Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Learn the secret for making the best turkey meatloaf. Jump to the Turkey Meatloaf Recipe now or read on to see how we make it.

We never used to make turkey meatloaf. We make turkey meatballs all the time, but never meatloaf. I always had the idea that it would be dry and tasteless. Now though, we know we were making a mistake — a big one.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

You see, we’ve stumbled across a little secret. One that turned typical turkey meatloaf into something we crave and now make often.

Turkey Meatballs RecipeIf you love this, you will love these Easy Turkey Meatballs in a light tomato sauce. There’s no lengthy cooking times, no baking and no searing the meatballs. Easy and delicious.

The Secret to a Craveable, Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Mushrooms.

It’s true — thanks to tiny pieces of chopped mushrooms, our turkey meatloaf recipe is moist and has unbelievable flavor. 

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe - Secret to the Best Turkey Meatloaf

Mushrooms are chopped extra small — either by hand or in a food processor. Then, they are cooked down until soft and added mixed into the turkey.

This does add a little extra time at the beginning — a little more prep time than you may be used to seeing with our recipes. But, we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t believe it was worth it. And we really (really) do.

Not a mushroom fan? You don’t really taste mushrooms in the meatloaf, instead they are in there to add depth and a savory taste. We’ve done this before, in fact mushrooms are the secret ingredient to our Easy Go-To Turkey Chili Recipe. People love it!

A Few Simple Ingredients

The other thing we love about this recipe is that the rest of the ingredients are simple — onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, milk, egg and ketchup. We usually have all those ingredients in the kitchen and we’re betting you do too (or at least most of them).

You May Also Like These Easy Sides: Baked Sweet Potato Fries or our Simple, Everyday Mashed Potatoes.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf RecipeRecipe updated, originally posted March 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

4.8 from 76 reviews
Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
You would never guess this turkey 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.
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Yield: Serves 6
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
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 7 tablespoons ketchup (try our homemade ketchup)
  • 1 cup (60 grams) Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/4 pound ground turkey (92% lean)
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 400º F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet (or 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan) lined with aluminum foil.
  2. Prepare Meatloaf: 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.
  3. 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.Turkey-Meatloaf-Step-1
  4. Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a large bowl then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and 3 tablespoons of the ketchup. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and milk.
  6. Stir the breadcrumb mixture and the eggs into the mushrooms and onions.
  7. Using a fork or your hands, gently mix in the turkey, a 1/2-teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. The mixture will be very wet.
  8. Form the meatloaf into a 9-inch by 5-inch oval in the middle of the prepared baking sheet. Spread the remaining 4 tablespoons of ketchup on top.Turkey-Meatloaf-Step-2
  9. Bake Meatloaf: Bake the meatloaf until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meatloaf registers 170º F, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
Notes and Tips
A note about salt: We use kosher salt in our recipes. It’s much easier to pick up with our fingers and gives us better control of our seasoning. Use what you have, but keep in mind that kosher salt has larger flakes compared to table or fine sea salt. If using a finer salt, you will need to reduce the amount of salt called for in our recipe by 25% to 50%.

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201 comments… Leave a Comment
  • irene cohen July 17, 2016, 11:55 am

    taste is good, but loaf shape didn’t hold together.
    cracked in middle….solution?

    Reply
    • Joanne July 28, 2016, 5:04 pm

      Hi Irene, A few cracks on top may happen (if it happens to us, we just add a little more ketchup to cover it). If you are concerned, though, try making it in a meatloaf pan.

      Reply
  • LaVonne July 1, 2016, 8:52 pm

    I love this meatloaf hot or cold. I keep going back to the refrigerator for more. Even my mother who says she doesn’t like turkey meatloaf can’t leave it alone (at the same time as saying she doesn’t like it, she keeps eating it! She’s 97!) Today I wanted to make it again, but I didn’t have mushrooms, but I did have red, orange, yellow, and green peppers. I chopped those up and used them instead. Yes, delish!!!!

    Reply
  • Joyce Rogan June 30, 2016, 7:35 am

    Hi Adam and Joanne,
    Best turkey meatloaf ever!! So moist!! Family (including four-year old and two-year old grandchildren) and friends love it. I have made it several times now after discovering it recently. Always looking for healthy recipes that not only the adults but also the kids love. It will be a frequently made recipe.
    Highly recommended!! Thanks very much!! Joyce

    Reply
  • PatS June 13, 2016, 9:29 pm

    This was not very tasty or moist. And it lacked flavor even with the sautéed mushrooms. Will not be making this again.

