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.
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Healthy Dinner Idea
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 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 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, same in this turkey sloppy joe recipe!
It’s now one of my favorite healthy dinner ideas, as well as my healthy turkey meatballs or turkey chili.
This turkey meatloaf is great for when you’re looking to add more protein and less fat into your diet and also makes great leftovers along with this turkey pot pie. You can lighten it up even more by using half the amount of the meatloaf sauce, however I recommend using the full amount to cover the loaf entirely. This ground turkey recipe doesn’t skimp on flavor and is still super moist and tender.
- Ground Turkey: I love to use a lean ground turkey, which doesn’t produce a lot of grease.
- Breadcrumbs: This will help bind the meat together. You can make your own homemade breadcrumbs if you’d like.
- Egg: This will also help to bind the mix together.
- Seasonings: Don’t skimp on the seasonings, these will bring all the flavors together.
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 on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or a 9×5″ loaf pan. 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 sauté them with a little olive oil before adding to the meat.
Turn into mini meatloaf muffins by pressing the meat mixture into a muffin tin, bake up my stuffed meatloaf recipe, or make crockpot turkey meatloaf and cook low and slow all day.
The best way to tell is to insert an instant read thermometer into the center. It should read 160°F and no longer be pink.
Yes, I prefer to freeze it before baking and add the sauce when ready to bake. You can freeze leftover turkey meatloaf slices, but they’ll be a little more dry. I would recommend allowing it to cool and then wrap inside a piece of foil. When ready to reheat, you can thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the oven for about 10 minutes.
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 Alongside
This really is the best turkey meatloaf recipe and tastes great served with any of the below. We especially love to serve it with 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
5 star review
“Omg. This is the best turkey meatloaf I’ve ever had! A definite keeper. No more looking for other recipes.”-Larine K.
Looking for more meatloaf recipes? Try this BBQ meatloaf recipe, mozzarella stuffed meatloaf or Instant Pot meatloaf and mashed potatoes!
Other Favorite Comfort Dishes
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- 2 pounds 90% lean ground turkey , or 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground turkey
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup whole milk , or beef broth, plus more as needed
- 2 large eggs , whisked
- 2-3 Tablespoons fresh parsley , or 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup
- 1 ¼ teaspoons Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup ketchup or BBQ sauce , I like to mix half and half
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet or 9×5-inch loaf pan with foil. Lightly spray with nonstick spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the turkey, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder until combined. Don't overmix or the meat won't be as tender.
- Form the mixture into a loaf shape on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix together the ketchup and/or BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Pour over the top of the meatloaf. Add pepper on top, if desired.
- Bake meatloaf 45 to 55 minutes, or until the center reaches 160°F. Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into 8 to 10 slices.
- You may substitute fresh onion and garlic (1/2 cup onion, 4 garlic cloves minced), however, make sure to sauté them with a little olive oil before adding to the meat.
- If you prefer a little heat, add in a pinch of red pepper flakes to the meat or a few dashes of chili sauce or sriracha to the meatloaf sauce.
- If you want to make this gluten free, use gluten free bread crumbs or old fashioned oats.
- If you prefer your meatloaf extra saucy, you can always mix up another batch and brush more on the last 10 minutes of cooking or use it for dipping.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Was great. My husband loved it. Used up the next day on white bread with turkey gravy that was frozen at Thanksgiving time. Will make it again.
Sounds great! So glad you enjoyed the turkey meatloaf!
Solid recipe. I use Italian seasoning panko
Thanks Sharon! Glad you enjoyed the turkey meatloaf
This really is the very best Turkey meatloaf recipe I have ever made. And I have made many. The milk and eggs add plenty of moisture. I also like to ramp up the veggies in my meatloaf so I sautéed carrots and celery with the onions, plus a half pound of shiitake mushrooms finely minced before cooking them. I didn’t have panko so I subbed regular progreso breadcrumbs. Made a double batch of this. The texture is light and it’s so juicy. Others have commented that there was a lot of liquid on top after cooking that they poured out. DON’T. Let it sit there as it cooks and it reabsorbs. Don’t loose all that moisture and flavor.
This is my go-to recipe for all of my meatloaves!!
Family favorite!!! Love love love this recipe!
This was absolutely delicious. I added a half onion, finely chopped, 1/2 red pepper finely chopped and 1/4 feta cheese. It was a huge hit with the whole family.
So glad you enjoyed the turkey meatloaf! Sounds delicious with red pepper and feta, I’ll have to give it a try :)
have you every made this one day ahead and then cooked the day of?
I haven’t, but that should work fine. I would just wait to add the sauce. Let us know how it goes!
Absolutely delicious! My new go to recipe!
Love to hear that Donna. Thanks for your review :)
Excellent flavor! We really enjoyed this meatloaf.
So glad you enjoyed the meatloaf :)
delicious! made last night and making again tonight!
when it was done, there was a lot of liquid on top that i just poured out. could this be because I used fresh onion and garlic?
Glad you enjoyed the turkey meatloaf! It’s normal for the meat to release juices. I usually just dab with a paper towel or pour out half way through cooking.