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.

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!

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.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe - Umami-rich mushrooms add flavor and keep the turkey meatloaf juicy inside.
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.

For a perfectly browned crust, I form the meatloaf by hand and bake on a baking sheet.
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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561 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Monica Ralphs September 28, 2020, 8:08 pm

    This turkey meatloaf was absolutely delicious! I have made many versions of turkey meatloaf, this one is better than all the ones I’ve tried before. It truly is moist and flavourful. I used regular breadcrumbs as I didn’t have Panko on hand, and it was fine.

    Reply
  • Livia September 22, 2020, 2:00 am

    This was definitely the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. The recipe is a keeper. The whole family loved it!

    Reply
  • k September 4, 2020, 11:43 am

    First time making any kind of loaf, and ketchup.
    Added fresh herbs from garden (thyme, oregano, plus quite a bit of parsley), and the homemade ketchup linked to your site. Didn’t have crumbs, but toddler Hermione Granger had fun crushing organic pretzel spells with the pestle, and left out the salt at the end to account for the added salt in them. The mushrooms we used were shimeji. I used more than 8 oz according to scale (12-ish), and only 1 lb of turkey, so it was probably slightly more mushroomy than I imagine it’s intended to be, but that was great for us, and yes, super moist. Turned out great,everyone enjoyed it. I’d use the recipe again in the future. Thanks! it benefited so much with all the added herbs.

    Reply
  • Stephanie August 27, 2020, 11:53 pm

    I made this tonight and it’s the best meatloaf we’ve ever had. I sauteed the onion, garlic, mushrooms and added celery. I substituted eggbeaters for the eggs, Lactaid milk for the milk. The sauce, I added barbecue sauce with the Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Finished the meal with roasted zucchini and redskin potatoes. Absolutely delicious!

    Reply
  • Linda O'Shaughnessy August 23, 2020, 6:40 pm

    This recipe is a keeper. I just added it to our dinner rotation. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  • Lori August 21, 2020, 8:41 pm

    Very moist! The flavor is good but not awesome. Will make a version of this with parsley , fennel etc Someone posted the used zucchini I think that would be very good as well

    Reply
  • Naomi August 19, 2020, 2:51 pm

    I have made this a couple of times and I like the recipe. Once I was out of mushrooms, so on a whim I shredded an apple instead. OMG! It’s amazing. That’s how I will make it from now on.

    Reply
  • Nancy July 21, 2020, 9:10 pm

    I make this at least once every two weeks and love it. Here are a few time saving tips. Use a large shallot instead of the onion and garlic. Use a heat safe spatula to mix the veggies-it will come in handy later. Put the milk in a one cup measuring cut, break in two eggs and beat with a fork until well combined. In the same frying pan with the sauteed veggies, add Worcester sauce and catchup and stir with the spatula until lukewarm. Dump ingredients into a large bowl, breaking up with the spatula and use a potato masher to thoroughly combine. Few er dishes and easier cleanup.

    Reply
  • Jen M July 14, 2020, 2:49 pm

    I make this exactly according to the directions, but I bake it in a loaf pan. My 6 yr old son is the pickiest eater on the planet, but he devours this. I don’t bother telling him it contains mushrooms 😊. And my husband requests this dish all the time.

    Reply
  • Rees June 30, 2020, 10:19 pm

    Superb! But not a fan of Whaz-dis-here sauce, I used balsamic vinagrette instead of Worcestershire. I’m confident it made it allthemore scrumptious!

    Reply
  • Yvette June 29, 2020, 10:06 pm

    My first time trying one of your recipes, I like that you do a video and I can scroll straight to the recipe, sometimes blogs go on and on and we don’t all want to read every detail, and who has time when you are quickly looking for a recipe at dinner time and you have a pound of ground turkey! Anyway this was really good! Definitely came out moist, I used 1lb of ground turkey breast and omitted the mushrooms as my son doesn’t like them. One suggestion would be to add a few red pepper flakes if you like it more spicy. I used Portland Ketchup Company Organic ketchup which is much better than Heinz, has a little more spice.

    Reply
  • Cecile June 23, 2020, 9:07 am

    I made this turkey meatloaf with 1 pound of turkey and grated zucchini as I didn’t have mushrooms and my guys raved about it!!

    Reply

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