    Reply
  • Linda June 12, 2016, 5:03 pm

    My hubby and I LOVE LOVE this meatloaf!!Thanks for sharing your recipe!!??❤

    Reply
  • Kristina June 3, 2016, 1:13 am

    This meatloaf is hands down the best I’ve ever made/had…

    Brought some to work and my coworkers devoured it… Its my new go to recipe 🙂

    Reply
  • Paulette May 2, 2016, 11:43 am

    I am going to make this for sure love the great reviews but what makes this a must make for me is that its in ounces & grams.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Dana May 9, 2016, 12:22 am

      Yes,to metric measurements; 400 deg.F oven is 200 deg.C. if anyone wants to know.

      Reply
  • Fred May 1, 2016, 8:58 pm

    Make this at least weekly. I use gluten free oatmeal instead of bread crumbs. Also, a couple shakes of crushed chili peppers and I use medium salsa on the top instead of ketchup. Excellent dish!

    Reply
  • Frederick Hill April 18, 2016, 9:12 pm

    I use half bread crumbs (gluten free) and half oat meal (also, gluten free). I also use Salsa on the top instead of ketchup. Finally, I use a red onion instead of yellow. yummy!!

    Reply
  • Mina March 21, 2016, 5:15 pm

    My husband and little girls will only eat turkey meatloaf but I’ve not been impressed with any recipes I’ve tried until this one. It was amazing! I didn’t have mushrooms on hand so I threw in a can of cream of mushroom. I’m sure it wasn’t the healthiest option cause of salt content, but it turned out tasting awesome. Great flavor, moist, and not greasy. I doubled it and made meatballs with a turkey gravy, a meatloaf with ketchup sauce on top, and threw some uncooked into the freezer to see how it turns out as a crock pot meatloaf later. Thank you for the incredible recipe! It was also my first time using Panko instead of oatmeal or Progresso Italian bread crumbs. Panko wins!

    Reply
  • Stephanie March 17, 2016, 12:12 pm

    I made this the other day and did not bake it until yesterday (I saved it for our busier day with the kids activities.) Can I just say my 9 year old daughter is THE pickiest eater and LOVED this!!! She NEVER eats anything I make, and is pretty much a staple chicken nugget/mac n cheese kind of kid. I will DEFINATELY be making this again! I loved how moist it was and you cannot even taste the mushrooms, so it gives it an added veggie boost!! I used a food processor to get them extra chopped! Thank you for the great recipe!

    Reply
  • luis March 2, 2016, 3:29 am

    Make it today is good I add spinash carrots,celery,peppers,to make it healthy but I like the moist the mushrooms add to it and the milk mix whit the panko is a good tip.

    Reply
  • Tai February 27, 2016, 8:18 am

    My family loved this my fiance wanted turkey meatloaf and this was my first time making meatloaf 🙂 it was really good and one tip dont try to cut the mushrooms just use the good processor very easy

    Reply
  • Carole February 24, 2016, 12:18 am

    I made this tonight, followed directions exactly, except I used button mushrooms, did not have cremini, and it was delicious!! As good as any meatloaf made with beef and really, the best turkey meatloaf I have ever tasted. Keeper for sure, thank you!!

    Reply
  • Paulina February 22, 2016, 6:51 pm

    I decided to look for a turkey meatloaf recipe because my SO said that he’d had some VERY awful turkey meatloaf at work (they have their own cafeteria) and I was determined to prove to him that turkey meatloaf can be delicious!

    My SO does not like mushrooms and it’s not a vegetable that I have on hand most of the time but I had zucchini. I used about 230g of zucchini, 225g of yellow onion, and 27oz of ground turkey since that’s how much the package had in it (I buy mine at Costco), everything else stayed the same. I skipped through painstakingly dicing everything super fine by just dicing the stuff with my Vitamix on 2. I also used reduced-sugar ketchup and made my own breadcrumbs with whole-wheat bread, everything went in a loaf pan cooked for 55 minutes 🙂

    It came out extremely tasty and MOIST, my SO was very pleasantly surprised. I’ve made this twice already and I never get tired of it. I cut it into 8 slices (very hearty ones too) so each slice comes out to 192 calories. I usually have 2 and he has the rest (in one meal! lol)

    Amazing recipe and EXTREMELY simple too! Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Elaine March 9, 2016, 3:09 pm

      Paulina, I liked your input. What have you served as a side for this meatloaf ? Thanks a lot for the answer. Elaine.

