Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Learn the secret for making the best turkey meatloaf. Jump to the Turkey Meatloaf Recipe now or read on to see how we make it.


We never used to make turkey meatloaf. We make turkey meatballs all the time, but never meatloaf. I always had the idea that it would be dry and tasteless. Now though, we know we were making a mistake — a big one. You see, we’ve stumbled across a little secret. One that turned typical turkey meatloaf into something we crave and now make often.

The Secret to Crave Worthy, Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

The secret to this meatloaf? It’s Mushrooms.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

It’s true — thanks to tiny pieces of chopped mushrooms, our turkey meatloaf recipe is moist and has unbelievable flavor.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe - Secret to the Best Turkey Meatloaf

Mushrooms are chopped extra small — either by hand or in a food processor. Then, they are cooked down until soft and added mixed into the turkey.

This does add a little extra time at the beginning — a little more prep time than you may be used to seeing with our recipes. But, we wouldn’t do it if we didn’t believe it was worth it. And we really (really) do.

Not a mushroom fan? You don’t really taste mushrooms in the meatloaf, instead they are in there to add depth and a savory taste. We’ve done this before, in fact mushrooms are the secret ingredient to our Easy Go-To Turkey Chili Recipe and these Seriously Good Turkey Burgers. People love them!

A Few Simple Ingredients

The other thing we love about this recipe is that the rest of the ingredients are simple — onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, milk, egg and ketchup. We usually have all those ingredients in the kitchen and we’re betting you do too (or at least most of them).

You May Also Like These Easy Sides: Baked Sweet Potato Fries or our Simple, Everyday Mashed Potatoes.

Unbelievably Moist Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

Tender Turkey Meatballs RecipeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: If you love this meatloaf, you will love these Easy Turkey Meatballs in a light tomato sauce. There’s no lengthy cooking times, no baking and no searing the meatballs. Easy and delicious.

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 Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK

You would never guess this turkey 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 teaspoon kosher 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 (see notes for gluten-free options)

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 F. 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.Turkey-Meatloaf-Step-2

    • 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

  • Gluten-free meatloaf: Try ground gluten-free hard pretzels, 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.
  • A note about salt: We use kosher salt in our recipes. It’s much easier to pick up with our fingers and gives us better control of our seasoning. Use what you have, but keep in mind that kosher salt has larger flakes compared to table or fine sea salt. If using a finer salt, you will need to reduce the amount of salt called for in our recipe by 25% to 50%.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator 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

Food Travel: Our Lives Outside the Kitchen

5 Days Exploring the San Juan Islands, Washington

We spent 5 days exploring the San Juan Islands in Washington State. See what we did and where we ate while we were there. Read More…

Subscribe to Dinner

We all struggle with what to cook for dinner. Never run out of inspiration with our free weekly email with easy and delicious recipes! Enter your email address below:

380 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Janelle October 31, 2017, 8:42 pm

    I’ve made and loved Ina Garten’s turkey meatloaf for years, but this is even better, possibly the best meatloaf I’ve ever made (and I’ve made many!) The texture and taste are amazing. I didn’t have panko in the pantry, but it was fine with regular dry bread crumbs, augmented with fresh bread crumbs to get to a cup’s worth. I had white mushrooms on hand, but next time I’m going to try creminis, because we love those. And I may try BBQ sauce instead of ketchup next time, just for fun. It is PERFECT made exactly as is, but I’m looking forward to tweaking it, too. Great recipe.

  • Leona October 29, 2017, 11:11 pm

    I made this exactly as the recipe called for. It was amazingly delicious!!

  • Britt October 23, 2017, 2:20 pm

    Can I make this in a crockpot?? I made it in the oven before and it was good but for workdays without much time I’m looking for an alternate. Thanks

    • Joanne October 30, 2017, 2:21 pm

      Hi Britt, That’s a great question, but we have never actually tried it on our kitchen. Let us know if you try it! I’ll add it to our “to test” list, too.

  • Cathy October 20, 2017, 7:41 pm

    Does this meatloaf freeze well? I want to make it for lunches to take to work and heat in the microwave.

    • Joanne October 30, 2017, 2:21 pm

      Hi Cathy, I would think so. I’d cut it into single servings and wrap very well before freezing.

  • Tori October 19, 2017, 1:02 pm

    I’m wondering if you could make this loaf in advance? Say I only have time at lunch to prepare. Can I prepare and put it in the fridge and then take it out and cook at dinner time?

    • Joanne October 30, 2017, 2:23 pm

      Hi Tori, This should work just fine. Wrap the raw and assembled meatloaf well before refrigerating.

  • sue October 18, 2017, 5:36 pm

    I’ve made this before and loved it so much we want to triple the recipe. im scared i will under cook or overcook. i read somewhere at 350 it should take 2 hours, as I’m using 4 lbs of turkey does that sound right?

    • Joanne October 30, 2017, 2:27 pm

      Hi Sue, If you are just making a larger oval, with a similar thickness to the original recipe, the baking time should not need to change much. I’d keep an eye on it while it bakes and adjust as necessary.

  • sara October 17, 2017, 8:34 pm

    I made this tonight and it was honestly better than Barefoot Contessa…that’s high praise in my house. Our new official favorite!

    • Joanne October 30, 2017, 2:28 pm

      Hi Sara, Thanks so much for the sweet comment and we agree…that is high praise. We love Ina!!

  • Amy Spencer October 15, 2017, 8:04 pm

    This recipe was absolutely perfect! We made it as is without any tweaks. You can’t even tell their are mushrooms in this!

  • lori October 13, 2017, 3:43 pm

    Yes and haven’t tasted yet still in the oven but will live comment when done

  • Leo October 13, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Wow!!! This recipe is the bomb. I followed the instructions and they produced the best turkey meatloaf I have ever had. My wife and I had it for dinner last night and for lunch today. The people in my office kept commenting on how good it smelled when I heated it in the microwave, and many asked where I got the recipe from. This will definitely be on our list of savory dishes. Thank you!


Leave a Comment or Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Policy.

Did you make it? How was it?:


Previous Post: Next Post: