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 124 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
    Perfect recipe. My Dijon happens to include sauerkraut. I took the risk and was rewarded! Turns out your recipe is also good with this unusual addition.

  2. 5 stars
    We smoked a turkey with creole seasoning and I followed this recipe to the letter with the leftovers. OMG – hubby said it was the best turkey salad he has ever eaten. I would have never thought of using sugar or dill…what a game changer.

  3. 5 stars
    My husband and I loved this recipe. I substituted Swerve granular sugar for the regular sugar to be Keto-friendly. I was skeptical about the dill but it was fantastic! I also added slivered almonds which gave it a little crunch. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe. I did not have any Dijon mustard, so I substituted it for 2 teaspoons regular mustard and added 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce for lack of spices in regular mustard. It was really delicious. My granddaughter said it was better than her moms.

  5. 5 stars
    Was delicious. Substituted regular onion for shallot, dried dill weed for fresh (doubled the amount), and yellow mustard for poopon. Ate open-faced on toast and on ritz crackers. Having used all white meat, used extra mayo.

  6. 5 stars
    My celery and dill aren’t coming in till tomorrow but I did have dill seasoning and I used mustard and celery seasoning instead because I didn’t have the fresh ingredients in hand yet. And then I tasted it and couldn’t wait until the fresh ingredients came in for a 1st sandwich. Delicious! I have time to add fresh ingredients tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe. Yum.

  7. 5 stars
    This is the best turkey salad I’ve ever made! I added some brown sugar & substituted celery seed (since I didn’t have fresh celery on hand).

  8. 5 stars
    My dad was always the turkey/chicken salad maker, this recipe tastes pretty close to what he made. I added a little peppered bacon salt (I got it for Christmas) to taste. I will make this again.

  9. 5 stars
    I added add egg and sweet relish.. hubby: “wow jenn that’s really good “… definitely a keeper.. . Thanks for sharing..

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