These portable, veggie and protein packed Whole30-friendly Curry Turkey Bites are a big hit in our family! The cooked patties freeze well so make a double-batch for your packed paleo and gluten-free lunches!

An overhead shot of Curry Turkey Bites with Apricot Ginger Sauce on a white plate. There is a red banner that states the dish is paleo, Whole30, and gluten-free.

Turkey bites everyone will love!

Contrary to popular belief, most of my best friends IRL aren’t Paleo eaters. But who cares? I hang with a gal pal posse that met for regularly scheduled meals and coffee dates—pre-pandemic, of course—to escape for an hour or two from our hectic schedules. These ladies help keep me sane, especially when I’ve been cooped up at home, cranking away on all things Nom Nom Paleo.

Besides making me laugh every time we gab, my friends also keep me grounded in what “normal” folks want to eat. They’ve made clear that my Paleo-fied chocolate cake (a recipe in our Ready or Not! cookbook) passes their scrutiny, but they’re totally not onboard with my offal-filled delights.

Despite our dietary differences, though, we do agree that all recipes should be family-friendly, easy yet flavor-packed, and filled with protein and veggies. If the dish can be made ahead, freezable, and portable, all the better.

An overhead shot of portable Whole30-friendly Curry Turkey Bites + Apricot Ginger Sauce.

A tasty way to cook with ground turkey

Today, I’m dedicating this recipe to my gluten-lovin’ buddy and fellow posse member, Maria, who was thisclose to moving away with her family to the East Coast a few years ago. Luckily, fate intervened, and our “talking club” is intact for the foreseeable future.

Inspired by a recent conversation about ground turkey—Maria’s favorite protein—I experimented in the kitchen with different vegetable and spice combinations to come up with the perfect savory bite.

Can you use other ground meat?

If you’re not a ground turkey super-fan like Maria, feel free to substitute ground chicken, pork, beef, bison, or lamb. (Heck, you can even throw in some ground hearts, too, if you’re feeling extra Paleo.) I don’t like to use super lean ground meat for these Curry Turkey Bites (or any recipe really), so get ground chicken thighs or ground meat with at least 15% fat.

Can you change the vegetables?

Definitely! Think of this recipe as a clean-your-fridge-out type of dish and use whatever veggies you have in the fridge. If you’re using shredded zucchini or a vegetable that has a high moisture content, make sure you salt it and/or squeeze out the excess liquid before adding them to the turkey bites.

One thing you can’t substitute in the turkey bites is fresh ginger in place of ground ginger. Using fresh ginger in place of the ground ginger will make the patties mushy because fresh ginger root contains an enzyme that breaks down protein. (Fresh ginger is a-OK in the sauce!)

What kind of Whole30 jam is in the sauce?

The tangy and sweet dipping sauce makes the turkey bites taste even better, but make sure you find a jam that’s sweetened with only fruit and isn’t packed with other crazy ingredients.

I buy St. Dalfour brand (it’s not a sponsor—I just like the stuff, and it’s pretty widely available), and its plum, apricot, and peach spreads work equally well in this recipe.

Three jars of St. Dalfour Whole30-friendly jam. There is a plum, apricot, and peach jam bottles.

Ingredients

Curry Turkey Bites

  • Ground turkey (step away from the super low-fat stuff!)
  • Shredded sweet potato (about 1 large one)
  • Finely chopped Swiss chard leaves
  • Egg
  • Minced garlic
  • Ground ginger (fresh ginger may make the patties mushy!)
  • Serrano pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
  • Scallions
  • Indian curry powder 
  • Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt
  • Juice and zest from 1 lime

Apricot-Ginger Sauce 

How to make curry turkey bites

Preheat the oven to 400° F convection bake or 425° F non-convection bake with the rack in the middle position. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all the turkey bite ingredients: ground turkey, shredded sweet potatoes, chopped chard leaves, whisked egg…

Adding the shredded vegetables, ground turkey, and whisked eggs into a mixing bowl to make Curry Turkey Bites + Apricot-Ginger Sauce

…garlic, ginger, serrano pepper (if using), sliced scallions, curry powder…

Adding lime zest and curry powder in a mixing bowl filled with ingredients for Whole30 Curry Turkey Bites

…salt, and the zest and juice from one lime.

Squeezing lime juice into a mixing bowl filled with the raw ingredients for healthy Curry Turkey Bites

Yes, these patties are packed with vegetables.

An overhead shot of the raw ingredients of Curry Turkey Bites in a mixing bowl.

Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together until well combined, but don’t overwork the mixture.

Using hands to mix the raw ingredients of Curry Turkey Bites in a large silver bowl.

You can check for seasoning by pinching off a bit of the meat mixture and frying up a tiny patty. Taste it, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Frying a small tester Curry Turkey Bites in a cast iron skillet to taste for seasoning.

Scoop out heaping tablespoon balls and arrange them on the two lined baking sheets, making sure they sit about 2 inches apart.

