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Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

by on March 26, 2013 · 83 comments

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

We never used to make turkey meatloaf. We make turkey meatballs all the time, but never thought to make turkey meatloaf. Now though, we know we were making a mistake — a big one.

Until now, we’ve only been able to make somewhat dry meatloaf that’s not really got anything going on with flavor. That’s why we never really felt like making it. We just about gave up, but then we stumbled across a little secret. One that turned typical turkey meatloaf into something we crave and now make often.

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

The Secret to a Cravable, Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe


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 to turkey meat.

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.

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).

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

What do you think? Are you ready to give our turkey meatloaf recipe (with our little secret) a try?

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4.6 from 27 reviews

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Why we love this recipe. You would never guess this turkey meatloaf is packed with mushrooms, but that’s what makes it so darn delicious. Lots (and lots) of finely chopped mushrooms add flavor and moisture, often missing from the typical turkey meatloaf.

What you need to know. This recipe is not as fast to prepare as most of our recipes on the blog, but we promise the extra prep time (20 minutes or so) in the beginning is so worth it.

Equipment you’ll need. You’ll need a large baking sheet, aluminum foil, a large skillet, large bowl, small bowl, measuring cups and spoons.
Created By:
Yield: 4
You Will Need
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces or 227 grams) cremini mushrooms, trimmed (about 15 mushrooms)
  • 1 1/2 cups (145 grams) finely chopped onion (1 to 2 medium onions)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 medium cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 7 tablespoons ketchup, divided
  • 1 cup (60 grams) panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 (79 ml) cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 pound (20 ounces or 567 grams) ground turkey (92% lean)
Prepare Oven
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil then lightly oil the bottom.
Prepare Meatloaf
  1. You can chop the mushrooms one of two ways: by hand or in a food processor. The mushrooms need to be very finely chopped, about 1/8-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. Cook onion, in oil, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic then cook 1 minute.
  3. Add chopped mushrooms, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally about 10 minutes or until liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and they are tender.Turkey-Meatloaf-Step-1
  4. Transfer onions and mushrooms to a large bowl then stir in 3 tablespoons of ketchup and 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Cool 5 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, stir together the breadcrumbs and milk and let stand 5 minutes.
  6. Add breadcrumbs and beaten eggs to onions and mushrooms then mix well. Next, add turkey along with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Mix well with hands (or a fork). (The mixture will be very wet).
  7. Form mixture into a 9-inch by 5-inch oval loaf in the middle of prepared baking sheet. Then, use the back of a spoon to spread the remaining 4 tablespoons of ketchup on top of the meatloaf.Turkey-Meatloaf-Step-2
Bake Meatloaf
  1. Bake until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meatloaf registers 170 degrees F (77 degrees C), 40 to 50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
Print This Recipe Save This Recipe Comment / Review

About the Author


I'm Adam Gallagher and alongside my wife, Joanne, I photograph and share favorite recipes from our kitchen. Sharing our recipes began as a hobby, turned into a dream and now has become our business. I just love that.

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1 Normand April 21, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Hello! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no back up.
Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?


2 Joanne April 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Hi there — Unfortunately hackers are everywhere :( To help, keep your passwords updated and strong. Also, we’ve found that adding a captcha plugin for our Wordpress login has helped.


3 lebolanbe April 23, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Awesome recipe,loved it


4 LoriG April 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Hello Adam & Joanne – thanks for sharing this .. about to begin! only question is whats the aluminum foil on the baking sheet for? thanks so much ~ LG


5 Joanne April 24, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Hi Lori – We used foil to help with cleanup. The meatloaf will stick if you do not lightly oil the baking sheet or cover with foil then lightly oil. Enjoy!


6 Dianne April 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm

This meatloaf is a ten in flavor. Of course I know I can only give it a 5. BEST MEATLOAF EVER!!!! Already sharing the recipe. The extra preparation required is well worth it. Thanks!


7 Joanne April 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Wonderful – so glad you enjoyed it :) The mushrooms really do add so much flavor.


