Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf (2022)

We set out to create the best turkey meatloaf recipe, and here it is! This turkey meatloaf is full of flavor, moist in the middle, and has become a reader favorite! Jump to the Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf (1)

The Secret to Crave Worthy, Moist Turkey Meatloaf

If you have turkey meatloaf skeptics in your life, this recipe will change their minds. It did for us. We never used to make turkey meatloaf. We make turkey meatballs and turkey burgers all the time, but never meatloaf. That’s until we stumbled on the secret for making the best, juicy inside, flavorful turkey meatloaf. It’s mushrooms!

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf (2)

Now we make it all the time. Since ground turkey can be a bit dry and bland after it’s cooked, we needed to add ingredients that keep the inside moist and boost flavor.

The trick to the best meatloaf lies in the vegetable aisle. It’s mushrooms!

Thanks to tiny pieces of chopped mushrooms, the turkey meatloaf is moist and has unbelievable flavor.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf (3)

If you aren’t the biggest mushroom fan, it’s okay! The meatloaf doesn’t end up tasting like mushrooms (I promise). Instead, the mushrooms add a lovely savory flavor to the turkey.

We use this trick in other recipes. Mushrooms are the secret ingredient to our easy turkey chili and these seriously good turkey burgers. Just like with this recipe, our readers rave about them (especially how flavorful they are).

You might also enjoy this recipe for tender juicy meatballs! They are simple to make and the recipe works for just about any ground meat.

How to Make Turkey Meatloaf

Just like when making classic beef meatloaf, the method for our recipe is pretty simple. Here’s an overview of how to make turkey meatloaf (the full recipe is below):

  1. Cook chopped mushrooms, onions, and garlic in a skillet until soft.
  2. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and ketchup.
  3. Rehydrate bread crumbs in some milk, which adds tenderness and moisture to the meatloaf.
  4. Mix the mushroom mixture with the breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, and ground turkey.
  5. Form the mixture into a loaf on a baking sheet, spread a little extra ketchup on top, and then bake.

We bake the meatloaf in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 50 minutes. The meatloaf is done when an internal thermometer inserted into the middle reads 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf (4)

Make Ahead Meatloaf

Not only is this turkey meatloaf delicious, but it is also easy to make in advance.

(Video) Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe - How to Make Homemade Turkey Meatloaf

Make the meatloaf mixture a day in advance. Follow the recipe below, but stop just before forming and baking. Keep the raw meatloaf mixture in the refrigerator for up to 1 day before baking. When you are ready to bake, form the mixture into a loaf, cover with ketchup, and bake.

You can freeze unbaked meatloaf. Follow the recipe below, form the meatloaf on top of a few sheets of foil on a baking sheet, but leave off the ketchup. Slide the baking sheet into the freezer and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. Wrap the foil around the partially frozen meatloaf, place it into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight before baking.

Freezing baked meatloaf. Let the baked meatloaf cool, and then wrap it into foil and freeze for up to a month. I like to cut the meatloaf into slices and freeze them individually so I can take one or two slices out when I need them.

What to Serve With Meatloaf

This meatloaf is so tasty that we make it often. Here are a few of our favorite sides to serve it with:

  • Try classic mashed potatoes or give our mashed sweet potatoes a try.
  • For a low-carb option, try our creamy mashed cauliflower.
  • These buttered noodles would be amazing.
  • Here’s my favorite method for roasting vegetables and I really love this cinnamon roasted butternut squash recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since sharing our turkey meatloaf recipe, we’ve had some common questions, so I thought I’d answer them here.

Can I double the meatloaf recipe? Yes! You can double the recipe (which would use about 2 pounds of ground turkey). Double the ingredients in the recipe and expect to bake for a bit longer in the oven (15 to 20 minutes longer). I use my internal thermometer as a guide.

How can I make the meatloaf gluten-free? For meatloaf without breadcrumbs, try ground gluten-free hard pretzels, rolled oats, brown rice cereal, or gluten-free Chex cereal in place of the breadcrumbs. You should also make sure the ketchup used is gluten-free or use homemade ketchup.

Do I need to add the eggs? Eggs help to provide moisture to the meatloaf, but you can eliminate them or substitute them with a store-bought egg replacer.

