Fall gluten-free lunch paleo salads

Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Salad

November 12, 2019

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.

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.

STEP 4: top with mayonnaise, cranberry sauce and lemon juice.

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

*Full recipe listed down below.

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.


Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Salad

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


  • 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

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  • Reply
    November 30, 2020 at 12:41 pm

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

  • Reply
    Happy Thanksgiving! + Tips/Recipes for Leftovers – 𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐫𝐞
    November 27, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    […] Leftover Turkey and Cranberry Sauce Salad […]

  • 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.

  • Reply
    Anna Winter
    November 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Hi, Davida,

    I’m working on a “Thanksgiving Leftovers” post for our blog, and I was wondering if I could share a link to your recipe. Let me know. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Nora (A Clean Bake)
    December 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Holy shmoly it is cold here too. Last year they called it The Polar Vortex (-25 with windchill), this year I think they are just calling it winter. So give me all the comfort food!

    PS: kudos on putting walnuts in your salad! I don’t personally believe it is a proper chicken/turkey salad without, but most people think I am bonkers 🙂

  • Reply
    November 28, 2014 at 7:26 am

    That sounds delightful; is the cranberry sauce chunky or smooth?
    I too used to break out in hives from the cold. I live in the north, but not as far north as you, just Southern New England. I also have Raynaud’s……can’t even mix meatloaf with bare hands. So yes…..I AM ALLERGIC TO COLD, too!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Hi there, I just recently posted a blog post about different ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers and this recipe was one of them! I was sure to link your post to it, but if you would like me to un-link please let me know! You can find the post here: http://seekingthesouthblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/18-ways-to-use-your-thanksgiving.html

    Have a great day!!

  • Reply
    November 19, 2014 at 10:02 am

    You should move to SF because winter doesn’t exist and you can get your groceries delivered. I know, I woke up to a delivery today haha. xoxo

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 20, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Check your snapchat. I had to go out in the middle of blizzard to pick up more eggs last night and wore C’s winter coat to protect myself. I cried the whole way…

  • Reply
    Jordan @ The Balanced Blonde
    November 17, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Yummm! If the cold weather coming means that you’re going to be inside more making recipes from scratch + photographing them in your beautiful way… then I’m cool with it. Also, laughed out loud picturing you walking through the snow cursing. That makes two of us. Except I only lived in cold weather for one year of my life… but I will never forget that bone chilling kill me now feeling. PS… See you next weeeekkk (I certainly hope!!!). Xoxox

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 18, 2014 at 7:53 pm


      • Reply
        Arman @ thebigmansworld
        November 19, 2014 at 1:15 am

        I think you both need to come to Australia, stat.

        I’ll dress up as an bloody kale bush.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Oh, now I don’t want to wait for Thanksgiving! I’m ready for this salad TODAY!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      November 18, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Go for it!!!! It’s awesome with chicken too 🙂 Had it for lunch!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    November 17, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Hahaha, this post is why I love you. I feel the EXACT SAME WAY about winter. It started snowing Saturday night, and I opened the door to see it and my face fell. Most people are all “the snow is sooo beautiful. I can’t wait for it to snow.” All I can imagine is digging my car out, slipping on black ice, and waiting on the corner for the bus for twice as long. At last San Fran is soon!

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