      Reply
  • Helen February 21, 2016, 5:32 pm

    Just put it in the oven……smells great…..can hardly wait….For the topper after it comes out I will mix ketchup with Naked Coconuts raw organic nectar and a splash of their fermented soy (fabulous products from B.C.) plus a dash of Dijon mustard….serving with sauted rapini (organic) and beets and a salad

    Reply
  • Diane February 21, 2016, 12:56 pm

    I have been making this meatloaf recipe since I found it last year and it’s great! The mushrooms add a “meatier” flavour and keeps it moist. Greatest turkey meatloaf I’ve had and is so simple. Alternately, I have added some finely chopped red pepper to the onion/mushroom mix which adds a little sweetness, colour and of course delicious flavour.
    This is a MUST make!!! cheers!

    Reply
  • Kristin February 17, 2016, 1:33 pm

    Looks great. Will make tonight. Has anyone used a loaf pan instead of the baking sheet?

    Reply
    • Joanne March 3, 2016, 8:45 pm

      Hi Kristin, A loaf pan works really well. We recommend spraying it with a bit of nonstick cooking spray before filling.

      Reply
  • Jean February 6, 2016, 11:38 am

    loved it!

    Reply
    • Roselle February 16, 2016, 8:01 pm

      Absolutely delicious!!!!

      Reply
  • Betty Nichols February 5, 2016, 6:07 pm

    This meatloaf recipe is a 10++! The only ingredient I added was a link of hot Italian Sausage (casing removed) which I further processed so it would blend easier with turkey. I think I’ll do the same next time because it enriches the flavor.

    Reply
  • KrystynaM January 27, 2016, 4:11 pm

    I LOVE this meatloaf! My husband and I have made it several times since finding this recipe. I am making it again tonight. It is unbelievably moist and has great flavor. I didn’t have worcestshire sauce so I used half bbq sauce/ketchup and a splash of soy sauce. I also added a handful of fresh chopped oregano, rosemary & thyme. I like intense herb flavor. Yum!!

    Reply
  • Jennifer H January 27, 2016, 12:24 pm

    I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago. I substituted the ketchup with Sweet Baby Ray BBQ sauce. It was delicious! I made it again on Sunday and added some green pepper for fun. Still used the BBQ sauce instead of ketchup. My husband doesn’t like mushrooms and said he couldn’t taste them at all. I have been freezing single servings in snack size ziploc bags for work lunches during the week. They heat up perfectly.My favorite new recipe, for sure!

    Reply
  • Val January 25, 2016, 9:02 pm

    i made this tonight and it was fantastic! It was moist and tasty! Will DEFinitely make it again!

    Reply
  • Kellie January 22, 2016, 12:11 pm

    I made this and it is amazing!!!!! My husband said it was the best he ever had. (As far as when I use turkey for a healthier meal) Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!

    Reply
  • Scurry January 20, 2016, 6:30 pm

    I am a heart patient on very strict diet. Was awesome to taste and fairly easy to prepare. The sodium and fat in this are great. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Jill January 20, 2016, 4:50 pm

    I found this recipe on Pinterest and have been making it for quite awhile. Can’t believe I never sent in a review. We LOVE it! It is always our go to meatloaf recipe (even for those in the family that “don’t like” mushrooms, love it). Thank you for sharing. Every time I make I’ve wanted to ask the question – is there a reason you put the loaf on baking sheet vs a loaf pan? I always use loaf pan and comes out great, but didn’t know if I should try it on a baking sheet.

    Reply
    • Joanne March 3, 2016, 8:46 pm

      Hi Jill, We just hate cleaning the loaf pan after making it. Both the baking sheet and a loaf pan work great.

      Reply
  • Linda January 18, 2016, 2:59 pm

    This is by far the best turkey meatloaf I have ever eaten. I would choose it over meatloaf made with any other meat. I made a double batch and then thought I would regret it. It made a lot. But we ate every single bit of it, even my son who claims to not like meatloaf. He couldn’t stop eating it. Try it with this sauce for the best ever taste: 1/2 c. ketchup; 1/4 c. brown sugar; 1 tsp. dry mustard; 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. Put on the top when it bakes and then later on the pieces when you eat them.

