This ground turkey meatloaf is a lighter spin on a classic comfort food. It’s packed with lean protein and tastes moist, tender and super flavorful.
This is a delicious way to lighten up one of your favorite comfort foods. I subbed ground turkey for beef in this recipe and the meatloaf turned out delicious. It’s now one of my favorite healthy dinner ideas, as well as my healthy turkey meatballs or turkey chili.
I admit growing up I wasn’t a huge fan of meatloaf. Over the years I’ve come to enjoy it more and more. Especially when it’s served alongside mashed potatoes. Can’t beat homemade creamy mashed potatoes. Whenever I’m looking to lighten it up a bit, I’ll make this turkey meatloaf recipe. My mom makes a similar recipe pretty much every Sunday. They are huge fans!
This turkey meatloaf is great for when you’re looking to add more protein and less fat into your diet. You can lighten it up even more by using half the amount of the sauce, however I recommend using the full amount to cover the loaf entirely. It doesn’t skimp on flavor and is still super moist and tender.
How to make turkey meatloaf
MIX. Combine the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl and mix just until combined. Be careful not to over mix or the meat won’t be as tender.
FORM & COAT. Place mixture in a foil lined 9×5″ loaf pan or shape into a loaf on top of a baking sheet. Then mix together the sauce ingredients and pour on top of the meat.
BAKE. Bake in the oven at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until center reaches 160°F on a meat thermometer. Let rest on pan for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
- Do not over stir the meat, it will not be as tender.
- If your family is not used to ground turkey, I would start with half ground turkey and half ground beef. This is how I converted my kids.
- For the sauce, I like to do a mix of ketchup and BBQ sauce. It adds the perfect flavor.
- If you’d like an extra sweet sauce, add more brown sugar.
- If you’d like a little bit of a kick, add hot sauce, sriracha sauce or red pepper flakes to the meat or sauce.
- You may substitute fresh onion and garlic (1/2 cup onion, 4 garlic cloves minced), however make sure to saute them with a little olive oil before adding to the meat.
This dish makes a great freezer meal. Simply mix the meat and form the mixture into a loaf shape (or in a loaf pan) and cover tightly with plastic wrap. If you don’t have a big crowd to feed you could even make smaller loaves and freeze half for later. Then store in freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw in fridge overnight when ready to enjoy. Then coat with sauce and bake according to directions.
Favorite sides to serve with
This turkey meatloaf tastes great served with any of the below. We especially love to serve it with mashed potatoes, green beans and a warm, homemade roll. So comforting and delicious!
- Instant pot mashed potatoes
- Green beans
- Dinner rolls
- Roasted parmesan broccoli
- Glazed carrots
- Homemade mac and cheese
- Garlic mashed red potatoes
Other favorite comfort dishes:
- 2 pounds 90% lean ground turkey (you could also use half beef too)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup milk (or beef broth)
- 2 large eggs (whisked)
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley)
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup ketchup or BBQ sauce (I like to mix half and half)
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet or 9x5" loaf pan with foil. Lightly spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Combine the meat, breadcrumbs, broth or milk, eggs, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a large bowl. Mix just until combined. Don't overmix or the meat won't be as tender.
- Form the mixture into a loaf shape on the pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and/or BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Then pour over top of the meatloaf. Add pepper on top if desired.
- Bake meatloaf for 45 minutes, or until the center reaches 160°F. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.