Use leftover turkey to make one of the easiest, fastest meals to throw together: Thai curry. From the minute you hear your stomach grumbling and you check out the fridge to see what’s there, it’ll only be ten minutes until you sit down to a bowl of beautiful, spicy curry.
Our Mission: Stop Food Waste!
We teach home cooks how to fall in love with their leftovers with Buddha Bowl recipes, so that you can stop wasting uneaten food and unused groceries — just like the leftover Thanksgiving turkey you’re sure to have in your fridge in a couple of weeks!
What exactly goes into a Buddha Bowl?
Glad you asked! A Buddha Bowl can be whatever you want it to be, but here’s what we usually do. Start with a base of grains or some kind of starch, then add veggies–cooked, raw, parboiled, etc.–and a protein. Wrap it all up with a signature sauce and a crunchy topping. This is a great way to use up all your leftover rice, lean proteins and all the bits of veggies you find in the drawer.
For this recipe, we’ll be making a Thai curry buddha bowl with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
Coconut milk is key to making a good curry. Make sure you’re using unsweetened canned coconut milk for cooking and not a bottled coconut milk meant for drinking. Full-fat unsweetened coconut milk will make a curry that’s rich, creamy, and thicker, but I sometimes use low-fat as well, and it works out just fine!
Fish Sauce in Curry
The fish sauce (and the sugar) are optional in this recipe, but I think fish sauce is a great ingredient to invest in and have on hand, especially if you make a lot of Vietnamese or Thai food. It’s used just as often as soy sauce in Southeast Asian cooking, and one bottle keeps for months in the pantry.
The flavor of fish sauce is totally unique, and the amount of umami and depth of flavor it adds to a dish is unlike anything else. When I use fish sauce in curries, I always make sure to add a little bit of sugar to balance the flavors out. If you don’t have fish sauce or don’t want to use it, feel free to take it out of this recipe — just remember to take out the sugar, too!
My favorite brand of fish sauce is Red Boat.
Ingredients for Thai Curry Buddha Bowl with Turkey
To make turkey Thai curry, here’s what you need:
- 4 cups cooked jasmine or other white rice
- 2-3 tablespoons Thai curry paste (red or green)
- 1 ¾ cups unsweetened coconut milk (13.5 ounce can)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- ¼ red onion, sliced
- ½ cup canned bamboo shoots
- 1 cup canned baby corn
- 2 cups cooked turkey (12 ounces), cut into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves (or regular basil leaves)
- Crunchy Topping: fried shallots or onions
How to Make a Thai Curry Buddha Bowl with Leftover Turkey
First, make the curry: in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, whisk just together half of the curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce and the sugar. Give it a taste. If you’d like it spicier, add the remaining curry paste. If the curry is a little bland, add a teaspoon of fish sauce and a bit more sugar. Bring to curry a simmer.
Once the curry is simmering, add the onion, bamboo shoots, baby corn, cooked turkey, and Thai basil, then simmer for three more minutes to warm everything through.
Finally, assemble the buddha bowl! Layer in the rice and curry, then top with crunchy fried shallots and a sprig of Thai basil to garnish.
Thai curry only takes minutes to make! Add in chunks of leftover, cooked turkey and have a spicy, creamy meal ready in 10 minutes.
buddha bowl, turkey
Calories: 1117 kcal
cooked jasmine or other white rice
Thai curry paste
red or green
unsweetened coconut milk
13.5 ounce can
canned bamboo shoots
canned baby corn
12 ounces, cut into bite-sized pieces
fresh thai basil leaves
or regular basil leaves
- Crunchy Topping: fried shallots or onions
In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, whisk just together half of the curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce and the sugar. Give it a taste. If you’d like it spicier, add the remaining curry paste. If the curry is a little bland, add 1 tsp fish sauce and a bit more sugar. Bring to a simmer.
Add in the onion, bamboo shoots, baby corn, cooked turkey and Thai basil. Simmer for 3 minutes, until everything heated through.
To assemble the Buddha Bowl, layer in the rice and curry. Top with crunchy fried shallots and a sprig of Thai basil to garnish.
Thai Curry Buddha Bowl with Turkey
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 270
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 23g144%
Vitamin A 1369IU27%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.