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.
4.95 from 131 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

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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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Nutrition

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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Quick and quite tasty. Well balanced flavor. Not overly heavy like most turkey/chicken/tuna salad. Great on crackers as well.

  2. 5 stars
    Quick and quite tasty. Well balanced flavor. Not overly heavy like most turkey/chicken/tuna salad. Great on crackers ass well.

  3. 5 stars
    I have made Kelly’s recipe several times and my family luvs it!! Also, have added sliced grapes sometimes and other times added a few rough chopped toasted pecans. My sons like it best when I add curry and grapes. I find that Kelly’s recipes always turn out perfect and are soooo delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    My Mom used to make turkey salad like this. Although I don’t think she’d ever heard of Dijon mustard back in the 50’s and 60’s She served the salad stuffed inside cleaned out tomatoes on lettuce leaves, Yum!
    I’ making this for dinner and it’s 5:10pm already!! GottaRun

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 5 stars
    I added add egg and sweet relish.. hubby: “wow jenn that’s really good “… definitely a keeper.. . Thanks for sharing..

  14. 5 stars
    This recipe redeemed my overcooked turkey breast and we are happily looking forward to another sandwich or two in the next few days. Needed to sub dried dill but next time would like to try fresh. Personal preference requires the addition of dried cranberries and chopped pecans. Fabulous!

  15. 5 stars
    I made this last night for dinner. I did put an apple chopped up and grapes sliced in half, along with chopped pecans and Craisins. OMG!! This turkey salad could become an addiction! It is SO GOOD!

  16. 5 stars
    Super good recipe.. cut the mayo by a 4th and doubled the djion. Added in some tosted chopped pecans. Definatley a winner on post Thanksgiving day 4… lol

  17. 5 stars
    I don’t usually comment but I made some for my mom and she loved it. Thank you soooo much!
    It’s so tasty and the sugar really did make it taste phenomenal!
    Best way to use the rest of thanksgiving turkey

  18. 5 stars
    Made this Turkey salad today. Following your recipe. The only change I made was instead of sugar I used two cups of red grapes. So good. Everyone enjoyed their sandwiches. Will make it again.

  19. I definitely did! Just so happen, I had all the indredients including dill so I made it on my lunch break while working from home. This is really simple and so satisfying. Now, I have lunch for the rest of the week as well as a late nate snack to satisfy my cravings. Thanks a billion, I didn’t know what I was going to do with this fried turkey!

  20. 5 stars
    So good! I had so much turkey leftover and wasn’t sure what to do with it. I made this today. I had bought some sourdough bread to use with turkey sandwiches but this was so much better. I have some leftover cranberry sauce and put some on my sandwich. Delicious!

  21. 5 stars
    Amazing! Didn’t have fresh dill so I used about 4 tablespoons of dill relish (not sweet) instead. Also, no added salt, as the light mayo and dill relish provide enough sodium. Wow, what a wonderful way to use a bunch of leftover turkey. Excellent recipe!

  22. 4 stars
    I found this a little boring. Not sure why. The sugar amped up the mayo flavor, and I don’t care for that (even though I only put in half the sugar). BUT, I added Everything But the Bagel seasoning and had it on great bread and it was delicious.

  23. 5 stars
    Fabulous recipe. I had 6 cups of leftover Turkey and this is delicious way to use it! I pulsed it in the food processor so it’s smoother, like “chicken salad chick” texture. I also used Stevia instead of sugar and it was great. I had dry dill so used that instead of fresh and it was perfect. (Almost left the dill out because I don’t usually like it but this was a great flavor and just a hint so don’t omit!!)

  24. 4 stars
    Very good. Really liked the combination of sugar lemon juice, Mayo, mustard, and scallions. Didn’t have dill so substituted with rosemary.

  25. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe. Love the addition of dill. I added some dried cherries and it was a nice addition although dried cranberries would be good also.

  26. 5 stars
    I have never made a turkey salad before – and this one was fabulous. I made no changes to your recipe – followed it to the “t” and I was thrilled. And, we should note that my husband loved it!! I truly think your “secret ingredient” is sugar. What a refreshing salad!! And, I’m with you … the 1/2 cup of mayo was plenty!!!

  27. 5 stars
    We periodically cook a turkey breast in a crock pot and were looking for something different to do with the leftovers. This recipe was fantastic! We added some glazed pecans that kicked it up a little more. Thanks for the recipe!!

  28. 5 stars
    Hi, I never made turkey salad before. Imagine that at 58! I thought it might be, “funky”, lol. To my very pleasant surprise it was fantastic! I went a step further and threw in some dried cranberries for pizzazz and a true Thanks-giving-y feel!

