40+ Hearty Turmeric Recipes
Chances are turmeric's on your radar because it's good for you—in addition to being a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, turmeric has been used as medicine for thousands of years. However, turmeric's nutritional benefits aren't the only reason you should add it to your dishes—the spice brightens any food it touches and adds an earthy complexity to soups, meats, and even beverages.
Caribbean Sweet Potato Soup
Blend everyone’s favorite low-carb spud with floral lemongrass, fresh ginger, and creamy coconut milk for a Caribbean dish to warm even your coldest winter nights. Ladle into dark bowls for a bold contrast to the sunset-orange color (thanks, turmeric!), then give it a Pollock-like drizzle of coconut cream.
A standard in Indian cuisine, biryani gets plenty of flavor and fragrance from the spice mix, which typically includes turmeric, cardamom, ginger, and cumin. We use basmati rice here, which is a delicate white rice with an almost floral aroma. We particularly like Royal brand basmati, which has extraordinarily long grains.
Veggie Bowl with Tofu Scramble
Chicken-Broccoli Mac and Cheese with Bacon
A little bit of turmeric enhances the color here; it's a bit of a trick that makes you perceive the sauce as cheesier than it actually is.
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This copycat version of Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup makes the fan-favorite dish easy to enjoy anytime. Plus, this simple-to-follow recipe rivals the original in terms of flavor, and at a fraction of the cost. The roux (a thickening base made of flour and butter) is used to create the soup’s signature smooth, rich consistency. The addition of turmeric brightens the natural yellow tint of this cheesy soup and adds a subtle depth of flavor. Meanwhile, the white pepper and ground nutmeg lend the soup a gentle warmth that balances out the richness of the dairy ingredients. The chicken broth and cheddar cheese provide a good amount of saltiness in this recipe, but be sure to give it a taste before serving, and stir in an additional pinch of salt if desired.
Dark and Limey
This is a turmeric-laced twist on a Dark and Stormy, the classic dark rum and ginger beer combo. If you don't have fresh turmeric, substitute 1 teaspoon ground turmeric. Lime boosts the tartness of turmeric to make a delightfully refreshing beverage. Myers's Rum is easy to find, but there are many small-batch dark rums now on the market; you may want to experiment with their subtle nuances.
Mussels with Buttery Turmeric Broth
Cooking at home doesn't have to be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming. Mussels are surprisingly affordable and quick and easy to cook. They're also a standout sustainable star, a great option for those looking to make better seafood choices. A Dutch oven is key here; the roomy pot with a tight lid steams the mussels to perfection.
Grilled Vegetables With Creamy Turmeric Sauce
Grilling the vegetables provides a smokey flavor which balances well with the spice notes of the turmeric sauce. Turmeric is spice that is a well-known antioxidant and also provides a golden color to these vegetables.
Turmeric Chicken-and-Chickpea Soup
In place of noodles, which tend to swell in soups, we look to canned chickpeas, which add texture and boost fiber.
Precooked rice and ground turmeric speed up this Spanish shrimp dish and keep cost in check. Let the rice sizzle in the pan to get the prized crispy layer.
Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Cumin
"I love this hot or cold, by itself or as part of a larger meal," says Sera Pelle of this cauliflower dish that's a vibrant yellow from turmeric and fragrant with cumin, cilantro and mint.
One-Dish Chicken and Kielbasa Rice
Carrot-Ginger Turmeric Sauce
Turmeric has some fantastic health benefits and is well worth keeping in rotation in your kitchen. Fresh turmeric looks similar to its rhizome relative—fresh ginger—but with an orange hue. Look for it in well-stocked produce departments and natural-foods stores. Its orange flesh adds vibrant color and turmeric-forward flavor to this sauce. Cooking the vegetables in a touch of coconut oil before pureeing them adds a hint of coconut flavor and also makes them soft enough to create a silky-smooth sauce (but go easy—it's high in saturated fat). Try drizzled over roasted leg of lamb or grilled chicken thighs, or thin with a little more vinegar and olive oil and use it as a salad dressing.
