Instant Pot Holiday Turkey Biryani (leftover turkey recipe)


instant pot holiday turkey biryani

This festive turkey biryani recipe is the best way to use up your holiday turkey.

I’m reluctant to call this a leftover turkey recipe because, really, this recipe is worth setting aside cooked turkey to make. But I guess it is what it is lol – a festive way to make use of leftovers.

instant pot turkey biryani - leftover turkey recipe

This turkey biryani has everything you’d expect to find in regular biryani: whole spices, ground spices, caramelized onions, ginger, and garlic.

My recipe also calls for several toppings. Because this is a “leftover recipe,” I think fresh herbs are essential here. Use plenty of fresh cilantro and mint to make this biryani feel bright and new.

And for a final festive touch, top the biryani with chewy red cranberries and crunchy green pumpkin seeds. These red and green toppings are a bit of a change from the usual ghee-coated cashews and raisins, though if that’s what you’ve got, you can’t go wrong, so go ahead and use them. I bet golden raisins or green pistachios would look and taste great too.

To round out this festive (leftover) meal, serve this biryani with my bright reddish-pink beet raita and my sweet, spicy, and tangy cranberry chutney.

instant pot turkey biryani - leftover turkey recipe

Instant Pot Holiday Turkey Biryani (leftover turkey recipe)

instant pot holiday turkey biryani

Instant Pot Holiday Turkey Biryani (leftover turkey recipe)

5 from 5 reviews
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Cuisine Indian


  • 1 pound chopped cooked turkey skin removed (preferably dark meat)
  • 1 cup basmati rice rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger

Whole spices:

Ground spices:


  • ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds or cashews
  • Fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • Fresh mint leaves chopped


  • Press the sauté button and adjust the heat to the highest setting. Add the oil to the pot and once it’s hot, add the whole spices and stir. Once the cumin seeds turn brown add the onions. Stir-fry for 6-7 minutes or until the onions begin to brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, then add cooked turkey and ground spices and mix well. Then add the water and rice and mix well (since the turkey is already cooked, I suggest mixing the water and rice together).
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro, mint, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Jackie P says

    5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe. It transformed our leftovers into a delightfully disguised leftover dinner. To be honest, I didn’t even cook it in the Instant Pot. I had leftover rice, so I just sauteed the onion and whole and powdered spices in oil. Then I added some broth and some fresh chopped broccoli and carrots to steam them. Then I added the turkey and my leftover rice. This was warming and delicious and super easy. We loved it.

  2. Nidhi says

    Excited to try this, this evening! How many servings will this make? I have a lot of leftover turkey!
    Is it possible to double it– if so double all ingredients? Change cooking time? Thanks!

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