The Turkey Meatloaf Recipe to Make you LOVE Turkey Meatloaf

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Have you been doing ground turkey the WRONG way? 😱 No more! This impossibly moist turkey meatloaf recipe is PACKED with juiciness + flavor.

Close-up shot of sliced meatloaf.

Healthy Ground Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

My meat-loving husband doesn’t even realize it is ground turkey, not beef or pork. 

The best part is that usually doesn’t even like ground turkey and is like a detective when it comes to figuring out when I’ve made a lowfat version of anything.

That’s really saying something, meatloaf lovers, about the rich flavor and and juicy texture of this ground turkey meatloaf recipe.

​This is an easy recipe that the entire family will love! 

Here’s What You Need for the Best Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Let’s break down what you’ll need. I’ll guide you through the ingredients, suggest some variations, and tell you about the tools you’ll need.

Turkey Meatloaf Ingredients

Turkey Meatloaf Ingredients

First off, let’s talk ingredients. Each one plays a role in making this classic comfort food.

  • Fresh or panko bread crumbs: They absorb moisture, making the meatloaf tender.
  • Milk: It moistens the breadcrumbs, helping with the meatloaf’s texture.
  • Olive oil: Used for sautéing onions, it adds flavor.
  • Minced onion: It brings a sweet, aromatic base
  • Coarse salt: It seasons the meatloaf from the inside.
  • Minced garlic: Adds a punch of flavor.
  • Mayo: The savory meatloaf stays super juicy thanks to the emulsifiers in mayo. Secret ingredient alert! Mayo is a great way to add extra moisture to turkey meatloaf recipes as well as turkey burgers and turkey meatballs.
  • Fresh parsley or dried: Brings a fresh, herby flavor.
  • Cayenne pepper: Adds a hint of heat.
  • Ground black pepper: Gives a sharp, spicy kick.
  • Eggs: Bind everything together, ensuring the loaf doesn’t crumble.
  • Lean ground turkey: Use two pounds of ground turkey (regular ground turkey is good too!) 

Variations and Substitutions

Here are some ideas to tweak this easy turkey meatloaf recipe to your liking.

  • Breadcrumbs: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if you’re avoiding gluten.
  • Milk: Almond or soy milk work great for a dairy-free option. Plain water also works in a pinch (you just won’t get the rich flavor of milk).
  • Meat: Feel free to use ground chicken instead of turkey.
  • Herbs: Mix up the herbs based on what’s in your garden or pantry. A little italian seasoning is nice, too. 
  • Eggs: See 7 Best Egg Substitutes for Meatloaf (That Really Work!) 

Next Reading: Best Seasonings for Meatloaf.

Grab these Tools

To make this meatloaf, you’ll need a few kitchen staples.

  • Large mixing bowl: For combining the meat mixture .
  • Saucepan: To sauté the onions and garlic.
  • Baking Sheet: Where your meatloaf will take shape and bake. I like the simplicity of a sheet pan, and how all the edges get browned. No need for a meatloaf pan. 
  • Meat thermometer: AN instant read thermometer ensures your meatloaf is cooked perfectly inside.
Seasoned Turkey Meatloaf Mixture.

How to Make Ground Turkey Meatloaf

How to Make Turkey Meatloaf: An Easy Guide

Making turkey meatloaf is simpler than you might think. I’m here to guide you through each step.

Prepping the Base

Start by combining the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Let them soak up the milk to get soft. This is key for a tender meatloaf.

Sautéing the Aromatics

Next, heat some olive oil in a small skillet. Add the onion and a bit of salt. Cook until the onion is soft. Then, throw in the garlic just until it’s fragrant. Let this mix cool a bit before the next step.

Making the Turkey Meatloaf Mixture

After your onion mixture has cooled, add it to the panko breadcrumbs. Now, stir in the mayo, parsley, the remaining salt, pepper, and cayenne. Once cool, blend in the eggs. Finally, gently mix in the ground turkey. You want it well-combined but not overworked.

Shaping Meatloaf in pan

Shaping and Baking

Transfer the turkey mixture to  a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (or spray the pan with nonstick spray) and into shape it into a loaf shape. 

At this point, you can add a tangy glaze to the top of the meatloaf (see ideas below) for a little bit of extra flavor.

Bake at 375 degrees F until the inside hits 165ºF. This usually takes about an hour. Let it rest a bit before slicing. This rest time is crucial for a juicy meatloaf.

Doneness Temperature of Turkey Meatloaf

Ensuring your turkey meatloaf is perfectly cooked is crucial for both safety and taste. The key is to reach the right internal temperature.

For turkey meatloaf, this magic number is 165ºF. Use a meat thermometer to check. Insert it into the center of the loaf. Once it hits 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, your meatloaf is done. This guarantees it’s safe to eat and deliciously juicy.

Always let it rest before slicing to lock in the flavors and juices.

