Turkey Meatloaf

There are few things more welcome than a generous slice of homemade Turkey Meatloaf. It’s easy to make, the leftovers are off the charts delicious, and no one at the table will miss the beef.

An angled shot of sliced turkey meatloaf on a baking pan.

I love this recipe because it’s perfect for meal prep for a busy week ahead. It’s easy and it makes A LOT. When it comes to meatloaf, go big or go home.

In terms of taste, Turkey Meatloaf is anything but dull. Every single slice is moist, tender, and irresistible. Fresh out of the oven, I serve it hot with lots of mashed potatoes, baked mac and cheese, and a green salad for the best dinner ever. 

Ingredient notes:

  • Chicken broth. Homemade chicken broth or store-bought.
  • Ground turkey: A reminder that this recipe uses 5 pounds of ground turkey, but don’t worry! The leftovers are delicious.
  • Bread crumbs: It’s easy to make your own bread crumbs and for the tastiest results, I highly recommend it. Or, substitute store-bought.
  • Ketchup: Using a sauce like ketchup keeps the meatloaf moist. But, you could use a different sauce such as your favorite BBQ sauce, or bake the meatloaf plain and make a gravy or marinara sauce for serving.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. In a skillet, sauté the onions, olive oil, and thyme over medium-low heat until the onions are translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Add Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and the tomato paste. Mix everything together well. Let the mixture cool a bit before adding it to the turkey in the next step.
    Turkey meatloaf ingredients in a silver pot.
  2. Meanwhile, place the ground turkey, bread crumbs, and beaten eggs into a bowl large enough to accommodate all the ingredients. Pour in the onion/Worcestershire mixture and gently mix all the ingredients. Don’t overdo it—use your fingertips or a wooden spoon to just lightly fold in everything until incorporated.
  3. Form the ground turkey mixture into one large loaf (or two smaller ones) on an ungreased rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Then spread the ketchup liberally over the top. Bake the turkey meatloaf for 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees, until the internal temperature registers 160 degrees and the turkey meat loaf is cooked through.
    An overhead shot of precooked turkey meatloaf on a baking pan.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Cracked meatloaf: Place a pan of hot water in the oven under the loaf as it bakes to keep the top from cracking.
  • Meatloaf muffins: Cute, quick, and single-serve meatloaf muffins are a hit for parties and potlucks. Plus they bake up in half the time. Drop scoops of the turkey mixture into a standard muffin tin using a large ice cream scoop. Brush on ketchup topping. Bake in the preheated oven at 325 degrees until golden brown and 160 degrees when a food thermometer is inserted in the center, about 45 minutes.
  • Freezing raw meatloaf: Form the ground turkey mixture into a loaf, then wrap thoroughly with plastic wrap and place in an airtight freezer bag. Raw meatloaf should last up to six months in the freezer. Thaw before baking according to the recipe instructions.
  • Freezing cooked meatloaf: Cool to room temperature before wrapping well in foil; then place in a sealed plastic freezer bag, and store in the freezer up to six months. To reheat, remove the wrapping and place in the oven without thawing. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees. When cooking or reheating frozen meatloaf, always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. It should read 160 to 165 degrees.
  • Bacon-wrapped: Skip the ketchup and cover the meatloaf with slices of your favorite bacon, which cooks along with the loaf.
  • Oats inside: Some cooks (my mom) swear by using old-fashioned rolled oats in their meatloaf. If you’re one of them, just omit the breadcrumbs and add an equal amount of rolled oats.
  • Dried mushrooms: Got some dried mushrooms in the pantry? Rehydrate them and add them to the raw meat mix.
  • Spicy: Add diced green chilies or pickled jalapeños to the meat. Then a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce into the ketchup topping.

An overhead shot of sliced turkey meatloaf on a baker's sheet.

More delicious recipes to love:

Sliced turkey meatloaf on a silver baking pan.

Turkey Meatloaf

There are few things more welcome than a generous slice of homemade Turkey Meatloaf. It's easy to make, the leftovers are off the charts delicious, and no one at the table will miss the beef.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 416kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions 2 large onions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/3 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 5 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 3 extra large eggs beaten
  • 3/4 cup ketchup

Instructions

  •  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a medium sauté pan, on medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until the onions are translucent but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. 
  • Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees and the meat loaf is cooked through. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.
  • (A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meat loaf, will keep the top from cracking.)

Notes

  1. Chicken broth. Homemade chicken broth or store-bought.
  2. Ground turkey: A reminder that this recipe uses 5 pounds of ground turkey, but don’t worry! The leftovers are delicious.
  3. Bread crumbs: It's easy to make your own bread crumbs and for the tastiest results, I highly recommend it. Or, substitute store-bought.
  4. Ketchup: Using a sauce like ketchup keeps the meatloaf moist. But, you could use a different sauce such as your favorite BBQ sauce, or bake the meatloaf plain and make a gravy or marinara sauce for serving. 
  5. Cracked meatloaf: Place a pan of hot water in the oven under the loaf as it bakes to keep the top from cracking.
  6. Meatloaf muffins: Cute, quick, and single-serve meatloaf muffins are a hit for parties and potlucks. Plus they bake up in half the time. Drop scoops of the turkey mixture into a standard muffin tin using a large ice cream scoop. Brush on ketchup topping. Bake in the preheated oven at 325 degrees until golden brown and 160 degrees when a food thermometer is inserted in the center, about 45 minutes.
  7. Freezing raw meatloaf: Form the ground turkey mixture into a loaf, then wrap thoroughly with plastic wrap and place in an airtight freezer bag. Raw meatloaf should last up to six months in the freezer. Thaw before baking according to the recipe instructions.
  8. Freezing cooked meatloaf: Cool to room temperature before wrapping well in foil; then place in a sealed plastic freezer bag, and store in the freezer up to six months. To reheat, remove the wrapping and place in the oven without thawing. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees. When cooking or reheating frozen meatloaf, always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. It should read 160 to 165 degrees.
  9. Bacon-wrapped: Skip the ketchup and cover the meatloaf with slices of your favorite bacon, which cooks along with the loaf.
  10. Oats inside: Some cooks (my mom) swear by using old-fashioned rolled oats in their meatloaf. If you’re one of them, just omit the breadcrumbs and add an equal amount of rolled oats.
  11. Dried mushrooms: Got some dried mushrooms in the pantry? Rehydrate them and add them to the raw meat mix.
  12. Spicy: Add diced green chilies or pickled jalapeños to the meat. Then a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce into the ketchup topping.

Nutrition

Calories: 416kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 174mg | Sodium: 1006mg | Potassium: 947mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 4mg
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  1. Clare M Venet

    So I used two pounds not five, reduced the eggs by one and slowly added the onion mixture with the breadcrumbs till I found the right consistency. I used the rest of the onion mixture as a marinade with a little soy sauce for a chicken thigh dinner the next night. Everyone loved this dinner and the turkey meatloaf made really good sandwiches. I found that for three adults two pounds worked perfectly so I will make this again and again.
    Thanks, Clare5 stars

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