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. You see, we’ve stumbled across a little secret. One that turned typical turkey meatloaf into something we crave and now make often.
If 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
The secret to this meatloaf? It’s Mushrooms.
It’s true — thanks to tiny pieces of chopped mushrooms, our turkey meatloaf recipe is moist and has unbelievable flavor.
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).
Recipe 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
Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe
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.
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, divided (try our homemade ketchup)
1 cup (60 grams) panko bread crumbs (see notes for gluten-free options)
1/3 cup (80 ml) milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 pound ground turkey (92% lean)
- Prepare Meatloaf
- Bake Meatloaf
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet (or 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.
Transfer the onions and mushrooms to a large bowl, and then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and 3 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 1/2-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 4 tablespoons of ketchup on top.
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
- Gluten-free meatloaf: Try ground gluten-free hard pretzels, 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.
- 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%.