Spanish-Style Shrimp with Yellow Rice
Spinach Simmered in Yogurt
At Bedla House, a homestay in Udaipur, husband-and-wife owners Vijay and Soban Singh Bedla invite guests into their kitchen to watch them cook. Peggy Markel loved the way Soban grabbed spices without stopping to measure quantities, adding just the right amount of coriander and turmeric to this wonderfully rich spinach dish simmered in yogurt.
Pork Chops and Couscous with Tomato-Caper Sauce
This dish easily works with chicken if you don't have pork on hand. Toasting the turmeric in oil is a simple way to develop savory depth--try this technique with any spices you're cooking with. Couscous makes for a quick, versatile side dish that easily adopts different flavor profiles. Israeli couscous has more of a bite to it and can also be served chilled for picnics and to-go lunches. The tomato-caper sauce pairs well with other proteins beyond pork and poultry such as sole or shrimp simply cooked with garlic and butter.
Hanoi-Style Salmon with Turmeric and Dill
In Vietnam, snakehead fish is used for this dish, but Hong Pham and his wife, Kim Dao--of ravenouscouple.com--love to make it with West Coast Copper River salmon. You can use the salmon and sides to create noodle bowls and spring rolls.
If you're wanting to incorporate the health benefits of turmeric into your diet, the options don't get more delicious than this richly spiced drink created by Emanne Desouky, co-owner of Super Juiced in Oakland. (Imagine eggnog, but vegan and good for you.) Desouky includes coconut milk and black pepper to make curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, more bioavailable. You'll need a nut-milk bag or cheesecloth for straining.
Beet Chips with Turmeric-Yogurt Dip
Here's a lighter, more colorful take on the usual chips and dip. Beet chips crisp up in a flash in the microwave. Keep close watch on them to make sure they don't scorch.
This vegetarian entrée is a great introduction to Indian food--subtly spiced with garam masala, curry, and turmeric, the latter two of which can be found in the spice section of your supermarket. Garam masala, a mixture of ground spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and black peppercorns, is often found in gourmet grocery stores or in the Middle Eastern sections of supermarkets. (Recipe by the author of four cookbooks, including The Healthy Cuisine of India.)
Black Pepper-Curry Chicken Sauté
Black pepper adds a subtle spiciness and enhances your body's absorption of turmeric in the curry. For the boldest flavor, use 1 teaspoon peppercorns. Serve with roasted cauliflower (as shown) or broccoli for an extra anti-inflammatory boost.
Sautéed Baby Zucchini with Pecans and Mint
Cutting the baby zucchini diagonally into 1-inch pieces adds fun to the finished vegetables. To keep this dish ultra-simple and kid-friendly, you can omit the turmeric and sauté the zucchini just with butter and salt. For a more forward flavored dish with a pretty golden hue, be sure to add the turmeric. The mint will turn brown quickly; for the prettiest presentation, stir it in just before serving.
Turmeric Lamb Chops with Crispy Potatoes and Broccoli
Lamb loin chops (shaped like mini T-bones) save about 11g sat fat per serving over rib or shoulder chops. You can also ask your butcher to cut "steaks" from a leg of lamb, also lean, or sub 2 (8-ounce) beef sirloin steaks.
Creamy Turmeric Cauliflower Soup
Briefly cooking the pumpkin seeds and cumin in hot oil—a process known as blooming—draws out the aroma of the seeds and spice and deepens their flavor. Turmeric pairs fantastically with winter produce like cauliflower or root veggies, where its brightness, astringency, and tartness balance the earthy sweetness of the plants. Use plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, if you prefer.
Copycat Starbucks Turmeric Latte
Skip the coffee line and make your own trendy golden latte at home.
Spiced Tilapia with Coconut Rice
Two pantry staples—black pepper and turmeric—team up to fight inflammation and add bold flavor to this fast-fix tilapia. Dressing up microwave rice with coconut milk is a smart kitchen hack you’ll turn to again and again.
