The Best Leftover Turkey Salad

from 228 votes

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.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.97 from 228 votes
A white plate with leftover turkey sliders on pretzel buns
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
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!


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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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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  1. 5 stars
    I have never made “delicious “ turkey OR chicken salad before…. Good but never anything to brag about . From me to you, THANK YOU! This
    Is DELICIOUS!!! It’s in the fridge chilling and cannot wait for dinner!

  2. 5 stars
    Nice even flavor , if you are a texture eater I find chopping it medium over chunky perfect for spreading on sandwiches. Todd

  3. 5 stars
    I love chicken salad but this is the first time trying it with turkey. This recipe is amazing! I definitely be making this again and again. My go to from now on with turkey and chicken!

  4. 5 stars
    The salad was great I served it in a keto wrap with a smear of cranberry sauce; that put it over the top!!

  5. 5 stars
    This is probably the best Turkey Salad I’ve ever made. It’s chilling in the fridge now, we’ll enjoy it with crackers later as part of our Football Saturday spread. I didn’t have Dijon mustard and I opted to omit the sugar, but it’s delicious just the way I made it.

  6. 5 stars
    Absolutely LOVE this recipe for turkey but also for chicken. I poach a whole chicken. My one question is do you mean 2 teaspoons of sugar, I assumed you meant salt as there was none in the recipe. I used kosher salt…? is it sugar?
    Everyone LOVES this salad.
    Thanks and CHEERS,

  7. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe, easy and tasty. I use turkey drumsticks or dark quarters which I pressure cook in turkey broth that I keep in the freezer, defrost over a low flame, and reuse each time. I skim the broth before refreezing to remove all the fat. Great for hot summer days with tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and crispy breadsticks. We like more dill in ours, just such a yummy combo. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      Kelly, you saved a good amount of hickory smoked turkey. Why my husband and I thought it’d be an interesting change for our Thanksgiving, I don’t know. Super tender and moist but the smoked flavor was way too strong, even with gravy. Leftovers? What to do with a lot of perfectly good turkey? This recipe worked out fantastic! It countered the overly strong smoked flavor to where we could enjoy a delicious sandwich! I only tweaked a little more, or less, of your listed ingredients until we said, “yummm!” Thank you!!!

  8. 5 stars
    Found a frozen turkey breast in my freezer. June is an awesome time to bake a turkey, lol. And the best part, leftovers to make turkey salad. Made exactly as written. It’s delicious, especially on toasted (air-fryed) croissants and piece of lettuce. Ty

  9. 5 stars
    This was a great recipe. I used it as a guideline and made the following variations: (1) added a peeled/chopped Granny Smith apple (tossed pieces in lemon juice to prevent browning); (2) added a large handful of chopped walnuts, (3) added about 1/2 cup of Craisins, (4) added about 2 tsp of celery seed to the dressing, and (5) omitted the dill (not a fan). I already made it twice. It’s great on a bed of lettuce or in a sandwich (I like ciabatta or toasted sourdough). Delish!

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