Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad is loaded with my holiday favorite flavors.  Juicy turkey, sweet tart cranberries, toasted almonds and crunchy celery are mixed with pasta tossed in an easy poppy seed dressing.

Making an easy pasta salad recipe is the perfect way to enjoy leftover turkey.

Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad in a white serving bowl, with salt and pepper in small containers on the side.

How to Make Pasta Salad

Pasta salad recipes are my go to for quick and easy meals and potluck dishes! Everyone loves them and you can add anything to them from ham and pineapple (in our Hawaiian pasta salad) or this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad!

  • Pasta Choose a short shape with bumps or ridges to hold in some of the sauce. I’ve used bowties in this recipe.
  • Protein Any type of leftovers will work, this recipe uses leftover roast turkey but you can use chicken or ham.
  • Crunch Pecans and celery add a bit of crunch and texture to this salad. So good! Any nuts from almonds to walnuts will work well.
  • Flavor Cranberries add sweetness, toasted pecans add flavor as do green onions (or red onions).

The first step, toasting the pecans adds a lot of flavor in this recipe.  You can toast a just the amount called for in this recipe on the stovetop but I often toast up a larger batch in the oven. They’re perfect in this salad but also great to sprinkle on other salad recipes too.

How to Toast Nuts:  To toast nuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place them on a pan.  Bake 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.  They don’t take long and can go from perfectly toasted to burnt in a matter of a minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Ingredients for turkey pasta salad with cranberries and nuts, assembled in a clear mixing bowl

Pasta Salad Dressing

I love a creamy poppy seed dressing for this recipe but any sort of creamy sweet dressing will work. Honey mustard dressing is great too.

Shortcut Dressing: Creamy coleslaw dressing makes a great dressing for this pasta salad (store bought our homemade). Add in a sprinkle of poppy seeds.

A close up of Turkey Pasta Salad in a white bowl.

More Great Ways to Enjoy Leftover Turkey

5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly N.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad is loaded with my holiday favorite flavors. Juicy turkey, sweet tart cranberries, toasted pecans and crunchy celery.

Ingredients

Follow Spend With Pennies on Pinterest for more great recipes!
  • 12 oz bow-tie pasta (or other short pasta)
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sliced pecans or almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup green onions sliced
  • 2/3 cup poppy seed dressing (store bought or homemade)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

avatarFollow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  1. Place almonds in a small non-stick pan and cook over medium heat until lightly browned.
  2. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions.
  3. Combine poppy seed dressing, mayonnaise and cider vinegar (and sugar if using) in a small bowl and mix well.
  4. Toss all ingredients in a larger bowl and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Recipe Notes

Creamy coleslaw dressing also goes well with this recipe.
Replace leftover turkey with chicken or ham if desired.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 482, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 130mg, Potassium: 356mg, Carbohydrates: 59g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 12g, Protein: 18g, Vitamin A: 100%, Vitamin C: 1.1%, Calcium: 198%, Iron: 2.5%

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad
Top photo - Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad served in a white bowl. Bottom photo - Ingredients for this turkey pasta salad assembled in a clear mixing bowl.
Top photo - Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad served in a white bowl. Bottom photo - Ingredients for this turkey pasta salad assembled in a clear mixing bowl.
Turkey Cranberry Pasta Salad mixed and ready to serve from a white bowl.

More Recipes You'll Love

About the author

Holly

pinterest facebook twitter instagram

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

Latest & Greatest Dishes