Turkey Meatloaf Ingredient Notes:
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Ground Turkey A bit more lean and more economical than beef! Well season it well so that its packed with flavor.
Binder We use dry Stove Top Stuffing as the binder in this meatloaf. Makes it super moist and adds flavor. While you could sub with bread crumbs or oats, the turkey meatloaf wont be as moist or as well-seasoned.
Veggies Im adding some diced onion and green pepper to this turkey meatloaf. Chop them pretty small to avoid big chunks.
Seasoning Keep it simple with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder! The stuffing is already seasoned and well add a sweet and tangy sauce on top for even more flavor.
Meatloaf Sauce Youll need ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Bakes up thick, sweet, tangy, and irresistible.
Bread After shaping, well place the meatloaf of bread slices to soak up any liquid that releases. Optional, but keeps the pan looking nice and the bread can be eaten or discarded.
How To Make A Moist Turkey Meatloaf
Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and sautee the onions and fennel until soft. Add garlic and sautee for 30 sec more.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl add the ground meat and the remaining ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Once the veggies are soft, allow them to cook for a bit then transfer to the bowl with the meat. Mix until very well combined.
Transfer the meat mixture into the prepared loaf pan and gently press to get into the corners and take the loaf shape.
Spread extra ketchup on top, if desired.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the inside temperature reads 165F.
How To Make Moist Ground Turkey Meatloaf
- Soak oats with milk: Do so while you are mincing onion, garlic, and getting other ingredients ready. For about 10 minutes. No need to drain the milk before adding oats to meat mixture. This step makes ground turkey meatloaf juicy and flavorful. My grandma always soaked bread in milk when making meatloaf.
- Combine ingredients: Ground turkey, egg, onion, garlic, soaked oats, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well using your hands. Thats when rings come off.
- Shape meatloaf: Place in regular 9 x 5 loaf pan or shape 1 meatloaf on lined baking sheet or into 4 mini meatloaves. You dont have to own a loaf pan to make meatloaf. Ha!
- Bake: Single large meatloaf for 45 minutes or 4 mini meatloaves for 35 minutes in preheated 400 degrees F oven.
What temperature should ground turkey meatloaf be cooked to? Meatloaf is ready when internal temperature is 160 degrees check with the thermometer. Do not overbake because meatloaf will start drying out.
- Glaze meatloaf with ketchup: I used organic and just 3 tablespoons. Everything in moderation. I used to make fancy glaze with tomato paste and balsamic vinegar but not anymore. Remove from the oven and brush with ketchup. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
- Cut into 8 slices using sharp knife: No need to let meatloaf cool down. However, I would transfer meatloaf with spatula on a cutting board before slicing to avoid damaging the loaf pan, silicone baking mat or baking sheet.
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Turkey And Beef Meatloaf With Cranberry Glaze
Turkey and cranberries is a match made in heaven why wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy it? This healthy take on meatloaf pairs the two in an inspired way: Turkey lightens up the traditional ground beef base and antioxidant-rich cranberries are the centerpiece of a tangy glaze.
Get the Recipe: Turkey and Beef Meatloaf with Cranberry Glaze
What To Serve/pair With Healthy Turkey Meatloaf
Keto Panko Bread CrumbsCrushed NutsAn inexpensive non-discernable substitution is the chia seeds. They wont change the flavor of the turkey meatloaf but make sure you break them down in a food processor or Nutri-bullet, or they will have a visual and textural impact.
H3: Do I have to use the eggs in ground turkey meatloaf?
No, but the reason for using eggs in the meatloaf recipe is to bind the loaf so it wont tend to crumble or fall apart.
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Yes Vegetables Are The New Meat
Ive come to realize with just about every single recipe you can image that adding in either vegetables or fruitwhether hidden or visibleinevitably adds more flavor. Im not the only one who has come to this conclusion either. Real chefs have too. Vegetables are the new meat.
So even if you dont care a thing about whether you make your turkey meatloaf healthy or not, we all want it to taste good! And trust me, adding the veggies does the trick. More veggies = more flavor + fiber + flavonoids. So its a win-win for both the clean eating and foodie enthusiasts alike.
