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The Best Turkey Meatloaf

This is, hands down, the BEST turkey meatloaf. Packed with savory goodies like finely chopped mushrooms (you won’t even taste them), breadcrumbs, and rolled oats, the combination results in a turkey meatloaf that’s tender and full of flavor.

No more dry, bland, ground turkey dinners! This turkey meatloaf recipe holds all the secrets to the best turkey meatloaf.

Two slices of turkey meatloaf on a plate with mashed potatoes.

Why This Turkey Meatloaf Recipe Works

Here’s the good news. A moist, tender and flavor-packed turkey meatloaf is completely possible! It just takes the right combination of ingredients.

Since turkey is a lean meat, we need to rely on add-ins that will add moisture and flavor. Just because turkey is a leaner protein option, it doesn’t have to be bland. You can still enjoy a turkey meatloaf that’s just as tasty as a pork and beef meatloaf and our onion soup meatloaf (just to name a few).

This turkey meatloaf is:

  • juicy and packed with umami flavor
  • tender with the perfect meatloaf crust
  • a healthy meal that everyone will enjoy!

This is a meatloaf that won’t disappoint! Served with a sweet tomato glaze and baked until a nice, crisp crust forms around the loaf, it’s a leaner version of a classic homestyle meatloaf you know and love.

Oh, and don’t forget- repurpose those leftovers for this hot meatloaf sandwich!

Ingredients for Turkey Meatloaf

Let’s talk about the ingredients! A combination of breadcrumbs and rolled oats add extra body and texture to the ground turkey. And the bold umami flavor comes from the Worcestershire, soy sauce and Dijon.

To make this easy turkey meatloaf, you will need:

  • Onion. Sauteeing the onion will bring out some sweetness and mellow the sharpness.
  • Spices. Salt, pepper, thyme,sage. We used fresh herbs but you can sub with dried herbs.
  • Mushrooms. Mushrooms act as a filler and add moisture and texture to the meatloaf. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the mushroom flavor.
  • Garlic. Fresh garlic will add more garlicky flavor than dried garlic.
  • Tomato paste. It only takes a small amount of tomato paste to add a rich, umami flavor to the ground turkey.
  • Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce. These add more umami flavor and turn a bland turkey into a flavor-packed meal.
  • Dijon mustard. Adds tang, spice, and depth of flavor.
  • Bread crumbs. Absorbs liquid, acts as a binder and filler and helps make a tender meatloaf.
  • Quick rolled oats. The rolled oats act as another binder and help give the meatloaf some added texture and body.
  • Chicken broth. Adds moisture and prevents the turkey meatloaf from drying out.
  • Egg. The egg is another binding element that holds everything together.
  • Parmesan cheese. Adds a salty, cheesy, umami flavor.
  • Ground turkey. You can also substitute with ground chicken.

The delicious glaze is a combination of ketchup, cider vinegar, brown sugar, and a touch of Tabasco.

How to Make Turkey Meatloaf

We know you’ll love this turkey loaf! It’s perfect for family dinners, meal prepping and, with only 20 minutes of prep, it’s also simple enough to throw together on a weekday.

Here’s a quick look at how to make it but, as always, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to view the printable recipe card.

A collage of two photos sautéing mushrooms and adding spices to meatloaf mixture.

Saute the onions and mushrooms then add the seasonings and spices.

Tip: The mushrooms will release some liquid as they cook. Continue to saute them until the liquid evaporates.

Two photos showing how to mix bread crumbs and eggs into meatloaf mixture.

Stir in the breadcrumbs, oats, and broth. Let the mixture cool down, then add the egg and Parmesan cheese.

Tip: Make the glaze while you wait for the mushroom mixture to cool (it only needs to sit for a few minutes). Make sure you don’t add the egg while the mixture is too hot or you will end up with a cooked scrambled egg.

To make the glaze, combine the ketchup, vinegar, sugar and Tabasco sauce in a small saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes to dissolve the sugar.

Two photos showing how to mix ground turkey with spices and shape into a loaf.

Gently combine the ground turkey with the mushroom mixture and transfer it to a baking sheet. Shape the meat into a loaf and coat it with the glaze.

Saving some of the glaze for the second half of the bake ensures it gets thick and sticky on top of the meatloaf, which is exactly what we want.

Tip: Line the sheet pan with aluminum foil to make cleanup a breeze.

A freshly baked meatloaf.

