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Thanksgiving leftovers just got a lot more delicious. Inspired by everyone’s favorite chicken salad, this simple turkey salad mixes leftover turkey meat with a creamy, flavorful blend of mayo, Dijon mustard, green apple, cranberries, and pecans. Great for sandwiches, lettuce wraps, or enjoying by the spoonful.

Overhead view of a big bowl of leftover turkey salad with pecans and cranberries.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • Turkey salad takes everything you love about classic chicken salad but gives it a little holiday flair, combining leftover holiday turkey with crisp green apples, sweet dried cranberries, and a creamy, tangy dressing.
  • There’s no cooking here. I mean, c’mon. Haven’t you done enough of that over the last week? No, with this recipe all you have to do is put everything in a bowl and stir it together. Honestly, you could probably get away with using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on a super low speed. I won’t tell anyone.
  • The creaminess of the dressing offsets the crispness and crunch of the apples, pecans, and green onions. Seriously, this turkey salad has an amazing mouthfeel!

Chef’s Tips

  • Unless you need whole pecans for other holiday recipes, save yourself a lot of time and energy by just buying already-chopped pecans. If you’re starting out with whole pecans, though, you can pulse them a time or two in a food processor until they’re broken up a little. Just don’t overdo it – you want pecan pieces, not ground pecans.
  • The longer you let the turkey salad chill in the fridge, the more intense the flavors will be. I highly recommend letting the salad chill at least an hour if you’ve got time. If you don’t, though, don’t worry. It’s still super delicious right after you make it.
  • To really amplify their flavors, use toasted pecans instead of plain pecans. You can buy them already toasted or toast them yourself, whichever you feel like.
Close-up view of leftover turkey salad with cranberries and pecans in a large mixing bowl on a holiday table.

Our Favorite Ways to Prepare Turkey

Recipe By: Sam Guarnieri
5 from 1 vote

Leftover Turkey Salad with Apples and Cranberries

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 0 minutes
Chill (Optional) 1 hour
Total 1 hour 15 minutes
Leftover holiday turkey gets a makeover with this creamy turkey salad. Great for sandwiches, lettuce wraps, or enjoying by the spoonful.
8 servings


  • large mixing bowl with lid, or plastic wrap to cover
  • Silicone spatula


  • 3-4 cups chopped leftover turkey meat dark, white, or a combination
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • cup chopped green onion
  • 1 medium green apple cored, diced
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper more or less to taste


  • Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Stir until ingredients are fully-incorporated and well-coated.
    Overhead view of turkey salad in a large glass mixing bowl with a green spatula.
  • Serve salad immediately, or cover bowl and refrigerate at least one hour or until ready to serve.
  • Make it Keto: Omit apple and cranberries, bringing carb count per serving to 2g total.
  • Storage: Leftover turkey salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 328calProtein: 16gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 360mgPotassium: 221mgTotal Carbs: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gNet Carbs: 9gVitamin A: 123IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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