Turn yesterday’s turkey into today’s star-studded feast with this quick and easy recipe for The Best Leftover Turkey Salad loaded with fresh veggies and herbs.

A white plate with leftover turkey sliders on pretzel buns

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re staring down a mountain of leftover turkey (or perhaps even chicken!). And whether it’s the result of your Thanksgiving feast, or just the remnants from an ordinary dinner, the bottom line here is you’ve got leftover turkey and you need to put that poultry to work.

Have I ever got you covered! Grab your knife and get ready for The Best Leftover Turkey Salad to ever cross your lips.

A clear bowl containing chopped up ingredients for Leftover Turkey Salad

When I was a culinary intern at Food Network, it was my job to prepare the staff meal each day, and one of my favorite ways to make the most of all of the insanely delicious leftover odds and ends from Food Network Kitchens was to make any variety of chicken or turkey salad. So let’s just say that over the course of several months, I got my turkey salad recipe nailed down.

A clear bowl containing Leftover Turkey Salad and an orange spatula

What separates this from all other leftover turkey salad recipes? Two simple tricks and tips:

  • The Mayo to Mustard Ratio: I’m a mayo enthusiast, but when it comes to chicken or turkey salad, I like to go light. Too much mayo can yield a very thick and heavy salad, while just the right balance of mayo and Dijon mustard produces a medley of flavors that don’t overpower the refreshing crispness of the veggies and herbs.
  • My Not-So-Secret Ingredient: Are you ready for this one? We all know I’m a big fan of secret ingredients in my chocolate chip cookies, smoothies and mashed potatoes, and this time, I’m upping the flavor profile with … sugar! It sounds strange in a savory turkey salad, but one taste and I guarantee you’ll never go without it.

So grab that surplus poultry and get your preferred carb (or crisp lettuce leaf) of choice ready for The Best Leftover Turkey Salad piled high with lettuce and tomato to complete your Turkey-on-Day-2 feast. (And don’t forget to check out the endless other ways of putting those leftover mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie dough scraps to work!)

A white plate with Leftover Turkey Sliders on pretzel buns with lettuce and tomato

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Main Course

The Best Leftover Turkey Salad

Turn your Thanksgiving extras into a quick and easy recipe for The Best Leftover Turkey Salad that's loaded with fresh veggies.
4.96 from 163 votes
A white plate with leftover turkey sliders on pretzel buns
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 4 cups chopped leftover turkey
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (See Kelly's Notes)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill


  • In a large bowl, combine the chopped turkey, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, celery, scallions and dill, stirring until well combined. 
  • Taste and season the turkey salad with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. 

Kelly's Notes:

  • I prefer less mayo in my turkey salad, but you can easily add more based on your taste preferences. For an extra-creamy turkey salad, increase the mayo to 2/3 cup.
  • I always think turkey salad tastes best after refrigerating, so this leftovers-inspired recipe tastes just as great on day 2 and onward! 
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!


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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.

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Calories: 229kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 55mg, Sodium: 219mg, Potassium: 181mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 130IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 14mg, Iron: 0.7mg

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  1. 5 stars
    Super easy, fast and delicious. I cooked three turkey legs on the grill and carefully removed all of the tendons and cartilage. I added some dill relish (around 2 full table spoons) to mine to make up for the fresh dill. It came out great. A really inexpensive and healthy dish. Thanks!

  2. Wow! I never knew there was such a thing? Leftover turkey breast. It is so delicious! I’ll keep making it. I used light mayo and it is still delicious. Thanks so much!


  3. 5 stars
    I make this often! We love it. I even buy turkey breasts just to make this salad. It’s that good!

  4. 5 stars
    Well, I had more turkey than I thought. I didn’t have enough mayo to make it creamy enough, so I used some ranch dressing and
    It came out very nice

  5. 5 stars
    I had leftover turkey in the freezer from one I cooked In January. I just made this and it’s the best turkey salad I have ever tasted. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. 5 stars
    This is probably the first recipe that I’ve ever rated. Sad because I’ve found some good ones along the way. This turkey salad is legit! I’m doing a low carb thing so I just skipped the sugar part. The fresh dill is a must. Seriously tempted to roast another turkey and make this turkey salad out of the whole thing. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I had turkey left in the freezer and used it for this recipe. My family of three adults loved it! They want more of the same with chicken until November comes around again. This is a real winner and is in my meal rotation schedule. Wonderfully delicious! Thank you for this recipe!!!

  8. 5 stars
    I tried this and it was wonderful. Definitely a recipe to add to those to make again. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. 5 stars
    Best EVER!!! Tried many and oh my the flavors are kicking! Right amount of Mayo and mustard. Spouse totally loves it too. I doubled the batch and missed with white and dark meat. Terrific way to handle leftovers. Substituted small regular onion for scallions. Still divine! Thank you for sharing. Sharing with all family/friends on FB too.

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Kelly. We tried this great recipe the other day. We had enough turkey left over for 2 cups of chopped turkey, so we halved the ingredient quantities. We didn’t have Dijon mustard so we used Colman’s dry mustard. We didn’t have dill so we used tarragon. Also, we used extra mayonnaise and celery. We also added 1 tbs. of diced pimiento and 3 black olives, sliced and then the the slices quartered. It is best to keep stirring to get the best consistency. For seasonings we used Kosher salt, lemon pepper, and sweet paprika. Thanks for this great recipe Kelly and the best of wishes from our kitchen to yours.

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