I think we are finally recovered from the ‘holiday that wasn’t’. Even though we had a much smaller Thanksgiving celebration, we still tried to make it feel special. In a way, I think one way to define ‘making it special’ is something that you put a lot more work into than a regular dinner, so I created a quick menu, table setting, and even a special cocktail. After all of that attention to detail, it’s nice to kick back and just enjoy some leftovers! Yes, an obligatory turkey sandwich was consumed, but that’s old news: Let’s kick it up a notch, and get creative! Here’s my newest favorite turkey leftover recipe: a simple Thai-Style Turkey Green Curry.
Turkey is a lean meat, filled with Vitamin B and Vitamin B12, as well as packing a big protein punch. It’s a quintessential leftover dish after major holidays, so really… why not? Turkey has such wonderful flavors, and it lends itself beautifully to dishes where you might normally pick chicken. If you’re not a turkey kind of person, this Thai Green Curry recipe will work beautifully with pretty much anything from leftover rotisserie to homemade roasted chicken. Still, with its savory, intensified poultry flavor, adding leftover shredded turkey meat to the bright flavors of coconut, green curry paste, Thai lime leaf, and spicy peppers, the whole thing just sings! Why go with the same old, same old, turkey-noodle-casserole with those leftover Thanksgiving bits? Grab a can of coconut milk and make a flavorful vegetable & turkey curry!
What is a ‘green’ curry?
Unlike it’s cousin, red curry, green curry tends to be a bit milder on the spice-meter. Even though it’s made with chili peppers, it’s balanced with more green herbs, like basil and coriander, as well as lemongrass, shallots, and lime leaf. There is a slightly sweet & herby balance within these vibrant flavors. When the paste is added to sautéed vegetables, coconut milk, and an extra helping of cilantro & lime leaf, you get a wonderful, creamy sauce that you’ll be thinking about slurping directly from the bowl!
In this case I’ve used a mix of carrots, onion, red bell pepper, bamboo shoots, and baby corn, in addition to my leftover Thanksgiving turkey breast, but the veggie options are limitless. I prefer the white meat for this recipe, but if you are a dark meat fan, run with it!
How are we going to amp up the delicious base flavor of Thai Green Curry even more?
The difference between a ‘meh’ curry and a ‘wow!” curry truly comes down to using high quality traditional aromatics: Dried Thai lime leaf is a must, and can be found in international grocery stores, (or on Amazon.com, where we got ours!). Whole lemongrass, freshly minced garlic (versus jarred), and a handful of fresh green cilantro, will take your curry over the top.
Like I mentioned above, if turkey isn’t your favorite ingredient and you’re not looking for a leftover turkey recipe, substitute last night’s roasted chicken or even seared tofu. A traditional green curry can feature a variety of vegetables as well! Green beans, asparagus, and mushrooms are great additions to the carrots & red peppers.
This sounds complicated… is it?
NOPE! I don’t want to work hard for my leftover-prep! This meal comes together in a snap – about 10 minutes of prep, and 10 minutes to cook. That’s it. This is a fabulous Thai-inspired quick weeknight dinner recipe, but it tastes like you were working in the kitchen for hours! The flavors are developed and authentic to true Thai cuisine, and this turkey green curry is even better the next day!
Simple Thai-Style Leftover Turkey Green Curry
makes 4-6 servings
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup baby corn, drained and rinsed
1 can regular (not ‘light’) unsweetened coconut milk (13.66 fl oz)
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
4 dried Thai lime leaves (also called Makrut lime leaves)
2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat
1 fresh lime
handful of fresh cilantro
optional add ins; fresh lemongrass, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, or tofu.
In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once at temperature, add the diced onion, minced garlic and jalapeño. add a generous pinch of kosher salt. Let cook while stirring often until slightly softened, but do not brown. About 7 minutes.
After the onion, garlic, and jalapeño have cooked down, add the carrots, red bell pepper, bamboo shoots, and baby corn. Sauté for 3 minutes, while stirring.
Next, push the vegetables to the sides of the pan and add the green curry paste in the center. Let heat for 30 seconds.
Now, pour in the coconut milk, the fish sauce, and add your dried Thai lime leaves. Stir until the curry paste is incorporated (the sauce will turn a pale green color).
Mix in the shredded turkey meat, and stir well, then add a large handful of fresh cilantro. Cook until heated through, while stirring.
Once heated through, discard the Thai lime leaves. Serve over steamed white rice, and garnish with more cilantro.
Simple Thai-Style Leftover Turkey Green Curry
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 large jalapeño seeded and minced
- 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1 large red bell pepper seeded and sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup baby corn drained and rinsed
- 1 can regular not ‘light’ unsweetened coconut milk (13.66 fl oz)
- 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
- 4 dried Thai lime leaves also called Makrut lime leaves
- 2 cups shredded leftover turkey meat
- 1 fresh lime
- handful of fresh cilantro
- kosher salt
- optional add ins; fresh lemongrass green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, or tofu.
- In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once at temperature, add the diced onion, minced garlic and jalapeño. add a generous pinch of kosher salt. Let cook while stirring often until slightly softened, but do not brown. About 7 minutes.
- After the onion, garlic, and jalapeño have cooked down, add the carrots, red bell pepper, bamboo shoots, and baby corn. Sauté for 3 minutes, while stirring.
- Next, push the vegetables to the sides of the pan and add the green curry paste in the center. Let heat for 30 seconds.
- Now, pour in the coconut milk, the fish sauce, and add your dried Thai lime leaves. Stir until the curry paste is incorporated (the sauce will turn a pale green color).
- Mix in the shredded turkey meat, and stir well, then add a large handful of fresh cilantro. Cook until heated through, while stirring.
- Once heated through, discard the Thai lime leaves. Serve over steamed white rice, and garnish with more cilantro.
Leftover Turkey Thai Green Curry! by straighttothehipsbaby on Jumprope.
Jessica Stroup says
This sounds so fresh and delicious! Definitely going to try your amazing recipe soon!
thank you so much! It came together super quick too!
This was so delicious! This is staying on the weekly meal rotation!
Oh, that is fantastic to here! We loved it too! I’m making t again this week, but with an easy short cut of a store-bought rotisserie chicken!
Great recipe and such a good way to re-purpose leftover turkey because I know now that I will most definitely have leftovers! Love a good Thai curry too so this is perfect. And always prefer to eat lean meat wherever I can.
Thank you so much! this is totally a delicious meal that is high in protein, and flavor!
This is such a lovely dinner option. Looks so delicious and healthy. And easy to make. I can’t wait to serve this to my family. Thanks for the recipe and idea!
That’s fantastic to hear! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Cheers!
Leslie Sawmiller says
This is a wonderful use for leftover turkey! Such a creative recipe for turkey, I love it!