Coconut Turkey Curry In A Hurry

By Amanda Paa – Updated September 20, 2021
4.83 from 34 votes
A quick and easy ground turkey curry made with coconut milk and lots of vibrant fresh vegetables. You can use mild or hot curry powder depending on the spice level you prefer. It's a great weeknight meal, and is gluten-free and dairy-free!
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ground turkey curry in a bowl with white rice

The name says it all.

A veggie-filled, flavor-packed, ground turkey curry that comes together in 30 minutes!

Is it as elevated as traditional Indian curry? Of course not. You probably know that those dishes can take hours to make, due to all the spice components and techniques.

But does this quick curry still do the job of making your taste buds dance? It sure does.

It’s simple. It’s lightened up. And it’s a great balance of protein and fresh vegetables.

I particularly love using ground turkey in this recipe because it takes well to the spices in curry powder like turmeric, black pepper, coriander, cumin, and fenugreek. And, it’s also a budget-friendly turkey component you can feel good about.

ingredients for making ground turkey curry, laid out on countertop
veggies and coconut turkey curry in a braising pot

Most Google searches for turkey curry will bring you to recipes that have peas, tomatoes, and potatoes, which takes inspiration from the Indian dish called “Aloo Keema” – typically made with some type of minced meat.

Tips for Making Turkey Curry:

Because I wanted this meal to be ready in less than 30 minutes, I chose vegetables that cook quickly like baby zucchini, bell peppers, shallots, and spinach. The result was bright, fresh, and so colorful. You can make instant pot rice to go with it for ease, too.

Feel free to play with the spice level and use either mild or hot curry powder. If you have children, the mild version might be a good idea. You’ll find this recipe to be delightfully warming and satisfying either way!

ground turkey curry braising in a pot, with a spoon

What about leftovers?

They’re AMAZING. The longer the spices mingle, the deeper the flavor.

Can I use light coconut milk?

You could! But I use regular coconut milk because it’s the sole component of fat in this recipe. With such a lean meat and mostly vegetables, it needs the fat to be satisfying, in my opinion.

ground turkey curry in a bowl with white rice

More Curry Recipes:

Sweet and Salty Curry Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sesame Curry Cashews
Creamy Sweet Potato Curry Soup

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ground turkey curry in a bowl with white rice, two spoons

Coconut Turkey Curry In a Hurry

A quick and easy ground turkey curry made with coconut milk and lots of vibrant fresh vegetables. It's a great weeknight meal, and is gluten-free and dairy-free!
4.83 from 34 votes
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :20 minutes
Total Time :30 minutes
Yield: 5 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder, divided
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, divided
  • 1 bell pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, arrowroot starch, or tapioca starch
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • juice of one lime
  • red pepper flakes and cilantro for garnish
  • cooked white jasmine rice


  • Preheat large saucepan over medium high heat. When hot, add shallots, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, 1/2 tablespoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir and combine. Then add bell pepper and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
  • Push vegetables to one side of pan. Add turkey, and break up using a wooden spoon or firm spatula. Once cooked through and no pink remains, add remaining 1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir thoroughly.
  • Then add coconut milk and tamari. Take out a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, and whisk it with the arrowroot or tapioca starch. Add this mixture back to pan, and stir. This acts to thicken the liquid.
  • Add in zucchini, and spinach. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
  • Serve over warm rice and garnish with red pepper flakes and cilantro.

Did you make this?

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January 5, 2020


I look forward to your comments, reviews and questions! If you love this recipe, please rate it when you leave a comment. Star ratings help people discover my recipes. Your support means a lot; thank you for being a part of the Heartbeet Kitchen community.


4.83 from 34 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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  1. Jasmin

    5 stars
    This is delicious. The lime really finishes it off nicely. I added a little Cayenne and extra curry seasoning, I also used lite coconut milk (whole fat probably makes it way better though) and half turkey half chickpeas. I will definitely make this again, and would highly recommend it. It was so easy, the ingredients list was kind of long but then I looked and realized it’s all easy stuff. 10/10 yes!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, so glad you enjoyed it! And agree – the list looks long but it isn’t time consuming to put together and turns out so delicious!

  2. Lisa Jackson

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was a hit! Admittedly, I’ve never eaten curry other than stealing a bite from my husband. Thought I would try something new and we all loved it. My daughter even yelled “whatever you’re cooking, it smells awesome”! She and I ate it with just a little lime juice on top. My husband kicked up the heat in his with crushed red pepper. Definitely will be making this again!