What Readers Are Saying
I make this once a month. This is the best turkey meatloaf recipe Ive found. Its seasoned so well, you dont miss the beef. My entire family loves it, even those who dont usually like ground turkey. The only thing I change is the sauce topping I omit the brown sugar, as we dont like the sweet taste. Love the bread tip too! Sarah
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Ingredients You Will Need For This Homemade Meatloaf
- Olive oil we prefer olive oil but you may use any other oil of choice
- Onion any onion will do. We used white onion
- Fennel bulb
- Garlic cloves: use fresh garlic and not garlic powder
- Ground turkey if you dont liek turkey use lean ground chicken or groun beef. For a ground beef version, please chekout our Easy Homemamde Meatloaf Recipe
- Panko Bread Crumbs: or any breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Worcestershire sauce
Meatloaf Tips And Variations:
- Dont overwork the meat. Just like making meatballs, if you over work the meat it will become more dense. Its best to gently mix all the ingredients until just mixed in.
- Make it faster! If I want to make this quicker, I will make them into four smaller loaves and cook it for about 25 to 30 minutes. You can also make it in cupcake tins like I do in this Cupcake Meatloaf with Mashed Potato Frosting.
- Add heat! If you want to spice things up you can add some chipotle or sriracha to the ketchup.
- Use beef. If you prefer beef, swap the turkey for a lean beef around 90% lean.
- Make it low-carb or grain-free. Swap the breadcrumbs out for equal amounts of almond meal.
- Make it with oats. Swap the breadcrumbs out for equal amounts of rolled oats.
- BBQ Sauce. Replace the ketchup glaze with BBQ sauce to give it a smokey flavor.
- Make it juicier. I often use 93% lean for a juicier turkey meatloaf.
- Make it for Meal Prep! Double the recipe, make two and freeze one for another night.
- Leftovers. Leftovers are great for sandwiches. Refrigerate 3 to 4 days.
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Healthy Turkey Meatloaf: This Way & That
One of the things I love about making meatloaf is that it only takes about 30-minutes to prepare but one loaf makes enough to last our family for three nights of leftovers. But if you want to mix things up a bit, you can always make the recipe below using organic, pasture-raised ground beef, bison or even lamb.
I also have another healthy meatloaf recipe on the blog that has lots of hidden vegetables, but uses ground beef instead of turkey. But again, you can substitute any meat you like in either of the recipes.
You can also try making mini meatloaf muffins with the recipe below by baking the meatloaf in a muffin tin. This is a great option if you are in a hurry because it cuts the cooking time down by about half. Little meatloaf muffins look cute too .
Deliciously Moist Healthy Turkey Meatloaf has lots of hidden sauteed mixed vegetables and Meaty Mushrooms. A family favorite.
- Total Time:1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield:10 1x
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened store-bought or homemade hemp milk
- 2 tablespoons organic Worcestershire
A Healthier Version Of Meatloaf
- Leaner meats with extra veggies make this recipe a superstar.
- Lighter with less fat, this beef and chicken meatloaf is juicy and stuffed with savory onions and carrots and tangy condiments means that it packs in all of the flavor of a classic version with less calories.
- Even new-ish home cooks can make this easy meatloaf recipe to perfection!
- Garnish with a generous sprinkling of fresh parsley or parmesan cheese before slicing at the table.
- This is the best ever recipe for weekly meal prep! Double the recipe and serve slices with eggs for breakfast, or make hearty meatloaf sammies for a school or workday lunch!
How to Make a Healthier Meatloaf
MEAT: Ground turkey breast or lean ground chicken is lower in fat and we pair it with a lean blend of ground beef to get that juicy texture. Breadcrumbs hold the ingredients together, but can be switched out with crushed pork rinds for a lower carb meatloaf or oats if youd prefer.
VEGETABLES: Onions and carrots add a little color, some texture, and lots of moisture this to beef and turkey meatloaf. Mushrooms, zucchini, or green pepper can be added to the mix as long as the mixture stays together. Its a great way to use up leftover veggies!
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Cheese Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf
We love turkey meatloaf for dinner, its total comfort food. Using turkey in place of beef in your meatloaf lightens it up and its delicious! Stuffing it with cheese and spinach total game changer!!
I love sneaking some extra veggies in my meatloaf, no one minds and it only enhances the meatloaf. Here I added mushrooms and spinach inside which means, picky kids cant pick them out! I served this with veggies on the side, steamed green beans, corn or broccoli would be great.
Shape The Meatloaf On A Pan
- My mom always made meatloaf in a loaf pan, but ever since I was an adult I have made mine on a sheet pan, mounded into a loaf shape. I learned this at one of the restaurants where I was a prep cook when I was in my early twenties. I adopted this method as soon as I learned about it because my favorite part of meatloaf has always been the crust and glaze, so when the meatloaf baked on a sheet pan it has more surface area for optimal crust and glaze.
