Curry Turkey Salad

SaladCurryTurkeyTurkey Leftovers

Curried turkey salad with apple, raisins or dried cranberries, green onions, celery, cilantro, honey, ground ginger, curry, mayo and yogurt.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Once again, we overdid it. I think no matter how many people actually end up coming for Thanksgiving dinner, we still make enough for 14 or more.

This year’s T-Day dinner seated 6 Thursday night, and then a follow up for 7 Friday night, and we still had a massive amount of leftover turkey (and everything else on the menu)!

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My father looked at me and asked, “what were we thinking?”

I don’t know dad, but I do love being able to play with the turkey leftovers.

Leftover turkey curry salad

Today I made a big batch of this curried turkey salad with our turkey leftovers for a light lunch with my parents. We had the curry turkey salad over mixed greens, though you could easily put between two layers of bread for a sandwich.

The cilantro is important here, I don’t recommend omitting it unless you don’t eat cilantro, in which case parsley will work as a substitution.

Do you have a favorite turkey salad made with leftover Thanksgiving turkey? If so please let us know about it in the comments.

Curry Turkey Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2, you can easily scale up the recipe

For this curried turkey salad I've used a mix of yogurt and mayonnaise. The yogurt provides the tang, the mayonnaise the creaminess. Feel free to substitute at will between the two depending on your preference.


  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey meat
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice*
  • 1/4 cup of raisins and/or dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion or chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (can substitute parsley)
  • 1 rib celery chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper

*Once you've chopped the apples, sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from discoloring.


1 Heat the curry powder until fragrant: In a small skillet, heat the curry powder on medium low heat until quite fragrant. Remove from heat. Do not linger too long over the heat or the curry powder will start to toast.

The point of this step is to heat it enough to release more of its flavor. You can easily skip this step if you are in a hurry.

2 Make the curry powder mayo mixture: In a large bowl, mix the curry powder, yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, and ground ginger. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3 Fold in the remaining ingredients: Gently fold in the chopped, cooked turkey, apple, raisins/dried cranberries, green onions, cilantro, and celery. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

4 Serve: Serve on a bed of lettuce greens or in a sandwich.

Options: for a little more zing, add a little mango chutney to the dressing.

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Curry Turkey Salad

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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19 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Marcela Beth Clay

    Have made this recipe with salmon, grapes, walnuts, and apples, as well as one time with cooked chicken breast & toasted almonds substituting for turkey. Best part of the recipe is the curry sauce – toasting the curry releases some over-the-top flavors.

  2. Denise

    We received a whole frozen turkey for Christmas but went out of town for the holiday, so last night we pulled apart the turkey pieces (slicing the breast off the bone to help with cooking time) and marinated them in a garlic, basil, and soy sauce vinaigrette. Instead of baking, we grilled the pieces for about 20 minutes total. It was delicious and now we have a ton of turkey to use for recipes like this! We made this recipe today- delicious! Didn’t have yogurt so I substituted sour cream which worked fine. A few chopped pecans might be a nice add next time. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Carolyn

    A chime-in from another vegetarian- I am about to post a turkey-style seitan recipe I’ve been tweaking and using this season on my own site, and I think your recipe will work spectacularly with a non-bird alternative. Curry anything gets my attention every time, especially when accompanied by fruit. Who says the meal has to put you to sleep in order to be good- salads of all kinds need to be more front and center on everyone’s plate!

  4. berkeley girl

    I’m a vegetarian, so have no leftover turkey, but this worked great w/ sliced tempeh. I didn’t have any celery, ginger powder, herbs, or mayonnaise, but the concept still worked great! I sauteed the tempeh briefly in olive oil & 1/2 of the curry powder, added chopped spinach and cooked for less than 1 min, then added both to the dressing and mixed in the raisins and apples. A nice spicy salad.
    -berkeley girl

  5. Dorothy

    So yummy! Substitution haters stop here. I used chicken instead of turkey and (duh) it was great. Thanks so much for the recipe.

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