Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf


Meatloaf. I find people either love it or hate it. But the more I bring up the subject, the more I find that those that dislike it, dislike it because they've been served bad meatloaf.  You know the kind I'm talking about: dry, tasteless. Well, now everyone can become meatloaf lovers because this recipe really does make the Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf! This turkey meatloaf recipe is moist and full of flavor, with minimal preparation!  It's the perfect recipe to turn meatloaf haters into meatloaf lovers!

The Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf on platter, sliced from loaf, overhead view

scroll down for printable recipe

Meatloaf is one of those dinners that gets prepared pretty regularly in my Midwest kitchen.  My family loves it. I usually serve it up with a heaping helping of mashed potatoes and buttered peas for a classic taste.

Two of our favorite meatloaf recipes are Best BBQ Meatloaf and Easy Homestyle Meatloaf, both made with beef. But, our love affair with meatloaf actually started with this meatloaf made with ground turkey!

Ground turkey ( 93% lean, 7% fat) is a fairly healthy choice when it comes to protein and a great choice for this Ground Turkey Meatloaf recipe. That makes this dish a healthy comfort food.

However, make sure you purchase the right lean to fat ratio of ground turkey. I do not recommend using ground turkey with less fat than 7% in this turkey meatloaf recipe. Some fat is needed to retain moisture and flavor in the loaf.

This Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf recipe really lives up to its name. I have been making this recipe for a many years with great results. It's a tried and true recipe for turkey meatloaf and one that I hope you will try!

How to make meatloaf with ground turkey


Making meatloaf with ground turkey is not that different from making meatloaf with other proteins like ground beef, ground veal, or ground pork. Put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix, shape, and bake. Very easy.

One slight difference making a meatloaf with ground turkey has compared to beef, veal, or pork, is that it tends to be a little more moist in its raw form. Because of this, I don't add extra liquid to the loaf mixture, like I do when I make meatloaf with the other proteins. 

Tips for making a ground turkey meatloaf



  • Mix with your hands. When it comes to shaping and mixing this ground turkey meatloaf (or any kind of meatloaf), I like to use my hands. It's the way mom taught me and the best way to make sure the ingredients don't get over mixed. Over mixing will ruin your turkey meatloaf! You will know when it's mixed enough, as everything will start to come together like a giant meatball. That's when you know, you've mixed it enough. 
  • Let it rest. Allow the meatloaf to sit once it's shaped for about 10 minutes before I put it in the oven to bake. I find that this helps keep the meatloaf from falling apart. Once you remove it from the oven, let it rest again! This will help redistribute the juices and keep it moist.
  • Bake it on a broiler pan. Shape and cook your meatloaf on a broiler pan. This allows the drippings to move through the slats away from the loaf and settle on the bottom.  If you cover the bottom of the broiler pan with foil, it makes for easy clean up too! If you don't use a broiler pan, you can use any pan that can fit the loaf, but still allow for space on all sides. I don't like to use a loaf pan for meatloaf.  I don't like the bottom of my meatloaf to be soggy with drippings. 


The Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf on a platter with basil to the side overhead view sliced from loaf

Cooking time for Ground Turkey Meatloaf


Most ground turkey is available in two pound packages. This makes turning the ground turkey into this meatloaf recipe simple, because this recipe calls for 2 pounds of ground turkey! For this recipe, baking at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 10 minutes will produce a finished product that's cooked all the way through. 

To be certain of doneness, at the end of the cooking time, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey meatloaf.  It should read around 165 degrees F. Read more about recommended cooking temperatures here.

Once you remove the meatloaf from the oven, it's important to tent it with foil and allow it to rest at least 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. This will allow the juices to redistribute and assure that the ground turkey meatloaf is moist, flavorful, and ready to eat. 




Ground Turkey Meatloaf, Healthy Turkey Meatloaf, Best Meatloaf
main course
American
Yield: 4 servings

Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf

prep time: 15 minscook time: 1 hour and 10 minstotal time: 1 hours and 25 mins
Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf is moist and full of flavor, with minimal preparation! It's the perfect meatloaf recipe to turn meatloaf haters into meatloaf lovers!

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey ( 93 % lean, 7 % fat )
  • 1/2 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup Heinz Hot and Spicy flavored tomato ketchup, divided (or plain ketchup)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram

instructions:

  1. In small nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute onion and garlic until onion is tender ( about 5 minutes). Set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In large bowl, combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, 1/2 c ketchup, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and marjoram and the cooled onion/garlic mixture. Mix gently ( using your hands is best) until just combined. Do not over mix
  3. Spray broiler pan top or  glass 9x13" pan with cooking spray and shape into a loaf in middle of pan. Spread the remaining 1/4 c ketchup on top. Bake uncovered, in 350 degree oven for 70 minutes. If you like a thicker sauce, baste meatloaf with an additional 1/4 cup ketchup during last 10 minutes of cooking. (not included in nutritional values) Remove from oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 - 15 minutes before slicing.

