masala spiced turkey featured

Masala Spiced Turkey With Homemade Mushroom Gravy

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This masala spiced turkey, brined overnight in a masala spiced brine, and then smothered in a fresh cilantro, ginger, garlic and yogurt paste with spices will satisfy your craving for a tender, juicy turkey with a ton of flavor.

masala spiced turkey presentation 2

This is our take on an Indian inspired oven roasted turkey with vegetables. It’s just as tender and juicy as our go to holiday turkey recipe, if not more so.

We had been excited to try a masala spiced turkey for awhile and finally gave it a go. We have a tough time venturing away from our usual turkey recipe because we love that one so much.

But we decided to have turkey again and wanted to make it differently.

Turkey is such a great source of protein and a lean meat that is perfect to have more than once or twice a year on holidays.

It’s a great main course to serve your family any time. The leftovers allow for a number of tasty recipes.

Why not consider a masala spiced turkey for Thanksgiving or for another special dinner occasion any time of year. Just be sure that all of your guests enjoy spicy food, of course. 🙂

As well, you may need another main course for the kiddos.

Although, as you cut into the turkey, away from the surface, the turkey is milder and might be fine. But if you’re unsure of the spice tolerances, have a back up plan in place – just in case.

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Ingredients in Masala Spiced Turkey

masala spiced turkey ingredients mise en place
  • Turkey — we had a twelve pound turkey that was perfect for eight people. You may need a larger turkey for more guests.
  • Spiced Turkey Brine Recipe — allow the turkey to brine overnight, submerged in a large stock pot full of water to fully cover, as well as the following spices:
    • Kosher salt — one and a half cup of kosher salt
    • Cinnamon Stick
    • Cardamom Pods
    • Allspice Berries
    • Fenugreek
    • Peppercorns
    • Cumin Seeds
    • Coriander Seeds
  • Broth — you can use homemade or store bought chicken broth.
  • Onion — cut into large pieces.
  • Cauliflower — cut into large florets.
  • Mini Potatoes — cut each in half.
  • Mushrooms — use whole mushrooms.
  • Spices — cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods, Indian bay leaf or regular.
  • Garlic — add several peeled, whole cloves of garlic. These are so good when roasted!
  • Ginger — add a peeled, one inch pieces of ginger or more. The roasted ginger is a real treat if you love ginger!
  • Masala Roasted Carrots Parsnips Stuffing Recipe— dice the following vegetables into small cubes, toss with olive oil and the spice blend, then use it as a stuffing inside the turkey.
    • Carrots
    • Parsnips
    • Radishes
    • Olive Oil
    • Masala Spice Blend
  • Masala Paste Recipe — prepare this flavorful paste to rub onto the turkey
    • Cilantro – use fresh cilantro
    • Garlic — fresh cloves of garlic, peeled
    • Ginger — fresh ginger, peeled
    • Labneh — thick Turkish yogurt, or use plain Greek yogurt
    • Masala Spice Blend (turmeric, cumin, coriander, Kashmiri chili pepper, salt)

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How To Make Masala Spiced Turkey

OK – so here’s how it goes.

STEP 1 — Brine

The turkey is first brined in a masala spiced brine overnight. The turkey will be submerged in a stock pot full of water and kosher salt, along with spices for extra flavor.

STEP 2 — Rinse, dry and cover in masala paste

The next day, the turkey is removed from the brine, carefully rinsed and patted dry. Then, it’s completely covered in a masala spiced paste that is a blend of thick yogurt (labneh), cilantro, garlic, ginger and spices.

STEP 3 — Add the vegetable stuffing and around the roasting pan

Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, breast side down.

You can include masala carrots and parsnips to stuff the turkey with. Or if you’d rather, you can stuff the masala spiced turkey with okra stuffing.

Place in preheated oven for four hours (you will need to turn the turkey over after two and a half hours).

After two and a half hours you can add remaining vegetables around the roasting pan. Note: If you like the vegetables soft, you can add at the beginning, or after one hour of cooking time.

Place cauliflower, mushrooms and mini potatoes around the turkey to roast along with.

It’s great to take advantage of the roasting time, to get flavorful vegetable side dishes at the same time. The vegetables you include will get extra flavor from the turkey as well as the spice paste.

After it’s cooked, you’ll have an extremely flavorful natural gravy from the bottom of the turkey pan.