Can I make the meatloaf without milk? For a dairy-free meatloaf, substitute the milk for unsweetened mild-flavored plant-based milk like hemp or almond milk.

I hate mushrooms. Is there a substitute? Even though I love this turkey meatloaf with mushrooms, I have substituted them for grated zucchini with excellent results.

Recipe updated, originally posted March2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. In 2022, we added an updated recipe video. Watch the old video here. – Adam and Joanne

(Video) Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe - How to Make Homemade Turkey Meatloaf - Updated

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Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf

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Our turkey meatloaf is full of flavor, moist in the middle, and has become a reader favorite! You would never guess this meatloaf is packed with mushrooms, but that’s what makes it so darn delicious. Lots of finely chopped mushrooms add flavor and moisture, often missing from the typical turkey meatloaf. When choosing which mushrooms to add, white button mushrooms will work perfectly fine. For more flavor, try one or a combination of brown cremini, portobello, or shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms need to be very finely chopped. You can do this by hand or use a food processor.

Makes 6 Servings

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and very finely chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon oil

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

7 tablespoons ketchup, divided, try our homemade ketchup

1 cup (60 grams) panko bread crumbs or use homemade bread crumbs

1/3 cup (80 ml) milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 ¼ pound ground turkey (92% lean)

(Video) TURKEY MEATLOAF | UNBELIEVABLY MOIST TURKEY MEATLOAF RECIPE
(Video) 🔴 Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe [with a TOP SECRET ingredient!]

Directions

  • Prepare Meatloaf
  • Heat oven to 400° Fahrenheit. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet (or use a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan) lined with aluminum foil.

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened; about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the mushrooms, a 1/2-teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4-teaspoon of pepper. Cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid and it boils away; about 10 minutes.Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf (5)

    Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a large bowl, and then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and three tablespoons of the ketchup. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

    Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a small bowl. Stir the breadcrumb mixture and the eggs into the mushrooms and onions. Using a fork or your hands, gently mix in the turkey, a 1/4-teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. The mixture will be very wet.

    Form the meatloaf into a 9-inch by 5-inch oval in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Spread the remaining four tablespoons of ketchup on top.

    • Bake Meatloaf
    • Bake the meatloaf until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meatloaf registers 170 degrees F, about 50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Some stores sell ground turkey in 1-pound portions and others in 1 ¼-pound portions. While we like using 1 ¼-pounds of turkey, 1 pound of turkey is adequate for the ingredient amounts shared in the recipe.
  • To speed up the prep time, use a food processor to chop the mushrooms.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 serving (6 total) / Calories 308 / Total Fat 13.4g / Saturated Fat 3.4g / Cholesterol 133.4mg / Sodium 734.5mg / Carbohydrate 23.5g / Total Sugars 8.3g / Dietary Fiber 1.6g / Protein 24.1g

AUTHOR:Adam and Joanne Gallagher

FAQs

What is the secret to moist meatloaf? ›

2. Add moisture at every step. Don't skip adding eggs, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire, barbecue sauce or some combination of wet seasonings. They don't just add flavor and texture, they help make the meat super juicy.

How do you keep turkey meatloaf from falling apart? ›

How do you keep turkey meatloaf from falling apart? The key to ensure your meatloaf doesn't fall apart after cooking is to have enough “binding” ingredients. For meatloaf, these are breadcrumbs and eggs. These two ingredients help to hold the ground turkey meat together.

When cooking a meatloaf in the oven should it be covered? ›

Do you cover meatloaf when baking? If you have a single large meatloaf then you should cover it with a piece of aluminum foil during cooking to keep it moist, but do not let it be covered for the whole cooking process. Take off the meatloaf cover and leave it uncovered for the last 15 minutes of baking.

What does adding milk to meatloaf do? ›

Why Put Milk In It. Milk soaks into the breadcrumbs and helps keep the meatloaf moist. I typically use whole milk in recipes, but any type of milk including non-dairy milk alternatives could be used.

What ingredient keeps meatloaf from falling apart? ›

Eggs: Like the breadcrumbs and milk, eggs act as a binding agent to hold the meatloaf together. We found two eggs did the trick.

How do you moisten dry meatloaf? ›

Fill the very bottom of a microwave-safe dish with just enough water to cover it. Place the meatloaf in the water and sprinkle more water on top of it. Cover the dish loosely with plastic wrap. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high and check to see if the meatloaf is done.

