Check out this Turkey Tikka Masala recipe – it’s the perfect way to jazz up your leftover turkey into a tasty Indian-inspired dish!

Turkey Tikka Masala Recipe

You know how sometimes, when you use leftover turkey, it still kinda tastes like Thanksgiving dinner? Well, we’ve got you covered with this recipe that adds a delicious twist to your turkey leftovers. Plus, the best part is it’ll only take you 30 minutes from start to finish.

And guess what? If you don’t have turkey on hand, you can totally swap it out for leftover chicken, like some juicy rotisserie chicken, or even some leftover grilled shrimp. We’ve even gone the extra mile and tossed in some pre-cooked cocktail shrimp to make this meal even more fantastic!


We adapted this awesome recipe from Takeout Kit, a meal delivery service that’s all about convenient and pantry-friendly meal kits. Their kit comes with everything you need for this dish (except for the leftover turkey, of course). 

And the best part? You can find all the ingredients for this recipe at most big supermarket chains. So, no need to hunt down exotic spices or rare ingredients – this Turkey Tikka Masala recipe is super accessible and perfect for anyone to try! 🛒🍗🌶️



Tikka Masala Seasoning

turkey-tikka-masala-recipeYou can find this Tikka Masala seasoning at Walmart and most large grocery stores, either in the spice aisle or in the international section. It comes in both dried in powder form and concentrated paste in a jar. Or, you can make your own, if you have a full spice cabinet.

turkey-tikka-masala-recipe-2You can also find a Tikka Masala ready-to-eat sauce, which is called a “simmer sauce.” The simmer sauce includes nearly all of the ingredients you’ll need in the recipe, and transforms this into a 7-minute dish (but you’ll still need to cook the rice, which takes about 20 minutes).

If you’re using simmer sauce, sauté the onions and garlic in the recipe. Add in garbanzo beans and the simmer sauce. Cook for a few minutes. Stir in the cooked turkey to warm through. If you are serving four hearty eaters, make sure you get enough simmer sauce. If you like your Tikka Masala really saucy like I do, you’ll need 2 jars.


Turkey Talk!

This whole adventure started when we decided to take on the challenge of creating and testing “leftover turkey recipes” for the entire week. Instead of going through the trouble of roasting a turkey from scratch and then doing it all over again for Thanksgiving dinner, we were lucky enough to receive a fully roasted turkey from Diestel Ranch. You can snag one of their fantastic turkeys at Whole Foods or order them online.

Now, let’s talk about Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. They’re a fourth-generation family company that’s been in the turkey business since 1949, nestled in the picturesque Sierra Nevada foothills near Yosemite. They’ve been raising turkeys humanely and sustainably for generations, and that’s something we really admire.

And here’s the best part – they don’t just offer roasted turkeys. Nope, they’ve got a whole range of turkey goodies, like uncooked whole turkeys, turkey sausage, uncured turkey breast, smoked whole turkey, and more. So, big shout-out to the Diestel family for sending us that perfectly roasted bird for our recipe testing. You guys rock! 🦃👏

How to Make Leftover Turkey Tikka Masala

Start with making the basmati rice. Adding spices like a cinnamon stick, whole cloves and whole cardamom is optional, but it really does enhance the flavor of the rice.

Throw in the rice, spices, and salt into a saucepan. Add water, bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes, turn off heat. Leave it alone for 5 minutes. Remove spices.


While the rice is simmering away,  it’s time to prepare the Tikka Masala.

Sauté onion and garlic in butter or ghee.


Add in the Tikka Masala seasoning, salt, and sugar.


Add in crushed tomatoes and garbanzo beans.


You can also add in coconut milk and dried fenugreek leaves, thought this is totally optional.


Simmer for a bit.


The last step is to stir in your diced leftover turkey.


Serve over rice.


And there you have it! You’ve successfully reinvented leftover turkey into a delicious new meal!


Leftover Turkey: Tikka Masala Recipe

Recipe adapted from Takeout Kit.
If you are using Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce (already made liquid sauce sold in jars), see directions above.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4



  • 2 cups raw basmati rice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 whole cardamom pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher/sea salt


  • 1 tablespoon butter (or ghee)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoon tikka masala seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne chili powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher/sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 2 cups cooked, diced turkey


  • Make rice: Rinse and drain the rice 3 times, until the water is just barely cloudy. In a medium saucepan with tight fitting lid, add the drained rice, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods and salt. Pour in 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Immediately cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, let sit, undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cook the Tikka Masala: In a large saucepan on medium heat, add the butter. When it begins to bubble a bit, add in the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Stir in the Tikka Masala spice, cayenne (if using), salt and sugar. Cook for another minute, stirring.
  • Add in the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, coconut milk, and fenugreek leaves (if using). Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 3 minutes until sauce has a gravy-like consistency. Stir in the cooked turkey, and cook for an additional minute.
  • When rice is finished cooking, fluff with fork and remove rice spices. Serve with the Tikka Masala.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!