NOTES:

*NOTE: if you can't find the Heinz Hot and Spicy Tomato Ketchup and you want that zing it brings to this recipe, just add several shakes of hot sauce to regular ketchup to get the same flavor. 

Nutritional Values are an Estimate
calories
481
fat (grams)
19
carbs (grams)
27
protein (grams)
50
Created using The Recipes Generator

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*Note: This recipe for Best Ground Turkey Meatloaf first appeared on Renee's Kitchen Adventures in October 2010 as Basic Turkey Meatloaf. 

I've updated the post to include more information and republished it because it's an excellent Ground Turkey Meatloaf recipe that I think everyone should know about! The recipe hasn't changed.

24 comments:

  1. Hey! I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog! I'm trying to get back to eating healthy, and your blogs seems like a helpful tool. :) Thanks! That meatloaf looks great.

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  2. Thank you Christina! Let me know how you liked it if you make it! :)

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  3. I wish my husband liked meatloaf..this looks delicious! I am saving this recipe for when someone with a tasteful palate comes for dinner ;)

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  4. I have a recipie which is half turkey and half hamburger , I cant give you exact amounts cause I dont cook like that but anyway, half ground turkey, half lean ground hamburger, onion minced, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, sage, parsley, milk equal to the bread crumbs mixture should be quite wet form into pan and bake. This is actually Grandpas recipie or and I almost forgot the sauce ketchup with brown sugar and powdered mustard put on about 30 minutes before meatloaf is done.

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  5. @ Connie...sounds delicious! :)

    @ Nicole...make a small one and freeze what you don't eat for when he is out of town! :)

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  6. This was excellent! We had it for lunch today and everybody loved it. Is this points+ or old points? Thanks!

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  7. @ Evacuee...thank you for reviewing this recipe and I am glad you liked it. What is listed is old points. Points plus would be 7 points plus per serving. I am going to update the recipe now with the new info. Thanks again!

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  8. HOW ABOUT LETTING US SHARE ON FB, TWITTER AND YUM. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM??? ALL I CAN DO IS PIN IT...

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    1. Hi Marie! You should be able to share on FB, Twitter and Yummly using the colored sharing buttons on the side (desktop) or on the top (mobile). Hope this helps!

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  9. Good recipe! Worked out fine! Almost good as my mothers recipe. She used ground sirloin back in the day!

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  10. Doesn’t this taste like regular meatloaf?

    I was vegetarian for 13 years and just recently took up eating poultry and fish again. My husband loves my homemade meatloaf (regular beef) and then I always made a smaller pan of a vegetarian meatloaf for myself. Well he isn’t too big of a “try new things” eater.. he does like turkey though. And this would save me on having to make two different meatloafs for dinner if it tastes similar to regular meatloaf?

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    1. Hi Lena! Thanks for asking. Yes, in my opinion, it tastes very much like a meatloaf made with beef. I hope that you will give it a try and see if your husband likes it! My son actually prefers this meatloaf over any beef ones I make.:)

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  11. I made this recipe tonight and it truly lived up to its name. In contrast to the cooking notes, I baked it in a baking dish. Then, I used a turkey baster to transfer the juices to a small sauce pan, added a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce and simmered until it reduced by about half. Made a delicious gravy for a great meatloaf!

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    1. Thank you for your review and so happy you enjoyed it! Love your adaptations!

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  12. Took 45 extra minutes in the oven for the internal temperature to reach 165 F for some reason. Very tasty and moist though! Definitely adding to my favorites!

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    1. Hi MikeyLikesit! Thanks so much for your review. I'm so happy you enjoyed it! All ovens cook differently so it's great that you checked the internal temperature for doneness.

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  13. I love a good meatloaf and this was honestly the BEST meatloaf I’ve ever eaten. I followed your instructions to a tee and ended up with a moist, flavorful meatloaf that was healthy as well. I made it into two loaves instead on one and shared one with a coworker who doesn’t cook. She’s been raving about it to everyone in the office ever since!! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe - it’s a keeper!!

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    1. Hello! Thank you so much for your review. I'm so happy you all enjoyed this meatloaf recipe!

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    2. My first time cooking ground turkey. So glad I chose this recipe. It was DELISH! It's nice to try a recipe that actually came out good.
      I followed exactly except that I did not saute onion and garlic first. I forgot and had already tossed them in to the turkey. Also, I used regular ketchup with a few dashes of Piri-Piri hot sauce. All was fine!
      I will say I cooked it about 20 minutes longer to get it to my liking (1.5 hrs total). Even my son was surprisingly pleased. I will be making this meatloaf often. Thank you Renee.

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    3. Hi Cleeo2! So happy you enjoyed this recipe and thank you for leaving a review!

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  14. I only have to feed a family of 3 so I will need to half the recipe. How long should I cook for if I only use a pound of Turkey?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Char Char. Thanks for your question. I've never halved the recipe. I make a full recipe and then freeze or eat the leftover on another day. But, if you halve the recipe, I'd say start with cooking for 40 minutes and check the internal temperature of the loaf. You want it to be within a few degrees of 165 degrees F. Add additional time as needed to reach that internal temp.

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