This flavorful Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf is tender, juicy, and packed with protein. It’s made healthier and the results are everything you’d want in classic comfort food loved by the entire family!

Wondering what your next crock pot recipe should be? Slow cooker balsamic pot roast or slow cooker porcupine meatballs get my vote.

Slow cooker turkey meatloaf in parchment paper lined crockpot.

What you’ll love about this slow cooker turkey meatloaf is that it’s lighter than traditional meatloaf made with ground beef, but is bulked up using red lentils and still just as juicy and tender as ever!

Replacing meat in traditional meat recipes with beans or lentils is one of my favorite ways to ramp up the iron and fiber in dishes, while cutting back on meat and saving money without losing any of the textures.

Whether it’s stovetop ground turkey meatloaf, Instant Pot meatloaf or this crockpot version, I always replace breadcrumbs with oats making a gluten free meatloaf.

When you make a homemade meatloaf from scratch there are so many ways to make it your own!

Sunday dinner comfort food has never been easier and what a great way to have leftovers for the week! I like mine as is, but for those of you that like a saucy topping, add a drizzle of healthy bbq sauce overtop.

You might also love these 45 healthy ground turkey recipes.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you need to make the easiest turkey meatloaf recipe!

  • Red lentils: We’re adding just enough red lentils to add fiber and sustenance yet not overpower the turkey.
  • Ground turkey: Do not use lean ground turkey as it’s already naturally lean. Otherwise, it won’t add as much moisture as we’d like.
  • Quick oats: Not meant to add too much coarse texture, so instead of using old fashioned rolled oats I use quick oats which absorb water faster, are smaller and softer. Just like breadcrumbs!
  • Grated zucchini: Optional but makes your meatloaf even juicier!
  • Large egg: Used for binding the ingredients together so the meatloaf doesn’t fall apart.
  • Soy sauce: A little salty umami flavor. There is no other added salt, so it gives it a bit of that as well.
  • Seasoning: Onion powder or flakes, garlic powder, and black pepper.

How to Make Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf

An ideal meal for busy days when all you want to do is set it and walk away!

Cooked red lentils in a pot.

Boil lentils in a small saucepan with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes.

Drain the water then transfer the lentils to a large bowl. Red lentils don’t take long to cook and they become nice and soft, unlike brown lentils.

Turkey in food processor.

If you are planning to grind your meat in a food processor, as pictured above, make sure to use fattier cuts.

Whether chicken or turkey, use chicken thighs rather than breasts.

Eggs, lentils, spices, turkey, oats in blue bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl containing the lentils and carefully mix everything by hand. I say carefully in case the lentils are still hot!

One thing to know about meatloaf is you never want to overwork the meat. Mix until just combined.

If using zucchini, add that in too.

Uncooked turkey meatloaf in a slow cooker lined with parchment paper.

Line the crock pot with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer the meat mixture to the inside of the pot and form it into a meatloaf shape.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

Sliced turkey meatloaf.

Once it’s finished cooking, remove the lid and use the sides of the parchment liner to remove the meatloaf to a serving platter or cutting board for slicing.

For a regular meatloaf shape, use a loaf pan inside the slow cooker. Rest it on the parchment paper and cook it like you would in the oven.

Tips and Variations

  • Zucchini recommended. Yes, it’s optional, but it does make the slow cooker meatloaf even more tender and juicy.
  • No extra lean meat. Poultry has much less fat than beef does, by nature, so do not use any extra lean chicken or turkey. This will cause your meatloaf to be dry.
  • Test your meatloaf for doneness by using a meat thermometer. When placed in the center, it should have an internal temperature of anywhere between 160 degrees to 165 degrees F.
  • Added seasoning. The seasoning in this meatloaf is a simple blend and the way my kids love it. You can get creative by adding some extra seasoning for added flavor if you’d like. Chili flakes for heat maybe?

How Long Do I Cook Meatloaf in Slow Cooker?

A slow cooker works at two temperatures. High and low.

Some recipes work using either temperature at different times like this one, while others recommend using one over the other.

For this slow cooker turkey meatloaf recipe, you decide based on what you’ve got going on in the day. Do you need extra time? Cook on low for 6 hours. If not, 3 hours on high should be good.

How to Prep Ahead?