Using a scooper to portion out Curry Turkey Bites on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.

Smoosh each ball with your fingers into ½-inch thick patties.

A hand is shown pressing down paleo Curry Turkey Bites into flat patties.

Cook one tray in the oven for 15  minutes or until browned on the edges and cooked through, rotating the tray at the midway point. Bake the second tray of patties the same way.

An overhead shot of a batch of healthy Curry Turkey Bites fresh out of the oven.

While the bites are baking, make the dipping sauce.

In a small saucepan, combine the coconut aminos, apricot jam…

Measuring coconut aminos and apricot jam into a small saucepan to make Whole30 Apricot Ginger Sauce

…and fresh ginger.

An overhead shot of someone adding a spoonful of minced ginger to a saucepan filled with ingredients for homemade Whole30 Apricot-Ginger Sauce

Stir the sauce over medium heat until simmering.

An overhead shot of a small saucepan filled with simmering Apricot-Ginger Sauce for Paleo Curry Turkey Bites

Remove the pot from the heat, and add the freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.

Adding freshly cracked black pepper and lemon juice to a saucepan filled with homemade Apricot-Ginger Sauce

Serve the turkey bites with the dipping sauce.

A shot of a platter of Whole30 Curry Turkey Bites next to a bowl of homemade Apricot-Ginger Sauce

What can you serve with them?

Because these Curry Turkey Bites are packed with veggies and meat, you don’t really need to serve them with a dedicated side dish. It’s a quick and easy all-in-one meal when I don’t have time to cook, like for a fast breakfast on a busy weekday or a quick after-school snack for the kids.

If you want to serve it for dinner, some great side dish ideas include:

How do you save leftovers?

Cooked Curry Turkey Bites can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days or frozen for up to four months. The leftover sauce can be kept in the fridge in a sealed container for about a week.

I normally reheat the turkey bites in a toaster oven or air fryer at 325°F for 3 to 5 minutes or until hot. Alternatively, you can fry the frozen patties in a small skillet over medium heat with some melted ghee (about 2-3 minutes per side) and transport them in your storage containers to keep them warm until you’re ready to nosh!

Also, these portable bites taste great right out of the fridge so you can eat them cold or room temperature if you can’t heat them up. Different strokes for different folks!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Curry Turkey Bites and Apricot Ginger Sauce

4.96 from 24 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings 30 bites
These portable, veggie and protein packed Curry Turkey Bites are a big hit in our family! The cooked patties freeze well so make a double-batch for your packed lunches!

Ingredients 
 

Curry Turkey Bites

  • 1 pound ground turkey step away from the super low-fat stuff!
  • 2 cups shredded sweet potato
  • 1 cup finely chopped Swiss chard leaves loosely packed
  • 1 large egg whisked
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger fresh ginger may make the patties mushy!
  • 1 serrano pepper seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Indian curry powder 
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • Juice and zest from 1 lime

Apricot-Ginger Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • ½ cup apricot jam sweetened with fruit juice
  • ½   teaspoon minced fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400° F convection bake or 425° F non-convection bake with the rack in the middle position. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the turkey bite ingredients: ground turkey, shredded sweet potatoes, chopped chard leaves, whisked egg, garlic, ginger, serrano pepper (if using), sliced scallions, curry powder, salt, and the zest and juice from one lime.
  • Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together until well combined, but don’t overwork the mixture.
  • You can check for seasoning by pinching off a bit of the meat mixture and frying up a tiny patty. Taste it, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Scoop out heaping tablespoon balls and arrange them on the two lined baking sheets, making sure they sit about 2 inches apart. Smoosh each ball with your fingers into ½-inch thick patties.
  • Cook one tray in the oven for 15  minutes or until browned on the edges and cooked through, rotating the tray at the midway point. Bake the second tray of patties the same way.
  • While the bites are baking, make the dipping sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut aminos, apricot jam, and fresh ginger. Stir the sauce over medium heat until simmering. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat, and add the freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.
  • Serve the turkey bites with the dipping sauce!

Video

Notes

Using fresh ginger in place of the ground ginger may make the patties mushy! Fresh ginger contains an enzyme that can break down protein. (Fresh ginger is a-OK in the sauce!)
Pro-tip: The cooked turkey bites can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. I fry the frozen patties over medium heat with some melted ghee (about 2-3 minutes per side) and transport them in a nifty LunchBots Thermals to keep them warm until you’re ready to nosh! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Fiber: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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28 Comments

  1. These were AMAZING!!! My whole family loved them and are looking forward to me making them again soon.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these bites with pork and left out the pepper and my husband ate an entire tray himself! It’s a few days later and I have some in the oven right now made with turkey! Definitely a winning recipe and full of good stuff!! I would say you can half the recipe for the sauce (we ended up only using half) but it’s so good it really would hurt to have a little leftover for another meal … or when you decide you need to make a whole ‘nother batch!!