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 breadcrumbs 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

1/2 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

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 1/2-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 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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489 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Madeleine Lovett September 17, 2019, 12:05 pm

    This has to be the best meatloaf I’ve ever tasted! I changed nothing, just made it as per the recipie & it’s an absolute delight!! So moist for a turkey mince dish. I chopped the mushrooms in a food processor until they were almost a paste & then, with the breadcrumbs soaked in milk, i think that combination alone helps to make this such a delicious meatloaf. I made it in a deep loaf tin so I cooked it for a bit longer than stated until it was just coming away from the sides of the tin. Perfection!!

    Reply
  • Hasmik September 12, 2019, 3:09 pm

    Wow this was so good!!! Will definitely make it again. I used 1lb turkey and regular bread crumb, and it was fantastic. Thank you!!

    Reply
  • DEBRA LEIST September 9, 2019, 4:48 pm

    This is the second time I made this. First time followed recipe. This time I added red and yellow peppers, celery and lots of seasonings. Hot sauce, tomato sauce, Cajun seasoning. I also did not saute anything but instead dumped it all into the bowl, mixed and put into the pan. Timing was the same 50 minutes and the last ten I mixed up more tomato sauce with brown sugar for the top. It was so good. Thanks for the initial recipe!

    Reply
  • Tammy Fran September 5, 2019, 4:09 pm

    LET ME JUST START BY SAYING….LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like you have no idea how much flavor this was producing into my mouth. Like this I would rather eat this than Fruit Loops, and I love fruit loops like so much! Like one time I put so many dried fruit loops in my mouth at once that I split my lip… But that’s a whole other story. This dish is sooooooooo good that I cried the first time I tried it. BUT… Don’t eat this meatloaf if your vegetarian because as surprising as it might seem, this recipe includes meat. Well, that’s my review in full. I hope it helped you decide on what your having for dinner tonight and leftovers tomorrow.

    Reply
  • A August 12, 2019, 10:02 pm

    Is there a way to make this but with gravy sauce? My spouse does not like ketchup.

    Reply
    • Joanne September 12, 2019, 1:35 pm

      You could try leaving the ketchup out completely and then serving with gravy. Here’s our gravy recipe if you are interested: Easy Gravy From Scratch

      Reply
  • Debra August 6, 2019, 2:58 pm

    I’ve been thinking about making a turkey meatloaf for a long time but hadn’t done so until I saw this recipe. I didn’t add too much to it except for a little hot sauce with the ketchup and some Cajun seasoning called “Slap Your Mama” to the salt and pepper. I did use 1 tsp of sea salt and probably more pepper. I will add some sweet peppers to the onion mixture next time. This was unbelievably moist and I used the entire 8 oz package of Baby Bella mushrooms. It seemed like a lot but cooked down. I was afraid it would be so soft it wouldn’t set up and slice well but that didn’t happen. Thanks for another recipe for me to use since I don’t eat beef or pork!

    Reply
  • Enj August 5, 2019, 11:47 pm

    This meat loaf is very tasty. I added red and green bell peppers and a little more worcestershire sauce in the mix it was delightful. I had to leave it in a bit longer too it wasn’t firm enough. Overall, I was content and I will be making it again. It was super moist just as advertised. 👍🏿

    Reply

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