This easy Turkey Meatloaf Recipe is so juicy, moist and flavorful healthy comfort food. Topped with a simple ketchup glaze, this homestyle classic is sure to be a hit at your house!

Turkey meatloaf sliced  and garnished with parsley.

I know turkey has a reputation for being dry, but trust me, this tasty turkey meatloaf will wow your entire family. After making super moist Instant Pot turkey meatloaf thanks to all that steam, I knew I had to perfect its oven baked version.

This is it! The best turkey meatloaf recipe that is so juicy even ground turkey haters will think they are eating beef.

Not only have readers rated this recipe 5 stars, I have heard rave reviews from friends whose husbands also approved this turkey chili, turkey burgers and turkey meatballs.

Ingredients You Will Need

To make this easy turkey meatloaf recipe you will need just a few simple ingredients you more likely have on hand right now. It can also be gluten free, dairy free and even grain free, if desired.

Ground turkey, ketchup, onion, egg, garlic, milk, balsamic vinegar, spices and oats.
  • Ground turkey: Lean ground turkey or extra lean ground turkey. Just know if the package says one pound and three ounces, it is fine. Pre-packaged ground turkey sold in most grocery stores is of that weight, not exactly 1 lb.
  • Egg: It helps to bind all ingredients and add moisture.
  • Oatmeal: Quick, rolled or quick cooking steel cut oats work. If using steel cut, soak them for 1 hour. You can also use same amount of breadcrumbs and skip milk.
  • Milk: You can use regular milk or any dairy free milk. Water works too, just less flavor.
  • Onion and garlic: Not only do they add flavor but make meat more juicy.
  • Seasonings: Balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper.
  • Ketchup: 3 tablespoons goes a long way for the easy glaze.

How to Make Turkey Meatloaf

Here is how to make turkey meatloaf without extra steps with this step-by-step photo collage. There is also full recipe card below.

How to make turkey meatloaf step by step.
  • Soak oats with milk for 10 minutes: Do so while you are mincing onion, garlic, and getting other ingredients ready. No need to drain them before adding to meat mixture. This step ensures juicy turkey meatloaf that’s full of flavor.
  • Combine ingredients and shape meatloaf: In a large bowl, add ground turkey, egg, onion, garlic, soaked oats, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper and mix well using your hands. Then place meatloaf mixture in regular 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or shape one meatloaf or into four mini meatloaves on lined baking sheet.
  • Bake: Bake meatloaf for 45 minutes or smaller loaves for 35 minutes in preheated 400 degrees F oven. Meatloaf is ready when meat thermometer inserted in the center of loaf shows internal temperature of 160 F.
  • Glaze meatloaf with ketchup: I used just 3 tablespoons of quality ketchup. I used to make fancy glaze with tomato paste and balsamic vinegar but not anymore. Remove from the oven, brush with ketchup, garnish with fresh parsley and cut into 8 slices using sharp knife.

Recipe Tip

No need to let meatloaf cool down. However, I would transfer it with spatula on a cutting board before slicing to avoid damaging the loaf pan, silicone baking mat or a sheet pan.

Ground turkey meatloaf served with mashed potatoes and peppers on a plate.

Tips for Best Results

  • Don’t overwork the turkey mixture: It will make your turkey meatloaf dense and less tender.
  • Double the meat? You can double the recipe but cooking time would be close to 70 minutes. Again, check with internal read thermometer.
  • Not a ground turkey fan? Try using half ground beef and half ground turkey if your family prefers traditional meatloaf. Just to slowly transition them.
  • Don’t overbake: Because meatloaf with turkey will start drying out. Follow the recipe, know your oven and use instant-read thermometer.
  • Muffins: Make 12 meatloaf muffins and bake for 35-40 minutes or so. Check with internal read thermometer for 160 degrees F.
  • Rest meat: If you have the time, let it rest for 5-10 minutes after baking. This will redistribute meat juices and you will have moist turkey meatloaf!

How to Make Ahead and Store It

Store: Refrigerate leftover meatloaf in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Eat as is or use these great leftovers to make meatloaf sandwiches!

Keep Warm: I kept meatloaf warm along with Instant Pot mashed potatoes until dinner. It was my lucky day I made those potatoes because in a food blogger’s life dinner is usually ready at lunchtime.

Can You Freeze Meatloaf?

