Slow Cooker Turkey Curry

Slow cooker recipes leftover turkey

Slow Cooker Turkey Curry is a quick and easy way to use any leftover turkey from your Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving. It combines pre-cooked turkey and a delicious blend of sweet spices, all in a light creamy sauce, perfect for the whole family. No waste and lots of flavor!

<img src="×682.jpg" alt="Slow cooker turkey curry made with

leftover turkey in a bowl with cilantro sprinkled on top.” />Slow cooker Leftover turkey curry

Most of the time there

will be a good amount of turkey left after Christmas or Thanksgiving, which begs the question of what to do with it. Serve it cold at a buffet, make a cake, eat it on sandwiches? There are many options!

But for an easy and warm meal, a curry works brilliantly.

My leftover turkey curry recipe is designed to be quick, simple and delicious! I use a mixture of ground spices and coconut milk to make a tasty and aromatic sauce. Add this to the precooked turkey with sautéed onion and peppers and you’re done. Leave it in the slow cooker for a few hours to make another delicious meal.

Overhead image of a bowl of Crockpot turkey curry made with leftover turkey, onions and peppers.Why make turkey curry

in the slow cooker? The preparation time for this curry is around 15 minutes and then it’s just a case of leaving it in


  • slow cooker. It’s that easy!
  • Slow cooking is a great way to bring out delicious flavors in your food. Allow time for the spices, broth and coconut milk in this recipe to really merge to make an aromatic sauce.

What you’ll need

Here are the ingredients for making leftover turkey curry

– see the full recipe card for quantities.

Image to show the ingredients needed for slow-cooked turkey curry.

Cooked turkey – If you have precooked a whole or turkey crown, remove the turkey from the meat, try not to cut the pieces too small as the larger pieces retain moisture better in the slow cooker, especially since it is already cooked. Packages purchased from the cooked chicken or turkey store also work brilliantly.

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Spice blend: A blend of sweet and aromatic spices keeps the festive background in this curry; there’s garam masala, ginger, a little cinnamon, turmeric, and chili. Cilantro adds more fragrance to the sauce.

Coconut milk – Whole coconut milk works best in slow-cooked sauces, both in terms of texture and flavor.

Vegetables – Onion and garlic sautéed in vegetable oil add a lot of flavor to curry. I also add red and green pepper. Not only do they taste great, but they make the curry stretch a little more if you’re cooking for more people. Add the raw peppers to preserve their crunch.

Broth – A cube of chicken broth creates a tasty tinge in the sauce. A pinch of salt also enhances the other flavors.

Tomato puree – A few large tablespoons to add a rich tomato base to the sauce. A little sugar balances any acidity, this is optional.

Cornmeal – Acts as a sauce thickener and helps stabilize coconut milk to prevent departure. Wheat flour can be used as an alternative, although I recommend using a third less as it is a heavier flour.

How to do it

Detailed instructions can be found on the recipe card at the bottom of the post! Here’s

a step-by-step guide on how to make leftover slow-cooker turkey curry


Images to show step-by-step guide to making slow cooker turkey curry. Showing steps 1-2.
  1. Sauté the onions. Since the turkey is precooked, this recipe has a shorter cooking time, so make sure your onions and garlic are soft and sweet by sautéing them first in the pan with a little oil. If you have a metal pot slow cooker for cooking and stewing, you can do this step directly in the pot.
  2. Activate your spices by heating them with onions in the stove pan. This ensures that you get the deepest flavor for the curry sauce.
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Images to show step by step guide to make slow cooking turkey curry. Showing steps 3-5.
  1. Chop the turkey. I would usually be more specific about the sizes of the pieces (to make sure they retain shape and moisture), however, since the meat is already cooked, simply take the pieces and add them to the pot. Cut off any very large pieces.
  2. Add the cilantro, broth cube, sugar, peppers and tomato puree and then cover with flour before stirring well.
  3. Add the coconut milk, mix and then simmer for 4 hours.


best advice I can give you is to keep it simple! After the usual Christmas Day indulgence, serving leftover slow-cooker turkey curry with rice and a naan bread is a fantastic meal.

Slow cooker turkey curry in a bowl with naan bread.

Recipe variations

Some ideas for variations of the recipe are:

Vegetables – Try adding some cauliflower or potatoes (roasted potatoes are particularly delicious!). If these have been precooked, add them halfway through cooking so they don’t become too soft. Cut the potatoes into cubes of about 3 square cm for best results.

Sultanas – If you have something left over from making a Christmas cake or pudding, adding a few tablespoons will add a lovely sweet touch to the curry.

Heat – Increase the heat by adding more chili or a pinch of cayenne!

Fresh chicken – You can use fresh

raw chicken or turkey instead of cooked with this recipe: Or;

  • Cook the pieces of raw meat in a pan first, add them to the slow cooker, and then cook according to the instructions and recipe times indicated.



Add the

  • raw chicken or turkey in the slow cooker with the other ingredients and cook the whole mixture for longer, between 5 and 7 hours over low heat. Always make sure the meat is hot and the juices come out clear. Keep in mind that breast meat will dry faster than leg meat due to its lower fat content, so check it mid-cooking to see what it looks like.
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Here are some tips to ensure an easy leftover turkey curry:

  • Activate the spices. Heating the spice mixture in the pan with a little oil intensifies the flavors.
  • Soften the onions. Due to the shorter cooking time in the slow cooker, it is best to sauté the onions and garlic first so that they are completely soft and sweet for when it is ready to serve.
  • Keep pieces of meat large enough to retain moisture. As the meat is cooked in the sauce, it naturally tenderizes and breaks down.
  • Chicken or turkey! Both precooked chicken and turkey will work fantastically well in this recipe.
  • Use all the meat. Don’t just use breast meat. The flesh of the legs, wings and underside of the turkey or chicken are extremely tasty. Be sure to remove the bones before cooking.
Close-up view of crockpot turkey curry with fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.

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