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Blueberry Turkey Panzanella Salad

Blueberry Turkey Panzanella Salad

Blueberry Turkey Panzanella Salad |

Disclaimer: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

So, this twist on an Italian peasant dish was created from three inspirations that came together:

1) Wondering why I only cook turkey one day out of the year?
2) The current trend of using fruit & spices, which are usually designated to sweet recipes, in savory preparations
3) A recent craving for a simple bread salad

All the above inspirations were sparked when I learned about the “Mama’s Plate Update” Blueberry Blogger Recipe Contest. There are many days I wish we had access to a blueberry bush  because we go through them like mad in this house. My 5 year daughter likes to make blueberry soup (1. add blueberries to bowl, 2. pour in the milk, 3. eat with a spoon.) but that’s really as fancy as it gets – 99% of the time, we are just eating them out of hand.

So I got to thinking about using blueberries in any type of recipe besides a dessert (reference inspiration #2 above.) Here Thanksgiving leftovers (turkey, days old baguette, extra blue cheese crumbles and pecans) sure came in handy. I used blueberries both in the salad and as a base for the Blueberry Lemon Vinaigrette dressing.

Blueberry Turkey Panzanella Salad |

The result? An explosion of flavors and textures that definitely woke up my lunch time routine. My early new year’s resolution is to cook turkey more often and use the leftovers to make this salad.

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Blueberry Turkey Panzanella Salad

  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x



For the salad:

  • 2 cups cooked turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups day old bread (like sourdough, baguette or crusty Italian bread), toasted and cut into bite-sized pieces

For the dressing:

  • 2/3 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
  • Juice and zest of one small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. In a large serving bowl, toss together turkey, 1 cup blueberries, tomatoes, onion, blue cheese, pecans, mint and pepper. Add in bread pieces and gently mix together. Set aside.
  2. In a blender, add 2/3 cup blueberries, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar. Blend well and strain. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Pour about a third of the blueberry dressing over the turkey/bread mixture. Toss gently until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. When serving, pour remaining blueberry dressing in serving pitcher and place next to salad bowl so everyone can add extra dressing as they wish.

Blueberry Turkey Panzanella Salad |

Do you have any favorite savory fruit recipes? How often do you cook turkey (if ever)?

Goodbye Summer Panzanella | Popcorn and Chocolate

Saturday 13th of September 2014

[…] great! Since then we have tried different versions of panzanellas. Most recently, we have made this Blueberry Turkey Panzanella Salad by Teaspoon of Spice, which inspired our Goodbye Summer […]

Denise Browning

Saturday 9th of March 2013

Deanna: This is my first time here. I just imagine how tasty this salad is...It will be in my list what-to-cook-soon. I love how vibrant and healthy it is. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Instead of turkey, I'll use roasted chicken -- but I will switch to turkey on the holidays. ;)


Saturday 9th of March 2013

Denise - thanks for your stopping by! Yes, this would taste great with roasted chicken too :)

EA-The Spicy RD

Friday 7th of December 2012

What a truly fabulous combination! My kids, especially Big Tex, are big time blueberry eaters too, and I have great memories picking blueberries with my Aunt and Uncle who live in main. This will be on the menu {with gluten-free bread of course} at our house next blueberry season for sure!


Wednesday 5th of December 2012

This looks delicious - can't wait to try! I have been making a lot of soups lately; and using an immersion blender makes the whole process quick. I felt the same way about pumpkin as you did about turkey; why only once a year? And why only in pie? I have been fun taking fresh pumpkin and turning it into soup, muffins and salads. Yum! Here is my recipe for pumpkin and pear soup:!/2012/10/scrumptious-soup-pumpkin-and-pear.html


Thursday 6th of December 2012

Ooh - I'm going over to your blog right now to check out that Pumpkin & Pear Soup!

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