More

ELIZABETHRIDER

Where should I send it?

Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad (Perfect for Post-Thanksgiving!)

Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad is the perfect way to repurpose the best parts of your Thanksgiving feast.

Okay, if I’m being honest, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is probably the cornbread. But let’s face it, “leftover cornbread salad” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

As much as I LOVE Thanksgiving (seriously, who doesn’t?) the next few days are always a struggle.

The cleanup is a beast in and of itself, but figuring out how to enjoy the leftovers in a way that doesn’t put me in a food coma is tough.

That’s where this Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad comes in. If you’re looking for a delicious way to enjoy yesterday’s Thanksgiving turkey in a totally guilt-free way, this is the recipe for you.

This salad combines leftover turkey with fresh veggies, herbs, bacon, and roasted pumpkin seeds, served over a bed of romaine.

It’s then tossed with a super simple, yet beyond drool-worthy, honey garlic vinaigrette for a nourishing meal that tastes amazing.

Bursting with a wide array of delicious fall flavors and plenty of bright colors, Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad is the perfect healthy post-Thanksgiving recipe to enjoy throughout the rest of the holiday weekend.

I don’t know about you, but after the day-long food coma that follows my family’s Thanksgiving celebration, I am always desperately in need of something light and refreshing.

Not only does this turkey salad absolutely hit the mark, but it only takes 10 minutes of prep work.

Trust me when I say, you need this Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad in your life. It’s wholesome, incredibly easy to make, and beyond delicious. You’re gonna love it!

Key Ingredients

To make this leftover turkey salad, you will need the following key ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge:

  • Leftover turkey. Take that glorious leftover Thanksgiving turkey and chop it up however you like—it’s going to be the star of this show!
  • Raw pumpkin seeds. Personally, I love roasting my own pumpkin seeds at home. However, if you’re looking to save time, feel free to opt for plain pre-roasted pumpkin seeds instead and skip the roasting step.
  • Romaine lettuce. I like to use fresh romaine lettuce as the base of this salad for a nice crunch. However, you can use any leafy greens you like. Spinach and arugula would both work great here.
  • Leftover green beans. One of the staple Thanksgiving side dishes in my home is a nice big bowl of green beans, so the leftovers always go right into this salad. If you have different leftover veggies you want to use, feel free to toss them in.
  • Bacon. Easily one of my favorite guilty pleasures, bacon adds a ton of amazing flavor and richness to this salad.
  • Fresh herbs. Parsley is my go-to for adding lots of fresh flavor to this salad, but you can swap it out for another fresh herb like cilantro, dill, or chives.
  • Honey garlic vinaigrette. To make this flavorful salad dressing, you will need olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. It’s so simple and pairs beautifully with the salad, tying everything together.

How to Make Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad

After pulling off an entire Thanksgiving feast, I’m pretty much exclusively in the mood for easy meals for at least the next week or so.

Luckily, this leftover turkey salad recipe is super easy to throw together.

It’s as simple as chopping your ingredients, mixing up the dressing, roasting the pumpkin seeds, and tossing it all in a bowl.

Just like that, you’ve got a fabulous lunch or dinner to enjoy without breaking a sweat.

To make Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad, follow these simple steps:

  1. Add all dressing ingredients to a lidded jar and shake until it is well mixed. Then, chill the dressing in the fridge while you prepare the salad.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a foil-lined baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika, then toss to combine.
  3. Roast the seeds for 40-45 minutes or until they are nicely toasted. Remove the seeds from the oven, then set them aside to cool.
  4. To a large bowl, add romaine, green beans, bacon, red onion, turkey, pumpkin seeds, parsley, and cracked pepper. Stir in the dressing, then toss until thoroughly combined. Enjoy!

