8 Zesty & Nutrient-Packed Turmeric Recipes You’ll Love

I love cooking with turmeric – both turmeric powder and fresh turmeric root! Not only does it have anti-inflammatory properties, but it also adds a delicious, zesty flavor to dishes like curries, soups, snacks, and even smoothies. Below, I’m sharing some of my favorite nutritious and delicious recipes with turmeric.

recipes with turmeric

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What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice, derived from the root of the Curcuma longa plant (from the same “family” as ginger). It’s native to India and Southeast Asia, and is known for its zesty flavor and a bright orange color.

Nutritional & Health Benefits

Turmeric contains curcumin, an active compound that’s a natural antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It also has healing properties that can help with muscle recovery.

Turmeric is also packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and B6, iron, and manganese. Studies have shown that it can be helpful in treating conditions such as arthritis, digestive and respiratory disorders, and metabolic issues.

Fresh turmeric root vs. turmeric powder: what’s the difference?

Turmeric powder is just ground up and dried turmeric root. When it comes to cooking, they can be used interchangeably in many recipes.

It is important to note that fresh turmeric has a higher concentration of curcumin than turmeric powder, but fresh turmeric root doesn’t keep as long as turmeric powder.

Hot tip if you are using fresh turmeric: be careful, it’s messy! Be sure to keep it on a cutting board because it WILL stain your counters (definitely learned this the hard way…).

Best Recipes with Turmeric

And now, let’s talk about what to make with turmeric! It’s a common ingredient in Asian- and Indian-inspired dishes, so I’ve included some similar dishes below. But it can also be used in sweeter recipes like smoothies and snack bites to add a boost of nutrition and zingy flavor.

Whatever you’re craving, these delicious turmeric recipes are sure to delight your taste buds (and nourish your body at the same time)!

Ginger Turmeric Smoothie with Mango

mango turmeric ginger smoothie

If you haven’t tried turmeric in smoothies, you’re definitely missing out! This turmeric ginger smoothie is packed with flavor – the sweetness of the mango and pineapple pairs so well with the bright, zingy flavor of turmeric and ginger.

It’s lightly spicy, sweet, and creamy, with extra staying power thanks to the addition of protein-packed Greek yogurt and healthy fat from ground flaxseed! A perfect quick breakfast or energy-boosting afternoon snack.

No Bake Turmeric Ginger Energy Balls

no bake turmeric ginger energy balls stacked on a small white plate

Say hello to your new favorite meal prep snack! These lightly sweet and zesty energy bites are packed with nutritious ingredients like nuts, dried fruit, ground flax, turmeric, and ginger. Did I mention they’re also gluten free, dairy free, and vegan?

There’s no added sugar, either – the sweetness of the dried apricots and raisins is a perfect balance!

Turkey Rice Soup

turkey rice soup with vegetables in a dutch oven

The flavor of this cozy turkey and rice soup is elevated even further with the addition of turmeric powder! It’s packed with nourishing vegetables and is easy to make.

You can use leftover rotisserie chicken or turkey to make this recipe even quicker. It’s the perfect easy weeknight meal to warm you up on a cold night.

Spiced Barley Salad with Pine Nuts

pine nut raisin barley salad

I fully believe barley is an underrated grain, and I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t yet! It has a wonderful chew and a slight nutty flavor. Barley salad is a great way to enjoy it (similar to quinoa salad), and this one is GOOD. It’s packed with delicious spices, veggies, white beans, and yes: turmeric. 🙂

A dollop of Greek yogurt on top adds a tasty, creamy “sauce” that makes this easy meal prep grain salad even more delicious and satisfying. This recipe is vegetarian, but you can easily add a protein like chicken or shrimp if you want!

Vegan Chickpea Burgers with Lentils

Vegan burgers can definitely be tasty if done right! The lentils, chickpeas, and brown rice in this recipe make a perfect base alongside mushrooms, spices, and condiments for a boost of flavor.

These easy veggie patties are packed with fiber and protein, and are inspired by Mediterranean falafel! Enjoy them in a salad, in burger buns, or however you like.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Making tikka masala is so much easier when it’s done in a slow cooker. It gives the ingredients and flavors a chance to mingle together longer, plus it slow-cooks the chicken at the same time.

The sauce is rich and creamy, but also dairy free (thanks to the coconut milk), and the combination of warm spices feels incredibly cozy. Serve this over a bed of rice with some greens or veggies (if desired)!

Vegan Tofu Curry

This unique spin on curry is sure to be a new favorite, and can be enjoyed year-round! It features watermelon rind for less food waste (sort of like butternut squash, but less starchy). It soaks up the delicious curry flavor!

This curry recipe is vegan, but you can definitely swap out the tofu for cooked chicken or shrimp if you prefer. Coriander, cumin, turmeric, and curry paste make the sauce extra flavorful and so crave-worthy.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

pickled watermelon rind in a jar

Did you know you can easily make pickles out of watermelon rind? The texture and flavor is actually quite similar to cucumber! This step-by-step tutorial features two tasty flavors to choose from: spicy jalapeño and an Indian-spiced masala variation.

Enjoy these watermelon rind pickles as a snack, or add them to sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more!

I hope these tasty recipes inspire you to try adding turmeric into your diet. 🙂 Enjoy, and let me know in the comments: what’s your favorite way to use turmeric?

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