Curried Ground Turkey with Potatoes

Ground turkey has to be one of my favorite meats to work with. It’s lean, takes to spices well, and is relatively inexpensive. We were brainstorming ideas for something that would use ground turkey, potatoes, and onions the other day and were inspired by a classical Indian dish called “Aloo Keema”, made with minced meat (most often chicken, beef, or lamb), potatoes, and Indian spices like garam masala and turmeric. Our ground turkey version was delightful, warmly spicy and satisfying. Made for great leftovers too. Feel free to play around with the spices. If I didn’t have garam masala in my pantry I would have used some curry powder and maybe a little cardamom. Not that that’s a substitution, it’s just that the idea is not to complicate things too much, but to work with what you have, and note that “curry” is broadly defined.

Curried Ground Turkey with Potatoes Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.

You can easily substitute ground chicken, beef or lamb for the ground turkey. The "curry" part of this recipe is flexible. Use your favorite curry powder, garam masala, or Indian spice mix.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey (thigh meat if you can get it)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1-2 chopped fresh red chiles (optional)
  • A 1-inch piece of peeled ginger, grated fine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala (or curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2-4 Roma or other plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup (loosely packed) chopped cilantro or parsley

Method

1 Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large pot with a lid. When the oil is hot, add the ground meat, spreading it out over the pan. Try not to crowd the meat (you may need to cook in batches). Cook the meat without stirring, until it begins to brown.

2 Add the chopped onion and chiles. Stir and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion begins to color a bit. Sprinkle salt over everything.

3 Add the grated ginger and garlic, mix well and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.

4 Mix in the spices, water, and the potatoes. Stir to combine and cover. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

5 When the potatoes are tender, add the diced tomatoes and peas. Mix well and cover the pot. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt, if needed, to taste.

Right before you serve, mix in the chopped cilantro. Serve alone or with flatbread or white rice.

46 Comments

  1. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I always have these spices in the pantry, and ground turkey in the freezer (it’s a great substitute for ground pork in many Asian dishes). This is a great recipe for people who think they don’t like curry, and you can make it spicier if that’s your preference (it would be mine!).

  2. MM

    I usually sautee the onion first and then add the ground meat. I’m wondering if there’s a reason the recipe says to add the onion after the turkey?

    It’s easier to brown the meat if you cook it separately from the onions. You can do it either way. ~Elise

  3. Katrina

    My mom used to make this for us when we were growing up – she called it Curry Stew, and it’s now my favorite go-to comfort food. Infinitely flexible, too, in terms of which vegetables you can throw in. I’ll have to try your version!

  4. sudu roy

    Good recipe for bagged lunch! Garam Masala is a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves (approx. equal amount by volume). In India garam masala is always freshly ground and added to the dish at the very end. When I have the whole spices I like to fry them in oil just before adding onions – smells great!

  5. Ro

    Curried Ground Turkey with Potatoes Recipe – Ground Turkey Tip… I haven’t really had great love for ground turkey as I find it doesn’t take on seasonings that well. I’ve discovered that if I pre-season and refrigerate overnight that the flavors come through beautifully.

    I love your site and your recipes.

  6. June

    Looks delicious with a lot of the same flavors as Mulligatawny soup. Since it’s still too hot here for soup, we’ll be giving this a try PDQ. We can always count on you for great inspiration. Thanks Elise.

  7. Awilda

    I made this yesterday and it was delicious!! It’s almost identical to the Aloo Gobi dish that I make all the time, which is what made me want to try it. I’m so glad I did. Thanks for a great recipe.

  8. Dani

    I was so excited to see this yesterday because I had everything on-hand to make it for dinner. I subbed sweet potatoes for the yukon golds, and it turned out great. Even better reheated for lunch today!

  9. Sarah

    Tried this recipe with what I had to hand: ground beef, onions, garlic, fresh okra and canned tomatoes. This was so yummy and fast! I can’t wait to try making properly with turkey…thanks again, Elise!

