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Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Salad

November 18, 2021

Not sure what to do with all of those Thanksgiving leftovers? Repurpose them in this Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Salad! It’s delicious and a healthy alternative for the days after Thanksgiving leaving no food to go to waste.

leftover turkey and cranberry sauce salad
leftover turkey cranberry salad

leftover turkey and cranberry sauce salad

If you haven’t noticed, it’s been all things Thanksgiving here on THM! As I talked about in my Cauliflower Stuffing post, I am a full-fledged Canadian (okay half Canadian) who is obsessed with all things US Thanksgiving. So I am very much going to draw the process out for as long as possible. I also just love that there’s something in between Halloween and Christmas because in Canada Michael Bublé’s Christmas album comes out full swing on November 1st.

It’s also been fun to revisit some classic recipes around here. This turkey and cranberry sauce salad recipe was originally posted in November of 2014 when I was very much living in Canada. I can’t even tell you how challenging it was to find turkey and cranberry sauce off season. But I made do. Luckily things were much easier this go-around and we happily enjoyed this salad for lunches all week.

What You Need for Leftover Turkey Salad

Leftover Turkey – feel free to sub leftover chicken if you don’t have turkey or are making this not during Thanksgiving.

Celery – for crunch! Don’t leave this out.

Green onions – white and light green parts only. Feel free to sub a 1/4 cup of chopped red onion if that’s all you have.

Walnuts – I recommend toasting them as it really brings out the flavor.

Mayonnaise – for creaminess. You can sub equal parts greek yogurt if you don’t have mayonnaise or don’t like mayonnaise.

Cranberry sauce – bonus points for homemade!

Spices – paprika, salt + pepper

Lemon – just a splash lemon juice to build out the flavor

How to Make Turkey Cranberry Salad

This turkey cranberry salad could not be easier!

STEP 1: pick about 3 cups of meat off your turkey carcass. Chop or shred it if it comes off in bigger chunks.

STEP 2: toast your walnuts on the stovetop or in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees F. (highly recommended though optional)

STEP 3: mix your turkey, walnuts, celery and onion. top with mayonnaise, cranberry sauce and lemon juice.

STEP 5: serve! This tastes great on bread, a lettuce wrap or just on its own!

leftover turkey salad

Can you use chicken in place of turkey?

Absolutely! This turkey cranberry salad tastes delicious year-round, even if you can’t get your hands on some turkey. Just use the same amount of shredded chicken in place of turkey. And if you can’t get fresh cranberry sauce, reach for canned – just try to find one without a ton of sugar added!

Most importantly, enjoy Thanksgiving. How special is it that we dedicate a day to showing gratitude for the people we love.

How to Serve Leftover Turkey Salad

1. Sandwich – Just scoop about 1 cup of this turkey salad onto your favorite bread. Option to add lettuce or extra onion. Bonus points if you put it on a croissant – yum!

2. Lettuce wraps – no bread on hand? Just use lettuce! Bibb lettuce works best but you can use whatever large lettuce you have on hand. Then just pick up with your hands to eat

3. Salad – Eat this leftover turkey salad over a bed of lettuce or even on its own!


Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Salad

Not sure what to do with all of those Thanksgiving leftovers? Repurpose them in this Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Salad! It’s delicious and a healthy alternative for the days after Thanksgiving leaving no food to go to waste.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Mix
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 3 cups leftover cooked turkey, shredded*
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped (whites and light green only)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (optional: toasted)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise**
  • 1/3 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • splash lemon juice


  1. In a large bowl combine turkey, celery, onions and walnuts.
  2. Add in mayonnaise, cranberry sauce, spices and lemon juice.
  3. Serve on bread or on a salad.
  4. Note: the flavours get even better as it sits so I recommend making this in the morning and letting it sit for a few hours, but if not it’s still delish!

*Feel free to sub in leftover chicken.
**Greek yogurt works great too if you don’t have or like mayonnaise

Keywords: leftover turkey salad, turkey and cranberry salad, turkey and cranberry sauce salad

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  • Reply
    Val Cross
    November 25, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Absolutely delish!! All the ingredients work so well together. Thanks for a great con it: yum

  • Reply
    October 16, 2022 at 11:59 am

    This recipe is so good. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    November 28, 2021 at 11:49 am

    I really like this unique spin on a chicken salad. But, how is your mixture not pink?!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      November 28, 2021 at 11:58 am

      Maybe the pictures don’t show it well but it does have a slight pinkish hue. Mine doesn’t turn bright pink though.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Pretty darn good, even tho i hardly had any of the ingredients. So i shredded red onion, turkey, mayo, homemade cranberry. On whitebread. It was pink.

  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Yummy and easy! Served it on my husband’s homemade sourdough bread.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Turkey Cranberry Salad is great! To be honest, I’m not good at cooking but I like them, they give me joy and excitement every time I finish the dishes, which is a great thing. With your recipe, I just need to follow the instructions and the rest is simple. Thanks for your recipe.

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