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

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)


  • 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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771 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Cindy June 24, 2022, 8:56 am

    This is my go to recipe my grandson loves when I make it!

  • Kurt Nochowicz June 13, 2022, 7:25 pm

    I loved this! I love meatloaf but have made always made it with beef and pork. Thank you, this was delicious.

  • Radha June 12, 2022, 7:56 pm

    Delicious recipe. The only things I changed was I added fresh thyme and oregano and added Worcestershire and brown sugar to the ketchup topping. Something my gma always did and I loved it!!!

  • Liz June 7, 2022, 12:14 am

    This was unbelievably delicious. So flavorful and moist. I will definitely be making this again.

  • Jean May 19, 2022, 6:41 pm

    This turkey meatloaf was delicious. I was not prepared to like it as I’ve had beef meatloaf all my life . I actually think it’s better than beef meatloaf!

  • Dianne May 3, 2022, 6:15 pm

    I think this is the most delicious meatloaf I have ever made! I microwaved the onion and mushrooms because I didn’t want to stand over the stove, then omitted the milk and added the breadcrumb to the microwaved veggies. I also omitted the ketchup on top and didn’t miss it at all. Will definitely make this again!

  • Regina May 3, 2022, 5:43 pm

    Soooo Good!! and still moist for leftovers the next day! I used PORQ Panko Crumbs instead of Bread Crumbs. I also added Pesto and Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning to provide additional flavor. Using a Convection Oven, I baked it for only 40 minutes. I normally use loaf pans for a meatloaf and may try it next time (not sure if there is a rhyme or reason for doing otherwise).

  • Ilona April 27, 2022, 2:36 pm

    I have made this twice now. The first time I followed the recipe mostly exactly. I didn’t use a tool to measure anything except the milk and breadcrumbs. My husband, 2 year old, and I ate it up for dinner! We had enough for a light lunch the next day. I served it with mashed potatoes and a veggie.The second time I made it, I added a quarter to a third cup of breadcrumbs, a quarter cup of milk, and a cup of frozen spinach (not sure what that translates to as far as fresh spinach measurements go). I added the frozen spinach to the mushroom pan once the mushrooms had released most of their liquid. The meatloaf still cooked in 50 minutes (till it was about 180). I served it with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. No veggie as the meatloaf was loaded with an onion, pack of mushrooms, and spinach. Easy dinner for a 36 week pregnant mama to make! I’ll be attempting to make the veggie loaded version and freezing raw so my husband can pop them in the oven and cook for dinner when I am unable to. I’ll have some dehydrated mashed potatoes for him to prepare as well. Awesome recipe!! Love that my whole family devours it! Thank you for sharing it.

  • gayle Tucker April 22, 2022, 1:16 pm

    Fantastic recipe. I made turkey lasagna with the mixture. Really good. Also gave Swedish meatballs a try and everyone cleaned them up. Very versatile. Thank you for sharing.

  • Nat March 30, 2022, 10:49 pm

    Followed the recipe to a T and it was absolutely perfect! The mushrooms were a unique and delicious essential. Will definitely make again!

  • Jaymee Miller March 20, 2022, 2:30 pm

    This recipe is amazing! Perfect for my dietary restrictions and so yummy! I make them in mini loaf pans and freeze. Perfect for an evening I don’t want to cook or pop in my bag frozen for lunch and it’s thawed out by the time I’m ready to eat it! Great job!

  • Piper March 13, 2022, 4:37 pm

    This recipe is amazing! My family of 9 loved it, something that doesn’t happen often. I selfishly wanted to keep some for myself as leftovers, so yummy. Thank you!

  • Ginny March 12, 2022, 11:30 am

    Made this and it was delicious. Texture was a bit like thick stuffing. I’ll make this often, but will try reducing the panko crumbs. I definitely recommend this meatloaf.

  • Shannon P. Weimerskirch March 10, 2022, 2:35 pm

    Kiddo Approved! As an Ex-Chef I played around a bit with the recipe. (With a house full of kiddos are you really ever an ex-chef though?, haha) I had 2 #’s of Turkey so upped recipe by a third. Ended up with enough for a loaf and a third so I made mini loaves in cast iron Staub shells and sent to school with mini food nerds. Turned out amazing! Love your site. Let me know if you ever want a contributor! Cheers..

  • Tiffany March 9, 2022, 2:24 am

    After looking for Weight Watchers friendly options for ground turkey breast, I made this recipe tonight with a bit less ketchup. It is delicious! It’s only 3 points per serving, very tasty, and filling. Thank you for sharing!


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