Easy and delicious turkey salad with cranberries, pecans, apple and green onion, all tossed in a creamy poppy seed dressing. Just as lovely made with left-over cooked chicken or tuna, too!

turkey salad with cranberries in bowl with fork

Why I love this turkey salad recipe

  • As noted in the title, you can make this salad with either cooked chicken or cooked turkey, so it’s a perfect use for leftovers. Try it with tuna, too!
  • I love this combination of flavours and textures, with ample dried cranberries, crunchy pecans and crispy, tart apple. The creamy dressing with a touch of poppy seeds brings it all together
  • Even with the apple, this salad keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

What you’ll need

turkeys salad ingredients in a white bowl

A few notes about the salad ingredients …

Cooked Turkey (or chicken) – both are equally good in the salad. Cut the cooked chicken or turkey into small cubes. A great use for left-over cooked turkey or chicken or I will often buy a turkey breast, cook it off, enjoy a meal then use the rest for this delicious salad.

Dried Cranberries – you can use sweetened or unsweetened dried cranberries. If your cranberries are older and a little tough (or you don’t love the cranberries too chewy), you can soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes to rehydrate and soften them.

Pecans or Walnuts – both pecans and walnuts are great in this salad. Use what you have or prefer. I generally use them plain, but you can toast them for extra flavour if you like.

Green Onion – the green onion brings a lovely green colour and a subtle extra flavour. If you don’t have green onion, a bit of finely diced red or yellow onion would work, too.

Diced Apple – use any apple you have or enjoy. I don’t peel the apple, but you can if you like. I dice the apple to about the size of the dried cranberries.

For the dressing …

Mayonnaise – you can use whatever mayonnaise or salad dressing you like. An alternative to mayonnaise could be Greek yogurt, though the flavour profile would be a bit tangier. You could also do 1/2 mayo and 1/2 Greek yogurt.

Dried Mustard – if you don’t have dried mustard, substitute a bit of prepared mustard or Dijon mustard.

Poppy Seeds – I love poppy seeds in this salad, but you can omit them if you aren’t a fan.

Step-by-step photos

  1. After adding all the salad ingredients to a large bowl, prepare the dressing by adding the mayonnaise to a measuring cup. Add the vinegar to the mayonnaise.
  2. Add the sugar to the dressing.
  3. Add the salt to the dressing.
  4. Add the dried mustard to the dressing.
  5. Add the poppy seeds to the dressing and stir it all together until well combined.
  6. Add the dressing to the bowl and stir to coat and combine.

How to enjoy this turkey salad

I enjoy this salad tossed with some greens in a bowl, but it also makes great sandwiches or wraps.

turkey salad with cranberries in bowl with fork

Making ahead and storing

This salad is nice enjoyed freshly mixed, but maybe even a bit better after it has been refrigerated a few hours.

This salad keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days. I find the apple holds up well, but if you’re concerned, you can omit the apple at prep and stir it in fresh when serving.

turkey salad with cranberries in bowl with fork

Get the Recipe: Turkey Salad with Cranberries

Easy and delicious turkey salad with cranberries, pecans, apple and green onion, all tossed in a creamy poppy seed dressing. Just as lovely made with left-over cooked chicken, too!
5 stars from 2 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken or turkey, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup apple, peeled or unpeeled, diced
  • 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoon green onion, diced

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, or salad dressing or see Note 1 below
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch dried mustard powder, or 1/4 tsp prepared or Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds

Instructions
 

  • A couple of notes: I find the apple holds up well in the salad in the fridge, but if you're concerned, you can omit the apples at preparation if not eating right away and add fresh diced apple when serving.
    If your cranberries are a little dry or you don't love chewy cranberries in your salad, you can plump the cranberries by soaking in hot water for 10-15 minutes before using. This will rehydrate and soften the dried cranberries. Drain well and add to the salad.
  • Add all the salad ingredients to a large bowl.
  • Prepare the dressing by adding all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir to combine well.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to combine and coat well.
  • Enjoy right away or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Notes

Note 1: An alternative to mayonnaise would be Greek yogurt, though the flavour profile would be a bit tangier. You could also do 1/2 mayo and 1/2 Greek yogurt.
Enjoy this salad as is, tossed with greens in a bowl or for sandwiches or wraps. 
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Salad
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 255kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 365mg, Potassium: 188mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 158IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg
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