8 Olivia May 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm

This meatloaf was absolutely amazing! When you said moist you really meant it. The mushrooms and sautéed mixture give it a great texture. I added some more spices to the breadcrumbs for extra flavor as well. I stumbled upon this recipe and I will be using it for life! Thanks Adam :)


9 Lisa June 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Best turkey meatloaf EVER! My boyfriend and I are obsessed! I topped it off with half mixture spicy BBQ sauce and ketchup the second time! thank you SO much for sharing!


10 Joanne June 10, 2013 at 10:12 am

So happy you both loved it!


11 Runman June 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

This is a great recipe and it really is moist. It will stick if you don’t spray or use oil.


12 Linda June 30, 2013 at 11:32 am

Is it okay to use a loaf pan or does that affect the meatloaf’s texture?


13 Anuja July 6, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Loved it. The first attempt was so awesome – I can’t wait to be good with this recipe! Thank you so much :)


14 Allison July 12, 2013 at 9:12 am

Made this last night for my boyfriend after he requested a meatloaf. I was a little nervous because I’ve never made (or eaten!) meatloaf but we both loved this recipe!! He even said it was better than his mom’s recipe- and this is much, much healthier!


15 Marilou July 31, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Ralphs had 1.25 lbs of ground turkey on sale for 99 cents, so I looked for a recipe with ground turkey. Found this and went to Ralphs. Picked up the ground turkey, mushroom (99 cents on sale), onions, garlic, 2% milk, eggs (99 cents for a large dozen). Had the rest. For $7, we had the BEST meatloaf we’ve ever had!!! Thank you!
Now I have to find more of Joanne’s recipes!


16 Joanne August 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Wow, $7! That’s amazing.


17 Cynthia July 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I love this recipe. I’ve been trying to figure out how to sneak more vegetables into our meals, including mushrooms and then I stumbled onto this website!

I’m going to make it this week and I’m so excited.


18 Joanne August 8, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Awesome. The mushrooms make this meatloaf — and the best part? No one will be able to tell.


19 RMM August 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Great recipe – looks pretty much identical to the turkey meatloaf recipe on Epicurious except you swapped regular breadcrumbs for panko.


20 Joanne August 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thanks so much. The Epicurious recipe was definitely our inspiration. We simplified things a bit, but the idea for adding mushrooms came from them. Genius.


21 Karin August 17, 2013 at 2:58 am

Hi there!
I learned from my Mum that Frikadellen (the German flat version of meatballs) and meat loaf will only be good, if the baker wins :)
Meaning there’s way more bread in our meat loaf. Also we don’t use storebought breadcrumbs but stale crusty bread or crusty buns which are soaked in warm water. Tis makes a really moist and light fluffy meat loaf.


22 Joanne August 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Thanks for the tips!


23 DeeDee September 22, 2013 at 11:21 am

I added 1/2 chopped red pepper to the recipe,,,delicious and colorful!
I also chopped 1 celery stalk and sauted it wuth the onion and pet


24 Pennylane September 25, 2013 at 10:19 am

Made this last night. It was absolutely moist and delicious. My family loved the addition of the mushroom incorporated in the meatloaf. We love mushrooms so much that I added some sliced sautéed mushrooms on top of the meatloaf while it was baking. We are not fond of ketchup with meatloaf, so we swapped turkey gravy wherever the recipe called for ketchup. Didn’t have milk on hand, so I used stock in place of the milk to soak up the panko bread crumbs. This is definitely a keeper. Will definitely make again.


25 Joanne September 25, 2013 at 10:43 am

Love all your changes. Turkey gravy and mushrooms on top is a great idea!


26 Karen September 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

I made this last night following the recipe exactly. It was incredibly DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for such a brilliant recipe.


27 Keresna September 30, 2013 at 1:45 am

This was fantastic! The best meatloaf I have ever had, and the family had no idea there was mushrooms in it, or even that it was made with turkey….I told them after, and they still want it again. Thank you so much for sharing this.


28 Joanne September 30, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Isn’t is strange how you really don’t notice the mushrooms? So glad you enjoyed the recipe :)


29 Tes October 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Anyone know the nutritional facts for this amazing meatloaf???


