Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf

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 or watch our quick recipe video showing you how we make it.

Watch Us Make Turkey Meatloaf

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 all the time, but never meatloaf.

That’s until we stumbled on the secret for making the best, juicy inside, flavorful turkey meatloaf. Now we make it all the time.

Moist Turkey Meatloaf

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 that added 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.

Chopped mushrooms
Umami-rich mushrooms add flavor and keep the turkey meatloaf juicy inside.

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’ve used this trick before. 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).

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. You can tell when it is done when an internal thermometer inserted into the middle reads 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Adding ketchup to turkey meatloaf
For a perfectly browned crust, I form the meatloaf by hand and bake on a baking sheet.

Make Ahead Meatloaf

Not only is this turkey meatloaf delicious, it’s easy to make in advance.

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 into a freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month. Thaw overnight before baking.

Freezing baked meatloaf. Let the baked meatloaf cool, and then wrap into foil and freeze 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:

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 all the ingredients in the recipe below 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 completely or substitute 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.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

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

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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

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 1/4 pound ground turkey (92% lean)

Directions

  • Prepare Meatloaf
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 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.Turkey-Meatloaf-Step-1

    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 1/4-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 4 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 1/4 pound portions. While we like using 1 1/4 pounds, 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 slice / Calories 332 / Protein 23 g / Carbohydrate 23 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 8 g / Total Fat 17 g / Saturated Fat 4 g / Cholesterol 132 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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645 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Kelsey June 15, 2021, 10:49 pm

    Very good, classic tasting Meatloaf. I made a few alterations: added celery and grated carrot to onions, substituted one egg for a Flax egg, used some gochujang and BBQ sauce in place of half the ketchup, added Feta cheese, and baked for 45 min in my toaster oven. Two thumbs up!

    Reply
  • Katina June 15, 2021, 7:57 pm

    This is our go too recipe for the last year. It’s so delicious minus the mushrooms. No one likes them in the family. But this recipe is so flavorful . A must try!

    Reply
  • Sarah June 14, 2021, 7:27 pm

    Best way to make turkey meatloaf EVER!! We sub hot rotel for ketchup. I add about half the drained can to the mixture and add the rest of the can about 20 minutes before it’s done to the top. I also add pepper jack cheese, using some in the mixture and a layer in the middle of the meatloaf.

    Reply
  • SUSAN C KAPLAN June 13, 2021, 5:58 pm

    Delicious and wonderfully moist meat loaf! I will make again! My family likes a little kick to food, so I substituted Barbecue sauce for the ketchup, but I’m sure the ketchup tastes equally as good.

    Reply
  • Viv May 29, 2021, 3:17 pm

    This recipe has never disappointed! I double this recipe and make into 2 meatloafs and it’s so good and didn’t feel the need to substitute anything since everyone loves it..Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  • Joan Shelton May 27, 2021, 4:49 am

    Fantastic recipe, I just enjoyed it for dinner tonight, thank you. I put 3 tabs chilli sauce in it as I have not got ketchup, tomato sauce on top, I am in Australia and I have never seen a recipe here as nice as yours.

    Reply
  • Joan Shelton May 27, 2021, 4:42 am

    I just made this meatloaf for my dinner, it is the best one I have ever cooked, did not fake

    Reply
  • Mary Lou April 22, 2021, 2:55 pm

    I’ve been making this meatloaf recipe for over a year and it’s the best one I’ve ever tasted. I prepare it exactly as the directions indicate and it’s perfect every time. Delicious.

    Reply
    • Muvlove May 12, 2021, 12:30 pm

      Mary Lou, I’ve been making it about a year now too and I haven’t changed a thing either. This recipe is delicious in every way. Thank you Inspired Taste for posting for us all to enjoy!

      Reply
  • Stephanie April 21, 2021, 4:35 pm

    Absolutely the best turkey meatloaf ever! My go to at least every couple of months for meal preps. I make it following the recipe to the tee! Definitely recommend using the food processor for the mushrooms! The ONLY thing I do differently is I make them into individual muffin tins so that it’s perfect for my meal preps. I double the recipe and get approx 18 mini loaves! Cooking time is much less this way too.

    Reply
  • Charli April 20, 2021, 12:22 pm

    I’ve been hooked on this recipe for the last 3 years now! My family loves it, but the only change I make is MORE MUSHROOMS! Can’t get enough of the flavor. However, I was wondering if anybody new what the sodium levels were for this meal. Trying to make some for my mom, and finding tasty low sodium is more challenging than I thought.

    Reply
  • Cam April 17, 2021, 3:57 pm

    We LOVE this recipe! Due to allergies we used gluten free breadcrumbs which worked great when not moistened ahead of time. Moistening our gluten free breadcrumbs produced a ball of bread similar to playdough which was then tough to break apart and thoroughly mix into the meat. It worked much better the first time I used this rescipe and happened to forget that step.

    Reply
  • Judy April 12, 2021, 4:37 pm

    This is the best turkey meatloaf I have ever tasted. I followed the recipe exactly.

    Reply
  • Robert April 6, 2021, 4:43 pm

    I never leave reviews but must for this one. A+. So incredibly moist and flavorful. Our own personal deviations: 1. Added celery and ground sausage. 2. We used Poke sauce in lieu of ketchup for the topping. 3. We also used a pate/terrine with cover. Big difference! 4. We threw in fresh herbs (thyme, tarragon and parsley) This has become one of our most favorite things to make. Next time, we will try another reviewer’s suggestion to use cranberry sauce in lieu of ketchup.

    Reply
  • Kaye Knop April 6, 2021, 7:07 am

    Thank you for this recipe! I have made 100’s of meatloafs but this one tops them all. I did use 1lb low fat ground beef and 1 lb turkey breast. Excellent! I thank you, my husband thanks you! Have a blessed day!

    Reply
  • Marina March 31, 2021, 12:58 pm

    Thank you for the recipe! I made it twice. First time followed the recipe exactly, it was excellent. Second time I chopped mushrooms, onions and garlic in the food processor and mixed them with turkey mince raw, and I used crushed cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs, same amount, the result was also excellent. Thanks again for sharing this recipe.

    Reply

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