turkey salad

The Morning After: Turkey Salad Recipe and Variations

Turkey salad is a great post-Thanksgiving treat!

Whenever I make a turkey, I have not only a feast to offer on Turkey day, but a leftover-turkey feast on post-turkey days: you just wouldn’t believe how many hats this bird can wear, one more becoming than the next. The trick with turkey – and all – leftovers is to give them a complete and quick makeover, since what looked wonderful on Thursday will look much less inviting on the following couple days. Good utilitarian cook that I am, I let absolutely nothing go to waste: Turkey soup, turkey spread, turkey terrine, curried turkey salad sandwiches and wraps, turkey Waldorf salad: you name it!

You will love this turkey salad and all its variations!



  • 3 -4 cups diced cooked turkey or chicken
  • 2 Granny Smith (green) apples, unpeeled, diced small
  • 3 ribs celery, peeled, diced small
  • ½ medium red onion, minced
  • 8 ounces natural (no nitrites) smoked turkey, diced small
  • 1 cup rémoulade dressing (recipe follows), a little more if necessary
  • ½ cup chopped toasted cashews or peanuts, optional

Remoulade dressing:

This is an intensely flavored sauce with a robustness that is a good match for grated celery root, endives, watercress, as well as cold meats. It uses just a little fat and packs a great punch at a lower caloric cost.


  • ⅓ cup low-fat mayonnaise (if mayo is a problem, substitute ⅓ cup silken tofu plus 1/4 cup olive oil)
  • ⅓ cup milk or dairy-free milk, low-fat OK, a little more if needed
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup prepared white horseradish (or 2 tablespoons wasabi diluted in a little cold water)
  • 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Thin with a little more milk if necessary to make a creamy sauce. Makes about 2 cups. Store refrigerated in a glass jar.


Mix all ingredients in a bowl, making sure to stir in he nuts just before serving so they don't lose their crunch. Serve at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.


  • Curried turkey salad: Add 2–3 tablespoons curry to the basic recipe.
  • Chinese turkey salad: No apples and no remoulade dressing. Add 2 cups very finely chopped nappa cabbage and 2 cups soybean sprouts. Dress the salad with a mixture of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, grated ginger and bottled ginger to taste.
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