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This Turkey Salad is a fresh, satisfying dish loaded with fruit, veggies, and nuts. It comes together quickly and is the perfect way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!

Looking for other delicious ways to turn holiday leftovers into a whole new meal? Try these turkey cranberry sliders, this comforting turkey noodle soup, or an easy turkey casserole next!

Turkey salad inside of a croissant.

Turkey Salad Recipe

The taste of turkey salad is incredibly delicious! Infused with the delicious flavors of your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, this twist on your classic chicken salad recipe is going to knock your socks off! This recipe is easy to mix together with cooked turkey, dried cranberries, chopped pecans, green onions, celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and salt & pepper. It’s a wonderful satisfying lunch, and it’s great served at parties, potlucks and other special events. Enjoy it spooned on your favorite bread, lettuce wrap or a croissant roll (my favorite!).

A turkey salad sandwich is the perfect meal after you’ve enjoyed the big Thanksgiving feast. It’s great for lunch or a light dinner, and takes hardly any effort to mix together. Simply, chop up the turkey, mix in all the other ingredients, and let it chill until you’re ready to eat. It’s a great make-ahead dish and is delicious on buttery croissants or just served on sandwich bread or in a tortilla wrap. My family even loves to enjoy it with crackers!

What You Need for Turkey Salad

Aside from the turkey, this turkey salad recipe uses common ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen. If you don’t happen to have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, you can use thick-sliced turkey deli meat, or even leftover cooked chicken.

  • Turkey Meat: Chopped leftover turkey meat is best, but you could sub with chicken or a thick-sliced deli meat.
  • Dried Cranberries: So there’s a pop of chewy sweetness in every bite!
  • Pecans: Chopped pecans add a nutty crunch to this otherwise creamy salad.
  • Green Onions: Adds dimension and a lovely kick.
  • Celery: Be sure the celery is finely diced so the salad has fresh, crisp texture.
  • Mayonnaise: The base that helps bind all of the ingredients together. Use real mayo for the best flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: For brightness, add fresh lemon juice.
  • Dijon Mustard: Adds the perfect amount of zippy flavor! 
  • Salt & Pepper: Brings all of the flavors together.

How to Make This Recipe

One of the best things about this recipe, is it’s great for using up leftover turkey! There’s no extra cooking or baking! It’s so simple to just mix everything together, and you have yourself a delicious meal!

  1. Mix Ingredients: In a medium-sized bowl combine the turkey, dried cranberries, pecans, green onions, and celery. 
  2. Make the Dressing: In another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon, and Dijon mustard. 
  3. Combine Dressing with Turkey Mixture: Add the mayonnaise mixture to the turkey mixture. Stir to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve: Enjoy with croissants, romaine, or with crackers.
3-photo collage of the chopped turkey, mayo mixture, and mix-ins being combined.

Tips and Variations

Crunchy, creamy, savory, and a little bit sweet, turkey salad is one of my favorite lunch recipes!

  • Chill Salad: For best results, allow the salad to chill in the fridge for at least an hour, so all of the flavors meld together.
  • Meat: If you don’t have turkey, rotisserie chicken is a convenient, flavorful option.
  • Nuts: Pecans are a classic but you can use walnuts, almonds, or cashews. Roast them for a bit of extra flavor. 
  • Mayonnaise: If you are not a fan of mayo, you can use sour cream or non-fat Greek yogurt for your turkey salad. You can even use half mayo and half Greek yogurt to lower the calories.
  • Different Fruit: Want to change it up? Instead of dried cranberries, add about 1 cup quartered grapes or chopped apples.
Turkey salad served in a gray bowl.

Serving Suggestions

This turkey salad tastes amazing spread over a flaky croissant. You can also serve it with sandwich bread, crackers or in lettuce cups for a lighter option. Here are some tasty side options to make it a hearty meal!

Leftover Turkey Salad

Turkey salad tastes even better the next day! If you have leftovers, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to about 4 days.

A croissant filled with turkey salad.

More Turkey Recipes

Looking for more delicious ways to use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? I’ve got you covered with some tasty options!

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Turkey Salad

5 from 1 vote
By: Alyssa Rivers
This Turkey Salad is a fresh, satisfying dish loaded with fruit, veggies, and nuts. It comes together quickly and is the perfect way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a medium-sized bowl combine the turkey, dried cranberries, pecans, green onions, and celery.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon, and Dijon mustard.
  • Add the mayonnaise mixture to the turkey mixture. Stir to combine then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with croissants, romaine, or with crackers.

Notes

Turkey salad tastes even better the next day! If you have leftovers, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to about 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 472kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 16gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 21gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 342mgPotassium: 277mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 172IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: lunch
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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