This cranberry turkey salad is the perfect way to use up leftover turkey. It's easy to mix together and makes a delicious light lunch.
I love re-inventing Thanksgiving leftovers, and this salad is one of my favorite ways to enjoy leftover turkey.
It couldn't be easier to make and the flavors are crisp and fresh. With so many serving options, this salad is ideal to have on hand for quick meals.
Why you will love this
- No cooking is required... except to quickly toast the nuts.
- A great fuss-free lunch option for serving guests or simply enjoying yourself.
- This salad is light yet satisfying, which is a nice change from all of the heavy holiday food.
- Customize to your personal tastes with the ingredients you have on hand.
- Turkey - I used white meat, but if you love dark meat, feel free to add that. Rotisserie or leftover chicken can also be used.
- Nuts - Both walnuts and pecans work great. Try almonds or pistachios too.
- Dried cranberries or cherries add some sweetness and a chewy texture. You can also substitute halved red grapes.
- Celery provides a fresh, crisp crunch. Scallions can also be added.
- Herbs - I used tarragon but parsley and thyme are delicious too.
Please see the recipe card for complete instructions and ingredient amounts.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Season to taste and set aside.
- To toast the nuts, add them to a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Cool and chop.
- Dice the turkey and celery. I prefer small ¼-1/2 inch pieces.
- Combine the turkey, celery, cranberries, and walnuts in a mixing bowl.
- Add the dressing and gently fold until everything is evenly coated.
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy turkey salad. These are my favorite ways to serve.
- As a sandwich on bread, croissants, or rolls.
- Use mini croissants for tea sandwiches.
- In a bread bowl - this is a fun presentation!
- Low-carb - serve on a bed of lettuce or in a hollowed-out bell pepper or tomato.
- As a snack with crackers or crostini.
Adding eggs is a matter of personal preference. You can customize turkey salad by adding hard-boiled eggs, bell peppers, onion, pickles, grapes, or raisins.
Turkey salad will keep for 4-5 days refrigerated.
Turkey Salad with Cranberries
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon deli-style brown mustard (or Dijon)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup walnuts (or pecans, toasted and chopped)
- 3 cups diced cooked turkey (Note 1, 2)
- 1 cup diced celery
- ½ cup dried cranberries (or dried cherries)
- 4 rolls (or bread or croissants)
- In a small mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
- Add the walnuts to a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until the nuts are fragrant. Cool slightly and chop.
- In a large bowl, add the turkey, celery, walnuts, and cranberries. Add the dressing and gently fold until the dressing evenly coats all of the ingredients.
- Serve on bread, croissants, or rolls.
- Dice the ingredients into smaller pieces, about ¼ - ½-inch. The salad will hold together better, especially on smaller sandwiches. It's also easier to eat.
- 1.5 pounds of turkey tenderloins yields approx. 3 ½ cups of diced cooked turkey.
- Avoid freezing turkey salad containing ingredients such as celery, apples, or grapes. These items are high in water content and freezing and thawing will compromise the texture and consistency.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.