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Although this Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad is a breeze to make, here are a few of my top tips and tricks to help you out:

  • Utilize your leftovers. The beautiful thing about this salad is that it’s completely customizable based on your flavor preferences and what you have at home. After all, it is a leftover salad! Feel free to add in any leftover veggies you think will work well.
  • Taste as you go. The amount of seasoning you use for this salad really depends on your own taste preferences. Don’t be afraid to season your dish a little at a time, tasting as you go. It’s a lot harder to fix an over-seasoned dish than an under-seasoned one!
  • Swap out the seeds. A good salad should always feature something crunchy for texture variance. In this recipe, I opt for freshly roasted pumpkin seeds. However, you can easily swap those out for chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or sunflower seeds. Totally up to you, so just choose your favorite.

How to Serve Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad

This festive turkey salad is the ultimate healthy fall lunch or dinner recipe. It’s loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Basically, all the goods!

You can serve this salad on its own or as part of a larger meal if you’re serving a crowd or just extra hungry.

If you’re looking for dishes to serve it with, here are some of my favorite choices:

  • Bread. If you’ve got leftover turkey and green beans, then I’m willing to bet you have some leftover dinner rolls or cornbread too. Reheat those bad boys in the oven and serve them up next to this delicious salad for a crave-worthy meal.
  • Tortillas. Not in the mood for a salad? Looking for a more on-the-go dish? Turn this turkey salad into the ultimate wrap by stuffing it into a tortilla. Yum!
  • Soup. Soup and salad is a classic combo, especially this time of year. For a soup-er cozy (see what I did there?) meal, serve this salad alongside a bowl of Pumpkin Curry Soup or this Easy, Healthy Minestrone Soup.

Leftover Turkey Salad Storage Tips

When it comes to storing salads for later, it’s super important to store the dressing separately.

If you store the dish after it’s combined, you’re pretty much guaranteed to wind up with a soggy salad within just a few hours.

To avoid this, make sure you portion out what you’re ready to eat before adding dressing to your bowl. If you have any leftover salad, make sure to store it dry.

To store this dish, you’ll want to store your dressing in an airtight jar like a mason jar. When stored properly, it will keep in the fridge for up to 7-10 days.

You can store your leftover salad in an airtight storage container for up to 3-5 days. While I don’t recommend freezing salad ever, you can freeze the dressing if needed for up to 1-2 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this Thanksgiving leftovers recipe:

Is this dish healthy?

Yes! Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad is loaded with fresh veggies and good-for-you ingredients that are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Turkey is also one of the leanest sources of protein.

What else can you put on this salad?

Honestly, anything you want. Salads like this one are great for cleaning out the fridge and getting rid of any veggies you have laying around. You can switch up the greens, the pumpkin seeds, and even the meat. Don’t be afraid to make this dish your own.

What does chopped turkey salad go with?

This dish is a festive fall recipe that can be served with just about anything. Because it’s loaded with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, this salad can easily be served on its own.

However, some of my favorite side dishes to serve with it include cornbread, dinner rolls, and fall-inspired soups.

More Healthy Salad Recipes

If you liked this dish, you’re going to love these:

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad (Perfect for Post-Thanksgiving!)

  • Author: Elizabeth Rider
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Chop, mix
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Chopped Leftover Turkey Salad is perfect for using up those Thanksgiving leftovers we all have in the fridge this time of year. It’s nourishing, easy to make, and beyond delicious!


Ingredients

Scale

Salad:

  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pinch paprika
  • 2 cups leftover green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups leftover turkey
  • 4 cups fresh romaine, chopped
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • Fresh cracked pepper, for topping

Honey Garlic Vinaigrette:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all dressing ingredients to a lidded jar and shake until it is well mixed. Then, chill the dressing in the fridge while you prepare the salad.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a foil-lined baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika, then toss to combine.
  3. Roast the seeds for 40-45 minutes or until they are nicely toasted. Remove the seeds from the oven, then set them aside to cool.
  4. To a large bowl, add romaine, green beans, bacon, red onion, turkey, pumpkin seeds, parsley, and cracked pepper. Stir in the dressing, then toss until thoroughly combined. Enjoy!

Keywords: chopped leftover turkey salad, thanksgiving turkey salad, healthy fall salad, thanksgiving leftover recipe

Show / Hide Comments

Add A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

The Details

Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.

A health expert, author, and creative entrepreneur

I’m Elizabeth

meet the blogger

More