Turmeric Chicken-Stuffed Peppers
Curcumin, the bright yellow polyphenol compound found in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Preliminary research suggests curcumin may promote weight loss, lower risk of heart disease, and improve blood sugar control. Use a red bell pepper for 8 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more vitamin C than green.
If you loved watching your Mom or Grandmother make various kinds of pickles during the summer, you will get a kick out of making a batch of these Turmeric-Dill Cucumbers. The Master Pickle Brine is used as a base for this recipe and can also be used to pickle any of your favorite seasonal fruits or vegetables. This brine is made up of just four ingredients - rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and salt (plus 1 cup of tap water) – and comes together in just 20 minutes. This easy method would surely make Grandma jealous! The brine makes 4 cups - enough for one 32-oz or two 16-oz pickling jars. Slice the cucumbers and divide them, along with your fragrant dill sprigs, between the pickling jars. Make the Master Pickling Brine, and add the additional herbs, seasonings and spices. Once the sugar in the brine has melted, let it cool a few minutes, then pour it into the cucumber-packed jars. Cover with the lid, make sure it is sealed tightly, and chill a couple of days. This gives all the flavors time to work their way into the cucumbers, turning them into pickles. You can keep the pickles in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Because you are making refrigerator pickles instead of storing them on the pantry shelf, you don’t need to use a hot and steamy water bath to process them. Serve these pickles alongside fried chicken or fried fish, or anytime you need a taste of summer.
Instant Pot Kichidi
This comforting dish is nutty, earthy, and slightly lemony. It’s often given to people who are sick and is packed with nutrients thanks to the lentils, turmeric, and ginger. For optimal flavor, use cumin seeds rather than ground cumin, and temper them in ghee or oil. In a pinch, split yellow peas also make a good base.
Turmeric-Marinated Swordfish Skewers with Harissa and Pistachios
A simple turmeric rub plus a drizzle of chopped pistachios and spicy harissa equals immense flavor on these juicy swordfish skewers. Cut through the heat with a chilled white or rosé, such as a lightly fizzy Portuguese Vinho Verde.
Moroccan Chickpea Stew
Turmeric-Pickled Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs get way more interesting when the eggs are pickled in a tangy brine that also dyes them a lovely color. The brine features turmeric, an orange-fleshed root that lends the eggs golden color and a peppery taste that’s matched by curry flavors in the filling. The longer the eggs marinate in the brine, the firmer they become and the more vibrant the color gets. If you’d like a tangier flavor, use some of the brine to loosen the filling instead of water. To update the look of these eggs, we cut them in half crosswise instead of lengthwise; you’ll need to slice a tiny sliver off each end so the egg halves won’t wobble on the platter.
Arroz Con Pollo
This classic Spanish and Latin America chicken and rice dish cooks in just one pot.
Split Pea-Spinach Dal with Cauliflower
Throughout India, a meal is not complete without some variation of this spice-tempered legume dish. Cumin and turmeric provide slightly bitter notes, but this dish has an overall salty-savory flavor. Split-pea spinach dal with cauliflower is more of a stew than a soup; for a thinner version, decrease the final simmering time.
Gingery Turmeric-Yogurt Dressing
Turmeric Pork Chops with Green Onion Rice
Turmeric Chai Latte
Corn Cakes with Bacon and Turmeric Yogurt
Serve these sweet-savory cakes as a hearty side dish (they would be great with grilled shrimp) or as a lighter entrée with a side salad. Or turn them into an appetizer by making smaller cakes.
Pasta Pearls with Spinach and Turmeric
Vietnamese Tilapia with Turmeric and Dill
A killer savory marinade of shallots, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and turmeric permeates the fish and gives it a beautiful golden color. When you sear the fish in a hot-hot pan (go for stainless steel or cast iron here), it gets fantastically browned.
Shrimp and Sausage Paella
Just a small amount of saffron gives this dish a golden appearance and a pungent aroma. If you don't have saffron, double the turmeric.