    Reply
  • beth January 13, 2016, 7:50 pm

    Really good! It was gone by the next day and it’s just me and my mom eating it. I will use parchment paper next time instead of foil because my loaf stuck to the foil even when I lightly oiled it. I am going to make again and again!

    Reply
  • Tracey January 5, 2016, 8:01 pm

    Fantastic… best meatloaf I have made. Simple recipe that creates a moist and tasty meatloaf. Entire family thoroughly enjoyed it. Will be made over and over again.

    Reply
  • Anne December 24, 2015, 6:39 pm

    I give 5/5 stars. It’s tasty and moist inspite it’s purely turkey meat. I cannot find fault in it.

    Reply
  • Meredith December 15, 2015, 10:28 am

    I made this the other night for my husband who doesn’t like mushrooms and he loved it. I had never had meatloaf before so thought this was a good recipe to try out. The pictures and comments were very helpful. Delicious and will definitely make again.

    Reply
  • Ozzie December 3, 2015, 5:55 pm

    This is amazing made it countless times. One day ran out of ketchup and used bbq sauce called it cowboy meatloaf turned out just as good. Great taste and super healthy!

    Reply
  • Jan Pierron November 24, 2015, 8:27 pm

    I had a pound of ground lamb and asiago cheese bread I wanted to use so I doubled this and added a few touches of my own. I added soy sauce, parsley, and a tsp of chicken seasoning (not the kind added to stuffing with sage) I use the rosemary, marjoram variety. I also used baby bellas as I live in a little town in the mts that do not carry cremini. What a wonderful loaf! I made turkey meatloaf years ago and it was dry and tasteless. This one is wonderful and I attribute it to the mushrooms. Bravo!

    Reply
  • Ashley November 8, 2015, 12:52 am

    This meatloaf is sooo moist and delicious, I couldn’t stop eating it. Definitely one of the best meatloafs I’ve made. The extra prep work is worth it.

    Reply
  • Dustin October 29, 2015, 1:44 pm

    I have made this recipe about 4 times now. It’s our go to recipe for a healthier option meatloaf. It’s 100% exactly how the recipe describes. It’s moist, delicious, and pretty easy to make. This is my 6 year old’s favorite dinner we make. He has been asking for it the last 2 weeks and tonight i’m making it for him again! Great recipe, couldn’t ask for more!

    Reply
  • Dreeks October 22, 2015, 7:20 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was all that you said it would be, moist and truly delicious. I added chopped green and red bell peppers and thyme, made individual mini loaves. This is definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Christine October 4, 2015, 9:57 am

    WOW!!!! This is a keeper. I followed the recipe exactly as written, and the results were gobbled up with glee. The only change I will make next time (and there will be many next times!) is to use parchment paper on the baking sheet in place of the foil. I has a few edges that were slightly darker than I liked. Delicious!

    Reply
  • Kathleen September 29, 2015, 2:25 pm

    I made this a few days ago and I absolutely loved it. I eat primarily ground turkey and was getting bored with plain burgers. I will pre-make my turkey burgers this way. I love mushrooms and am not only getting my protein but some vegetables as well. Thank you !!! I usually fry my turkey burgers but Id like to bake them like the meatloaf, how long would you recommend? I also omitted one egg , and toasted whole wheat bread thins for the bread crumbs. I froze an uncooked meatloaf and plan to take it to my daughters for dinner. They dont like mushrooms but I have no doubt they will love this ! 🙂

    Reply
  • Julia September 2, 2015, 10:49 pm

    I just made this for the first time and it is so, so good. Wicked delicious and moist. I substituted some tomato sauce in place of the ketchup and I used crushed up turkey stuffing instead of panko breadcrumbs. I just had a nice big piece and I’m struggling not to go back for seconds! I’m glad to finally have a healthy alternative to traditional meatloaf, I’m going to use this recipe a lot.

    Reply
  • Lorie August 12, 2015, 8:00 pm

    I made this once and making it again today! It freezes perfectly in single servings. I slice and wrap them up. Loved this recipe!