Next Reading: 

  • Meatloaf Temp Guide: Internal temperatures, oven temperatures, and storage temperatures to know. 
Adding sauce on Meatloaf

Make Ahead and Storage for Moist Turkey Meatloaf 

Handling leftovers or preparing in advance is easy with this turkey meatloaf. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Make ahead: You can mix all the ingredients and shape the loaf a day before. Just keep it covered  with plastic wrap in the refrigerator or stored in an airtight container.
  • Refrigerating: Once cooked and cooled, wrap the meatloaf tightly. 
  • Freezing: Wrap the cooked meatloaf in aluminum foil, then in a freezer bag. 
  • Reheating: Here’s how to reheat meatloaf so it stays moist and juicy.

Related: What to Make with Leftover Meatloaf.

Next Reading: 

Spreading sauce on meatloaf with spoon

How to Serve this Healthy Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Serving this ground turkey meatloaf is as enjoyable as making it. Here are some ideas to get it to the table beautifully.

Pair with Sides

​When working with the best meatloaf, its fine to keep the sides simple. Some sweet potatoes, cheesy potatoes, a side of green beans or roasted broccoli all add delicious flavor while keeping things on the lighter side. 

Add a sauce: 

  • Steal the gravy from this ground beef Meatloaf with Brown Gravy recipe. Perfect with creamy mashed potatoes!
  • Top the meatloaf with a tangy simple meatloaf glaze to elevate the dish (mine has worcestershire sauce, ketchup and brown sugar)
  • Try a dollop of bbq sauce for bbq turkey meatloaf.
  • Change the flavor with a little chili sauce on top. 
  • Keep it simple. Ketchup works wonders for a comfort food vibe, like I do in my best-ever classic meatloaf recipe (it’s one of my favorite recipes. Just a good meatloaf. Try it with lean beef!).
Meatloaf in plate with knife

How to Use Up Turkey Meatloaf Leftovers

  • Sandwiches: Slice and stack on bread with toppings for a classic meatloaf sandwich.
  • Salads: Cube and brown in a large skillet on medium heat then toss into salad for extra protein.
  • Pasta: Mix into sauces for a flavorful dinner option.

Quick, easy, and delicious ways to reinvent your leftovers!

FAQs About Turkey Meatloaf

Just skimming through? Here are some quick answers to the commonly-asked questions.

What is the secret to moist turkey meatloaf?

The secret to moist turkey meatloaf lies in using the right amount of wet ingredients like milk-soaked breadcrumbs and eggs. These ingredients help retain moisture within the meatloaf, ensuring it stays juicy and flavorful. Also be sure not to overcook it. 

Why is my turkey meatloaf rubbery?

Turkey meatloaf can turn rubbery if overmixed. Gentle mixing and the right balance of ingredients are key to preventing a tough, rubbery texture.

Is it better to cook meatloaf covered or uncovered?

Cooking meatloaf uncovered is generally preferred. It allows the exterior to develop a nice crust. If you’re concerned about drying out, you can cover it for part of the cooking time and then uncover it to finish.

How long should you cook meatloaf and what temperature?

You should cook meatloaf at 350ºF for about 1 hour. The key is to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165ºF, indicating it’s fully cooked and safe to eat.

What can I use instead of breadcrumbs in turkey meatloaf?

Instead of breadcrumbs, you can use oats, crushed crackers, or even cooked quinoa as a binder. These alternatives can also add unique flavors and textures to your meatloaf.

Is turkey meatloaf healthier than beef meatloaf?

Turkey meatloaf is generally considered healthier than beef meatloaf due to its lower fat content. However, the overall nutritional value depends on the other ingredients used.

What’s the best way to slice meatloaf without it falling apart?

Letting the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes after baking firms it up and makes slicing easier. Use a sharp, serrated knife for c

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5 from 1 vote

Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe (Healthy + So Juicy!)

An easy ground turkey meatloaf recipe perfect for any day of the week. It’s moist, tender, and packed with juicy flavor.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 cup fresh or panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cup minced onion about ¼ of a large yellow onion
  • 2.5 tsp coarse salt divided
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 6 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 lb ground turkey
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  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Mix breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and let them stand while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Heat oil over medium in a saucepan. Cook onion with ¼ tsp salt until soft, about 7 minutes.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Let cool slightly, then add to the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Stir in mayo, parsley, the rest of the salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  • Once cool, mix in the eggs, then the turkey. Be gentle but thorough.
  • Shape the mix into a loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 1 hour or until the inside temperature reaches 165ºF. Let it rest before slicing.


  • Letting the breadcrumb mixture sit with the milk helps ensure a moist meatloaf.
  • Cooking the onions and garlic before adding them to the mix brings out their flavors.
  • Letting the meatloaf rest before slicing makes it easier to cut and serves up more juicy.


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 146mg | Sodium: 1241mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 344IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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1 Comment

  1. Shreshta says:

    5 stars
    My family loves meatloaf, but I’m not a huge fan of beef. This turkey version sounds like a delicious alternative!