Leftover Chicken Curry and Vegetabes

 Leftover Chicken Curry and Vegetables is a versatile dish that can clean out the ‘fridge while making dinner a snap! And it works great with leftover turkey too!

Welcome to a dish I’ve made… practically forever! For good reason I might add!

Leftover Chicken Curry and Vegetables is based almost entirely on using up foods (chicken and vegetables) lying around the kitchen. And when it all comes together, it’s soooo tasty and satisfying! 

For anyone who’s a dedicated locavore there are times when the vegetables overwhelm. In summer, there aare over-exuberant farmer’s market trips, in fall the bountiful harvest (your own or CSA). Even in spring, there may be leftovers in your freezer, basement or spare ‘fridge! 

leftover veggies in gaarage

My end of winter leftovers!

Because of this, this recipe has a lot of flexibility in the vegetables it uses. I tend to rely heavily on broccoli/cauliflower, carrots and peppers but have added chunks of rutabaga, green beans and more. It seems to come together no matter what!

In truth, I’ve been know to serve a rotisserie or broasted chicken just to have chicken leftovers for this!  And since my brother hosts Thanksgiving, I’ve made my own turkey for leftovers too!

Why You’ll Love This!

Healthy. This dish is loaded with healthy vegetables and chicken or turkey.

Tasty. A delicious blend of spices adds flavor and pulls everything together. Don’t fall for “you only need curry powder and ginger.”

Frugal & Waste Reducing. Do you cringe every time you toss (even compost) a head of cauliflower that you discovered in the back of your refrigerator? Me too.

What You’ll Need


  • Oil. To sautee the vegetables
  • Onion, garlic. For aromatic flavor
  • Vegetables.  Your choice!
  • Curry powder, fresh ginger, coriander, cinnamon, hot pepper flakes, salt. Add flavor
  • Coconut milk.  Adds flavor and creates the sauce.
  • Chopped apple. Raisins. A sweet compliment to the spices.
  • Chicken.  The protein.  Turkey works great too!
  • Lime juice.  Adds flavor.
  • Flour. To thicken the sauce.  You can substitute a gluten free thickener like cornstarch or tapioca starch.
  • Rice. For serving

Special Tools

  • No special tools are needed!

Step by Step Directions

Sautee onion in oil until just tender.  Add garlic and cook another minute. Cook onion

Add remaining vegetables and cook until just slightly crisp.  If using a combination of fresh and frozen, add frozen later so they don’t overcook.  Cook vegetablesMix in spices and salt, until well distributed.  Add coconut milk.  When coconut milk is all melted, add pre-cooked chicken, diced apple and raisins.  

thicken with flourTo thicken, mix lime juice with two tablespoons of flour, then stir this in.  Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened. 

How to Serve

Curried chicken is often served with rice.  That’s wonderful because it helps soak up all that flavorful sauce! Because it already has vegetables and protein, Leftovers Chicken Curry is really a complete meal.  But I always love to add a salad! 

I love serving curry with a good chutney but it isn’t required. When I ran out of homemade chutney and we didn’t like the commercial brand I had, I decided that my original curry recipe lacked pizazz. So I added some of the chutney ingredients directly to the curry and the problem was solved.

But I still love the punch of flavor from a big spoonful of chutney if you have a good one!

Add chutney to curry and rice


As I’ve been saying, this dish is very adaptable!

For vegan or vegetarian, use tempeh or firm tofu, or your favorite meat substitute and leave out the chicken.

To make gluten-free, thicken with potato starch, tapioca flour or your favorite thickener, instead of flour.

And as I’ve mentioned, have fun with whatever vegetable combinations are available to you!


Per Foodsafety.gov,  chicken leftovers will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or up to six months in the freezer . Reheating is easy on the stovetop or in the microwave.

In my corporate madness days, this was a dish I would make in large quantities and freeze. It worked beautifully in sizes for a family meal or smaller amounts for one person!

Tips & FAQs

What kind of chicken can I use?  This is a very accommodating recipe so use whatever you have.  Breast, thighs, rotisserie, fried.  You can even use leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

Don’t omit the salt. This recipe doesn’t have any of the ingredients that commonly add sodium–things like broth and butter. I am cautious adding salt to food but when I left it out, the curried chicken tasted flat. Salt corrected that.

leftover chicken curry

Leftover Chicken Curry and Vegetabes

Leftover Chicken Curry and Vegetables is  Aversatile dish that can clean out the ‘fridge while making dinner a snap!
Author: Inger
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Dish
Servings 8
Calories 487 kcal


  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion large, cut in big chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 cups vegetables mixed, of your choice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 hot pepper flakes or cayenne, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt since no broth or salted butter you do need this
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2-3 Tablespoons curry powder to taste
  • 28 ounces coconut milk 2 cans
  • 1 apple cored and diced (a generous ½ cup diced)
  • ½ cup raisins chopped if large
  • 1/2 cooked chicken or equivalent in turkey
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons flour or 1 Tablespoon corn starch for gluten free
  • Cooked rice for serving
  • Optional Cilantro or parsley as garnish, Chutney for serving


  • Sautee onion in oil until just tender, abou4 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute
  • Add remaining vegetables and cook until just slightly crisp, aboout 10 minutes. If using a combination of fresh and frozen, add frozen later so they don’t overcook.
  • Mix in spices and salt, until well distributed. Add coconut milk.
    When coconut milk is all melted, add pre-cooked chicken, diced apple and raisins.
  • Mix lime juice with two tablespoons of flour (or the cornstarch), then stir this in. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
  • Serve over rice—ideally with chutney.


Calories: 487kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 24gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 20gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 439mgPotassium: 901mgFiber: 9gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 9296IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 7mg
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
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19 thoughts on “Leftover Chicken Curry and Vegetabes

  1. Raymund

    This is a really good idea specially that we always have leftover rotisserie chicken breast, the least favourite part at our home due to its texture and flavour. Putting this in curry would give it so much life, moisture and flavour to the unwated part.

  2. Angela/Soap Mom

    The curry chicken looks delicious and that chutney with this dish sounds lovely. I use organic unrefined coconut oil a lot in my cooking because of all the wonderful benefits. It does add another dimension of flavor. It’s especially good in tropical stir frys like, Thai Coconut Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice.

  3. earthmamasworld

    This looks delicious!! My kids have just recently been enjoying curry, can’t wait to try this one. It’s awesome that you are ‘whipping’ up these delicious meals for your family in the midst of all of the chaos 🙂

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      I once calculated the time it takes to do a fast food run and decided I could do an easy dish at home more quickly (not to mention the other benefits). My kids like this one, so I hope yours do too!

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      Thanks! Since the veggies were cleaned and partially cut before I froze them, all I needed to do on that front was cut them a bit smaller. I guess I should stop whining 😉

  4. Louise

    Sounds good to me! I know what you mean about the lack of fresh food. I grabbed a few bunches of Asparagus along the road the other day. When I went back to get more, the sign was down!

    I’m still skeptical about the coconut oil. I must do more research when time allows.

    Thanks for sharing, Inger…

    1. Inger Wilkerson

      That reminds me that I must eat more asparagus this spring. Someday I’ll start some of my own–but not this year. Are you home then? I hope it is/has been a good trip.

  5. Promenade Claire

    Sometimes pragmatism is the best way, and curry always ticks my boxes 🙂
    I always feel a bit better for using up the freezer contents. We don’t have a massive freezer but there are still plenty of shelling beans in there to eat up. We are also on the go slow or scant supplies from the garden as the new seasons crops are a way off producing yet, lean times! I hope you have a great week – whatever it brings !

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