30 Joanne October 14, 2013 at 10:10 am

At the moment we do not provide nutrition info for our recipes on the site. As an alternative, we suggest that you take a look at the following link. There, you can copy our recipe and paste it to get full nutritional info. Hope that helps! Here’s the link: http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php


31 Eve October 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

Yummilicious meatloaf. Could not find cremini mushrooms, so I used 8 oz box of baby bellas. I also used 99% fat free ground turkey. It was still very moist. The next time I make it, I will add more garlic and italian spices.


32 Eve October 14, 2013 at 11:04 am

Forgot to add this…. someone asked about using a loaf pan. You could definitely use a loaf pan as there isn’t much grease, but I use a shallow baking pan because I save my loaf pans for baking bread. The turkey loaf will generally keep its shape if you form it as if it is in a loaf pan before you bake it on the sheet. I know, I thought it was weird the first time I tried it too :)


33 Joanne October 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Eve! All the best :)


34 Carol October 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm

What can you use other than the breadcrumbs for a wheat free diet.


35 Joanne October 21, 2013 at 9:17 am

Good question, Carol. You could process some gluten free bread or gluten free cereal (rice chex, maybe?) into crumbs then use that. Also, after a little researching, it seems you can buy gluten free breadcrumbs at most major stores, too. (We have never tried these options, but think they should work out for you). Hope that helps!


36 Bakequery November 1, 2013 at 8:35 am

My husband made this meatloaf for dinner last night. It was so disgusting I couldn’t eat it. The texture was like mush. The only flavor it had was onions and bread, and, there was too much of both. I tried squirting ketchup on it but it was a no go. I couldn’t give it to the dogs because they can’t eat turkey. Hopefully my grandsons will like it or it will get tossed into the trash.

The only way to salvage this recipe is to add some texture – maybe a grated carrot and a chopped pepper? I’d use half the bread crumbs and maybe one third of the onion.

My favorite all time meatloaf recipe for beef is: 2 pounds ground beef, 1 egg, 14 Townhouse Crackers, crushed, 1 carrot grated, 1 small can of mushrooms, chopped, 1 small finely grated onion, 1 grated carrot, 1 heaping tablespoon each of mustard and ketchup, and a teaspoon of salt. Now that I’m gluten free I just sub 2 sliced of stale gluten free bread or the equivalent amount of crackers.


37 Joanne November 2, 2013 at 11:25 am

Hi there, so sorry you didn’t care for the recipe. Thanks for coming back and sharing your thoughts.


38 Rebecca November 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I made this for my husband’s birthday dinner last night. I think he fell in love with me all over again! This recipe is amazing! It came out perfect on the first try. I was a little concerned about the wetness once it was all mixed together. I added just a pinch of extra crumbs at the end and that helped me get it into a loaf. I can’t say enough how much my whole family loved it, thank you!! Five stars!! (Having trouble clicking on the stars on my iPad though)


39 bianca November 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Awesome! love the cremini idea. im a cook in a wood fire artisan pizza joint would love to find a way to make this a pizza. really good thanks for sharing


40 Zoe November 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Do you cover with foil to bake then take the foil off to brown?
I’m making this right now and don’t want to ruin it


41 Joanne November 11, 2013 at 10:59 am

There is no need to cover the meatloaf with foil. Just bake uncovered until done.


42 karen November 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm

Very good and moist , maybe a little more salt and some parsley :))


43 Charlie November 18, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I must say that we really enjoyed this meatloaf. We used 85% lean ground turkey and were overly pleased with the results. I am also extremely glad that the ingredients were not some that I had to climb Mount Everest to get. They were things that were right at hand. I cooked it in an aluminum pan and it was very easy to clean up. I am glad that I stumbled on this recipe and took the time to go ahead and try it. Nice Job!!


44 Anuja November 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Hi, for some reason, my meatloaf is releasing liquid :( please help! It’s cooked for 55 minutes at 400 degrees already. How can I salvage it?


45 elizabeth November 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm

hi there, jus wanted a say im making that inspirational dish u call moist meatloaf xcept I adjusted it to what I had like 3/4lb of gr.beef and a little over 1/4lb of ground pork. its in the oven as we speak-but I also wanted to let u know that little secret mushroom ingredient , you are so right on, try those same mushrooms(meat sauce) in spaghetti sauce when your mixing up your ground beef mushrooms I found out makes your dish a lot more meatier and flavourful .anyway thanks for the recipe


46 bonnie November 29, 2013 at 5:37 pm

A friend suggested a combination of white and dark meat for flavor and moisture.
I would also like to add additional veggies, ie., carrots, celery, and zuccinni.
What do you think of the ideas? I plan on making your recipe next week and would
appreciate a response.



