This family favorite turkey meatloaf is a lighter spin on a classic comfort food made with lean protein. This ground turkey meatloaf is as flavorful and juicy as the traditional version made with ground beef.
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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 this classic comfort food, though, specially when it’s served alongside cheesy potatoes or creamy mashed potatoes.
Whenever I’m looking to lighten it up a bit, I’ll make this turkey meatloaf recipe. It’s now one of my favorite healthy dinner ideas! I subbed ground turkey for beef in this recipe and the meatloaf turned out delicious, same in this turkey sloppy joe recipe!
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. Lighten it up even more by using half the amount of the meatloaf sauce.
- 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.
- Faster. Turn this into mini meatloaf muffins by pressing the meat mixture into cupcake tins. You could also make smaller loaves and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Stuffed. Add a layer of gooey cheese and bake up a stuffed meatloaf recipe,
- Low and slow. Make crockpot turkey meatloaf and cook low and slow all day.
- Gluten-free. Try almond meal, rolled oats or brown rice cereal.
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.
- Combine. Mix together sauce ingredients.
- Form and 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. Pour sauce on top of 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.
Meatloaf Cooking Tips
- Do not over stir the meat, as overworked meat 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.
- Make use of the leftovers by turning slices into sandwiches!
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.
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.
Yes! The ground turkey meatloaf recipe is great to make in advance. Assemble the ingredients but don’t form or bake yet. Cover and refrigerate the mixture up to a day before baking. When ready to bake, form into a loaf, add the ketchup sauce and proceed.
This recipe already makes a good sized loaf since it uses two pounds of turkey. If you would like to double the recipe, I would recommend doubling all the ingredients and then forming it into two loaves.
Favorite Sides To Serve Alongside
This really is the best turkey meatloaf recipe! We love to serve it with scalloped potatoes, green beans and a warm, homemade roll.
- Instant pot mashed potatoes
- Green beans
- Dinner rolls
- Roasted parmesan broccoli
- Glazed carrots
- Homemade mac and cheese
- Garlic mashed red potatoes
This dish makes a great freezer meal. Mix the meat and form the mixture into a loaf shape (or in a loaf pan) and cover tightly with plastic wrap. You could even make smaller loaves and freeze half for later.
Store in freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in fridge overnight when ready to enjoy, then coat with sauce and bake according to directions.
Other Favorite Comfort Dishes
- 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.
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