I know you are going to love this easy recipe for Turkey Salad! It’s so simple to make but it has an unexpected twist…it has pecans, and it’s made with cranberries for tang and nutty crunch! This is the best twist on a classic chicken salad and a turkey sandwich you’ll crave!

The best part of Thanksgiving dinner is leftovers, and I mean leftover turkey, of course! There are so many wonderful things to make from leftovers, like turkey stock or turkey rolls, soups and sandwiches.

Turkey salad on bread on a plate

How to Make Turkey Salad

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to pull this together, and it’s great to scoop onto a green salad, use for lettuce wraps, or make into sandwiches. It’s so simple I can make this without even having to shake myself out of my yearly tryptophan coma!

  1. Chop leftover turkey into chunks.
  2. Dice celery and onions.
  3. Mix all ingredients together (per recipe below) and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Turkey salad ingredients in a glass bowl

What to Put in Turkey Salad

I remember when putting cranberry sauce and/or stuffing on turkey sandwiches became a thing. So I thought I’d try making turkey salad with dried cranberries and pecans, and it’s officially one of those things everyone looks forward to having in the evening after a big Thanksgiving luncheon. But this recipe is so versatile; you can mix it up any way you choose.

  • Use toasted almonds or other favorite nuts in place of pecans if you wish.
  • Try it with fruit like grapes, chopped apples, or even plain raisins, if you want something different than cranberries. Grapes are my fave, there is something about the sweetness that is delightful against the savory Dijon and onions.
  • Roasted garlic and chives are a great addition! Or try bacon crumbles!

Use your imagination, and you’ll come up with ways to make turkey salad into something that is anything but “plain old.”

Turkey salad on a sandwich with tomato and lettuce on a plate


You betcha. If you have leftover salad, you can refrigerate it for 3 to 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing salads with mayo, they just don’t fare that well when you thaw them out. So use this turkey salad all up, it won’t be hard!

  • Make it for lunches.
  • Spread it on crackers to serve as hors d’ oeuvres.
  • Make it into wraps with tortillas.

Or heck, just eat it right out of the bowl with a spoon! It makes a great snack, lunch or a quick and tasty dinner with turkey soup, so go right ahead and make lots! You definitely won’t regret it! Happy Thanksgiving!

Recipes Perfect for Leftover Turkey

Turkey salad on a sandwich with tomato and lettuce
4.67 from 6 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Turkey Salad

Simple and creamy salad great for Thanksgiving Leftovers!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Chill 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 cups leftover turkey diced
  • 1 stalk celery chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 green onions or red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup pecans chopped, optional
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • seasoned salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve as a sandwich or over salad.


Replace pecans with toasted almonds if desired.
Diced apples or grapes add a nice fresh flavor to this salad.
4.67 from 6 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 374 | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 210mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American

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About the author

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!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Made as stated. Was just ok. Didn’t care for the flavor of mustard, and overall it was too dry. I did add pecans and white grapes.
    I’d leave the mustard out and add more mayo next time.
    Thanks for sharing.3 stars

  2. I make mine hot with shredded cheddar; top with crushed potato chips and heat at 400F until cheese melts! (AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE TURKEY!) This is delicious!