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Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad

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Give your leftover turkey new life with our Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad. This easy recipe combines tender, shredded turkey with the sweet zing of cranberries and the satisfying crunch of pecans, making it an ideal post-holiday dish. Enjoy it in sandwiches, wraps, or atop fresh greens for a delicious meal. Quick to prepare and full of flavor, this salad is the ultimate leftover makeover, providing a satisfying twist to your Thanksgiving turkey.
Servings: 4 cups
Total Time: 10 minutes
cranberry pecan turkey salad sandwich.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course, delicious food! But we always look forward to are the leftovers. This Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad is a perfect option for any of your turkey leftovers.

Inspired by a favorite turkey salad from a local grocer, this recipe is packed with sweet and tart cranberries and crunchy Texas pecans. This Thanksgiving leftover recipe is a creative way to use leftover turkey, and you can enjoy it on bread, crackers, or a bed of mixed greens. It’s a true second act for your Thanksgiving turkey, ensuring that every morsel is savored.

cranberry pecan turkey salad sandwich.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions


This recipe uses a few pantry staples and along with holiday leftovers.

In the printable recipe below, you can find a complete list of ingredients and measurements.

  • Cooked Turkey: This is a delicious use for leftover Thanksgiving turkey and you can use either white meat, dark meat, or a combo of each. Dice or shred it to your desired size, ensuring each bite is filled with turkey goodness.
  • Dried Cranberries: These plump, sweet-tart berries add a burst of flavor and a hint of festivity to the salad. Their chewy texture complements the turkey, providing a satisfying contrast.
  • Chopped Pecans: The chopped pecans bring a nice crunch to the salad and contribute a rich, nutty flavor. You can roast them for an extra layer of depth. If you don’t have pecans, you can substitute walnuts or almonds.
  • Mayonnaise: Creamy mayonnaise serves as the salad’s base that binds the ingredients together. It adds richness and a touch of savory flavor. You can also use low-fat mayonnaise or Greek yogurt instead of regular mayonnaise.
ingredients for cranberry pecan turkey salad sandwich.

How to Make Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad


Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
This post may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.

Pro-tip: After mixing the salad ingredients, cover it and allow it to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. This resting time lets the flavors meld together, intensifying the taste and making the salad even more delicious.

1. Prepare Turkey Salad: In a medium bowl combine the shredded leftover turkey, cranberries, pecans, celery, parsley, and tarragon and mix well to combine. To the salad add the mayonnaise salt and pepper and stir will. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Cover the bowl with a resealable lid or saran wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

2. Serve: This turkey salad is delicious as a sandwich, served with crackers, or on a bed of mixed greens.

Serving Ideas for Turkey Salad


These are some of our favorite serving options for your Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad:

  • Sandwich: It’s delicious on various bread options like croissants, toasted whole wheat bread, or a hoagie roll.
  • Salad: Enjoy it over a bed of chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce for a refreshing salad.
  • Wrap: Turn it into a wrap by adding some lettuce or spinach to a large flatbread or tortilla.
  • With Crackers: Perfect for a light meal or snack, simply serve it with your favorite crackers.

How to Store


Store leftover cranberry pecan turkey salad in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 3 to 4 days. It’s not recommended to freeze salads that contain mayonnaise, as mayonnaise can separate and change in texture when thawed.

Recipe Tips and Notes


  • Use Leftover Turkey. This salad is a great way to use up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. The cooked turkey adds a savory and hearty element to the salad.
  • Mix Up the Dressing. The dressing is a key component of the salad. You can use mayonnaise as a base and add some Dijon mustard or Greek yogurt for extra creaminess. A splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can provide a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the cranberries.
  • Toast the Pecans. While completely optional, toasting the pecans adds a rich, nutty flavor and a pleasant crunch to the salad. Simply place them in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir until they’re fragrant and lightly browned.
  • Adjust the Sweetness. You can control the sweetness by adjusting the amount of cranberries and adding sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
  • Get Creative. While this classic recipe is delicious as is, don’t hesitate to get creative. Consider adding diced apples, grapes, or even some crumbled feta cheese for extra flavor and texture.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use chicken instead of turkey?

Absolutely! You can use a freshly cooked and chopped chicken thigh or breast or make it easy and use rotisserie chicken.

Can I make the salad ahead of time for a party or event?

Yes, you can prepare the salad a day in advance. Store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

cranberry pecan turkey salad sandwich.

More Leftover Recipe Ideas to Try


Looking for more inspired comforting soup recipes? Try these other favorites:

  • 20 Leftover Cornbread Recipes – From breakfast casseroles to savory stuffing, and even a sweet dessert twist, we have 20 recipes that will breathe new life into your leftover cornbread.
  • 20 Leftover Chili Recipes – Twenty leftover chili recipes that are not only easy to prepare but will also make you look forward to having extra chili on hand.
  • Leftover Thanksgiving Sandwich – This sandwich is like having Thanksgiving dinner part two! Inspired by the Friend’s Moist Maker infamous sandwich this will become a must-have tradition every year.
  • Leftover Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry – An easy comfort food recipe made with tender turkey, veggies, and delicious gravy topped with a flaky, buttery puff pastry crust. It’s perfect for those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Let’s Connect! If you make this recipe or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.

cranberry pecan turkey salad sandwich.

Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad

Posted by Melissa
Give your leftover turkey new life with our Cranberry Pecan Turkey Salad. This easy recipe combines tender, shredded turkey with the sweet zing of cranberries and the satisfying crunch of pecans, making it an ideal post-holiday dish. Enjoy it in sandwiches, wraps, or atop fresh greens for a delicious meal. Quick to prepare and full of flavor, this salad is the ultimate leftover makeover, providing a satisfying twist to your Thanksgiving turkey.
5 from 1 vote

This recipe may contain paid affiliate sales links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclaimer policy for details.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cups
Calories 485 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups turkey breast, cooked and shredded
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and mix well to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  • Serve on crackers, on a sandwich, or on a bed of mixed greens.

Notes

1. Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. The nutritional value will vary based on the type of ingredients used (example: mayo, turkey white meat vs dark meat, and any additional toppings). It does not include the nutrition for any substitutions or additions.
2. Be sure to check out the Key Ingredients along with the Recipe Tips and Notes sections found in the post, for more tips, options, substitutions, and variations for this recipe! You will also find step-by-step photos.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 cupCalories: 485 kcalCarbohydrates: 16 gProtein: 37 gFat: 32 gSaturated Fat: 4 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15 gMonounsaturated Fat: 10 gTrans Fat: 0.1 gCholesterol: 110 mgSodium: 254 mgPotassium: 161 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 12 gVitamin A: 324 IUVitamin C: 4 mgCalcium: 68 mgIron: 3 mg
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