This festive turkey biryani recipe is the BEST way to use up your holiday turkey.
I’m honestly reluctant to call this a leftover turkey recipe because, really, this recipe is worth setting aside cooked turkey to make. So if you’re wondering what to do with leftover turkey or even leftover cooked chicken, this recipe will absolutely blow you away.
The Best Way to Use Leftover Turkey:
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.
Turkey Biryani Ingredients:
- Cooked Turkey (or Chicken): remove the skin, and if possible, use dark meat to avoid over cooking any meat. I’ve also tried this with a combination of dark and white meat and it turns out great.
- Basmati Rice
- Whole Spices: cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, fennel seeds
- Ground Spices: coriander, paprika, salt, garam masala, cayenne, turmeric
- Garnish: dried cranberries or golden raisins, pumpkin seeds or pistachios, cilantro, mint
How to Make Turkey Biryani
Cook the whole spices in some oil, stir, then add the onions and cook until golden/caramelized.
Add the ginger, garlic, stir, then add the cooked turkey and ground spices and mix well.
Add water and rice and mix, then cook.
When it’s done, sprinkle with garnishes like cilantro and mint as well as dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds for a festive touch.
What to Serve with Turkey Biryani
- ½ cup dried cranberries (or golden raisins)
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds and/or pistachios
- 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.
- Add the water and rice and mix well, then 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.