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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554 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Sean Chopra June 21, 2020, 11:37 am

    I made this for my family last night, and they all LOVED it. I used and pound of turkey and 1/4 pound of pork to give it more moisture. Only recommendation would be maybe a bit more salt, but otherwise superb.

    Reply
  • Kathryn June 15, 2020, 9:05 pm

    Oh, my! Loved it! I had a 1# pack of turkey so I added a big link of chorizo. I will make this again.

    Reply
  • Teresa Crawford May 31, 2020, 10:04 pm

    This meatloaf is delicious! I was completely impressed! It was easy to prepare (I did put mine in a glass loaf dish) and the bake time was right on point! I will definitely make this again!

    Reply
  • Melanie F May 31, 2020, 3:51 pm

    This is really good and moist meatloaf! We have made this numerous times as this has become our go-to meatloaf recipe and even our kids – ages 4 & 7 – love this and get excited for meatloaf night(s).

    Reply
  • Alex May 30, 2020, 11:22 am

    This recipe is insanely good! Definitely a gold medal WINNER With me and my spouse. Once you try it you will crave it!

    Reply
  • Maya May 26, 2020, 11:30 am

    Best turkey meatloaf I’ve ever made! And I’ve tried so many different recipes. I used zucchini, since that is what I had on hand, and it was really good. So moist. I’ll use mushrooms next time.

    Reply
  • Jaylene Low May 19, 2020, 12:33 am

    I made this recipe and it is quite literally the BEST meatloaf I’ve ever tasted, let alone made! Thank you for posting this!!My husband couldn’t get enough of it and my son was amazed!

    Reply
  • Janet May 18, 2020, 12:54 pm

    The turkey loaf recipe is delicious and very moist. We really enjoyed it. I didn’t have mushrooms so I used grated carrots. Instead of Worcestershire I used low sodium soy sauce. I’ll be making it this way every time.

    Reply
  • Dawn May 17, 2020, 6:18 pm

    This was the best meatloaf I’ve had since my Mom passed away in 2007! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Debra Allen May 12, 2020, 12:49 pm

    I make this meatloaf every month and make 3 loaves. So I can freeze . My family loves this and I have shared this recipe frequently. At times I have topped the meat with cocktail sauce In place of the ketchup prior to baking . Spices it up a bit.

    Reply
  • Erin May 10, 2020, 11:44 pm

    Followed the recipe to a T. I missed the note on using the same amount of ingredients even if you only have 1lb of turkey. I ended up adjusting everything. It was amazing!! So moist. The onion and mushrooms pushed this over the edge. Will be making this again

    Reply
  • Kate May 9, 2020, 8:10 pm

    The turkey meat loaf is delicious. I didn’t have Worsterchire sauce so I used Tamari and Chianti mix instead.

    Reply
  • Adam May 6, 2020, 1:00 pm

    I’ve made this a few times before. Makes a great meatloaf, and a healthier alternative to beef or a pork/beef/veal mix. Didn’t have W-sauce, so a dash of soy and a splash of fish sauce did the trick. I added green pepper, which I thought was a mortal sin to omit. Also, I bake the loaf for twenty five minutes before slathering the top with ketchup; it makes it nice and sticky and avoids burning.

    Reply
  • N Hairston April 28, 2020, 9:43 pm

    YOU GET 10 STARS, for your wonderful meatloaf. It was so,so good, my family devoured all of it. Keep up the good work. I will continue to make it every month. Thanks so much

    Reply
  • Michael April 27, 2020, 9:58 pm

    I’ve made this meatloaf many times over already, and it comes out great every time. I usually make 2-3 loaves so I can cut them up and freeze individual portions for a later time. A quick zap in the microwave, and you’re ready to go! I have made some alterations, though. I don’t use the Worcesteshire sauce or the ketchup and it’s not affected the moistness of the meatloaf at all. I have added a mild Italian sausage to the meat mix which gives a bit of a kick to the ground sirloin I use (maybe that’s just the Italian in me!). And tonight I added in parsley and some pecorino chees – about 2-3 tbsp for ½ the recipe (testing it out). The pecorino added a nice flavor to the meat…Thank you for this recipe…everyone here loves it!

    Reply

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