Why is my turkey meatloaf mushy? ›

The bread is likely to blame in mushy turkey meatloaf

In a thread, they explained that ground turkey has less structure than ground beef, so it's more apt to get soft and fall apart while baking. An easy solution is to always use breadcrumbs or bread that's at least a day old rather than fresh bread.

How do you know when turkey meatloaf is done? ›

Bake for 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F. and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.)

How can you tell if turkey meatloaf is done without a thermometer? ›

If you don't have a thermometer, then you might wish to try using a metal fork. Meatloaf is usually done cooking if a metal fork can be poked into the center without much resistance. You could check the condition of the meatloaf using your fingers as well. Just be careful not to burn yourself.

Is it better to cook meatloaf at 350 or 375? ›

The oven temperature is typically set at 350 degrees F for making meatloaf. That's the temperature you want to be sure to use so the meatloaf cooks and doesn't dry out.

Should I drain the grease from my meatloaf? ›

To prevent a soggy bottom, Bangor Daily News suggests draining the grease from the loaf pan 15 minutes before your cooking time is up; this helps guarantee all sides bake to perfection.

How long does a 2 lb meatloaf take to cook at 350? ›

The best temperature to cook the meatloaf at is 350°F and it requires about 1 hour, give or take a few minutes, depending on size and shape. 1 hour should be more than enough for a 2 pound meatloaf. Do not cut into the meatloaf right away, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes after cooking.

What can I put in meatloaf instead of breadcrumbs? ›

Crackers. Crushed-up crackers make an excellent bread crumb substitute in baked dishes like meatballs or meatloaf. The crackers work just as well as the bread crumbs to hold the meat mixture together, and using varieties like salty saltines or buttery Ritz is a great way to add an extra burst of flavor to your dish.

How do you add flavor to meatloaf? ›

Salt and pepper reigns, but it's easy to add complexity and character by going deeper into the spice rack. Try adding minced garlic, parsley, and thyme for a deeply savory taste. For mouthwateringly bold meatloaf, add Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and ketchup to the pre-baked mixture.

Do you put water in the pan when making meatloaf? ›

They recommend that to get a moist meatloaf every time, you should place a large pan filled with water on the bottom rack of an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

What helps meatloaf stick together? ›

To help your meatloaf stay together add things in like eggs and bread crumbs because they are key ingredients that bind meat stick together. Another reason why your meatloaf may be falling apart is that it is overcooked.

Why does my meatloaf crack when I cook it? ›

Q: Why does my meatloaf always crack while cooking? A: Meatloaf usually cracks when the outside has cooked much more quickly than the inside. When meat cooks, the proteins contract and bind together; when it doesn't cook evenly, the outer proteins tighten up, leaving cracks in the top of your meatloaf.

Why is my meatloaf pink inside? ›

Small amounts of carbon monoxide can be emitted from inefficient burning of gas flames in gas grills or ovens. This too can combine with the myoglobin in meat, causing it to retain its pink color (though usually just on the surface) even when well cooked. Your dilemma may even rest with the meat itself.

Why is my meatloaf always dry? ›

Not using meat with enough fat content.

Making meatloaf with super-lean meat, like ground chicken or ground turkey, can be tricky. Because of the minimal fat content, the meat easily dries out. Follow this tip: Consider using a meat blend. Any combination of beef, veal, pork, or lamb works really well.

Should meatloaf be at room temperature before cooking? ›

Simply let it warm up to room temperature while you're preheating the over and pop it in. Temperature perfection – If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of meatloaf should reach around 160° F. Instant-read thermometers are a great option if you have one.

Do you put egg in meatloaf? ›

Make the meatloaf mixture: Once the vegetables have cooled to the touch, place them in a large bowl with the ground beef, Italian sausage, eggs, breadcrumbs and parsley. Use your (very clean) hands to mix them together until everything is evenly distributed.

What should the texture of meatloaf be? ›

The very best meatloaf should be tender and moist, with a distinctly soft but never mushy texture. "Velvety" and "rich" should come to mind when tasting it, tender enough to slice with a fork but firm enough to pick up that bite without it breaking.

