This tasty and creamy turkey salad is so easy to make. It's ready in just 20 minutes and it has this irresistible combination of creaminess and crunch.
If you happen to have some leftover turkey, this is probably one of the easiest ways to use it up!
The week after Thanksgiving is a challenge. Starting at the piles of leftover meat in the fridge, I sometimes despair. How are we going to finish it all off before it goes bad?
This flavorful turkey salad comes to the rescue! It's one of my favorite ways to use up leftover turkey. My entire family enjoys it, so it's become one of our week-after-Thanksgiving traditions. And it's so easy to make!
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty salad. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Mayonnaise: I like to use avocado oil mayonnaise. Sir Kensington's is a good brand.
Dijon mustard: This traditional French mustard is creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard.
Lemon juice: Freshly squeezed is the most flavorful.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work, although freshly minced garlic does taste better.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use.
Cooked turkey meat: Make sure it's skinless. The skin will feel rubbery in a cold salad.
Veggies and herbs: I use diced celery, chopped red onion, and chopped cilantro.
Cheese: I like to use crumbled feta cheese.
Making this turkey salad is as simple as mixing together a few ingredients in a bowl, adding a simple dressing, then allowing the flavors to meld.
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Mix the dressing. You start by whisking together the first five ingredients - this will be your dressing.
Assemble the salad. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix in the dressing. That's it!
Although you can certainly enjoy this salad immediately after making it, I find that it actually tastes better the next day, after the flavors have had a chance to meld.
Frequently asked questions
This is entirely up to you! Both work, as long as you remove the skin. I tend to use white meat, but dark meat works too.
Yes. You can omit the mayo and use olive oil instead. Place the dressing ingredients in a small jar, seal it well, and shake until they emulsify into a dressing.
I don't recommend freezing it. The dressing and the veggies won't survive freezing and thawing. It's best to only make as much as you can consume within a few days.
I love this recipe as is and almost always make it as written. But in case you'd like to vary the basic recipe, here are a few ideas for you:
- The celery adds a wonderful crunch. But if you're not a fan of celery, you can use cucumber instead.
- Use 1 teaspoon of vinegar instead of lemon juice.
- Replace the red onions with chopped scallions.
- Replace the feta with crumbled goat cheese.
- Add chopped hard-boiled eggs.
- Add minced pickles.
- Use parsley instead of cilantro.
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. But if the turkey you use already spent some time in the fridge, you should take that into account when counting those four days.
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20-Minute Turkey Salad
- ¼ cup avocado oil mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups cooked turkey meat diced (10oz)
- ½ cup diced celery
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine the turkey, celery, red onion, cilantro, and feta.
- Mix in the dressing.
- Serve immediately, or cover and chill for an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Mix again before serving.