Effortless Turkey Meatloaf Recipe


We set out to create the best turkey meatloaf recipe, and here it is! This turkey meatloaf is full of flavor, moist in the middle, and has become a reader favorite! If you have turkey meatloaf skeptics, this recipe will change their minds. It did for us.

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We never used to make turkey meatloaf. We made turkey meatballs and turkey burgers, but never meatloaf. That’s until we stumbled on the secret for making the best, juicy, moist, and flavorful turkey meatloaf. It’s mushrooms!

Now, we make this ground turkey meatloaf recipe all the time. Since ground turkey can be a bit dry and bland, we add ingredients that guarantee the inside will be juicy, moist, and delicious.

Our secret for the best turkey meatloaf

The secret to the best meatloaf lies in the vegetable aisle. It’s mushrooms! With our easy recipe, the turkey meatloaf is moist and has unbelievable flavor — all thanks to tiny pieces of chopped mushrooms.

Chopped mushrooms for turkey meatloaf

In addition to umami-rich mushrooms, we add a few more key ingredients to add flavor and keep our turkey meatloaf nice and juicy. Onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, breadcrumbs mixed with milk, and eggs all make this the best meatloaf made with ground turkey we’ve made in our kitchen.

If you aren’t the biggest mushroom fan, it’s okay! The meatloaf doesn’t end up tasting like mushrooms (I promise). Instead, the mushrooms add a lovely savory flavor to the turkey. If that still doesn’t convince you to try them, you can substitute shredded and cooked zucchini, but it won’t add as much flavor.

Slices of moist turkey meatloaf

How to make turkey meatloaf

Just like when making classic beef meatloaf, the method is simple. We start by cooking finely chopped mushrooms, onions, and garlic in a skillet until soft. You can see how small and cooked down we like them in our photo and recipe video.

Cooking the onions, mushrooms and garlic for the meatloaf mixture

Next, stir in lots of flavor with Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. When I have it in the fridge, I love this homemade ketchup. We also want to stir together eggs, milk and bread crumbs — store-bought or homemade both work. Then mix everything in the bottom of a big bowl.

Mix in your ground turkey until combined, and then form the meatloaf mixture into a loaf on a baking sheet, spread a little extra ketchup on top, and then bake until cooked in the middle.

We bake meatloaf in a 400° Fahrenheit oven for about 50 minutes. Meatloaf is done when an internal thermometer inserted into the middle reads 170° Fahrenheit.

Adding ketchup to the top of turkey meatloaf for our glaze

Make ahead tips

  • Make the meatloaf mixture a day in advance. Follow the recipe below, but stop just before forming and baking. Keep the raw meatloaf mixture in the refrigerator for up to 1 day before baking. When you are ready to bake, form the mixture into a loaf, cover with ketchup, and bake.
  • You can freeze unbaked meatloaf. Follow the recipe below, form the meatloaf on top of a few sheets of foil on a baking sheet, but leave off the ketchup. Slide the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Wrap the foil around the partially frozen meatloaf, place it into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight before baking.
  • Freezing baked meatloaf. Let the baked meatloaf cool, and then wrap it into foil and freeze for up to a month. I like to cut the meatloaf into slices and freeze them individually so I can take one or two slices out when I need them.

What to serve with meatloaf

Frequently asked questions

Can I double this turkey meatloaf recipe? Yes! You can double the recipe (which would use about 2 pounds of ground turkey). Double the ingredients in the recipe and expect to bake for a bit longer in the oven (15 to 20 minutes longer). I use my internal thermometer as a guide.

How can I make the gluten-free meatloaf? For meatloaf without breadcrumbs, try ground gluten-free hard pretzels, rolled oats, brown rice cereal, or gluten-free Chex cereal in place of the breadcrumbs. You should also make sure the ketchup used is gluten-free or use homemade ketchup.

Do I need to add the eggs? Eggs help to provide moisture to the meatloaf, but you can eliminate them or substitute them with a store-bought egg replacer.

Can I make meatloaf without milk? For a dairy-free meatloaf, substitute the milk for unsweetened mild-flavored plant-based milk like hemp or almond milk.

I hate mushrooms. Is there a substitute? Even though I love this turkey meatloaf with mushrooms, I have substituted them for grated zucchini with excellent results.

Slices of Turkey Meatloaf

Easy Turkey Meatloaf

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

Our turkey meatloaf is full of flavor, moist in the middle, and has become a reader favorite! You would never guess this meatloaf is packed with mushrooms, but that’s what makes it so darn delicious. Lots of finely chopped mushrooms add flavor and moisture, often missing from the typical turkey meatloaf. When choosing which mushrooms to add, white button mushrooms will work perfectly fine. For more flavor, try one or a combination of brown cremini, portobello, or shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms need to be very finely chopped. You can do this by hand or use a food processor.

Makes 6 Servings

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You Will Need

1 ¼ pound ground turkey (92% lean)

8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and very finely chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon oil

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

7 tablespoons ketchup, divided, try our homemade ketchup

1 cup (60g) panko bread crumbs or use homemade bread crumbs

1/3 cup (80ml) milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions

  • Prepare Meatloaf
  • 1Heat oven to 400 °F (204°C). Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet (or use a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan) lined with aluminum foil.

    2Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened; about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the mushrooms, a 1/2-teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4-teaspoon of pepper. Cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid and it boils away; about 10 minutes.

    Turkey-Meatloaf-Step-1

    3Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a large bowl, and then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and three tablespoons of the ketchup. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

    4Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl. Stir the breadcrumb mixture and the eggs into the mushrooms and onions. Using a fork or your hands, gently mix in the turkey, a 1/4-teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. The mixture will be very wet.

    5Form the meatloaf into a 9-inch by 5-inch oval in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Spread the remaining four tablespoons of ketchup on top.

Adam and Joanne’s Tips

  • Some stores sell ground turkey in 1-pound portions and others in 1 ¼-pound portions. While we like using 1 ¼-pounds of turkey, 1 pound of turkey is adequate for the ingredient amounts shared in the recipe.
  • To speed up the prep time, use a food processor to chop the mushrooms.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

Nutrition Per Serving
Serving Size
1 serving (6 total)
/
Calories
308
/
Total Fat
13.4g
/
Saturated Fat
3.4g
/
Cholesterol
133.4mg
/
Sodium
734.5mg
/
Carbohydrate
23.5g
/
Total Sugars
8.3g
/
Dietary Fiber
1.6g
/
Protein
24.1g


AUTHOR: 

Adam and Joanne Gallagher



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