Classic Turkey Salad Recipe

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Turkey is surely one of the most common holiday leftovers, especially after Thanksgiving day. Let’s face it; it can be a task to decide what to do with the leftover turkey. How about turning it into an exceptionally easy and delicious turkey salad? Make sure you read this article till the end to know all about it! 

Turkey Salad

One holiday where everyone always ends up overestimating the amount of food they can eat is Thanksgiving. It usually happens that there are too many leftovers, and well, not everyone likes eating leftover turkey as it can get a little dry! 

But you really don’t need to worry about your turkey tasting dry with this recipe. This salad recipe has the perfect dressing, which gives the turkey all the moisture it needs. Moreover, it is also incredibly easy to put together and barely takes any time at all. 

This recipe is also extremely versatile in itself and also when it comes to how you can use it. Firstly, there are minor changes that can be made to this recipe as per your personal taste, which I have explained later on in this article. Moreover, when it comes to eating this salad, there really are so many ways in which you can enjoy it! 

So, now that you know so much about it, I am sure that you would really like to try this recipe for yourself. Here, you will find a complete guide on how to go about with this recipe, including the equipment that you will need, the amount of time, and also nutritional information! So now, let’s get started with the easiest turkey salad recipe ever! 

Other Thanksgiving Recipes That You Can Try

What Equipment Will You Need To Make A Turkey Salad? 

  • Bowl – Starting off with the simple stuff, you will need one medium-sized bowl and one large bowl to make this turkey salad. The medium size bowl is to make the dressing, and the large one is to toss the salad together. 
  • Spoon – You will need a few tablespoons and teaspoons to measure out certain flavorings that go into this salad. As this isn’t baking, the measurements don’t have to be extremely precise. So, you can use regular kitchen spoons instead of measuring spoons. 
  • Measuring Cups – For this salad recipe, you will need a few measuring cups for sure. Here, I would recommend using these as the ratios in a salad recipe do matter a lot. Hence a precise measurement will surely work better than eyeballing it. 
  • Whisk – To mix the dressing ingredients together, a whisk will be needed. 
  • Large Salad Spoon – Lastly, you will need two large salad spoons to toss everything together and, finally, serve it. 

How Much Time Will You Need To Make A Turkey Salad? 

Preparation TimeTotal Time
15 Minutes15 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make A Turkey Salad? 

  • Turkey – Indeed, the most vital ingredient in the salad is turkey. Here, as I mentioned earlier, leftover roasted turkey is surely the best thing that you can use. However, if you don’t have any of that but still fancy making this salad, you can use cooked deli turkey. You will need two cups of turkey in either form. 
  • Mayonnaise – Mayonnaise is what forms the base of the dressing in this salad and also gives it a creamy flavor. You will need ¼ cup of mayonnaise, and I would personally recommend not to use more, as that will make the dressing, and eventually the entire salad, really heavy. 
  • Red Onion – Due to its slightly more pungent flavor, red onion works really well in this recipe, both in terms of flavor and texture. ¼ cup of finely chopped red onion will be enough for this recipe. 
  • Celery – Celery will add a slightly sweet flavor to the salad, along with a crunchy texture. For this recipe, you will need ½ cup of finely chopped celery. 
  • Lemon Juice – Lemon juice will add a slightly acidic taste to the salad, which will cut the creaminess of the mayonnaise to a decent extent. Just half a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice will do. Even bottled lemon juice will work but do make sure that it doesn’t have any sugar in it. 
  • Parsley – Parsley will add some freshness to the salad, so you can use around ½ tablespoon of parsley in this recipe. In case you don’t like parsley, you can skip it too. 
  • Salt and Black Pepper – Lastly, we add our seasonings, which for this recipe, are only salt and pepper. Half of a teaspoon of each will do for this recipe. 
Turkey Salad 1

Steps To Make A Turkey Salad

1. Chopping And Dressing 

The first step, of course, involves all the prepreps needed for this recipe. For that, start off by finely chopping the red onions, celery, and parsley, and keep it all aside. Squeeze out some lemon juice and keep it aside. Either shred the turkey or chop it into really small pieces. 

The next step is to prepare the dressing salad. For that, in a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and black pepper and whisk it thoroughly. Once done, keep it aside, as we will be tossing everything together. 

