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

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

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 and turkey burgers all the time, but never meatloaf. That’s until we stumbled on the secret for making the best, juicy inside, flavorful turkey meatloaf. It’s mushrooms!

Moist Turkey Meatloaf

Now we make it all the time. 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 boost 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 use this trick in other recipes. 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. The meatloaf 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, but it is also 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 it into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw overnight before baking.

Freezing baked meatloaf. Let the baked meatloaf cool, and then wrap it 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 the ingredients in the recipe 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 or substitute them 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.

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

Watch Us Make the Recipe

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 ¼ 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 three 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 four 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 ¼ pound portions. While we like using 1 ¼ 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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700 comments… Leave a Comment
  • VaneB September 14, 2021, 6:42 am

    I tried this and my family loved it! I added a little bit of my own spices and added broken up spinach leaves to add in some greens :). Also, instead of ketchup over the top, I used bbq sauce. I’ll be making another one tonight! Thanks! 🙂

    Reply
  • Lilliane September 11, 2021, 1:00 pm

    This turkey loaf was amazing! So delicious. I did change it up a bit by using one pound of ground turkey and one pound of mild Italian sausage as well as adding some dried tarragon and dried thyme. I also used an entire pound of mushrooms, since I used two pounds of turkey.

    Reply
  • Sandra Agic September 10, 2021, 7:13 pm

    We loved this turkey meatloaf. I gave up on making a moist, flavorful one. This recipe really delivers & will be our new go-to.

    Reply
  • Leanne King September 7, 2021, 12:14 pm

    Really enjoy your recipes.

    Reply
  • Ken September 3, 2021, 10:05 am

    My wife loves meatloaf, so gave this a whirl. I substituted blackberry ketchup – blackberries are in season. A couple additional modifications: I used fresh rather than dried breadcrumbs and skipped the milk. I accidentally put all the ketchup in the loaf and, naturally, applied a generous portion on top before placing in the oven. Served with salad of spring greens, blackberries, raspberries and my own blackberry vinaigrette… and side of purple potatoes. Amazing. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  • Dino August 30, 2021, 7:51 pm

    This is an easy-peasy recipe turned out to be absolutely succulent and finger licking recipe. It certainly saving this recipe to my favour ones yam yam – thank you for sharing such a great recipe.

    Reply
  • Amy August 29, 2021, 3:16 pm

    I’ve made this as directed with mushrooms and without and it was fantastic both ways, moist and full of flavor. In fact, making it for dinner tonight.

    Reply
  • Patricia August 27, 2021, 9:34 am

    Absolutely fabulous. A definite addition to my saved recipes.

    Reply
  • Maisha Zan August 24, 2021, 3:41 pm

    Very good post. I’m going through many of these issues as well..

    Reply
  • Azalea August 20, 2021, 9:41 pm

    I used the Butterball 1 lb tube ground turkey and I couldn’t even get this to form into a hamburger patty it was too liquidy. It will make a great turkey taco. I recommend using regular ground beef not the Butterball tube ground beef it contains way too much water I think. Perhaps if you’re using the Butterball tube do not add the water to your bread crumbs and do not add the egg.

    Reply
  • DAWN MCCLOSKEY August 12, 2021, 7:54 pm

    I made this as listed with the addition of shredded carrots. Yes, the meatloaf was moist and tasted okay, but out of three of us, only one person really liked it. I won’t be making it again.

    Reply
    • Ash August 17, 2021, 5:23 pm

      I made this and it was awesome whole fam lives it make it about once a week now

      Reply
  • Alison Restivo August 9, 2021, 8:07 pm

    I don’t eat pork or beef so I was looking for an alternative recipe. I have made this twice and it so so good!!

    Reply
  • Chris Lopez August 8, 2021, 7:41 pm

    I followed this recipe and was pleased however, I added carrots that I cut in a food processor and used crushed garlic croutons instead of bread crumbs. The result was an extremely moist and tasty meatloaf. I do not believe I’ve had a better meatloaf even if it was made of beef and pork.

    Reply
  • Danny lauren August 8, 2021, 2:13 pm

    Best recipe ever,my daughter hates mushrooms and is a picky eater and absolutely loved it. I’ve been craving meatloaf and I don’t cook beef in large portions anymore.This was a perfect substitute!

    Reply

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