    Reply
  • Carey July 10, 2015, 7:50 am

    This meatloaf looks amazing! I’d love to try it out but want to make mini loaves (1/2 cup each) and make it with half lean beef. Any suggestion on cooking time?

    Reply
    • Joanne August 10, 2015, 2:00 pm

      Hi Carey, the mini loaves should take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.

      Reply
  • Brian M June 29, 2015, 12:26 am

    I made this recipe BC I am a bodybuilder and I’m always looking for new ways to cook turkey and chicken. I HATED this recipe because, too be perfectly honest, it was TOO DAMN GOOD. I made 2.5lbs and literally ate 2lbs of it that night. I have added a few things(I use oats and low sugar ketchup), right now I have 3lbs cooking and added green chilies, super excited!! My Mother hates mushrooms and ground turkey, but she loved this!! Only problem is there’s never much left for her to eat…freezing it would be impossible in my house!!! Thank you, YOU ROCK!!!

    Reply
    • mandy September 15, 2015, 5:57 pm

      Do you swap equal amounts of oats for the crumbs? Sounds like something id like to try! Thank you!

      Reply
      • lisa March 27, 2016, 12:09 pm

        I also used rolled oats instead of the breadcrumbs – it was fabulous! Trader Joe’s makes a great ketchup that has 1/2 the sugar of regular ketchup and it tastes so much better! Loved this, made mini meatloafs by putting them in a cupcake pan

        Reply
  • Justin June 23, 2015, 4:52 pm

    I tried this recipe on a whim and it’s the best culinary decision I’ve made in recent memory. My family and I are currently sitting around, rubbing our bellies and rolling our eyes. Zowie! The meatloaf was succulent and devoid of grease. The sauteed mushrooms, garlic and onions were rich with flavor and scent.

    Reply
  • Sharon June 23, 2015, 10:44 am

    This is an awesome recipe that I will use again and again. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Saeta June 4, 2015, 12:07 pm

    This recipe came out amazingly moist. I used Portabella and Shitaki mushrooms and the flavor they gave, along with the onion and garlic, was divine. Will definitely use this recipe again. The only change I made was I used a tiny, tiny bit of Ketchup when mixing with the Worcestershire to give it a small tomato flavor but topped it with a homemade spicy bourbon sauce as Ketchup is too sweet for me (I love the taste of fresh tomatoes) and a paste is usually too salty.

    Thank you for sharing your amazing recipe!

    Reply
  • Sarah May 23, 2015, 4:39 pm

    I made this recipe yesterday, and it turned out just great. One reason why I made it was because I had all the ingredients in my pantry. I did add some dill, which I have a ton of. I grow it out on my patio. Delicious and very moist. Thanks again.

    Reply
  • Tiffany May 12, 2015, 5:21 pm

    This is my favorite meatloaf recipe. It was a big hit with the little ones, until they saw I was adding mushrooms, the 2nd time I made it.

    It is so delicious and moist. I could eat it all the time!

    Reply
  • SANDY GOLDMAN May 11, 2015, 2:38 pm

    Thank you for giving us a fantastic Mothers’ Day. I asked my mom, 82, what she would like to have as moms’ day meal. She has Alzheimers, but remembered meatloaf as being one of her favorites. So, that was her meal request. Me, I hadn’t made it in years, and so, did an internet search. Your recipe is beyond deliciously believable. The only change ups I did was to add a pouch of onion soup and used condensed milk. I also did your mashed potato recipe, but added parsley. (I like color.) I refuse to go to restaurants on Moms’ Day; they jack up their prices and the crowds are stressful. Doing something at home makes it so much more sincere. Who wants to be lemming? And..you gave us the means to make it special. xo

    Reply
  • Kelly April 19, 2015, 2:47 pm

    How does this freeze? I’m thinking of doubling the recipe and then cutting into pieces and freeze to use for lunches. Anyone try freezing after cooking?

    Reply
    • Joanne April 21, 2015, 12:54 pm

      Great question, Kelly. We have never frozen the meatloaf before. MyRecipes.com suggests to freeze meatloaf uncooked so it doesn’t dry out over time.

      Reply
      • Carole March 21, 2016, 6:59 pm

        I would not recommend trying to freeze it in slices before cooking, it is too soft. I don’t think it would dry out much at all freezing it after cooking, it is a very moist meatloaf. I have made this twice and it is now my go to recipe for meatloaf!

        Reply

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