Recipe Tips for the Best Results

A few things to keep in mind when you’re following this easy turkey meatloaf recipe:

  • If you would like to use dried herbs instead of fresh thyme and sage, use half the amount called for in the ingredient list. 
  • Since ground turkey is so lean, you won’t have a lot of grease and fat pool up on the bottom of the baking sheet.

    You may want to add a 1/4 cup of broth or water to the bottom of the baking sheet to prevent the bottom edges of the turkey loaf from sticking to the pan. 
  • When you cook the mushrooms, they will release a fair amount of liquid. Make sure you cook them long enough to let the liquid evaporate.
  • When mixing in the ground turkey, make sure that you mix until the meat mixture is well combined, but be careful not to over-mix or the meatloaf will be tough.
A turkey meatloaf sliced on a serving plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you put in meatloaf to keep it from falling apart?

Crumbly meatloaf is a result of not enough binder in the meat mixture. Fortunately, our turkey meatloaf with oats, breadcrumbs, and egg has the perfect binder-to-meat ratio and won’t fall apart on you!

Should you cover meatloaf while baking?

No, you do not need to cover the meatloaf while it bakes. Patting it into a loaf and then baking in the oven uncovered gives this meatloaf a perfect, crisp outer layer. It also lets the glaze get thick and sticky.

How do I make sure my meatloaf is moist?

A moist meatloaf, especially a moist turkey meatloaf, all depends on the add-ins. Cooked mushrooms, oats, and flavorful add-ins like chicken broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, and soy sauce each add an element of moisture to the mixture that will keep the meatloaf from drying out. You won’t notice a mushroom flavor so don’t skip them if you don’t like mushrooms.

Our ground turkey meatloaf recipe is perfect if you’re looking for a lighter, leaner, and healthier take on beef or pork meatloaf, without compromising on flavor!

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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

This Instant Pot meatloaf cooks to perfection in only about half the time it takes in the oven! Flavored with our homemade onion soup mix, it has a delicious, savory taste you’ll love.

The Sunday dinner that always hits the spot! Our Dutch oven pot roast braises with fresh herbs and is finished with a savory gravy for maximum flavor! This classic meal is simple to prepare but is a special treat every time it’s served.

This easy recipe creates the juiciest venison burgers that are tender and flavorful. While ground venison is very lean, we have a few tricks up our sleeves to get extra juicy burgers.

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Slices of turkey meatloaf on a serving platter.

Turkey Meatloaf

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

This is seriously the best turkey meatloaf. finely chopped mushrooms give the ground turkey extra moisture (and you will not taste the mushrooms).

A combination of breadcrumbs and rolled oats give the meatloaf extra body and the perfect texture. A combination of Worcestershire, soy, and Dijon adds umami flavor without masking the mild flavor of the turkey.

If you are tired of dry, bland, ground turkey recipes, you will love this meatloaf.

Ingredients

For the Turkey Meatloaf

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme*
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage*
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup quick rolled oats (NOT steel cut)
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground turkey

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 375°F. 
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook until soft (about 6 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until soft and the liquid evaporates. 
  3. Add the garlic, thyme, sage, tomato paste, Worcestershire, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes then remove from the heat. Stir in the bread crumbs, quick oats, and  broth. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to cool down. (You can make the glaze while the mixture cools).
  4. Stir the egg and Parmesan cheese into the breadcrumb mixture. Add the turkey and mix until well combined but don’t over mix. 
  5. Transfer the meat mixture to a baking sheet and form it into a 9 x 5 inch loaf. 

For the Glaze 

  1. Add the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, and Tabasco sauce to a small saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  2. Spread half of the glaze over the top of the meatloaf and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, spread the rest of the glaze over the meatloaf and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160°F. 
  3. Let the meatloaf sit for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and serving. 

Notes

  • If you want to use dried herbs instead of fresh thyme and sage, use half the amount called for in the ingredient list. 
  • Since ground turkey is so lean, you won’t have a lot of grease and fat on the bottom of the baking sheet. You may want to add a 1/4 cup of broth or water to the bottom of the baking sheet to prevent the bottom edges of the turkey loaf from sticking to the pan. 
  • When you cook the mushrooms, they will release a fair amount of liquid. Make sure you cook them long enough to let the liquid evaporate.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 629mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 28g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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angiesrecipes

Friday 15th of July 2022

That indeed looks like the best turkey loaf...so juicy and tempting!

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