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Don’t know what to do with all that leftover turkey? Whip it up into a creamy, crunchy Apple Pecan Chicken (Turkey!) Salad sandwich.

This Apple Pecan Chicken Salad is a great way to use up Thanksgiving turkey leftovers!

I don’t care what anyone says, the best part of Thanksgiving isn’t the turkey, the gravy, the buttery mashed potatoes, or the pies. It’s the day-after leftovers. It’s turkey sandwiches stacked high on homemade rolls with a fat slice of Swiss and a smear of Miracle Whip (<<don’t judge me!). It’s stuffing fried in butter on the stove top and finished with a warm, dippy egg. It’s mashed potato cakes with a dollop of sour cream, and cranberry sauce on your french toast.

Of course, in the leftover game, turkey salad is a standard. It’s an easy way to transform your poultry into a completely different dish, especially when you think your stomach might revolt if you consume one more drop of gravy. But just because it’s leftovers, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. In fact, this turkey salad might be just what your taste buds need to awaken from their Thanksgiving day stupor.

This Chicken or Turkey Salad is stuffed with tart apples, sweet cranberries, and crunchy pecans!

I don’t know about you, but I like my chicken (or turkey) salad to be more meat and less…sauce. If the mayo gets out of hand, I get weird and politely excuse myself from the table. I also prefer that my chicken salad have lots of add-ins. I feel this way about almost everything. Why get one frozen yogurt topping when I could get nine? And why have a plain buttered potato when I could have one loaded with cheese, sour cream, and bacon? In some things, less isn’t more, and I believe chicken salad is one of those things.

I think any good leftover turkey salad needs to have a little bit of crunch, a little bit of sweetness, and a little bit of tang. Luckily, this one has all three. I stuck with a harvesty theme and loaded this up with chopped tart apples, dried cranberries, pecans, and celery. It strikes the right balance between savory and sweet, creamy and crunchy.

Put your chicken or turkey leftovers to good use with this Apple Pecan Chicken Salad.

Of course, a good turkey salad sandwich wouldn’t be complete without good bread! I used my leftover Butterhorns for this, but you could also go with a seedy honey wheat or a brioche.

Be sure to sneak away a tupperware or two of leftover turkey so you can enjoy these sandwiches all holiday weekend long! For more ideas on how to use up all those Thanksgiving leftovers, check out my #SundaySupper friends’ posts below!

Cranberry Apple Pecan Chicken Salad
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4-6
  • 3 cups leftover chicken or turkey (I used a mix of white and dark), chopped
  • 1 tart apple, cored and chopped
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • ½ cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch black pepper
  • Bread or rolls for serving
  1. Combine the chicken or turkey, apple, cranberries, pecans, and celery in a medium sized mixing bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk together mayo, sour cream, vinegar, salt, sugar, and black pepper.
  2. Add the mayo to the chicken mixture and stir until well combined. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve on slices of bread, rolls, or croissants.


Cranberry Sauce Muffins by The Foodie Army Wife
Leftover Stuffing Breakfast Strata by Ruffles & Truffles
Sweet Potato Casserole Muffins by Magnolia Days
Turkey & Chorizo Breakfast Hash by Brunch with Joy
Italian Mashed Potato Pancakes by The Weekend Gourmet
Cranberry Sauce’d Corn Bread Muffins by Rhubarb and Honey

Main Dish:

Leftover Pie by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Thanksgiving Leftover Waffles by Foxes Love Lemons
Stuffing Hash by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Turkey Pizza by Meal Diva
Turkey & Caramelized Onion Risotto by kimchi MOM
Turkey with Creamy Mushroom Marsala Sauce by Casa de Crews
Moroccan Turkey Stew by What Smells So Good?
Peruvian Cilantro & Turkey Soup by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
Turkey & Butternut Squash Stew by Cooking Chat
Turkey Kreplach Soup by Panning the Globe
Turkey & Stuffing Crepes by Peaceful Cooking
Cranberry Apple Pecan Chicken Salad by NeighborFood
Herbed Turkey over Cornbread Waffles with Cranberry Sauce by girlichef
Creamy Peanut Gochujang Pasta by Wallflour Girl
Cranberry Sweet Potato Soup by Take A Bite Out of Boca
Turkey Enchilada Pasta Bake by Curious Cuisiniere
Turkey Orzo Risotto by Family Foodie
Turkey Croquettes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Side Dishes:

