Made with leftover roast turkey, this turkey macaroni and pecan salad has carrot, celery, crushed pineapple and plenty of grated Parmesan.
I’ve made salad with leftover roast turkey before—and it was good!—but I do think that this turkey macaroni and pecan salad is tastier. Pasta fans will likely see my point but potato fans might disagree. For you potato fans, you can always substitute potatoes for the pasta in this recipe.
What’s in this salad that makes it so tasty? Well, more than tasty, it’s really the interplay of flavors and textures.
Crunchy celery, sweet and subtly creamy carrot (creamy because I blanched the carrot before chopping), smoky toasted pecans and sweet-tangy crushed pineapple.
Because it was roasted, the turkey meat itself has lots of flavor and aroma too! I like to cut the turkey meat in bite-size pieces instead of shredded them to invisibility.
The dressing is just plain mayonnaise made extra creamy with grated Parmesan.
To serve, I simply topped the turkey macaroni and pecan salad with chopped parsley and more grated Parmesan.
Turkey Macaroni and Pecan Salad
- 200 grams macaroni or any pasta shape that will catch lots of mayo and cheese
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 2 ribs celery
- 2 to 3 cups leftover roast turkey chopped
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise (you may want more)
- 1 cup crushed pineapple drained
- ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan plus more to serve
- chopped parsley to garnish
Boil water to cook the macaroni in. Add a tablespoon of salt. Cook the macaroni until al dente.
While the pasta cooks, peel the carrot and cut lengthwise into four pieces. Add to the macaroni and cook for five minutes. Fish out the carrot pieces, drain and cool.
While the carrot cools and the pasta continues to cook, toast the pecans in an oil-free pan. Cool.
Thinly slice the celery.
Chop the cooled carrot.
Chop the cooled pecans.
Drain the pasta and cool.
Add two tablespoons mayonnaise to the turkey. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix to moisten the meat.
In a mixing bowl, toss the carrot, celery, pecans and crushed pineapple with 1/4 cup mayonnaise and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, all the sugar and grated Parmesan.
Add the drained and cooled pasta to the mixing bowl. Add the turkey and the rest of the mayonnaise, and toss. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed. If the pasta appears too dry, add more mayo, toss then adjust the seasonings again.
Chill the turkey macaroni and pecan salad for a few hours before serving.
To serve, top with chopped parsley and more grated Parmesan.