    • Amanda Paa

      oh, that’s so great to hear! love that the whole family enjoyed it!

  3. Amy

    5 stars
    Delicious! Next time I’ll make a double batch because we were fighting over the leftovers. My husband doesn’t like lime so I used a dash of rice vinegar and a half teaspoon of sugar.

    • Amanda Paa

      love to hear you enjoyed it, amy! and a double batch works well.

  4. Bailey Haltinner

    Could I substitute curry powder with yellow curry paste?

    • Amanda Paa

      that should work great!

  5. Alanna Taylor-Tobin

    5 stars
    My new favorite dinner!! I’ve been craving this ever since I saw it in your newsletter. Finally made a double batch and I’m hooked! It’s so easy, flavorful, vibrant, and DELICIOUS. My husband loves it too. Will be in regular rotation in my kitchen! I froze it in individual servings for easy meals all week long.

    Thank you thank you for this recipe!

    • Amanda Paa

      love to hear you enjoyed it! thank you so much for making the recipe. cheers!

  6. ,:D

    What brand curry powder do you recommend?

  7. Stacy

    5 stars
    Wow, this was yummy! Made the ground turkey so flavorful. Thought we’d have leftovers for next day’s dinner but my work-at-home husband beat me to it for his lunch.

    • Amanda Paa

      Love to hear it, thanks for making the recipe!

  8. Mackenzie Westfall

    5 stars
    If I double the recipe, should I use two cans of coconut milk?

    • Amanda Paa

      Yep, 2 cans!

  9. Amanda

    5 stars
    We absolutely loved this dish! It’s so simple and I usually have most of these ingredients on hand. This has become a new staple dish for us!

    • Amanda Paa

      so glad to hear that!

  10. Tiffany

    5 stars
    I made this with ground plant based protein and it was fabulous!! Thanks for the quick and easy meal idea!

    • Amanda Paa

      oh, that’s an awesome adaptation!

  11. Jana

    5 stars
    Another favorite from you! I love all the comments of littles or teens loving this recipe. Same for our household! Our 13 year old inhaled his bowl. I had mine with your Jalapeño cheddar sourdough.
    I am so happy I found your blog! I so look forward to your Sunday chats email. All the best to you in 2023!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay, so great that your whole family enjoyed it! And thank you for the kind words – glad to have you as part of the community!

  12. Roxy

    5 stars
    The husband and my’s favorite dish!! I try adding in some sliced leeks with the onions and baby bok choy with the zucchini!

    • Amanda Paa

      Yay! And those additions sound fabulous.

  13. Samantha

    5 stars
    Such an amazing and easy dish that was full of flavor. My 2.5 yo even liked it. We used quinoa instead of rice and shredded carrots instead of zucchini. It’s just what was on hand. Turned out so well. I’ll definitely make this again!

    • Amanda Paa

      so glad the whole family enjoyed!

  14. charlotte

    5 stars
    Easy and so delicious. I was intimidated at first by the list of ingredients but the directions were easy to follow and even my 17 year old loved it. It’s rare to find a gluten free meal for me that my family also enjoys. THANK YOU!

    • Amanda Paa

      I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed this meal together!

  15. bonnie

    5 stars
    This was delicious.
    Can this be made ahead of time and frozen?

    • Amanda Paa

      Yes, this recipe freezes well!

  16. Devan

    5 stars
    Love how this dish is so fresh but still cozy! I’ve never made curry with ground turkey or zucchini before, but it was very tasty. I added a sprinkle of brown sugar to counteract my very tart lime. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Amanda Paa

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  17. Kirsten

    5 stars
    This was SO delicious. My 6 month old, 3.5 year old, husband and I all devoured it. Thank you!

    • Amanda Paa

      Oh yay! So glad to hear that Kirsten!

  18. Susan Yelton

    I love this recipe. It was very yummy and super easy!

  19. Bella Craig

    5 stars
    Thanks plan on making dish

  20. Kimberly Francis

    5 stars
    Sooooo freakin good put my own touches to it and didnt have a few things on the list but very delish…

    • Amanda Paa

      yay, so glad you enjoyed this recipe Kimberly!

  21. Violet Town

    Wow, simply amazing recipe, great taste, and awesome flavor, the fresh vegetables really compliments the turkey. It was wonderful and my kids loved it. Thanks