You can do things like shred the zucchini, cook the lentils, grind your meat in advance and keep things stored in the fridge until you’re ready to make the meatloaf.

You can also combine the ingredients and form the loaf and store it uncooked overnight.

Storing Leftovers

  • Refrigerate: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Meatloaf sandwiches for lunch during the week are always something to look forward to!
  • Freeze: Once it has cooked and fully cooled, slice it and store them in an airtight, freezer friendly container for up to 3 months.
  • Reheat: Thaw in the fridge overnight and use the microwave to reheat a couple of slices at a time. If you have more than that, you can also use the oven for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.

FAQs

Do I need any special pans or equipment?

No! Just the crock pot and some parchment paper and you’re set.

Is this crockpot turkey meatloaf gluten free?

This one is gluten free as long as the oats you are using are certified on the label and you don’t use traditional soy sauce, but rather liquid aminos or tamari instead.

How do I keep turkey meatloaf from being dry?

Zucchini is your best option next to not overworking the meat and not substituting the egg for anything else.

What are some best meatloaf side dishes?

Meatloaf and healthy mashed potatoes are always a classic pairing! You could also do cheesy cauliflower rice or healthy mac and cheese.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Cooked crockpot turkey meatloaf on parchment paper garnished with green onion.
Cooked slow cooker turkey meatloaf on parchment paper garnished with green onion.

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf

This flavorful Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf is tender, juicy, and packed with protein.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 228
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 1/2 cup red lentils dry
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey or chicken not lean
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup grated zucchini squeezed (optional)
  • 1 egg large
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce I used Bragg liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp onion powder or onion flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray I use Misto

Instructions 

  • In a small saucepan, add lentils and water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a large bowl along with ground turkey, quick oats, zucchini, egg, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
  • Line slow cooker with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer meat mixture and form into a meatloaf shape. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
  • Holding onto the parchment paper flaps, remove meatloaf and slice. Serve warm or cold with a grain of choice or salad.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely, slice and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a microwave or in the oven at 375 F for 10 minutes.
  • Ground turkey: Use ground turkey that is not extra lean, otherwise meatloaf will be dry.
  • Zucchini: With zucchini, meatloaf will be more lighter, softer and juicier; however, I tried without and it turned out very good as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 553mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!
Cooked slow cooker turkey meatloaf on parchment paper garnished with green onion.

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf

This flavorful Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf is tender, juicy, and packed with protein.
5 from 4 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 228
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 1/2 cup red lentils dry
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey or chicken not lean
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup grated zucchini squeezed (optional)
  • 1 egg large
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce I used Bragg liquid aminos
  • 2 tbsp onion powder or onion flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray I use Misto

Instructions 

  • In a small saucepan, add lentils and water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to a large bowl along with ground turkey, quick oats, zucchini, egg, soy sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. Mix well with your hands.
  • Line slow cooker with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer meat mixture and form into a meatloaf shape. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.
  • Holding onto the parchment paper flaps, remove meatloaf and slice. Serve warm or cold with a grain of choice or salad.

Notes

  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely, slice and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a microwave or in the oven at 375 F for 10 minutes.
  • Ground turkey: Use ground turkey that is not extra lean, otherwise meatloaf will be dry.
  • Zucchini: With zucchini, meatloaf will be more lighter, softer and juicier; however, I tried without and it turned out very good as well.

Nutrition

Serving: 2slices | Calories: 228kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 553mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the second time I have made this and we really enjoyed it again, it’s really easy and deliciously moist. I feel so smug when I have made dinner by 9am! Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    I am finally gaining instant pot confidence to do more than making hard boiled eggs! But making your recipe for instant pot turkey meatloaf was a hurdle that catapulted me into a new category! I am hooked. And your meatloaf recipe was sooo good! Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    I am always sneaking veggies into various foods I cook. So when I make meatloaf, not only do I add squeezed zucchini, but I add 1 cup finely grated carrots along with finely half cup chopped mushrooms and bell pepper as well. If the kids can’t dig out the chunks of veggies, they eat them without complaint! Grated carrots and zucchini go nicely in homemade chili as well.

    1. Yes. Those are great additions. When I have time or desire to do that, I do haha. My kids are good veggie eaters, so thank goodness I don’t have to do extra work of grating and hiding.

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