2. Toss The Salad

The next and final step is to toss everything together. For that, in a large bowl, combine the diced turkey, chopped red onion, celery and parsley. Then, add the salad dressing and toss the mixture with large salad spoons! That’s it! You can serve the salad immediately or chill it for a while and then serve it. 

How Can The Turkey Salad Be Served? 

There are a number of ways in which you can use and serve the turkey salad. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy it are given below. 

  • As It Is – The first and probably the easiest way to serve this salad is by having it as it is. The flavor balance is really great in this recipe, so you will surely enjoy the salad just as it is if you like mayonnaise. 
  • In A Sandwich – With this turkey salad, you can make a delicious turkey salad sandwich. Just toast some bread and add a leaf of lettuce onto the bottom slice, add a generous helping of the salad, place the top slice and serve! 
  • In A Healthy Wrap – If you are trying to avoid carbohydrates, considering the amount of fat from the mayonnaise, then you can easily make some healthy wraps with it. For that, use lettuce leaves as the wrap instead of tortillas and add in a hefty amount of the salad, wrap and serve. 
  • On Crackers – Cheese and crackers are a great combination, but have you ever tried turkey salad on crackers? Although it may sound ridiculous to many of you, the combination actually works quite well! Top some of your favorite crackers with the salad and serve these little treats. 
  • In Vol-au-vents – Vol-au-vents are little puff pastry treats that taste marvelous. Once they are baked, fill them up with this salad to enjoy a turkey salad delight! 

Nutritional Information

Calories618 kcal
Total Fat25 grams
Saturated Fat5 grams
Cholesterol 106 milligrams
Sodium922 milligrams
Carbohydrates59 grams
Fiber4 grams
Sugar2 grams
Protein36 grams
Vitamin C2 milligrams
Calcium128 milligrams
Iron4 milligrams
Potassium424 milligrams

What Will The Turkey Salad Look And Taste Like? 

Before we begin following any recipe, we always anticipate what the final product is supposed to look and taste like. Of course, certain tweaks can be made as per your personal taste in this recipe; however, let me give you a general idea of what you should expect. 

If we talk about the way the salad is supposed to look, it will look quite similar to a chicken salad, considering the fact that some of the ingredients are the same. Moreover, if paired with any of the options that I mentioned above, it will truly look like something right out of a diner. 

About the flavor, the main flavor that you will get out of the salad dressing will be creamy because of all the mayonnaise. Further, the lemon juice adds a bit of a sour taste, which cuts the creaminess to a good extent. Combined with chunky turkey pieces and veggies, it truly creates a harmony of different flavors and textures. 

Recipe Card

Turkey Salad 1

Turkey Salad Recipe

If you have a lot of turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, or just in general are craving a turkey salad, you need to try this recipe out! It's easy, time efficient and makes an exceptionally versatile salad.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Portions
Calories 618 kcal


Measuring cups
Salad Spoon


  • 2 cups Cooked Turkey
  • 1/4 cup Red Onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Celery (chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper


  • Finely chop red onions, parsley and celery and keep it all aside. Chop the turkey into thin slices or shreds.
  • Squeeze out fresh lemon juice in a bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and black pepper and whisk till everything is combined together.
  • In a separate large bowl, add the shredded turkey, chopped red onions, parsley and celery.
  • Add in the salad dressing and toss the salad with a large salad spoon.
  • Serve immediately or chill for a while and serve with your favorite sides!


Serving: 1portion | Calories: 618kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 922mg | Potassium: 424mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 4mg
Keyword Leftover Turkey, Thanksgiving, Turkey Salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you add mustard to this salad dressing?

I haven’t used mustard here, but in case you would like a stronger and more spicy flavor, you can go ahead and add a tablespoon of yellow or Dijon mustard. 

Is it necessary to add celery to the salad?

Celery will surely add to the texture and flavor of the salad, but in case you aren’t fond of it, you can skip adding it to the salad.

Can boiled eggs be added to the turkey salad? 

Yes, you can add chopped or shredded boiled eggs to the salad, too, if you like. 

How long can a turkey salad last in the refrigerator? 

A turkey salad will last in the refrigerator for a maximum of 3 days. 

What can be used if there’s no turkey leftover? 

If you don’t have any leftover turkey, you can use deli turkey chunks in this recipe instead. 


This turkey salad is truly very easy to make and barely takes any time. Moreover, it is extremely versatile and can be paired with a number of other ingredients. Thanksgiving leftovers can be used in the best way possible with this salad. 

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