Yes. I usually make 2 meatloaves. You can freeze cooked, cooled and sliced turkey meatloaf in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in the microwave or simmer in a covered pot with a splash of water. I do not like to warm up meatloaf in the oven because it dries out.

Favorite Sides to Serve With Meatloaf

Variations

  • Using breadcrumbs: You can use bread crumbs in place of oats in this ground turkey meatloaf recipe. Then skip milk.
  • Add heat: Add chipotle in adobo, red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the meat mixture for spicy meatloaf.
  • Other ground meat: Ground chicken or ground beef could be used. Ground chicken is a bit more dry and beef more ‘greasy’ but both will work.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Just a tablespoon can add a ‘beefier’ taste.
  • Glaze: Use barbecue sauce or your favorite glaze!
  • Other herbs: Swap oregano for dried thyme, Italian seasoning, or parsley!
  • Vegetables: Diced carrots, celery, and mushrooms are common to add to turkey loaf. You will need to saute them first in olive oil to soften before mixing in with meatloaf.

FAQs

Do I need to add the eggs?

Eggs will add both moisture and binding. I have not tested a vegan egg replacer such as store bought version or flax egg but if you do, let us know in the comments! I would advise to not use chia egg, as it will soak up too much moisture.

How do I keep turkey meatloaf from falling apart?

With this recipe for turkey meatloaf you should not have that problem! If you are still worried though, after you have shaped your meatloaf, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes. Then after removing from the oven, let it sit again for 5-10 minutes.

Should I cover turkey loaf while it bakes?

I found it is not necessary to cover the meatloaf with this healthy turkey meatloaf recipe. If you want to, though, go for it! You may need to increase baking time, and to get the edges crispy, you will want to uncover during the last 15-20 minutes of baking.

Can I make turkey meatloaf in the Instant Pot or slow cooker?

Yes! I have a specific Instant Pot meatloaf recipe exactly for that reason. Follow my slow cooker turkey meatloaf recipe for an amazing hands off dinner.

How long do you cook turkey meatloaf for?

I like to cook meatloaf at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes. You can also cook it at 350 F for about 60-70 minutes.

Can I use breadcrumbs?

Sure. Replace oatmeal with same amount of any breadcrumbs.

More Ground Turkey Recipes

You may also like these 45 ground turkey recipes!

Turkey meatloaf with ketchup glaze in a pan on top of cooling rack with a brush.
healthy Ground Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

This easy Turkey Meatloaf Recipe is juicy, moist and flavorful. Topped with ketchup, ground turkey meatloaf will be a hit at your house!
4.89 from 17 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 241
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 3 tablespoons any milk or water
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, add oats and milk. Stir and set aside to soak for 10 minutes while you are getting other ingredients ready.
  • In a large bowl, add ground turkey, egg, onion, garlic, soaked oats, balsamic vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper. Using your hands mix well to combine.
  • Spray ceramic non-stick 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray and transfer mixture into it. Level with spatula. You can also shape 1 meatloaf on lined baking sheet or 4 mini meatloaves.
  • Bake single large meatloaf for 45 minutes or 4 mini meatloaves for 35 minutes. Meatloaf is ready when internal temperature is 160 degrees. Do not overbake, so meatloaf dries out.
  • Remove from the oven and brush with ketchup. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
  • Cut into 8 slices and serve warm with mashed potatoes, Instant Pot mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash.

Video

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: I usually make 2 meat loaves. You can freeze cooked, cooled and sliced meatloaf in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in the microwave or simmer in a covered pot with a splash of water. I do not like to warm up meatloaf in the oven because it dries out.
  • Ground turkey: Lean or extra lean ground meat. Just know if package says 1 lb and 3 oz it is fine, most are that weight, not exactly 1 lb.
  • Oats: Quick, rolled or quick cooking steel cut oats work.
  • Using breadcrumbs: You can also use breadcrumbs or almond meal or flour in place of oats. No need to soak either. Skip milk then.
  • Mini meatloaves: Make 12 meatloaf muffins and bake for 35-40 minutes or so. Check with internal read thermometer for 160 degrees F doneness.
  • Double the meat? You can double the recipe but cooking time would be close to 70 minutes. Again, check with internal read thermometer.

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 494mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this for dinner tonight and it was soo good. Very flavorful and easy to make. This will be my new meatloaf going forward. My husband loved it as well. Thank you!

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