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Butter Turkey

This basic recipe is also delicious made with turkey meatballs, or with added seasonal veggies—try simmering some diced potatoes, cauliflower or zucchini along with the turkey.

By Julie Van Rosendaal

Butter Turkey

Total Time:






Skill Level:



  • canola oil, for cooking
  • 1 onion, chopped or thinly sliced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro (including stems)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp curry paste or powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 skinless, boneless turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 28 oz (796 mL) can diced, crushed or San Marzano-style tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
  • 1/2-1 cup heavy cream (35%) or full-fat sour cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How to Make It


In a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat.


Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and about half the cilantro (I use the stems in the curry, then sprinkle the leaves on top) and cook for another minute or two.


Add the chili powder, curry paste, garam masala and cinnamon and let them for a minute in the hot pan, until you have a thick, dark mixture.


Add the turkey and brown the pieces a bit on all sides – don’t worry about cooking them through.


Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the chicken is cooked through.


Stir in the cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot over rice or with naan.

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