add in onion, chili, ginger and garlic. Sauté lightly for 30-60 seconds. Add in tomato paste, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, turmeric and ground coriander. Stir to combine with other spices and then add in tomatoes. Continue to cook until sauce resembles a thick tomato sauce. Add in garbanzo beans and sauté until warm.

When the broccoli and cauliflower is crisp-tender (still has a bite), pour the tomato curry sauce and garbanzo beans into the stock and vegetables and mix together. Steam for one minute more with cover on to incorporate flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with rice or naan.

**For vegetarian vegetable curry, omit turkey and use vegetable broth. Increase garbanzo beans, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

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  1. Now there’s a Thanksgiving leftovers recipe with a kick! I love it 🙂

  2. Looks delicious! I really enjoy your blog and gave you an award today:

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Funny!! Love seeing this. I ended up making a spicy Indian dish post Thankgiving as well!! Good post!! Shulie

  4. This looks fantastic! I love spicy food – and Thanksgiving food – so what a great combo.

  5. Great use of turkey leftovers. I’m loving the curry and spiciness of it.

  6. I love curries but have been afraid to tackle making one until now. Your detailed pictures really helped.


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