Blog Flog: Butter Turkey

It’s like summer comes crashing to a halt on cue the first week of September – suddenly it’s dark before 8, you need to put your wooly socks on, there are leaves crunching underfoot when I take Lou for a walk, and my garden is giving up. Perhaps most ridiculous of all – it’s only a month until Thanksgiving. (!!!) I do love this time of year though, and all the produce that goes with it, and the way the oven warms the house, rather than just heating it up. It makes me want to cook all over again, even though I never stopped cooking over the summer.

It’s been cold and rainy this week, pushing me even further toward comfort food… anything warm and saucy, preferably with some form of bread for mopping. So when the Turkey Farmers of Canada asked me to share a recipe, my first thought was saucy butter turkey, which is so much easier to make than you might think, and a great way to use a turkey breast. (Or leftover roasted turkey, which I know you’ll have a month from now.) And! It’s also so delicious with turkey meatballs (saucy meatballs!), or with added seasonal veggies—try simmering some diced potatoes, cauliflower or zucchini along with the turkey. And though you could pick up a package of naan, I love an excuse to make a batch in a cranked-up hot cast iron skillet.

Butter Turkey
Butter Turkey

Butter Turkey


September 10, 2019


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


1In 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.

2Add 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 turkey is cooked through.

3Stir in the cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve hot over rice or with naan. Serves 4.


About Julie

6 comments on “Blog Flog: Butter Turkey

  1. Bonnie
    September 10, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Could you suggest something as a dairy free substitute for the heavy cream/sour cream?

    • Char
      September 16, 2019 at 12:52 pm

      I use coconut cream where it calls for heavy cream in recipes (both sweet and savoury dishes )and it comes out great!

  2. Ria
    September 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    hi Bonnie

    I almost always use coconut milk when I’m making butter chicken in the past. It works well for me. I don’t see why coconut milk wouldn’t work with turkey.

  3. Barb
    September 11, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Bonnie, SuperStore has a line of dairy free yogurt in the giant yogurt aisle. Look for it beside the Lactose free stuff

  4. Atif GM
    September 18, 2019 at 4:11 am

    it looks yummy.

  5. callie lathem
    November 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I want to know more about how you cooked that perfect looking rice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.