STEP 4 — Make the gravy

You can serve the turkey with the spiced turkey drippings as is, or mix in some quick ingredients, like yogurt to thicken it up for a spiced gravy.

I like to thicken it up just a little with some labneh and add sliced mushrooms. You could also make a simple roux to thicken the gravy even more. That’s the process outlined in the recipe card – heat up butter and flour and mix with some milk, then add to the turkey drippings.

You can slice the mushrooms you’ve roasted along with the turkey, or stir fry some sliced mushrooms on the stove top in some butter or oil. Alternatively, use canned sliced mushrooms.

What To Serve With Masala Spiced Turkey With Homemade Mushroom Gravy

This masala turkey includes a variety of vegetables, when you consider the stuffing as well as the potatoes and cauliflowers around the baking pan.

Okra Stuffing With Goji Berries is the perfect side dish or stuffing for a masala spiced turkey. You can stuff the turkey with it or keep it separate from the turkey.

We usually keep ours as a side dish and stuff the turkey with parsnips and carrots instead.

Instead of okra bread stuffing, you can eliminate the bread altogether. Simply stir fry okra along with the rest of ingredients (omit bread) in the above recipe with goji berries.

The combination of flavors from celery, goji berries and okra is also super tasty without the bread.

Or if you’d rather, bhindi masala okra curry is another excellent vegetable side dish (shown below at bottom of post).

It’s easy to make, a simple stir fry, but with unique flavor and texture. Okra is especially good alongside masala turkey and gravy.

You can include these Instant Pot side dishes as well:

Masala Spiced Turkey Storage Tips

Store your leftover cooked masala turkey covered in your fridge for three to four days.

If you have leftovers beyond three days, you can transfer the leftovers to your freezer. Be sure that you pack the turkey in an air tight, freezer safe container. The turkey leftovers will last for several months.

Best Recipes for Turkey Leftovers

This well seasoned masala turkey will give you the best turkey leftovers for even more Indian inspired dishes. These masala turkey leftovers are excellent in any recipe, but especially in spicier ones.

Try these favorites:

You’ll Also Love

The perfect vegetable side dish for masala spiced turkey with homemade mushroom gravy. You can’t go wrong with bhindi (okra).

Or you can serve this quick weeknight dinner with your favorite curries, basmati rice and a side of raita.

Bhindi Masala Okra Curry

bhindi masala okra curry recipe
Bhindi Masala Okra Curry – Side Dish for Masala Spiced Turkey

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masala spiced turkey recipe

Masala Spiced Turkey with Homemade Mushroom Gravy

Susan & Björn
A tantalizing spiced paste with cilantro, garlic and ginger takes an amazing oven roasted turkey to the next level. Not to mention the spiced homemade gravy you get from it! The festivities continue after the party, with the most amazing spiced turkey leftovers that are perfect to further enhance your favorite flavorful dishes. Serve with spiced cranberry pineapple sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potato mash and okra stuffing for a stress free occasion!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Calories 651 kcal
Fiber 7 g
Carbohydrates 32 g


  • 1 Turkey, fresh, 12 pounds, giblets removed

Masala Turkey Brine

  • 1.5 Cups Kosher Salt
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 4 Allspice Berries, whole
  • 1 teaspoon Black Peppercorns, whole
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek Leaves, dried
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds, whole
  • 6 Cardamom Pods
  • Water, enough to cover turkey completely

Masala Roasted Carrots Parsnips Turkey Stuffing

  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 2 Parsnips, diced
  • 8 Radishes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Masala Spice Blend, 1 tsp garam masala, ½ tsp each of turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt and ¼ tsp Kashmiri chili pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Masala Paste

  • ½ Cup Cilantro, fresh, chopped (or 1/3? cup)
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger, minced
  • ½ Cup Labneh
  • 1 tablespoon Masala Spice Blend, 1 tsp garam masala, ½ tsp each of turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt and ¼ tsp Kashmiri chili pepper

Oven Roasted Turkey With Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 Red Onion, cut large or in quarters
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, peeled, whole, optional
  • 1 Inch Ginger, peeled, one inch piece(s), optional
  • 12 Mushrooms, whole
  • 12 Mini Potatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1 Bay Leaf, Indian bay leaf, or regular
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 8 Cardamom Pods, green
  • 8 Cloves, whole
  • 1.5 Cups Broth, homemade or store bought for convenience, any chicken, vegetable or turkey giblet stock

