Turkey Leftovers – Let’s talk salad!

Turkey Leftovers – Let’s talk salad!

Let’s talk turkey. Again.

If you still have turkey, lucky you! There are so many ways to prepare turkey leftovers, and a savory turkey salad is a great way to finish it all up. It tastes delicious, too!

One of the interesting things about having a food blog is all the recipes I try. Again and again. Until I've tweaked and measured and perfected them. I’ve basically turned my ordinary kitchen into a test kitchen. My family doesn't mind it. In fact, the kids like it, especially if the subject matter is dessert. I’m almost used to measuring the oil before I drizzle it in a pan, and writing everything down as I cook something new. I even take out the measuring cups to try to gauge the amounts of ingredients I’m putting in a recipe. This is all quite unnatural for me. In writing, I’m known as a “pantser.” As in, “fly by the seat of your pants.” Meaning I wing it. In cooking I do the same thing, and it’s not usually an issue. If I want to make a stir-fry, I just take what I have and throw it in the wok. Or if I have leftover chicken or turkey, I make a salad. I throw a bit of this and a little of that together, taste it, and add a dash of something else to perk it up. It works for me, but it might not be the most helpful blog. It’s quite an adventure to write this blog, and to keep track of what I’m doing and when.

So much turkey, so little time. After you tire of the sliced plain turkey sandwiches, don’t forget about turkey salad. It has so many possibilities—you can alter it to suit your tastes in so many ways, whether by adding nuts (pecans or almonds?), fruit (dried cranberries or fresh pears?), even aromatics (chives or red onions?). Even changing the variety of mustard will change the dish considerably.

A day or two after Thanksgiving, I like to put together a turkey salad that combines a symphony of flavors. Perhaps some from thanksgiving itself, like cranberries, but also other flavors to make it more interesting, for a little variety.

When I make turkey salad I start with mayonnaise and Dijon mustard. I also love the flavor and crunch of celery, and the tang of a little red onion or scallion. As far as seasonings, that’s entirely up to you. You could go with a little lemon pepper, or perhaps some cayenne if you like it spicy. I added Old Bay Seasoning this time, and I thought it gave the turkey a little spark.

Then it’s ready to eat. You can have a scoop atop a nice bed of greens, build a sandwich, or eat it straight out of the bowl. If you make a sandwich, don't forget to use great bread. Whether you use French bread, a whole grain tortilla, or a gluten free bagel is up to you. Next, add some mashed avocado if you have it. Then put the turkey salad on top of that. Add any fruit and nuts, then top with lettuce or spinach, and you’re ready to go! If you like cheese, add some on top, perhaps sliced Brie, Havarti or Gouda.

Don’t forget to load your sandwich or salad with a variety of colorful vegetables, to give it crunch, flavor, and lots of vitamins.

If you’re lucky enough to still have turkey, enjoy it while it lasts. Thanksgiving 2015 is just a memory now, and soon its turkey will be also.

Turkey Salad

2          Cups turkey, chopped

4          Tbsp. mayonnaise

2          tsp. Dijon mustard

1          Cup celery, chopped fine

2          Tbsp. red onion, minced

½        tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

½        tsp. celery seed

Salt and pepper to taste


Add-Ons (optional)


Fresh spinach

Pear or apple, sliced thin

Roasted almond slivers (or another nut)


Combine first 8 ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly. Mash avocado onto bread (or toast). Place turkey salad on avocado. Top with almonds, sliced pear, spinach and cheese.



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Filed under: Leftovers, Lunch

Tags: Turkey

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