This Easy Turkey Meatloaf is a lightened-up version of a classic comfort food! It’s tender, moist, flavorful, and takes just 10 minutes to prep!
Table of Contents
While traditional meatloaf is made using ground beef, this Turkey Meatloaf utilizes ground turkey for a healthier, lightened-up option.
Don’t worry, this recipe includes plenty of moisture so the leaner meat still creates a meatloaf that is just as tender, moist, and delicious as classic beef meatloaf.
Ingredients for turkey meatloaf:
- Oil: used to sauté the onion and seasonings.
- Onion: be sure to finely dice the onion so it incorporates well into the meat mixture.
- Brown Sugar: gives the meatloaf a touch of warm sweetness
- Garlic: freshly minced garlic has the best flavor, but pre-minced will work as well.
- Seasonings: you’ll use a simple blend of Italian seasoning, chili powder, salt, and pepper in this meatloaf.
- Ground Turkey: I like to use lean ground turkey to keep this recipe light.
- Breadcrumbs: soak up the milk to hold in the moisture and to act as a secondary binding agent.
- Eggs: our binding agent that helps hold the meatloaf together.
- Milk: adds so much moisture to the meatloaf and binds with the bread crumbs.
- Worcestershire Sauce: the acidity in Worcestershire sauce helps tenderize the meat.
- Ketchup: gives the meatloaf even more moisture and a sweet, tangy flavor.
- Ketchup, Brown Sugar, and Apple Cider Vinegar: our simple meatloaf glaze to top it off.
How to make Turkey Meatloaf
This delicious meatloaf recipe takes a total of 10 minutes to prep!
- Sauté the aromatics and seasonings: In a skillet, heat oil then add in onion. Cook until golden-brown. Add in the brown sugar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and chili powder. Cook until fragrant.
- Combine the meat mixture: In a large bowl, mix together turkey, breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, and pepper. Add the onions and mix.
- Shape the loaves: Take the meat mixture and shape it into two equal loaves. Set the loaves on a lined baking sheet.
- Add the glaze: In a small bowl, mix together the glaze ingredients. Brush the glaze on top of the loaves.
- Bake and serve: Bake at 350ºF for 40-50 minutes. Let the meatloaf rest, then slice, serve and enjoy!
Turkey Meatloaf FAQs
Add moisture! Since turkey is a lean meat, it’s prone to drying out. The eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup all help to add moisture to the meatloaf so it’s not overly dry. If it’s too dry, it will be crumbly and more likely to fall apart.
The eggs are our primary binding agent, but the combination of breadcrumbs and milk also help bind the meatloaf together. As the breadcrumbs soak up the moisture from the milk, they expand and help the loaf hold its shape!
Yes! You can assemble and shape the loaves, wrap them in plastic wrap, and store them in the fridge for up to 1 day. You can also wrap them in another layer of foil and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the fridge if frozen, add the glaze, and bake as directed.
Leftover baked turkey meatloaf will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave until heated through.
Tips, tricks, and notes
- Don’t over-mix. Mix the meat mixture only until just combined. If you over-mix the meat can become dry and tough.
- Make equal sized loaves. Be sure that you divide the meat mixture up into two even amounts so they cook at the same rate.
- Check the temp. To verify that the meatloaf is done, use a meat thermometer. It should be 165ºF.
- Let it rest. Let the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before you slice into it so the moisture can redistribute. If you slice into it too soon, that moisture will run out and the loaf will be dry.
- You can make one larger loaf instead of two smaller ones if you want, you will just need to add 15-20 minutes to the cook time.
- Use half beef. If you’re not totally sold by the turkey meatloaf but want a lighter option, try using half ground beef and half turkey.
- Kick the spice up a notch by adding hot sauce or sriracha to the glaze.
I love to serve this turkey meatloaf next to one or two delicious side dishes! Here are a few of my favorites:
More turkey dinner recipes to try
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Easy Turkey Meatloaf
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion (finely diced)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teapsoon chili powder
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1 cup fine bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Heat oil in small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened (for more flavor, cook until golden brown). Add brown sugar, garlic, Italian seasoning and chili powder and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper. Add the slightly cooled onions and mix to combine (don't overmix).
- Shape into two equal loaves (you can do one but you'll need to add 15-20 minutes to the cook time), roughly 6" by 4".
- Stir together the glaze (ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar) and brush on top of the meatloaf.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads a minimum of 165 degrees F.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.
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