Curry Turkey Salad


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)! 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 leftovers. Today I made a big batch of curried turkey salad for my parents, with Garrett helping to make and eat. For a light lunch 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

  • Yield: Serves 2. This recipe can easily be multiplied.

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 Tbsp chopped green onion or chives
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (can substitute parsley)
  • 1 rib celery chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp 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 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 In a large bowl, mix the curry powder, yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, and ground ginger. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3 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.

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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Turkey Apple Salad Panini from Panini Happy
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Showing 4 of 19 Comments / Reviews

  • 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.

  • Ms Pink

    My favorite leftover turkey-salad is made with dried cherries, almonds, fresh cilantro, onion, celery, maybe some green onion if I have it, it’s not so much an exact recipe. Mix it all up with a creamy cranberry/dijon dressing. It’s something my family looks forward to every year :)

    We also throw it in with some whole wheat pasta for a great pasta salad modeled after DiAmico’s turkey-cherry-pasta-salad.

  • marla

    Perfect flavor filled way to enjoy leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Love the yogurt mayo combo. Sweet and savory with the raisins. I might do an open faced sandwich on a toasty piece of cinnamon raisin bread! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • mantha

    A curry is one of my two favorite ways to use leftover turkey, and this curry looks delicious!

    The other thing I like to do is a Mexican-flavored approach, with a mild prepared salsa whisked together with olive oil and a little lemon juice as the dressing base. To the dressing add smoky chipotle powder and a pinch of ground cumin (toasting the spices first is a nice idea), cayenne to taste, a finely diced jalapeno or poblono pepper, and some diced sweet red peppers. If there are any black olives left from the holiday table, slice some of those in too. Keep the green onions and especially the cilantro, add a little salt to taste, and toss together with turkey chunks. Good on a bed of mesclun greens with blue corn chips, or in a tortilla wrap.

  • Lee

    I use the curry mayonnaise recipe from the old (and still the best) Joy of Cooking – mayo, lime juice, garlic, ginger, honey, curry and Major Gray’s chutney – for any kind of curry salad. Add raisins, craisins, apples, celery, green onions… You get the idea. This curry mayo is also divine on steamed asparagus and sugar snap peas!

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Curry Turkey Salad