- Additionally as it is cooking, excess moisture seeps away onto the pan, so that the outside of the meatloaf doesnt simmer in its own juices.
- It also means that you can make it much bigger than a loaf pan so you can be assured there will be enough for leftovers, which means meatloaf sandwiches is key to living a happy and fulfilled life!
- I also love how easy it is to clean up when I line the sheet pan with foil. Yay, less time washing dishes!
- To shape the meatloaf, I just take handfuls of the meat mixture and pile it in the center of the foil on the sheet pan. Then I pat it until it forms a nice 12-inch long loaf shape. Its about 4-inches wide and then just patted down to an even thickness across.
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How To Add Great Flavor To Your Meatloaf
Adding flavor to ground turkey is necessary since it can be pretty bland like any lean meat. Here are a few ways you can enhance the flavor.
- You can easily add more flavor by cooking the veggies in some oil and garlic and letting them cool before adding them to the meat.
- Use some kind of stock like chicken stock, vegetable stock or beef stock to help kick up the flavor along with plenty of salt and pepper.
- Spices are another wonderful way you can add some tasty elements to your meatloaf without adding any extra calories. I like to use garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and cumin, just to give it a nice spicy kick.
How Do You Make Meatloaf Muffins
I found this recipe on BodyBuilding.com. They were created by fitness model and author, Jamie Eason. Jamie shares lots of her recipes here and offers up lots of great tips and insights about healthy cooking. She really focuses on food-for fitness so if your working on building a buff-bod, you definitely want to check her out.
The first time I made these muffins, I pretty much followed the recipe verbatim and they were delish. The only thing I wanted was a little more moisture. So this time around I tweaked it a bit.
You can see the original recipe here. And youll find my full updated version in the recipe card below .
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Why Does My Meatloaf Fall Apart
The most common reason that a meatloaf falls apart is due to a lack of binding agents. The eggs and bread crumbs are key as they are the binding agent. I would not recommend using less than the recommended amount of eggs and bread crumbs for this recipe. Also, if you oven bake the meatloaf, that will dry it out and cause it to fall apart as well.
Want another healthy recipe? Try my Ground Turkey Sweet Potato Lettuce Wraps for lunch and or these 40 Easy Fall Dinner Recipes! Enjoy!
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Turkey Meatloaf Shopping List:
- Barbecue sauce
This healthy turkey meatloaf recipe uses a lot of pantry staples. This helps make the recipe for accessible. So next time you see your favorite organic barbecue sauce on sale, buy a bottle
I realize the list is long, but you may notice that you only need to buy 2-4 items as many ingredients for turkey meatloaf are items you already have on hand.
This recipe for meatloaf with ground turkey uses pantry staples, so you dont have to spend a fortune to make a delicious dinner.
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Skip High Fructose Corn Syrup Ketchup
You cant really use Heinz Ketchup made with high fructose corn syrup in what is supposed to be a healthy turkey meatloaf recipe. Of course you can always make your own homemade ketchup sweetened with fiber-rich and whole-food-based date paste.
But if you dont have the time or inclination to do that then Sir Kensingtons is a divine alternative. Its the only ketchup I have ever tasted that I actually like better than Heinz. Its organic, it has no high fructose corn syrup and has half the sugar of regular ketchup. You can Sir Kensigntons ketchup at Whole Foods or online at
Add Stealthy Vegetables For Moisture Flavor And Bulk
To the turkey I add in a good amount of vegetables: Bell Peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic. The reason I do this is four fold.
One is for added nutrition. If you are aiming to get your 5 to 9 servings of produce a day, adding veggies to your recipes will help you get there. Here peppers, which are high in vitamin c, onions and mushrooms which are high in antioxidants And inflammation fighting selenium are my veggies of choice.
Vegetables are relatively low in calories per volume. What I mean by that is two ounces of bell pepper for example, is much lower in calories than two ounces of turkey So subbing in some of the volume of turkey for the veggies is going to reduce the overall calories of the final dish, but not the portion size.
Even though the onions and mushrooms virtually disappear into the turkey, they add so much savory flavor to the meat, you would miss them if they werent there. This is particularly important with lower fat meats, as fat is a flavor carrier, so with less of it, you need to amp the flavors with veggies and seasoning.
The vegetables are naturally high in moisture content, so when they are mixed with the vegetables, they add natural moisture to the meatloaf.
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How Do You Make Turkey Meatloaf