Cheesy Mashed Potato Croquettes by Noshing with the Nolands
Whipped Carrots with Sriracha Butter by Healthy Delicious
Cranberry-Balsamic Glazed Cauliflower Wings by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes by Momma’s Meals
Cheesy Jalapeño Potato Cakes by Bobbi’s Cozy Kitchen


Cranberry & Turkey Sandwich by The Redhead Baker
Monte Cristo Sandwich by Nik Snacks
Hot Brown Turkey Sandwiches by The Life and Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Sprouted Grain Turkey, Cranberry & Brie Panini by Amee’s Savory Dish
Turkey Cranberry Flatbread by Peanut Butter and Peppers

Condiments & Sauces:

Cranberry Vinaigrette by Nosh My Way
Leftover White Wine Syrup by Food Lust People Love
DIY Yellow Mustard by The Texan New Yorker


Banana Cheesecake with Pecan Graham Cracker Crust by Desserts Required
Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Gluten-Free Lemon Cake by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Spiced Cranberry Sauce Buckle by The Wimpy Vegetarian

Cocktails & Drinks:

Cranberry Orange Crush by The Messy Baker
Cranberry Bellini by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

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Leave a Comment

  • Maureen November 23, 2014, 9:17 AM

    My standard response when someone asks what I like best about Thanksgiving is the leftovers. It didn’t take long – just one year of cooking dinner, to know why my mother refused to go anywhere on Thanksgiving. She wasn’t going to give up the leftovers. Your sandwiches are perfect. It’s summer here and that’s terrific picnic food.

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog November 23, 2014, 10:36 AM

    This is one delicious transformation. I can’t wait to make this salad with my leftovers. Pinned.

  • Jennifer Miller November 23, 2014, 11:41 AM

    Simply delicious!

  • Constance November 23, 2014, 11:46 AM

    Oh yeah – you have all the delicious food, and none of the work on the day after! 🙂

  • Liz Weber Berg November 23, 2014, 2:49 PM

    What a terrific sandwich! Why have I never made turkey salad???? I have everything on hand to make this next Friday!

  • Tara November 23, 2014, 3:58 PM

    I am in love with this, what a fabulous looking sandwich!!

  • Shaina Wizov November 23, 2014, 7:12 PM

    What a beautiful sandwich!! My family has been making turkey salad with Thanksgiving leftovers for years, it’s such a great idea

  • Hezzi-D November 23, 2014, 9:47 PM

    I can’t wait to make this with my leftover turkey!

  • Isabel Laessig November 23, 2014, 11:43 PM

    I am so with you – the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers — and this sandwich proves it. Absolutely gorgeous!

  • cupcakekalechip November 24, 2014, 12:24 AM

    I love all the flavors and textures. Chicken/turkey salad has to be fun and creative! I also love tons of fro yo toppings, too 😉

  • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons November 24, 2014, 6:28 PM

    Ohhhh I think everybody agrees about the leftovers being the best part. It makes you wonder why we don’t all make dinner on Wednesday, pack it up and refrigerate it, then reheat it on Thursday 🙂

  • Bobbi @BobbisKozyKtchn November 24, 2014, 6:54 PM

    Soooo many goodies going on in the salad! I love it!!

  • Nichole C November 25, 2014, 7:01 PM

    I love that you used those rolls in the this leftover sandwich. I made them for our Thanksgiving this weekend (we always celebrate the weekend before with my in-laws), and have plenty leftover, I totally need to make a turkey salad sandwich out of it!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood November 25, 2014, 7:43 PM

      Oh awesome! I hope you all enjoyed the rolls. 🙂 And now I hope you enjoy some turkey salad!

  • Ala Shih November 25, 2014, 7:51 PM

    Hehe–I’m so glad I’m not the only person who just dreams about leftovers. It really is a crazy blessing! I’m suuuuuch a fan of apple and pecan salad. Yes, please!

  • kimchi_mom November 25, 2014, 11:33 PM

    Leftovers are the best! I love a good chicken/turkey salad!

    Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving!

  • Sarah R November 26, 2014, 10:57 PM

    This is so much like one my grandma used to make with almonds! Pecans would be such a luxurious twist

  • Cindys Recipes November 26, 2014, 11:29 PM

    I love this kind of salad! I’d throw a few grapes in there too! yum!

  • Julie @ Texan New Yorker December 2, 2014, 5:32 PM

    Chicken (turkey!) salad is one of my favorite things to eat. I would love this!

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