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Easy Leftover Turkey Salad Recipe

An easy Leftover Turkey Salad Recipe that’s filled with apple, pecans, mustard and fresh herbs for one explosive bite. Serve this over lettuce, plain or a croissant for the perfect lunch.

Serve this recipe with my Lightened Up Broccoli Salad or my Refreshing Quinoa Tabbouleh.

What to do with all that Leftover Turkey

We all ask the question? What do I do with all this leftover turkey! Growing up, my mom use to make this thing called Turkey ala King, think of chicken pot pie served over a crunchy potato hash cake. Truth be told, I hated it but it was my dads favorite meal so my mom made it.

If it’s up to me I’d much rather shred the turkey and turn it into something like these Buffalo Chicken Wraps or my Easy Chicken Enchilada Boats. But today I’m chopping it up and turning it into a turkey salad that’s perfect for a lunch.

ingredients for leftover turkey salad

Ingredients You’ll Need for this Recipe

This recipe comes together super fast because you’ll already have the turkey on hand. So it’s just a matter of cutting it up. In this recipe, I used my Maple Smoked Turkey, however, this Garlic Herb Roasted Turkey would be just as phenomenal. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Turkey: I like to chop my turkey in this recipe instead shredding it.
  • Onion: Use red onion, it’s a little sweeter
  • Celery: Make sure it is very finely diced so you get a little bit in each bite.
  • Pecans: You’ll need roughly chopped raw pecans.
  • Apples: My favorite apple is honeycrisp, so that’s what I used here. A few other apples that would work in this recipe are granny smith, gala or pink lady.
  • Mustard: I use dijon mustard, like Grey Poupon, because I like the zing it gives.
  • Mayo: Just a little bite to make it creamy, you could also use mashed avocado like I do in my Paleo Avocado Chicken Salad.
  • Herbs: Fresh taragon makes this salad pop, you’re going to love it!
a bowl filled with turkey salad with apples and pecans

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How to make a Turkey Salad

This Turkey Salad is a no-frills recipe and comes together fast. It has become one of my favorite ways to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. Besides of course making soup. Here’s how to make it.

Mix Everything: Add chopped-up leftover turkey (I used my Maple Smoked Turkey here and it was phenomenal), celery, red onion, apples, pecans, tarragon, dijon and mayonnaise to a large bowl. Toss to mix everything together and coat. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

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Tips & Tricks

There are a few things I like to keep in mind to ensure I have one tasty salad in the end.

  • All in the Chop: Size is everything. I try to make sure that every element of this salad is the same size. The turkey is the same size chop as the apples and the veggies are the same size as the pecans. This ensures every bite has a little bit of every ingredient for the perfect cohesive bite.
  • Herbs: First off, I absolutey love tarragon in this salad. However, I realize that tarragon can be an herb that people either love or hate. It has a slight licorise taste. If you’re not a fan, you can use thyme or basil instead.
  • Make it Paleo: Turn this salad paleo but subbing out the mayonnaise with mashed avocado.
  • Mustard is Everything: I would NOT use yellow mustard. It will totally change the flavor of this salad. I highly recommend using djon mustard or stone ground mustard.
croissants filled with turkey salad

How to Store Turkey Salad

Because this recipe contains mayo, you’ll need to store this turkey salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will be at its freshest for 3-4 days.

What to Serve This Turkey Salad on

Honestly, this recipe is so flavorful on its own. So I have most definitely just eaten it plain or straight out of the container. However, it’s also delicious on a buttery croissant, in a lettuce cup, on top of a salad or bread.

bowl filled with leftover turkey salad

What to Serve with Turkey Salad

two croissants filled with turkey salad
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croissants filled with turkey salad

Easy Leftover Turkey Salad Recipe

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Turkey
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


An easy Leftover Turkey Salad Recipe that’s filled with apple, pecans, mustard and fresh herbs for one explosive bite. Serve this over lettuce, plain or a croissant for the perfect lunch. 


  • 3 cups cubed turkey
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup diced honeycrisp apple
  • 2 teaspoons diced tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to mix everything together and coat.
  2. Serve as is, on a bed of lettuce or on bread.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 252
  • Sodium: 250 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 74 mg

Keywords: turkey salad recipe, turkey salad, turkey salad sandwich, leftover turkey recipes

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