    Delicious and am trying a few more of your recipes!

    Thank you!

  29. 5 stars
    I rarely comment on anything on line but this salad was easy and the best I have ever made. I did not have scallions but have chive in my garden and they worked great. I did not have fresh dill so I used a small amount of dried. Absolutely fantastic. The sugar made a real difference! Love this!

  30. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious!!! I left out lemon juice and sugar. Didn’t have fresh dill so used dried. We like extra mayo and mustard too.

  31. 5 stars
    I only had about a cup of turkey but decided to make it anyway. I think the Dijon mustard is what gives it a great flavor, and I don’t even like mustard as a condiment! Just happened to have dill growing out on the deck. I did not have scallions on hand, wish I did. Most delicious. Thank you for keeping it simple. I will make it again.

  32. Excellent! I will be making this again. I didn’t have dill, but it still tasted delicious!

  33. So, I don’t cook, but wife has been out of town and we had a lot of leftover Turkey….so….gave it a shot. It took me about 30 minutes (there has to be an easier way to shred or chop meat), but man it is on POINT! Love those pickles in there…never had it like that before. On Point!

  34. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. Wife and I loved it, using our leftover Easter turkey breast. Used dried chives instead of scallions that I didn’t have, and definitely used more mayo.

  35. Great recipe! I made it my own by replacing the sugar with two teaspoons of sweet relish. I still use dill weed and add two teaspoons of chopped dill pickle. “The grill-master” slow SMOKES a turkey breast just for this recipe. It makes a delightful lunch especially after marrying in the fridge for a few days. It goes well with either crackers or on croissants. Co-workers and friends rave! Thank you again..

  36. 5 stars
    My 11 and 13 year old daughters just made the turkey salad. Used 1/2 shredded by hand 1/2 ground with Kitchen Aid mixer. Nice mix of creamy and chunky. Turned out great.

  37. 5 stars
    YES … made this SCRUMPTIOUS Turkey Salad with left over deep fried Turkey. Hubby & I thoroughly enjoyed on bed of lettuce. Perfect blend of ingredients. My husband said ‘WOW this is BEST turkey salad ever!” Thank You.

  38. 5 stars
    I made this today with leftover herb turkey and used sweet onion as I was out of scallions, my family loved it, I think it is your secret ingredient of sugar that sets this salad above the rest. You nailed it!

  39. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe. I used left over smoked turkey breast and substituted tarragon for the dill. I’ve never tried dried mustard in turkey salad and was pleasantly surprised with the flavor. Family really enjoyed the turkey salad on toasted artisan bread. Yummy!

  40. 5 stars
    … My supermarket is now selling rotisserie 1/2 turkey breast on the bone next to the rotisserie chickens. I bought one. I had a few slices of it at home. It was cooked very well. Tasty and not dry. But the next day I had almost the whole thing left and I don’t really like turkey the next day. But I do like chicken salad, so I figured how different can turkey be. It’s poultry!

    I found your recipe on line – top of the list – and I had every ingredient needed so I decided to give it a go.

    It was a very nice turkey salad. And I am in agreement with you, the mayo dijon ratio is very good and I’m not a fan of dijon… I don’t like anchovies in a Cesar salad because all to often more fish is used than needed. When you get the anchovies ratio right with the dressing, that’s when it is good! It’s the same as you have done here with the mustard mayo mix. You’ve nailed the proportions of each.

    The celery added a nice crunch. I was a bit hesitant about the scallions, but followed your recipe with no detours! I always have fresh dill in the house and that added to the flavor (we didn’t eat it until one day later). I’d say it’s pretty healthy too. You’re not using all that much mayo.

  41. I have made chicken salad for years just using my own head. I read this recipe and was anxious to use it with Dijon mustard. I have never put mustard in chicken or turkey salad. I followed your recipe and it is DELICIOUS! Thank you!

  42. Hello Kelly, I tried ur recipe twice, one w/fried jerk turkey and the other fried barbecue turkey both were great. The best Turkey ever thanks.

  43. 5 stars
    Very, very good. I did however use onion powder because I didn’t have scallions. And I added relish cause we like it and I didn’t have dill either

  44. 5 stars
    Hi, just wanted to inform you that this was the first time that I made Turkey salad. I followed your recipe and my turkey salad was a number one I would recommend this recipe to all of my friends. My wife enjoyed this dish as well, from this day going forward I know what dish that I’ll be serving after the major holidays. Thank you for a awesome quick and easy dish.

