Summer is often the “salad” season for folks. I know my garden is light and green at that time. I’ll often find myself foraging greens, picking berries and getting a sunburn. Red meat, most of my freezer, does not call as loudly to me. So I start looking around for the extra grouse or the cottontail in the freezer. But the king of a good summer menu is wild turkey. Below is a trio of easy salads that you can make with the gobbler in your freezer.

The first part of all three recipes is the same: cook a turkey breast and shred it. Remember that wild turkey is not a Butterball from the store. It will not recover as well from being overcooked. So be careful when cooking the breast meat. Let it rest fully—cool down—to keep all the juices inside. After you shred the breast, the variations are endless; Asian to Scandinavian dishes can be created. Like with most wild meats however, wild turkey is incredibly lean. That is why I am adding a “fat” of some type in all of the recipes below. It can be mayonnaise or sesame oil, it does not matter, what matters is a moist and delicious salad. All of these salads can be made ahead of time. But the Asian style salad is best right after being prepared.

Shredded Wild Turkey Breast

  • 1 wild turkey breast, skinless
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350°. Season wild turkey breast with salt and pepper. Heat a medium sized skillet on high for four minutes, add oil. Carefully add the turkey breast and sear until golden brown on one side. Flip and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked completely through. Remove the turkey breast from the oven. Let the turkey cool completely. When the turkey is cool, use a knife and fork to “shred” the breast meat. With wild turkey, thinner slices/shreds are better.


Asian Style Shredded Wild Turkey Salad

  • 1 Shredded Wild Turkey Breast (see above)
  • 4 ea breakfast radishes, sliced into rounds
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into half moons
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 stalk green onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha

In a large bowl combine the turkey, radishes, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, green onion and garlic. In a medium bowl whisk together the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, peanut butter and sriracha. Next add the “dressing” to the turkey and vegetables. Toss lightly to combine.


Turkey Curry Salad

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and zest
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (red curry paste would be even better, but not necessary)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Shredded Wild Turkey Breast (see above)
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • ½ small red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup cashew pieces

In large mixing bowl add the mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, curry powder, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Next, add the turkey breast meat, grapes, celery, red onion and cashew pieces. Stir to combine. Serve with pitas.

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Wild Turkey Waldorf Salad (recipe inspiration from

  • 1 Shredded Wild Turkey Breast (see above)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 green apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and pepper

In a large bowl add the turkey, celery, apple, grapes, and pecans. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, blue cheese and honey. Pour the mayonnaise mixture on top of the turkey and vegetables. Gently mix to incorporate. Taste, and then season with salt and pepper as desired.
Randy King
Author, Chef in the Wild: Reflections and Recipes from a True Wilderness Chef