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

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)


  • 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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517 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Joanne January 21, 2020, 7:25 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight. I have to say, I loathe mushrooms, but this was delicious. You really can’t taste them. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks!

  • Angela January 19, 2020, 3:54 pm

    Just made this! It’s soooo yummy.

  • Louise January 17, 2020, 3:14 pm

    What can be used Instead of ketchup on top?

    • Joanne January 18, 2020, 3:37 pm

      Hi Louise, You can try your favortie barbecue sauce or you can just eliminate anything on the top completely.

  • Direne January 12, 2020, 7:21 pm

    Made this turkey meatloaf and it was great. I added carrots and low sodium soy sauce because I forgot to buy Worcestershire sauce. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it’s the most moist meatloaf I’ve ever made.

  • Debra L Leist January 11, 2020, 1:50 pm

    I have made this a few times since finding the recipe. We don’t eat beef any more but meatloaf is a favorite for my husband. He absolutely loved this! It has all the flavor we’re looking for and is really moist. It also stays together so you can slice it. Thank you for a great addition to my turkey menu! The only thing I changed was to add brown sugar to the ketchup for the top.

  • Vilja January 8, 2020, 12:17 am

    This is soooooo delicious. I have made it several times since discovering the recipe ans it turns out the same each time. Yummo.

  • Marilyn Stevens January 7, 2020, 5:25 pm

    Just made this for a second time! I figured mushrooms were the way to go with ground turkey, but delighted to come across this recipe. Delicious! The only change I made was to add about a half cup of sun dried tomatoes when I processed the mushrooms and onions. Best meatloaf I’ve ever had. I’ve recently become allergic to beef and pork so having this recipe as my go-to now keeps me from feeling deprived. Thanks!

  • May January 3, 2020, 11:28 am

    My husband and I thought this was pretty yummy. Our store only packages ground turkey/chicken by the pound, so I added the meat from a couple chicken sausages to make up the difference. I might add a bit of cooked quinoa next time, as I really like what it does for meatloaf!

  • Ip December 12, 2019, 7:15 am

    I’m a new subscriber. I’m excited to try your turkey meatloaf.

  • Laella December 4, 2019, 7:23 am

    Can I soak breadcrumbs in chicken broth or not soak them at all? Trying to omit the dairy in this. Hope to hear from you soon as I’m excited to try this.

    • Joanne December 4, 2019, 2:33 pm

      Yes, broth would be perfectly fine and adding them dry shouldn’t affect too much.

    • Angela January 19, 2020, 3:53 pm

      I soaked mine in coconut milk because I am also dairy free, it turned out great!!

  • Andrew November 20, 2019, 2:21 pm

    I made this for a thanksgiving potluck at work and WON 1st place! I was worried about the ketchup being too ketchup-y, but it really bakes down to a wonderful glaze. Made two loaves the night before my potluck, so I had one fresh out of the oven with the family, and the one I took to work was warmed up in the microwave. Even warmed up in the microwave, it was still fantastic.

  • Mica November 14, 2019, 11:21 pm

    OMG! I made this for dinner tonight, followed the instructions to the T (I forgot to buy Worcestershire sauce, so I skipped it) and it came out AMAZINGLY!! Even my extremely picky 8yr old daughter liked it and my 2yr old son put it on his fork like a popsicle and slowly, but happily ate it off. I am floored! Thank you, it was super yummy!

  • Sandra Williams November 11, 2019, 6:17 am

    I made this last night, I doubled the recipe. Decided to really make it easy, chopped the onion in the processor, before the mushrooms. Also, used the processor to blitz together Panko Bread Crumbs with old fashioned oats, my neighbors are raving about it.

  • Shelby November 2, 2019, 5:17 pm

    I made the turkey meatloaf last night. It was an absolute hit – even with my husband who is not an enthusiastic lover of turkey burger! I crushed a cup of dried garlic & sage dressing cubes instead of the panko. Thanks for a great recipe!


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