curried ground turkey

Spicy Curried Ground Turkey with Coconut Milk and Cilantro

Last Updated on July 15, 2021

People are often stumped by what to do with ground turkey; it’s so lean, and it doesn’t lend itself quite as well to a burger or meatball treatment. But add a lot of spice and some fat (in the form of coconut milk) and ground turkey really rises to the occasion, especially when the occasion is a weeknight dinner.


bubbling curried turkey


This recipe is inspired by Indian keema (ground meat) curries, and including the peeling and chopping of various aromatics, comes together in roughly 30 minutes. 


ingredients for curried turkey

ground turkey curry with rice

Curried Ground Turkey with Coconut Milk

4.20 from 81 votes
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Protein: Poultry
Cut: Ground Turkey
Diet: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Keto
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds plus more to taste (they're delightful)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and grated
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 small shallot peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped (leave seeds in for more heat)
  • 1 pound ButcherBox ground turkey (Substitution: Ground chicken can also be used in this recipe.)
  • ½ cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¾ to 1 cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves picked off their stems
  • Lime wedges


  • Heat the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When it’s melted and shimmering, add the coriander, salt, turmeric, and cumin. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute, to bloom the spices. Add the garlic, ginger, shallot, and half of the jalapeno pepper. Cook, stirring, for another minute and a half.
  • Add the turkey. With your spoon, spread and stir the turkey to incorporate it with the aromatics and break it into small pieces. Spread and stir until the mixture is fully combined. Add ¼ cup water if the turkey is sticking to the pan. Cook, stirring and breaking up the bits, until the turkey is mostly cooked (it’s fine if there’s still a little pink showing), 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 4 minutes total. After two minutes, stir in the peas. After 2 more minutes simmering, add the remaining jalapeno peppers. Remove from heat, taste, and adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over rice, with lime wedges on the side.
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