This leftover turkey salad recipe is tangy and creamy with subtle sweetness from dried cranberries. It’s a perfect recipe for using leftover turkey!
I’ve been on turkey kick lately. I cooked up a big turkey for Thanksgiving and then a second, smaller turkey once the prices dropped shortly after Thanksgiving. My go-to cooking method is dry-brining turkey which yields juicy, tender meat. I don’t go too wild with flavorings–salt, pepper, maple sugar, and a few fresh herbs stuffed into the cavity–making the leftover meat perfect for any use after.
Once I’ve worked through most of my leftover turkey, salad is usually my final recipe. By this time, I’ve made leftover turkey soup, and leftover turkey curry, and I’ve picked at the turkey straight from the fridge like the little scavenger I am. And, let’s be honest…by day three or four of leftovers, that turkey is starting to dry out. Salad is a perfect way to inject new life into old turkey. The fat from the mayo, tanginess from pickle juice, and sweetness from cranberries will liven up that last little bit of turkey you have no idea what to do with.
How to make leftover turkey salad recipe:
To make it, you need a handful of ingredients, including:
- Leftover turkey, hard-boiled eggs, celery, shallot, pickle, and cranberries for the salad
- Mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and pickle juice for the dressing
- Fresh parsley and paprika for flavoring
To make it, start by hard-boiling the eggs. Chop them up and set them aside.
While the eggs cook, make the dressing. Whisk the mayonnaise, pickle juice, and Dijon mustard until smooth. Add the fresh parsley, paprika, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the celery, shallot, turkey, and cranberries and stir until combined. Finish the salad by folding in the eggs and mixing until combined. Be sure to break the yolks into the salad, so they’re evenly dispersed!
Pile the salad on your favorite toasted bread. I serve this salad with thin slices of cucumber, but try it with tomatoes, lettuce, or red onion instead.
Leftover Turkey Salad Recipe
- Small pot
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons pickle juice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar or maple sugar
- ⅓ cup loosely packed fresh parsley, minced
- 4 cups leftover turkey, roughly chopped
- 2 ribs celery with leaves, finely minced
- 1 shallot, peeled and finely minced
- 1 small pickle, finely chopped; about 2 ounces total
- ⅓ cup dry, sweetened cranberries
- Salt and pepper to taste
Hard-boil the eggs:
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low–the water should be rapidly simmering, not boiling–and carefully drop in the eggs. Cook for 9–10 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath and then peel and roughly chop. Set aside.
Prepare the dressing:
- Combine the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, pickle juice, paprika, sugar, and minced parsley in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the turkey salad:
- Add the turkey, celery with leaves, shallot, pickle, and cranberries to the salad dressing. Stir to combine and coat all of the ingredients with the dressing.
- Carefully fold the chopped eggs, and break up any pieces of yolk with your spoon to evenly distribute the yolks in the salad. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add more paprika if you like.
- Refrigerate the salad until ready to serve.
- Serve the salad on toasted sourdough or rolls. Serve with your favorite sandwich toppings, like sliced cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, or torn lettuce. Enjoy!