  45. 5 stars
    I have been cooking for about 71 years and disliked most turkey or chicken salad, but I tried this recipe on the leftovers from a 12 pound turkey just eaten by two people. It was really good. Served it with cranberry relish and some crackers. Verrry good.
    CO Texan

  46. 5 stars
    Easy and soooooo delicious! Thank you for posting this recipe. I will be checking back for other dishes to try based on the success of this turkey salad recipe.

  47. 5 stars
    I’m no stranger to cooking, so I dove right into this recipe! It was a great base to start using 2 Rotisserie Chickens I had…so needless to say, I removed all the meat, chopped it up and used it. Also added one 10oz bottle of dijonaise I had along with 1/2c mayo. Added 1 finely diced, peeled, green apple and Boom! It was liked by all! Thanks! Send some more…lol.

  48. 5 stars
    I made this with leftover smoked turkey and it was absolutely delicious!
    I was kind of hesitant in making it with smoked turkey but I liked it
    even better than regular turkey. Thanks for the recipe and I will
    definitely make again.

  49. I’ve had turkey salad before that had cut up grapes in it. What do you think about that, and would you make those a substitute for the sugar?

  50. Very good, I was really hesitant about the sugar, but followed the recipe exactly, added just a touch more mayo…delicious!! A recipe I will keep!

  51. RECIPE WAS EASY AND REALLY GOOD. I DID USE MORE MAYO AND TWO HARD BOILED EGGS DICES AND WITHOUT THE YELLOWS. ENJOYED FOR SEVERAL DAYS.

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING.

  52. I had this salad from Honeybaked soo am making it best turkey salad I’ve ever tasted . Thank you for sharing .

  53. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe!! Made about 6 weeks ago and apparently threw out the recipe. Delighted to have found it again!!

  54. 5 stars
    Had a turkey that we smoked over the weekend and used that for this GREAT salad. Thank you so much for a perfect turkey salad. Had it on rolls with a greens salad on the side.

  55. 5 stars
    I had a honey glazed turkey breast so I omitted the sugar and this recipe was absolutely yummy! I don’t use mustard in my chicken salad so this was new for me but I will definitely use it from now on. Thanks for sharing

  56. 5 stars
    Yummy!!! I changed lemon juice to vinegar and added chopped pickle (I absolutely cannot follow any recipe, it’s a sickness!). Best turkey salad ever!

  57. 5 stars
    It was very good and I passed it on to my friend. I don’t read my email like that, so can you guys don’t send me any emails please, thank you in advance.

  58. 5 stars
    This is FABULOUS!!! I’ve made it many times! The whole family loves it & I’ve got picky eaters!
    I have to alter a few ingredients due to my food allergies – but it is GREAT every time! THANK YOU!!!!!

  59. This recipe is delicious to say the least. The dill is perfect addition. I used chopped dried cherries (what I had in hand) instead of sugar.

  60. What does the celery add? Is it a specific flavor that would run the recipe of leave it or it’s it more of a crunch? I ask because I really can’t stand celery. It’s third in line after beets and cauliflower on food that is just a big no for me. I’ve never had turkey sales, though I like egg, tuna, and chicken salad a lot. (TBH though I use the same recipe for all three – miracle whip, mustard and sweet relish).

  61. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday and used dried dill and chives as everyone is not always a fan of onions. It was awesome then and even better today!

  62. This was yummy!! I used sweet and spicy relish in place of the dill and sugar and it turned out just great! Thanks for the recipe! Love the crunch from the celery and onion.

  63. 5 stars
    I have never made turkey salad until this year. I had so much left of my fried turkey breast and it was so delicious, I just had to make your recipe. The hardest part was preping the turkey & celery then it was so easy! It was sheer heaven. So good. Thank you for this recipe.

  64. 5 stars
    Hi Kelly, I also made this and followed the recipe as is, well except for the fresh dill. I had to dried as I couldn’t find fresh dill at my supermarket. But I used the sugar as directed and this indeed is THE best turkey salad ever! I think the rest of my turkey will go fast with this recipe for sure. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe!
    -Veronica

  65. 4 stars
    Delicious! My only complaint is who keeps fresh dill around? Sounds great, but this is a leftover recipe. Worthless if I have to go to the store. I added a little bit more mayonnaise, and some diced granny Smith apples with a dash of curry powder. Came out great, and I didn’t have to go to the store.

  66. 5 stars
    Just made this – OMG yum!!! I was skeptical about the sugar, but added it anyway – it really does add a hint to the dressing, setting off the lemon and dijon! (I used country dijon, family favorite, and dried dill, as that’s what I had on hand) – Delicious, so I imagine it will be even better tomorrow when I take it to work for lunch. Thanks for posting it!