47 Joanne December 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Hi Bonnie, Dark meat will be a bit more moist and will have more flavor. A combination would be nice. Add veggies is a great idea, too — keep them pretty small, though.


48 Tina December 10, 2013 at 10:01 am

I highly recommend this recipe. I never made meatloaf before,and I know usually turkey meatloaf comes out dry, not this recipe, was so moist and Delicious!!!. My boyfriend had 3 helpings of it he loved it so much.
FYI -I dont like mushrooms, so I left that out of the recipe, but the meatloaf still came out moist and delicious..


49 Sue December 13, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Loved this. I made this exactly as written last night and it was the best turkey meatloaf we’ve ever had. Husband said to be sure you “keep this recipe.” Yes, it takes a little bit more prep chopping those mushrooms so finely, but that was entirely worth it! This will be my go to Turkey Meat Loaf recipe from now on. Adding some finely chopped veggies sounds good, too. Looking forward to meatloaf sandwiches tonight. :)


50 Joanne December 16, 2013 at 12:44 pm

So glad you liked it! A mini food processor can help speed up the prep, too.


51 Carol January 4, 2014 at 8:28 am

I made your turkey meatloaf recipe last night and it was by far THE BEST I have ever made! My husband and I absolutely loved it! I am so glad I found your web page! I am making your fluffy pancake recipe this morning…can’t wait to try them! Thank you for all the great recipes!


52 Joanne January 7, 2014 at 11:27 am

Nice! Hope you love them :)


53 Helga January 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Made this tonight with a few changes. I added 1/4 cup chopped yellow pepper and sauteed it with the onions. I also added 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Sriracha for a little added kick. It was simply delicious and moist. We all loved it!!!


54 Val January 8, 2014 at 3:55 pm

I made this last night, only substituting mashed potato flakes for bread crumbs to make it gluten-free. It was wonderful and will be my go-to recipe for meatloaf from now on. Thank you so much. :)


55 Mary. B January 9, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Very shocked how amazing this was!!! It’s now one of mine and my husbands favs… I did add a bit of fine chopped green bell pepper to the recipe.. It added great flavor, I also added Heinz 57 to the catsup, which added a great twist..


56 NMEater January 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Best Meatloaf recipe ever!! I have made this many times, some where I follow the recipe exactly and others where I add other vegetables (bell pepper, zucchini, carrots, green chile) and I love it more every time and with every variation. Thank you for posting this fantastic healthy option to traditional meatloaf!!!


57 Anni January 18, 2014 at 5:35 pm

I just made this recipe. It was absolutely wonderful. I used portobello mushrooms .


58 Marilyn January 21, 2014 at 11:49 am

Thanks so much for the recipe – I made it last week and it was absolutely delicious. I used portobello mushrooms like Ani and it was really moist.


59 Michele January 22, 2014 at 7:50 pm

This was good. Took a Little longer to cook as it was a little loose when all mixed. Might cut back to one egg next time, but flavor was excellent


60 Mike January 27, 2014 at 10:35 am

Looks and sounds Good Enough to try….keep you posted…


61 Erin February 6, 2014 at 11:00 pm

This is a keeper! Out of milk, so left it out and no big deal. Will definitely make again!!


62 Abena Serwa February 18, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Absolutely amazing recipe, so moist and delicious and the cook times and oven temps were exact.


63 Shannon February 18, 2014 at 11:51 pm

This meatloaf was fantastic! My family is not a fan of mushrooms, so I just used cream of mushroom, and the regular meatloaf recipe! Home run with them!!! Thanks!


64 Mark February 21, 2014 at 7:44 pm

O M G is really all I can say. This is coming from a meatloaf master, who typically insists that you start with the beef/pork/veal mixture for meatloaf. I made this recipe with slightly less mushrooms and onions, added finely chopped green peppers ( raw, not cooked with the onions and mushrooms) because I also firmly believe meatloaf must contain green peppers and wow, for ground turkey meatloaf, this might have been the best meatloaf I ever made……..try it, or lose out on something great, and healthy, wow you don’t see that often.


