Super easy slow cooker leftover turkey curry recipe

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Once all the festivities are over, the only way to use up leftover turkey is to make a delicious curry. And with this recipe, the slow cooker does all the hard work, so you can still relax

Rating: 5.00
20 November 2023

Christmas day has been and gone. You’re exhausted from all the festivities, eaten too much chocolate, scoffed too much cheese, and drank more than your fair share of wine and Baileys. The last thing you really want to do is to have to cook again, however, you’ve got a ton of Christmas leftovers, so what are you going to do with them all? You’ve already had your fill of turkey sandwiches – you’ve already made some leftover turkey soup. So it’s really a no-brainer – it has to be a leftover turkey curry. The perfect way to use up all your leftover meat. 

And, this easy turkey curry recipe really is as simple as throwing in a homemade curry paste, shredded turkey, and vegetables into the slow cooker/crock pot and letting it do all the hard work, so you don’t have to. An easy way to get out of slaving over a hot stove, right? And even better, this comforting and delicious curry is a crowd-pleaser for the whole family. Leftover turkey recipes don’t come better than this…

Easy slow cooker leftover turkey recipe with rice - Cook Simply

Try this best leftover turkey curry recipe

The great thing about this slow cooker turkey curry is that you can pretty much throw in what you have to hand. The base of the paste is simple, with fresh ginger, onion, fresh garlic, vegetable oil, and a variety of spices including garam masala and curry powder. This is a mild curry recipe because it’s suitable for kids, however, you can add more spice with fresh chillies in the paste, or chilli powder. Plus, it’s a really healthy meal for the whole family. 

What ingredients are needed

Aside from the cold turkey, I’m certain you’ll have all the other ingredients in your fridge and store cupboard. See the recipe card below for a full list and amounts. 

  • leftover cooked turkey – leg and turkey breast 
  • onion
  • fresh ginger paste
  • garlic cloves
  • garam masala
  • curry powder – I use mild
  • turmeric
  • chicken stock cube
  • a dash of vegetable oil
  • tinned chopped tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • frozen spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon juice
  • fresh coriander

Adding spices to onions to make curry paste - Cook Simply

How to make this slow cooker Indian leftover curry 

There’s no need to brown any meat or vegetables. The first part of this recipe is to blend together the onion, ginger, garlic, spices and a touch of vegetable oil to make a paste. Add this to your slow cooker pot, then add the chicken stock cube or stock jelly, tinned chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and leftover turkey. Give all the ingredients a good stir and then cook on low for around 4-5 hours, or high for 2-3 hours. Around an hour from the end of your cooking time, add the spinach [ or any other vegetables you’d like]. Then before serving, add a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Can I add other ingredients?

This recipe will also work very well with leftover chicken and other leftover vegetables you still might have. I like to use spinach in my curries, I think it adds a depth of flavour, however, you can throw in any vegetables you’d like including green pepper or red pepper, potatoes, mushrooms or even pulses including chickpeas and lentils – to really bulk out the curry sauce.

What if I don’t have a slow cooker?

While throwing all the ingredients into a slow cooker means less work for you – you can still make this leftover turkey curry recipe in a large pan on the hob. Prepare the curry in the same way, but heat some vegetable oil over a medium heat, and then fry off the curry paste before adding the leftover turkey meat and tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Simmer for around 10 minutes, before adding the vegetables and continue to simmer until you’re happy with the consistency of the curry, adding more liquid if required.

Slow cooker leftover turkey curry with basmati rice - Cook Simply

Serving suggestions

This slow cooker leftover turkey curry recipe isn’t complete without coriander and garlic naan bread, served along and steamed basmati white rice. I like to add some yoghurt or sour cream over the top of the curry, and then sprinkle some fresh coriander to finish the dish. 

Can I freeze this?

This hearty turkey curry can be frozen – which is why it’s a great way to use up leftover roast turkey and save for another day. You don’t have to eat it all after Christmas – after all, you may have had enough of it by then. Pop the turkey curry into an airtight container and then you can freeze it for up to three months. Make sure to defrost thoroughly before reheating on high in a microwave. 

Other curry recipes you might like

Slow cooker Chinese chicken curry
Slow cooker chicken tikka masala
Slow cooker pork vindaloo
Easy chicken curry
Slow cooker Chinese beef curry 
Tasty halloumi curry 
Slow cooker leftover turkey curry - Cook Simply

Easy slow cooker leftover turkey curry

5 from 7 votes
No need to sweat it with this really easy curry that combines leftover turkey meat with spices and chopped tomatoes for a delicious and comforting meal
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes


  • 700-800 g leftover turkey meat
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch fresh piece of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder your choice of strength
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • A glug of vegetable oil
  • 1 chicken stock cube or stock jelly
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree/paste
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 100 ml of water
  • 250 g frozen spinach
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Fresh coriander to serve


  • Make the curry paste first but getting a blender or food processor, and adding the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, salt, pepper and vegetable oil.
    Adding spices to onions to make curry paste - Cook Simply
  • Blend together until you have a smooth paste.
  • Add the paste to your slow cooker, then the rest of the ingredients - the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, the chicken stock cube, water and your leftover turkey meat. Give it all a good stir.
  • Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  • Around an hour before serving, add the frozen spinach, and a squeeze of lemon juice and and stir through. Or any other vegetables of your choice.* If you feel the curry isn't wet enough, you can also add more water at this time.
  • Sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander before serving, alongside steamed basmati rice and naan bread


If you're planning on adding raw potatoes to this curry, I would suggest adding them alongside the turkey and the chopped tomatoes. These take longer to cook and they may still be firm and under done if you add them alongside the spinach and other vegetables.  


Calories: 281kcalCarbohydrates: 6.4gFat: 9.4g
Author: cooksimply
Calories: 281kcal
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian

Did you make this slow cooker leftover turkey curry?

Please let me know how it turned out for you or what variation you made of my slow cooker turkey curry. Leave a comment below and tag @cooksimplyathome on Instagram. If you’d like more food inspiration, check out my index.

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