  10. jabeen begum

    curried ground turky with potato is very excellent, i make yester day it is very grand,
    my husbend and doughters also like so much, but unpeeled potato is better then peeled potato because the skin contain number of minaral.THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR RECEIPES

  11. Susanna

    I made this recipe with a couple notable tweaks:
    Used half a pound of turkey and only 2tbsp of oil
    Added 2 cups of cauliflower and two cups of spinach
    Omitted the peas (not my favorite)
    Omitted the garlic, ginger and tumeric bc I didn’t have them on hand
    Verdict: delicious!
    I put in more garam masala to make sure the dish was flavorful enough, and I had to add more water during the simmering stage. Am excited for lunch tomorrow, thanks for another winner.

  12. Janet Moga

    I made this on Friday night and it was awesome! I had to increase the water (which I replaced with chicken broth) to ensure that I had enough liquid to cook the potatoes. I think this would be great with ground lamb and chickpeas but loved the idea of using grd turkey. I’ll definitely make this again. Thank you!

  13. Lort

    I made this last night, I just love it. I am a curry fan, I used yellow curry paste since I have some I wanted to use up. Mmmmm the house even smelled good this morning. I too can’t wait for lunch to see how it tastes today. I love eating healthy and this sure fits the bill. Thanks for a great recipe.

  14. Soma

    Beautifully done!

    I would brown the meat and the onions separately, well sometimes, as the caramelized onions by themselves lend a absolutely delicious flavor to the curry.

  15. Peggy

    I made this last night. I is great. The flavors work together so well. I did substitute red pepper flakes for fresh red chilies. I served it over a short grain rice. DELISH! It went in my recipe book. I will be making this again.

  16. Sarah

    I made this last night, and unfortunately for myself and my family, this was not spicy enough. It was definitely missing something. As I am not familiar with Indian dishes, I am having a hard time thinking of what to add to make it more interesting. I love the concept of the recipe however!

  17. Danielle

    I was excited to see a Indian recipe with ground turkey. I made this last night and love it. If you are a fan of Indian dishes you must try this one.

  18. Elizabeth

    Made this tonight for dinner, and it was de-lish. Definitely going in the supper rotation, and this will be perfect for when I make dinner for new moms. So yummy! Even the picky husband dove in for seconds!

  19. Helene

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was fantastic. My husband loved it, too. We served it with a dollop of yogurt for some tang and cooling. Also, I always keep jars of ginger paste and garlic paste in the fridge. You can find them in Asian markets. They last for a long time and make recipes like this even easier to prep.

  20. CB

    I made this last night for dinner and then brought leftovers to work for lunch. I made it exactly as described, except without the cilantro (simply because I didn’t have any on hand). The house smelled amazing when it was cooking, and it was a warm, hearty meal. Delicious! Will definitely make this again.

  21. Lisa

    This was absolutely delicious. I added ground lamb (mainly because I just love lamb) and subbed a couple different types of potatoes that I had on hand. Thanks so much for the idea!

  22. mantha

    Just a word about garam masala — get some and keep it around. Once you get to really fancy the taste you’ll find all kinds of things to put it in. Make up your favorite gingerbread recipe base and use garam masala and fresh grated ginger, and a little grated lemon zest, as the flavoring.

  23. terry

    I mentioned it needs fresh ginger WHICH I see it already has listed in the recipe. However, turkey does need a lot of salt for flavor compared to other meats. I always use sea salt and not regular salt. It is much more flavorfulin dishes. Also adding fresh basil is a nice Indian touch.

  24. Candice Hope

    I made this last night and it was very good. I had never made or even eaten any kind of curry before. I think I’d like to try it again in a hash style so the potatoes get crispy… yum!

  25. Angela

    Great dinner – even the picky kid that usually won’t eat anything with a hint of spice/seasoning liked it. Thanks for another terrific recipe.