65 Mark February 21, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Oh I wanted to add that I also put some grated parmesan in with the breadcrumbs, which by the way were regular breadcrumbs not panko. Wife went bonkers, and she is picky. Will serve leftovers to my son tomorrow as he was not here tonight.


66 Breacher March 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm

DELISH!!!! Made this for my wife, sister and mother and they were all impressed. Sister and Mother asked for the recipe and wife continues to request it.


67 Angela March 7, 2014 at 12:50 pm

~I am preparing to make this for tonight’s din din. I love meatloaf, but have never made it with turkey. I am trying to eat a little better these days, and figured that I would give it a whirl. All of the positive comments are getting me excited!!! Will post my results. Have a wonderful day everyone!!!~


68 Angela March 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm

~Well, I tried this for din din as I said that I would, and the results were fantastic. It was for myself, my husband and his grown son. It didn’t last ten minutes, and they want me to make two next time!!! Lol. Thanks again for sharing your yummy delish with everyone!!! *Two thumbs up guys*~


69 Joanne March 17, 2014 at 4:38 pm

So glad the meatloaf worked out for you :)


70 Liesl March 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm

This was my first attempt at meatloaf. I was always intimidated by meatloaf thinking it’d be nothing more than a big dried out meatball if I tried. Which is what lead me on a quest for “a moist meatloaf recipe” and ultimately to this site. I loved the idea of adding mushrooms and as others suggested bell pepper. I added green bell, next time I’ll add red for the aesthetics. I also added more seasonings to my meat (garlic powder, paprika and cayenne). And I was worried it’s be to wet, so I added 1 egg, less milk and it still turned out really moist. My only problem was that my ketchup glaze burned. Next time I’ll add it to towards the end of the cooking time and, I’m sure it’ll turn out right. I’m so happy I found this recipe AND that it turned out amazing! Thanks guys!


71 Joanne March 17, 2014 at 3:28 pm

So glad you loved the meatloaf (dry meatloaf is no fun).


72 chad March 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

this is a great versatile recipe,i double the recipe and add 1 box of stovetop turkey stuffing mix instead of breadcrumbs……


73 Adam March 18, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Great idea to add stuffing. Thanks for sharing.


74 Mike March 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Made this last week and it was great! The mushrooms really did a great job of keeping the turkey from drying out and added a nice consistency. This recipe has made the rotation. Great stuff.


75 Joanne March 19, 2014 at 11:51 am

Nice! So glad you enjoyed it.


76 linda March 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm

This recipe produces a soggy, sticky meatloaf and is a huge disappointment. Reverse engineering the ingredients, my analysis is that soaking the panko in milk adds a gooey element the other ingredients can’t absorb.. IF I were to use this recipe again, I would modify it big time. First, the mushroom taste overwhelms the turkey – which tends to have a pretty bland flavor. I would add the panko dry and would reduce the amount of milk by half or more. It’s also pretty bland and I would suggest a bit of thyme or oregano, more pepper and maybe half teaspoon of chili powder.


77 Joanne March 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Sorry you didn’t enjoy the meatloaf, hope you can find one you like or change to your likings for next time.


78 Happy mom March 30, 2014 at 8:57 pm

I have made this recipe a few times and my two picky kids (2 and 4) gobble it up. Thank you! Nice to find a good meatloaf recipe that stays moist and even better I get to sneak in all the yummy veggies without my littles one noticing.


79 Joanne April 3, 2014 at 10:51 am

We love happy Moms! So glad you and your kids approve :)


80 Susan Strohm April 3, 2014 at 3:56 am

I thought it was great but wanted to add another twist. I use ground venison a lot and found this a great recipe for it. The venison has almost no fat (the meat isn’t marbled like beef) and is prone to drying out, so this is a good baked venison recipe that you don’t have to worry about dryness.


81 Joanne April 3, 2014 at 10:36 am

Such a great idea! Thanks for letting us all know how it worked out.


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