Mushroom Gravy

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ Cup milk, full fat
  • Mushrooms from Turkey, sliced, or use canned for convenience
  • ½ teaspoon Fenugreek Leaves


Brine Turkey Overnight

  • Rinse turkey and place it in a large stock pot. Heat water in a large saucepan and add the kosher salt spices. Stir until salt is dissolved. Allow to cool and add water salt, spice mix to the large stock pot with turkey. Add more water if necessary to ensure the turkey is fully submerged in salt water brine. Place the stock pot with turkey in your refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.
    spiced turkey brine step 3
  • After brining, take the turkey out of the stock pot and thoroughly rinse the turkey with cold water to remove the brine. Discard all of the brine water. Let all of the water drip off the turkey. You may have to turn the turkey upside down and rotate it several times to let all of the water out from the cavity. Pat the turkey dry using paper towels and place it BREAST DOWN/BACK UP in a roasting pan.
    masala spiced turkey step 1

Make the Masala Carrots Parsnips Stuffing

  • Combine all ingredients (diced vegetables, masala seasoning and oil). Mix thoroughly. Fill the turkey cavity with the masala carrots, parsnips and radishes.
    masala spiced turkey step 2

Make Paste and Rub Paste Onto Turkey

  • Add fresh cilantro, garlic cloves and ginger to a food processor.
    masala marinade step 2
  • Add in labneh and spice blend.
    masala marinade step 5
  • Blend thoroughly into a smooth paste.
    masala marinade step 6
  • Rub half of the paste onto the turkey. Reserve the other half for when you turn the turkey over after 2.5 hours of cooking.
    masala spiced turkey step 3

Prepare Turkey in Roasting Pan and Roast for 2.5 Hours

  • Add broth and spices around the bottom of the roasting pan. If you prefer your roasting pan vegetables to be soft, add them in now, otherwise if you like them crisp you can add them later.
  • Roast in preheated oven at 350 °F for 2.5 hours.
    masala spiced turkey step 6

Turn Turkey Over, Add More Masala Paste and Roast for 1.5 Hours More

  • After 2.5 hours of roasting in the oven, bring the roasting pan to the counter. The turkey will need to be rotated to a BREAST UP/BACK DOWN position. You can use the handles of two metal or wooden cooking utensils inserted at each end of the turkey and flip it, or you can use folded paper towels and oven mitts to hold on to the turkey and turn it over.
    masala spiced turkey step 7
  • Use a silicone brush (to avoid burns) to brush more masala paste onto the turkey. Completely cover this side of the turkey with masala paste. Place vegetables (cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, ginger and potatoes) around the turkey. *NOTE: Unless you have already added the vegetables earlier to obtain soft vegetables – then disregard this step.
    masala spiced turkey step 8
  • Return turkey to oven and cook for 1.5 hours more, or until the internal temperature is 180 °F. Use a meat thermometer with a probe inserted at the thickest MEAT part of the turkey for most accurate reading. Make sure the probe doesn't touch the bones or poke through the meat.
  • Allow to sit out for 20-30 min. While turkey is resting, it's a good time to make the gravy and place any side dishes that need to be reheated into the oven. That way, all will be ready at the same time.
  • Once turkey is ready, carefully transfer to a serving platter (see above for tips on how to flip or remove the turkey from the roasting pan). Place the roasted vegetables on the platter around the turkey or on a serving dish. Remove the masala carrots and parsnips to a serving dish. Serve with cranberry pineapple sauce, the gravy, mashed potatoes and okra stuffing. Enjoy!
    masala spiced turkey featured

Make the Gravy

  • Heat a tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan on medium high heat. Whisk in a tablespoon of flour. Add a half cup of milk and continue to whisk until smooth. When it starts to bubble and thicken, remove from heat.
  • Pour in a cup of the turkey drippings. Allow to simmer for a few minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and fenugreek leaves to the gravy. Note: you can slice mushrooms from the turkey roasting pan, use canned sliced mushrooms or omit them if you prefer.


Calories: 651kcal Carbohydrates: 32g Fiber: 7g Net Carbohydrates: 25g Protein: 75g Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 7g Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monounsaturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 238mg Sodium: 21937mg Potassium: 1501mg Sugar: 5g Vitamin A: 2887IU Vitamin C: 27mg Calcium: 161mg Iron: 7mg


The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.

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