When it comes to healthy and delicious meals, turkey salad is an excellent choice. This dish is not only packed with nutrients but is also easy to prepare and versatile. Thanksgiving is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States. A traditional Thanksgiving feast usually includes a roast turkey, and it’s not uncommon to have leftovers the next day. Rather than simply reheating the turkey and eating it as it is, you can easily turn it into a mouth-watering turkey salad. This recipe is a great way to use up the remaining turkey from your Thanksgiving feast, while also creating a dish that’s perfect for lunch or dinner the next day.
I'm using the leftovers from my Cajun Smoked Turkey, but you can use any leftover turkey that you like. This recipe also works for chicken salad too!
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What are the Origins of Turkey Salad?
The exact origins of turkey salad are unclear, but it likely evolved from the tradition of using leftover meat to create new dishes. As the consumption of turkey became more widespread in the United States, particularly around Thanksgiving, it was only natural that leftover turkey would be used to create new dishes. This recipe likely originated in the early 20th century, when mayonnaise-based salads became popular in America.
Mayonnaise was introduced to the United States in the mid-18th century, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that mayonnaise-based salads became popular. Recipes for turkey salad started appearing in cookbooks and magazines in the 1920s and 1930s, and the dish has been a popular way to use up leftover turkey ever since.
Today, it is a staple in many American households, particularly around Thanksgiving. The dish has also evolved over time, with different variations and ingredients being added to suit different tastes and preferences. While the origins of turkey salad may be unclear, it has certainly become a beloved dish that’s associated with the holiday season and the tradition of using leftovers to create new and delicious meals.
- 3 cups chopped turkey
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 cup sliced red grapes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- In a large bowl, add 3 cups of chopped turkey.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of onion powder, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika to the turkey.
- Add 1 cup of mayonnaise to the bowl.
- Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the bowl.
- Add 1 cup of sliced red grapes to the bowl.
- Mix all the ingredients together until the turkey is coated with the mayo and seasonings.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Once the turkey salad is chilled, give it a stir and taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper as needed.
- Serve the turkey salad on bread, crackers, or a bed of lettuce, as desired.
There are many variations of turkey salad, and the ingredients used can vary based on personal preferences, regional influences, and cultural traditions. Here are a few variations of turkey salad:
- Waldorf-style turkey salad: This variation includes diced turkey, chopped apples, chopped celery, walnuts, and mayonnaise. Some recipes also include grapes, raisins, or cranberries. The combination of sweet and savory ingredients creates a refreshing and satisfying salad.
- Curry turkey salad: This variation includes diced turkey, curry powder, mayonnaise, celery, onion, and raisins. The curry powder adds a flavorful and spicy twist to the salad, while the raisins add a touch of sweetness.
- Mediterranean-style turkey salad: This variation includes diced turkey, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, chopped tomatoes, red onion, and a lemon vinaigrette. The combination of salty feta and olives with tangy lemon and juicy tomatoes creates a fresh and flavorful salad that's perfect for summer.
- Cranberry turkey salad: This variation includes diced turkey, mayonnaise, chopped celery, chopped onion, and dried cranberries. The sweetness of the cranberries pairs well with the savory turkey and mayonnaise, creating a festive and flavorful salad that's perfect for the holiday season.
- Southwest-style turkey salad: This variation includes diced turkey, black beans, corn, red onion, avocado, lime juice, and cilantro. The addition of black beans and corn gives the salad a hearty and filling texture, while the avocado adds creaminess and the lime juice and cilantro add a fresh and zesty flavor.
These are just a few variations of turkey salad, but there are countless ways to customize the dish to suit your taste preferences and cultural traditions.
Q: Can I use leftover chicken instead of turkey to make turkey salad?
A: Yes, you can use leftover chicken instead of turkey to make chicken salad. Simply substitute the diced chicken for the diced turkey in the recipe, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Q: How long can I store this recipe in the refrigerator?
A: Turkey salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to give it a stir before serving to redistribute any separation that may have occurred.
Q: Can I freeze turkey salad?
A: It's not recommended to freeze turkey salad, as mayonnaise-based salads can separate and become watery when thawed.
Q: Can I add other ingredients to this recipe?
A: Yes, you can add other ingredients to the turkey salad recipe to suit your taste preferences. Some popular additions include chopped apples, grapes, nuts, herbs, and vegetables like celery and onion.
Q: Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can make turkey salad ahead of time and refrigerate it until ready to serve. In fact, letting the salad sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight can help the flavors meld together and improve the overall taste.
Q: What are some serving suggestions for turkey salad?
A: Turkey salad can be served on bread, in a wrap, on a bed of lettuce, or with crackers. It can also be used as a filling for sandwiches or stuffed into pita pockets.
CHECK OUT OUR SIMILAR RECIPESPrint
Transform Your Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey into a Delicious Turkey Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
3 cups chopped turkey
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sliced red grapes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
Keywords: turkey salad