Turkey Stew with Peppers and Mushrooms

Turkey stew with chunks of turkey, onions, garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms in a smooth but tangy yogurt-tomato base.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced, abut 2 cups
  • 2-4 bell peppers of various colors, sliced thinly
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • A few dashes cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds skinless, boneless turkey thigh or breast, cut into large chunks
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can of plum tomatoes with juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup plain (full fat is best, anything less will likely curdle*) yogurt

*To help prevent curdling, don't skip the cornstarch, use full fat yogurt, and add to dish only when the sauce has cooled below a simmer.


1 Sauté the onions, peppers, garlic with paprika: Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and peppers and sauté them until they begin to soften and lightly brown.

Add the paprika, and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, until the garlic is fragrant. Remove the peppers, onions, and garlic from the pan and set aside.


2 Sauté mushrooms and turkey, return peppers and onions to pan: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms and the turkey to the pan. Sear the mushrooms and turkey over high heat, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the turkey and mushrooms begin to brown.

Reduce the heat to medium, return the peppers-and-onion mixture to the pan and mix well.


3 Add tomatoes, Worcestershire, lemon juice, rosemary, black pepper: Squeeze the tomatoes to break them up, and add them with their juices to the pan, along with the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, rosemary and black pepper. Mix well, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes.


4 Add yogurt with cornstarch: Stir the cornstarch into the yogurt and add to stew. Cook over low heat (do not let simmer or boil), stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens a little.


Serve with rice, polenta, or mashed potatoes.

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  • Elle

    Made this tonight with polenta, we all loved it! Quick and hearty :)


  • Dom

    I made this dish tonight and it came out excellent. I used Trade Joe’s Greek yogurt (just half a cup) and it did not curdle. I paired the dish with the Sauteed Kale with Toasted Cashew Nuts recipe (also on this site) and buckwheat—great meal! Thank you, Elise, for the ideas.


  • katie

    I made this the other night and my husband & I loved it. I added two bunches of chopped kale and a little chicken stock, served over brown rice, dee-lish!


  • Caria

    Served this with roasted potatoes. Delicious!


  • Sarah

    I’m wondering if I’d be able to reheat this in the microwave? I haven’t made stew with yogurt before. Would that cause curdling? Thanks.

    Reheating in the microwave can be a little hard to control, temperature-wise. So, yes, it may cause curdling. But you don’t know until you try it, and even in the yogurt curdles it will still taste good, just won’t look that good. ~Elise

  • Jo A

    I made this dish tonight, it was so bland
    what a disappointment.

    If it was bland, I would recommend checking your paprika. Paprika will go flat when it gets too old. I once made a huge stuffed cabbage dish with a paprika-based sauce that was just incredibly bland. I tasted the paprika I used and sure enough, not a bit of flavor left. The other thing is to make sure you are salting the dish enough. ~Elise

  • sue

    I intended to make this a couple of weeks ago when peppers were on sale, but didn’t get around to it until another rainy day (today). I hadn’t looked at the website again until after I made it, so the sauce did curdle a little. I agree that the small amount of full fat yogurt is not much, but I regularly keep lowfat on hand, so that’s what I used. Still delicious! Thanks again, Elise.

  • Tamara

    Out of necessity, I substituted chicken for the turkey and left out the Worcestershire. I also threw in a slice of lemon with the peel to simmer instead of the T of lemon juice.
    The end result was still divine! Love your site!

  • Darron

    Great recipe! Like some others, I subbed smoked paprika/cayenne for the spices, and chicken for turkey, but the end results were delicious.

    On the topic of the yogurt, just my opinion, but when we’re are talking about a recipe which is not inherently very high-fat to begin with, what’s the ultimate difference in calories/fat content per serving when you use 2% or fat-free yogurt? It’s not like there are 2 cups of cream in the recipe. I mean, if you serve four people, you’re talking about less than 1/4 cup of yogurt per person…when weighed against the superior end result you’re likely to get with full fat yogurt, I mean, I understand that some people are on restricted diets, but I’ll save my calories some place else. In my opinion, there’s still too much lingering obsession with obliterating all fat from recipes left over from bad dietary advice given out by the USDA during the 1980’s. A much better way to cut calories in this recipe would be to just cut out serving it over a starch, and eat it on its own. Not trying to offend, just my two cents (and probably worth even less). “To each his/her own” I guess.

  • Betsy

    Made this tonight. Delicious. Used Greek yogurt and I thought I could get away with 2%, but nope – it curdled. Still loved it. I increased the amount of hot paprika to give it some heat. Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Carolyn

    OMG..I used chicken instead of the Turkey. Replaced the peppers with Portabello Mushrooms. SOOOO delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Des

    Great and healthy recipe. Mine turned out a little bland. I added some cajun spice. Also, I paid a significantly higher price for “plum tomatoes” which tasted the same as regular canned tomatoes – just an fyi.

  • KariVery

    This sounds fab – was wondering, how do you suggest I do this in a slow cooker? I also will use ground turkey shaped into meat balls, and I think I’ll add some yams, too.

    Your guess is as good as mine. This dish cooks very quickly, so frankly I don’t see much point to using a slow cooker for it. ~Elise

  • Juliet

    Made this last night – really yummy. I used non-fat yogurt, so it curdled, but it tasted so good it didn’t matter. Also substituted chicken and smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton) because that’s what I had in the pantry. Looking forward to leftovers tonight!

  • Amy

    Mmm! I’m curious; can I substitue sour cream for the yogurt? I have a non-fat yogurt, or a full-fat sour cream. Reading the comments, it looks like non-fat yogurt is not the way to go, so perhaps sour cream would be a better choice for me?

    Sure, you could mix in some sour cream. You may want to add a little water to thin it out a bit. ~Elise

  • Liz

    Delicious… but the yogurt cooked into little “curdles”, not sure why. Was it too hot when I added it in, or was it that I substituted low-fat yogurt? Mystifying, but ultimately, not a problem. It tasted great :)

    If you use low-fat or non-fat yogurt, you run more of a risk of curdling. Yes, the mixture was still too hot when you put the yogurt in. There is less of a risk of curling when you use full-fat yogurt. ~Elise

  • James

    What would be a suitable substitute for the turkey? It’s very hard to buy around here and if do manage to get my hands in it, it’s not the best quality.

    Chicken or veal. ~Elise

  • Melissa

    This looks great! I buy a lot of ground turkey. Do you think it would work?

    Yes, I think it would work. ~Elise

  • Carly Geehr

    How uncanny – I just adapted one of your turkey recipes (curried ground turkey with potatoes) into a stew a couple nights ago, and now you’re posting another turkey stew I have to try! I might just be eating nothing but turkey stew this week… If I don’t have Worcestershire sauce on hand, will the flavor suffer – and is there something you’d recommend in its place?

    • kenscott

      I live in England. We have “brown sauce” (or “Ideal sauce” ) which I used instead. All I know is the end product tasted good. I simply swirled supermarket low fat yoghourt in at the end ( because that’s what I had) It felt as if a bit of fresh coriander might have gone well too.

  • Kari

    Really excellent stew. I subbed chicken for turkey, and cayanne for hot paprika – it tunred out wonderful though. Super easy to make (except for chopping the onions :)

  • isla shilles

    Hey I was stopping by to say that this recipe rocks, I used it last night and my husband loved it!!! Thanx

  • mike

    Fantastic recipe. first night that I made it, all gone no left overs. Just keep those great recipes coming.