  67. 5 stars
    Love this! Added some freshly crumbled Cajun bacon, erythritol instead of sugar, and some horseradish seasoning. I ate it straight out of the bowl with some shredded parmesan!

  68. 5 stars
    Fabulous!!! I added some unsweetened rice vinegar too. And used green onions, which are basically the same as scallions.

  69. 5 stars
    Loved the fresh dill. I doubled the recipe (had so much turkey) and we can’t wait for our lunches this week!

  70. 5 stars
    Excellent! My family and I loved it. I used the leftover Thanksgiving turkey we had. The best part is it’s only 2 Freestyle points per serving even w the sugar! Thank you!

  71. 5 stars
    It was so good! I added some poultry seasoning and tarragon to mine. I didn’t have any scallions so I substituted leeks instead. The whole family absolutely loved it!!

    1. Hi Bob! I haven’t tried this replacement in this recipe, but Greek yogurt might work. Would love to hear your results if you give it a shot!

  72. 5 stars
    Great start, I live alone, would make 1/2 recipe, but without a doubt add in seedless grapes and toasted nuts (pecan or walnut)

  73. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner with toast, sliced tomato and lettuce.

    It was delicious! I didn’t have dill so I subbed marjoram, and I didn’t have scallions so I subbed onion and a pinch of garlic. The salad on it’s own was devine. I love spicy, so I also added wasabi to my sandwich for a kick!!

    This was my first time making turkey salad and I am impresses. Thank you for the recipe! Will make again!

  74. 5 stars
    Best turkey salad ever!! I’m not much of a fan of mayonnaise, so it was perfect!! I substituted chopped white onions for scallions and dill relish for fresh dill—it was all I had leftover after Thanksgiving dinner!! Perfect combination!!

  75. 5 stars
    I didn’t have celery on hand so I added some dried cranberries and homemade bread and butter pickles for texture. I also recently visited the biltmore in Asheville NC and decided to add my favorite dressing… vidalia onion… for a little something extra. Such a great idea for leftover Turkey! Thank you for such great ideas!

  76. 5 stars
    I substituted 1 package of Stevi a for the sugar, and now have -0- carb salad! Loved by entire family. Thank you.

    1. Hi Constance! I’ve never tried freezing this recipe, so I can’t say with certainty how the de-frosted results would taste.

  77. My turkey is sliced and comes frozen. I thawed it smoke the turkey salad. How long does turkey salad last once it is repaired and sealed in the refrigerator

  78. 5 stars
    Yum!! Thanks. I left out the sugar because my immune system seems to do much better when I strictly limit sugar; I’m sure it would’ve been even yummier with the sugar, but we loved it even without. Will def make this again

  79. 5 stars
    This will be my go-to turkey salad. I made a few modifications. Added 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup dried cranberries..rehydrated in ginger ale. Prefect!!!

  80. 5 stars
    Honestly this is an awesome recipe I didn’t have shallots either I made up for it with sweet onion and celery. I chopped up everything threw in my Ninja n BOOM delicious! Thanks so much! Oh..I threw in some fennel spice too

  81. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe. I didn’t have shallots or dill so I chopped up some homemade bread and butter pickles. Best turkey salad I’ve ever had. Will definitely make it again. Thanks

  82. 5 stars
    My son-in-law & I made this with leftover turkey breast. It was delicious! I may buy turkey just to be able to have this again!

  83. 5 stars
    WOW! I just made it, Very good, I think the kicker is the sugar dill and dijon, and to quote Emril, BAM!!! this recipe went into our book!! Thank you!!

  84. 5 stars
    This was GREAT! I had to use regular mustard and some leftover yellow onion, very finely sliced. I also went with the other commenter on adding craisins for more texture and flavor variety. YUM.

  85. 5 stars
    I made this recipe I omitted the Dijon mustard for regular yellow mustard and I use golden raisins to replace the sugar I also added red onions instead of scallions. This turkey salad was the hit of my event. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  86. 5 stars
    I MADE THIS RECIPE WITH OUR LEFT OVER TURKEY FROM THANKSGIVING & IT IS DELICIOUS! THANK YOU FOR SHARING, I WILL BE MAKING THIS AGAIN IN THE FUTURE!

  87. 5 stars
    Great recipe, only thing I need was Dill so ran to store and got some fresh Dill. Quick and easy, I also did a batch with green grapes instead of sugar, also very tasty.