This ground turkey meatloaf is a simple and delicious dinner recipe that takes minutes to make! It’s perfectly juicy and tender every single time.
Craving comfort food but wanting it a little healthier? Try this ground turkey meatloaf recipe.
It’s a healthier and just as delicious alternative to a beef meatloaf. It needs minimal prep and tastes incredible.
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Why this recipe works
This meatloaf may look incredibly fancy, but I promise you, it is so easy to whip up.
- All made in one dish. Seriously, the same bowl mixes the meatloaf, and then it mixes the glaze- You only have one bowl to wash!
- Healthy. Turkey is naturally low in calories, packed with protein, and has few carbs.
- It’s easy to make ahead. This meatloaf is the perfect easy dinner for a busy weeknight because you can prep it beforehand. Once dinner time rolls around, simply throw it in the oven!
- Perfect texture and flavor. The texture of the meatloaf is extra juicy and moist, with a sticky glaze on top. It’s perfectly seasoned, and the glaze gives it a lovely smoky sweetness.
This turkey meatloaf is so easy, and besides the breadcrumbs and eggs, there isn’t much else that is needed to make. Here is what you’ll need:
- Ground turkey– Standard or lean ground turkey can be used. Avoid using extra lean or fat free turkey, as you risk the meatloaf being quite dry and chewy.
- Onion and garlic– Finely chopped.
- Eggs– Room temperature eggs.
- Ketchup– Opt for a ketchup that has the least amount of added sugar in it.
- Milk of choice– I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk works.
- Parsley– Finely chopped and fresh, not dried!
- Panko breadcrumbs– Acts as a binder and helps absorb some of the moisture so the meatloaf won’t be overly soft or watery.
Swap out the breadcrumbs for gluten-free panko or gluten-free oats.
- Salt and pepper– To taste.
- Italian seasonings– Adds some lovely flavor with no myriad of herbs!
- Ketchup– Used again for the topping.
- Vinegar– White or apple cider vinegar.
- Brown sugar– To balance out the tang from the ketchup and vinegar and add a subtle molasses flavor.
How to make ground turkey meatloaf
Meatloaf with ground turkey is easy to make: just remember to remove any excess moisture from the meat first.
- Make the mixture: Mix all the meatloaf ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until fully combined.
- Bake: Transfer the mixture to a greased loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes.
- Make the glaze: While the meatloaf is baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar.
- Glaze and serve: Remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush the top with the glaze. Bake for a further 15 minutes before letting the meatloaf sit for 10 minutes, then slice and serve.
How long to cook turkey meatloaf
At 350F, a standard turkey meatloaf needs 40 minutes to cook completely.
The most accurate way to know if the meat is fully cooked is to check its internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Fully cooked meatloaf with turkey should have an internal temp of 165°F (74°C).
Tips to make the best recipe
- Mix gently: When making the meatloaf mixture, avoid over-mixing. This can result in a gummy or rubbery dish.
- Avoid extra lean turkey: Or fat-free ground turkey. Having a little fat in the ground meat will ensure the meatloaf remains juicy and tender.
- Mix the turkey with other meat: Did you know a classic meatloaf typically uses two kinds of ground meat? You can swap half the turkey for ground chicken, pork, or beef. It will be even more flavorful.
- Add grated vegetables: Grated carrots, zucchini, and even shallots will not only add nutrients to the meatloaf, but they add more moisture, too.
- Change up the seasonings: Add smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, or chili powder, or use a different sauce on top.
To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to one week.
To freeze: Place cooked and cooled slices of the meatloaf in a ziplock bag and store them in the freezer for up to six months.
Reheating: Microwave in 20-second increments until warm or in a preheated oven.
More delicious ways to enjoy meatloaf
Frequently Asked Questions
You must use at least one binder to ensure the meatloaf does not fall apart and slice easily. We use both breadcrumbs and eggs to ensure this does not happen.
If you over-mix the meatloaf mixture, it is prone to turning out a little dry and rubbery. To prevent this, mix everything until they are just combined.
Always bake meatloaf at 350F, as any higher than that, you risk the dish over-cooking on top while remaining undercooked in the middle.
Ground Turkey Meatloaf
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line a 9 x5-inch pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the meatloaf ingredients and mix well. Transfer into the lined pan. Bake the meatloaf for 40 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients.
- After 40 minutes, remove the meatloaf and spread with the glaze on top. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes, before slicing and serving.
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