  26. Shan

    Made this last night. What a great way to use ground turkey! I didn’t muck with the recipe. It was SO good – and maybe even better for lunch today.

    Thank you for the recipe and judging by all the printouts with you “Simply Recipes” and flower logo populating my recipe binder with little “Yums” near the titles – thank you for years of good eating. Fresh, interesting, original! Adore this site!

  27. Paul

    Great recipe! Delicious! Had to sub the yukons for leftover mashed, mixed with sweet potatoes and turned out great. Also added thinly sliced celery at the end for added texture. Will be eating this again tomorrow with naan bread. Thanks Elise!

  28. Michelle Carvalho

    Made this dish tonight and it was fabulous. Very tasty and comforting. Will be making this again in the future. Thank-you!

  29. Rebekah

    This was good! I didn’t have fresh tomatoes, and I knew I’d need more water to cook the potatoes, so I added about 2 cups of crushed tomatoes. I will use fewer potatoes next time.

  30. melissa

    Tasty! We’re planning for a move, so I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand and made a few subs. For spices, I used some Pensey’s Sweet Curry powder, bumped up with additional cinnamon. I’m thinking I might add raisins next time!

  31. momnivore

    Wow – this is the second recipe I’ve made from your website and I have to say this is one of my favorite dishes ever! I made it last night for dinner and everyone (including two little boys) loved it. I forgot to buy peas so I used green beans instead but otherwise stayed true to the recipe (although I don’t do much measuring when it comes to spices – too many dishes to wash). I chose garam masala over curry which I think was the right choice. The flavors were deep and warm and just delicious. And it was really simple enough to be in regular rotation for our weeknight dinners. Thank you so much!

  32. Margarita

    Absolutely YUMMY! Just when I was racking my brain trying to come up with something new for dinner. Thank you for saving me! :) Just finished cooking it and about to enjoy a nice bowl full.

  33. Linda Lu

    I’m cooking it right now. It’s so easy & tasty. Deffinately my new comfort food. Instead of rice we are serving it over Quinoa topped with fresh chopped chives or green onions. Maybe some mango salsa too…Yum!

  34. Al in SoCal

    Coriander vs. Cilantro

    Elise – can you explain why you use one term over the other? Is there any difference or simply in name?

    They are the same plant. Cilantro usually refers to the leafy herb, coriander usually refers to the seed. Though coriander can refer to the fresh herb as well. ~Elise

  35. Jesica

    I made this for dinner the other night with 3/4 lb of ground turkey, and cut up leftover steak.I did not have tumeric or ground coriander, so I added curry powder, poultry seasoning, and ground cumin. This dish was very easy to prepare and also tasted very good. My boyfriend asked me to keep this recipe in the regular rotation.

  36. Rachael

    Hello Elise,

    Just made this and it is WONDERFUL! I am wondering what you might pair with this? Thank you so much, I really enjoy your dishes, as well as my husband.

    Hmm, good question. This is sort of a meal-in-a-bowl. I might just have it with a little rice on the side, as suggested in the recipe. And perhaps some cucumbers in yogurt. ~Elise

  37. velcrobomb

    I liked it! I too was curious about the order of cooking… i.e. onions vs. meat before I read your reply. I ended up cooking it in two pans. One to brown the meat and the other to bring out the flavor in the spices.
    In classic Indian cooking, you always want to get your spices cooking in the oil first to extract the natural oils and flavors of the spices. Then the garlic, onions, peppers. Once everything was ready to go, then I added the meat.
    I like your suggestion to do the turkey in batches; You want browned turkey, not steamed turkey and if you cook too much at a time, then you’ll just end up steaming it.
    Thank you Elise!

  38. pchin

    The dish is really easy to prepare and I love the flavor combinations. It’s also convenient to portion out and freeze for future lunches and quick dinners. A piece of flat bread, salad, and curry is all you need for a complete meal.

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