Turkey Salad is a delicious and easy way to enjoy your leftover Thanksgiving turkey! Thrown together with just a few other ingredients, it is full of great flavor and makes the perfect lunch.
It is the day after Thanksgiving and your family didn’t quite finish off that 30 pound bird that you made (the best way possible – with a brine). You just can’t bring yourself to eat the same Thanksgiving meal again, and you need something inventive and delicious.
Meet your new bestie: The Turkey Salad. It is just like my Chicken Salad, but I’ve swapped the grapes for dried cranberries. It is delicious, easy to make, and is sure to be a hit with that crew that slept in your guest room last night.
How to Make Turkey Salad
- Cut up the left over turkey. Typically when turkey is cut and served it is in large slices. For this recipe we want small pieces. It is nice when all the ingredients (celery, cranberries, and turkey) are relatively the same size.
- Mix together the main ingredients. In a large bowl combine the leftover turkey, dried cranberries, celery, and red onion.
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Add the dressing to the main ingredients and stir until combined.
The Best Turkey Recipes
In order to make this great salad, you need some great turkey first. Turkey is easy to cook . . . badly. It can dry out and only be redeemed with some gravy.
But rest assured, I have you covered. We have three great turkey recipes. All will leave you with an amazingly moist turkey that you will actually want the leftovers of.
Using Frozen Turkey
If you have followed my instructions for freezing leftover turkey, this is the perfect recipe to use it in! Simply allow the turkey to thaw in your refrigerator overnight. Because it is cut up, it probably won’t even take more than an hour or two.
Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
Whenever I share my chicken salad recipe (or egg salad), I usually get at least one person who mentions that Miracle Whip will make a much better recipe than with the mayonnaise.
My thoughts on this are that this is only true if you like Miracle Whip. Miracle Whip can absolutely replace the mayonnaise in this recipe. But if you aren’t used to making things with Miracle Whip, I would taste it first. The taste is very different than mayonnaise. You might also like 1/4 cup of each in this.
Eating Turkey Salad
This is a great recipe to eat with just a fork! But you, of course can make a turkey salad sandwich too. My preference for salads like this is always croissants. But this would be delicious on leftover dinner rolls too.
If you ate too much stuffing on Thanksgiving (like me!), lighten this recipe up by using lettuce cups to eat it!
This amazing salad can be stored in your refrigerator for 3 days, provided that you are using the turkey you just made 2 days ago. In other words, you want to eat this salad within five days of when the turkey was originally cooked.
Other Great Leftover Turkey Recipes
We have a whole section on leftover turkey recipes, but let me highlight some of my very favorites:
If you make this Turkey Salad, or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Turkey Salad Sandwich
- 3 cups cooked turkey
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 small red onion diced small
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used light)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl combine the cooked turkey, craisins, red onion, and celery.
- In a small bowl whisk togethr the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste being careful to start out with just a little.
- Stir the dressing into the main ingredients.
- Serve right away or store in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. Please note that if this salad sits out for more than 2 hours, the leftovers should be thrown away.