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Elyse Kopecky Shares Her Turmeric Coconut Curry Sauce Recipe

Add some creamy golden goodness to your meal prep arsenal.

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This turmeric sauce recipe from Elyse Kopecky is the cookbook author’s go-to for quick weeknight dinners. “Weeknight dinners are as simple as tossing rice into my Instant Pot, warming up a homemade sauce, and drizzling it on a bowl of leftover roasted veggies and chicken with rice,” she says. She shows you exactly how to make it in the video below.

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Part of the Mastering Meal Prep with Elyse Kopecky video series. Plus, get how-tos and recipes for her Green Goddess Tahini and Apple Cider Vinaigrette sauces.

Read transcript and find the recipe, below:


Today, we’re going to make Turmeric Coconut Curry sauce. This is one of my favorite creamy, rich sauces for power bowls or rice bowls.

You’ll start off with an onion, one onion that you’re going to finely chop and sauté in a little bit of olive oil. And then we have a can of coconut milk, preferably the full fat coconut milk, that is going to be the main base for your sauce.

As seasonings to brighten the flavor, we’re going to use three cloves of fresh garlic. And then our spices include turmeric, which has a really bright yellow color. A really amazing anti-inflammatory spice. We have a curry powder, and then if you like spice, you’re going to add a little extra kick with some fresh ground cayenne.

To start, you’ll want to chop one onion. Make sure you reference my video on knife skills so you know how to chop an onion like a pro. All right, our onion is ready to go.

And now I’m going to mince up our garlic again, because at the end, we’re going to blend it with a blender or an immersion stick, your garlic just needs to be roughly minced.

All right, now we are ready to go to the stove to simmer up the sauce. And I’m going to show you how to make a sauce in less than 10 minutes. We are going to heat our pan. You need a medium-sized sauce pan, and you want to turn it to medium high heat. We’re going to add about one tablespoon of olive oil, and that’s just enough to sauté the onion. You want to sauté your onion for about five minutes, just until it softens.

Anytime you’re sautéing onion, you want to add salt that helps the onion release juices and brings out the flavor. We’re adding a half a teaspoon of salt. This is going to be enough salt for the entire sauce recipe. All right, that onion is getting nice and soft. You don’t want any caramelization on it or browning, you just want it to the point where it’s starting to melt a little bit. We’re going to add the garlic, let that soften just for a minute. And then we’re going to add the spices.

Anytime you’re cooking with spices, always have your liquid ready to go because the spices are going to cook super quick. I have right here, curry powder. I’m going to add one tablespoon of curry powder.

And then we’re adding one teaspoon of ground turmeric. If you like spice, we’re going to add some ground cayenne. You can add about an eighth of a teaspoon. If you’re brave, add a little bit more up to a quarter teaspoon. If you really like good heat. And then we’re just going to give this a quick sauté for about 30 seconds. Just long enough to start to smell the spices cooking, but you don’t want them to brown or burn. So when they start to stick to the bottom of the pot, you’re going to add your coconut milk—that’s one can of coconut milk.

This recipe is so simple. That’s it. Now you just let it simmer, bring it to a boil. So turn up your heat just for a minute to get it to a boil. And then you’re going to turn it to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

The sauce looks, it’s been simmering for 10 minutes. It’s gotten a little bit thicker, smells amazing, and we are ready to turn off the heat and blend it up to a nice smooth sauce. I’m going to use an immersion stick blender, which is one of these little handy tools. If you don’t have one of these, you can transfer the sauce to a regular blender, but I really prefer to use this because it’s easier clean up. So, let’s turn off the heat.

You want to be careful when you’re blending hot sauces because it can splatter. Fully immerse the stick in the sauce. And again, if you prefer, you can transfer the sauce to a Vitamix or to your other blender and blend it there. But this is just a little bit easier for cleanups. And now we have this nice creamy Coconut Curry sauce which is going to be easy to store in the freezer or keep in the fridge for up to five days.

Keep it on hand for last minute, quick weeknight dinners. This is one of my absolute favorite simple sauces.

Turmeric Coconut Curry Sauce Recipe

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, for one minute (be careful not to burn the spices).
  2. Stir in coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld, about 10 minutes.
  3. Use an immersion (stick) blender to blend the sauce until smooth. (Or transfer the sauce to a blender and process until smooth. To save time, this sauce can also be left chunky.)
  4. Store sauce in a glass jar in the fridge for up to one week. Freeze leftover sauce in individual portions (we recommend using freezer-safe half-pint glass jars) and keep stocked in your freezer to help you pull off last-minute meals.

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