Free: Healthy 5-Ingredient Meals EbookGet It Now
Have leftovers from Thanksgiving and don’t know what to do with them? I love to repurpose all that Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce into brand new recipes — like hearty turkey cranberry casserole, easy turkey soup, and this turkey salad recipe. It’s similar to a chicken salad, but with shredded turkey and a fall flavor profile instead.
With juicy leftover turkey, tangy dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, and a creamy dressing, this is a quick, easy dish that will keep in the fridge all week… if you manage not to devour it before then. 😉
Why You’ll Love This Turkey Salad Recipe
- Savory, sweet, and nutty flavors
- Tender, smoky turkey
- Crunchy veggies and nuts
- Simple ingredients
- Ready in just 10 minutes
- Naturally gluten-free, low carb, and dairy free
- Make it into an easy turkey salad sandwich recipe (or lettuce wrap)
Turkey Salad Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the ingredients for the best turkey salad recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Turkey – Use leftover Thanksgiving turkey, or any leftover turkey breast or even meat from roasted turkey legs or turkey wings will work. You can also start fresh whenever you see turkey or turkey breast on sale throughout the year, or make this dish with shredded chicken (or rotisserie chicken) instead.
- Vegetables – Fresh celery and green onions add crunch, but other veggies like diced bell peppers, shredded carrots, or even chopped kale will work, too.
- Dried Cranberries – Add a pop of color and sweetness. I make my own dried cranberries without sugar, but store bought will work, too. You can also try chopped apples, raisins, and grapes if cranberries aren’t available.
- Nuts – Pecans are a popular choice in recipes for turkey salad. Other nuts, like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, or pine nuts, are also good. For a nut-free option that still adds crunch, try sunflower seeds. Chop nuts before using.
- Mayonnaise – Homemade mayo is easy to make, but any store brand works. If you want to lighten it up, you can swap this with plain Greek yogurt.
- Dijon Mustard – Pungent and a little bit spicy, Dijon compliments the mayonnaise. You can also add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice for a brighter flavor.
- Fresh Herbs and Seasonings – Fresh thyme, sea salt (or kosher salt works), and black pepper round out this dressing. If you’re not a fan of thyme, you can use other fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley, instead. Add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning for a deeper flavor.
How To Make Turkey Salad
This section shows how to make this recipe for turkey salad, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Combine the salad ingredients. Place the turkey, celery, cranberries, pecans, and green onions to a large bowl.
- Whisk the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, thyme leaves, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Mix together. Stir everything together until combined. Enjoy your turkey salad recipe right away, or refrigerate to allow the flavors to develop more.
Keep the turkey salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It maintains its flavor and texture very well.
Freezing turkey salad recipes with mayonnaise is not recommended, because the dressing will separate.
How To Serve Turkey Salad
This versatile turkey salad recipe can be used in so many tasty ways!
- Sandwiches – Piled high with lettuce leaves, tomato, and red onion, turkey salad sandwich recipes are everyone’s favorite.
- Lettuce Wraps – Lighten up your sandwich by wrapping the salad in lettuce instead.
- Salads – Add big scoops of turkey salad on top of your favorite greens mixture (I like it over an arugula salad) for a healthy protein-packed meal.
- Appetizers – Spread over crackers or crostini for a fun holiday appetizer.
Turkey Salad Recipe (10 Minutes!)
This easy turkey salad recipe uses leftover turkey, tangy cranberries, and crunchy pecans, all tossed in a creamy mayo Dijon dressing.
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a large bowl, add the shredded turkey, celery, cranberries, pecans, and green onions. Mix until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, thyme leaves, sea salt, and black pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix together until combined. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy right away, or refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors develop further.
Did You Like It?
Leave a rating to help other readers (this also helps me continue to provide free recipes on my site), or get the recipe sent to your inbox.
Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