How do you fix mushy meatloaf after cooking? ›

Add More Meat

So, if you've tried cooking your meatloaf already, and it isn't forming into a loaf because it's too wet, then adding more meat will save it. The meat will soak up the excess liquid and help bind the loaf together along with the stale bread.

What temperature do you cook meatloaf on? ›

Baking technique

This recipe for Best Meatloaf gives you a clever 3-step approach: You'll bake the meatloaf for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) to fully cook the inside, and then increase the heat to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 15 minutes to give the outside a tasty crust.

How long should meatloaf rest? ›

It's strictly a matter of preference. Let your meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven; it will hold together better when slicing.

Do you cook a turkey at 325 or 350? ›

For a 10-13 lb. turkey (weight with giblets): Bake in a 350° oven for 1 1/2-2 1/4 hr. For a 14-23 lb. turkey (weight with giblets): Bake in a 325° oven for 2-3 hr.

What happens if you eat undercooked ground turkey? ›

What Happens If You Eat Undercooked Turkey? Consuming undercooked poultry could lead to salmonella, a type of food poisoning. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramping. The illness could be evident as soon as 12 hours later, or it could take up to 3 days to manifest itself.

How do I know when ground turkey is cooked? ›

Ground turkey typically turns a light brownish color when fully cooked. Additionally, you can use a meat thermometer. According to Michigan State University, the ideal temperature for cooked ground turkey meat is between 165 degrees Fahrenheit to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

How long does a 2 lb meatloaf take to cook at 375? ›

How long do you cook meatloaf at 375? The meatloaf takes an estimated 20-25 minutes per additional pound at this temperature. To start, a 1-pound meatloaf takes 25-30 minutes, while a two-pound meatloaf will take 40-50 minutes. A 3-pound meatloaf requires 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

How long does a 2 lb meatloaf take to cook at 400? ›

A two-pound meatloaf should be baked for no more than an hour at 350 degrees F; at 400 degrees F, your meatloaf should be cooked for 45-50 minutes, or until it reaches 165 degrees F as an internal temperature. After the meatloaf has been cooked, allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.

How long does it take meatloaf to cook at 375? ›

A one-pound piece is usually devoured quickly, but one can suffice for serving. It takes 50 minutes to cook a 1lb meatloaf perfectly when baked at 350-375 °F. It would be critical not to cut it too soon. Allow it to cool before slicing it.

Does draining ground turkey reduce fat? ›

To help reduce consuming extra fat from both ground turkey and ground beef, Hueschen recommends these options: Drain grease from the pan. Rinse meat with hot water once done cooking. Blot meat with a paper towel to absorb remaining grease.

Why does the bottom of my meatloaf burn? ›

Common problems include the Meatloaf being too greasy, too tough, being too crumbly and falling apart, burning on the bottom and being dry. It's a balancing act, though: if the Meatloaf is too moist, the loaf won't hold together for slicing, it will crumble.

Do I put aluminum foil on my meatloaf? ›

Yes, baking the meatloaf covered with aluminum foil is beneficial. Covering will ensure the meatloaf doesn't dry out in the hot oven. Also, covering the meatloaf protects the oven from greasy splatters and messes, which will burn in the oven and create an unpleasant odor.

How many people will a 2 pound meatloaf feed? ›

This Classic Meatloaf Recipe calls for 2 pounds of ground beef, which is enough to feed around 6 to 8 people. What is this? If you want to reduce the amount of beef to just 1 pound, you'll want to bake for just 30 minutes, then add +15 minutes per pound after that.

What temperature is a 2 pound meatloaf done? ›

A 2-pound meatloaf will reliably cook in about an hour — try not to overcook or the meat will start getting tough and crumbly. The best way to know when a meatloaf is done is by checking its internal temperature; as soon as it hits 155°F, you can pull it from the oven.

Should I drain the grease from my meatloaf? ›

To prevent a soggy bottom, Bangor Daily News suggests draining the grease from the loaf pan 15 minutes before your cooking time is up; this helps guarantee all sides bake to perfection.

Why is my meatloaf tough? ›

Mixing your ingredients too much is a very common mistake that can really make for meatloaf with a tough, dry texture. Self-control is the key; once the ingredients are mixed in, stop. Remember, the meatloaf is going to be mixed more as it's shaped before baking. When shaping your loaf, looser is better.

What temperature do I cook meatloaf on? ›

What Oven Temperature Should I Use for Cooking Meatloaf? The oven temperature is typically set at 350 degrees F for making meatloaf. That's the temperature you want to be sure to use so the meatloaf cooks and doesn't dry out.

How do you add flavor to meatloaf? ›

Salt and pepper reigns, but it's easy to add complexity and character by going deeper into the spice rack. Try adding minced garlic, parsley, and thyme for a deeply savory taste. For mouthwateringly bold meatloaf, add Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and ketchup to the pre-baked mixture.

How do you cook meatloaf so it doesn't sit in grease? ›

Here's a simple trick to reduce the grease in your homemade meatloaf. When making meat loaf, line the bottom of your pan with slices of bread. Place the meat mixture in the pan and bake as usual. The bread will absorb most of the fat from the meat as it cooks.

What does an egg do for meatloaf? ›

Eggs Add Structure

Egg yolks, which are mostly water but contain a good amount of protein and fat, add flavor, richness, and moisture. They also help bind the meat together and get the loaf to set in a stable form without the need to overwork the meat.

Can meatloaf be cooked in a glass pan? ›

Press mixture in ungreased 8-inch round (1 1/2-quart) glass baking dish. Bake at 350°F. for 65 to 75 minutes or until thoroughly cooked in center and meat thermometer registers 160°F.

What can you use instead of breadcrumbs for meatloaf? ›

Substitutes for Bread Crumbs
  • ¾ cup soft bread crumbs.
  • ¼ cup panko.
  • ¼ cup cracker or pretzel crumbs.
  • ¼ cup crushed cornflakes or other unsweetened cereals.
  • ⅔ cup regular rolled oats (Use this only as a substitute for bread crumbs in meat loaf and other meat mixtures, such as burgers.
26 May 2022

Why is my meatloaf pink inside? ›

Small amounts of carbon monoxide can be emitted from inefficient burning of gas flames in gas grills or ovens. This too can combine with the myoglobin in meat, causing it to retain its pink color (though usually just on the surface) even when well cooked. Your dilemma may even rest with the meat itself.

Do you put egg in meatloaf? ›

Make the meatloaf mixture: Once the vegetables have cooled to the touch, place them in a large bowl with the ground beef, Italian sausage, eggs, breadcrumbs and parsley. Use your (very clean) hands to mix them together until everything is evenly distributed.

How long does a 3 lb meatloaf take to cook at 350? ›

At 350°F a 1 lb meatloaf will take about 35 to 45 minutes for the meatloaf temperature to reach 160°F. A 2 lb meatloaf will take about 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes for the meatloaf temperature to reach 160°F. A 3 lb meatloaf will take about 1 hour and a half to 2 hours for the meatloaf temperature to reach 160°F.

How do you tell if a meatloaf is done? ›

To tell when meat loaf is done, use an instant-read thermometer ($13, Walmart). The meat loaf's internal temperature should register 160°F when inserted into the center of the loaf. Alternatively, use an oven-safe thermometer that can be placed in the meatloaf before it goes into the oven.

How long does a 2 lb meatloaf take to cook at 375? ›

How long do you cook meatloaf at 375? The meatloaf takes an estimated 20-25 minutes per additional pound at this temperature. To start, a 1-pound meatloaf takes 25-30 minutes, while a two-pound meatloaf will take 40-50 minutes. A 3-pound meatloaf requires 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Why is my turkey meatloaf mushy? ›

The bread is likely to blame in mushy turkey meatloaf

In a thread, they explained that ground turkey has less structure than ground beef, so it's more apt to get soft and fall apart while baking. An easy solution is to always use breadcrumbs or bread that's at least a day old rather than fresh bread.

Why does my meatloaf taste bland? ›

Not seasoning the meat enough.

When it comes to seasoning, meatloaf is like any other cut of meat. Forgo the salt and pepper and you'll find yourself with a bland meatloaf.

What is meatloaf seasoning made of? ›

Ingredients. Onion, Dextrose, Salt, Spices (Including Paprika, Celery Seed, Black Pepper), Hydrolyzed Corn Gluten, Soy Protein and Wheat Gluten, Garlic, Caramel Color, Malted Barley Flour, Yeast Extract, and Natural Flavor.

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