If you are thinking about what to do with ground turkey, this healthy turkey meatloaf recipe might be your answer. Not only is it ready in under 1 hour (with about 20 minutes of prep time and 40 minutes of cook time), but it is also a healthy alternative to ground beef meatloaf.

Ground turkey meatloaf sliced from the front view.

Ingredient Checklist:

This veggie-packed healthy meatloaf recipe has three sets of ingredients. They are all pantry/fridge essentials you probably already have in your kitchen.

Ingredients for the vegetable portion outlined in detail and photographed from the top view.

For the vegetable filling, gather:

  • Vegetable or olive oil
  • Chopped onion
  • Red pepper
  • carrot
  • garlic cloves
Ingredients for this recipe are laid out in detail and photographed from the top view.

For the meat mixture, you will need:

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey meat ( I use 93%)
  • Panko Breadcrumbs (or regular dry bread crumbs)
  • Chicken broth
  • Italian parsley
  • Salt and black pepper
ketchup glaze ingredients
  1. The Ketchup Glaze Ingredients: Grab your favorite ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and maple syrup (or an equal amount of brown sugar).

How To Make Turkey Meatloaf?

This recipe for Turkey Meatloaf has 5 folds:

  1. Prepare the vegetable filling: To make the vegetable filling, heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onion and bell pepper and saute until softened. Stir in the carrots and cook for a few more minutes, and finally, add your garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for about 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a plate to cool completely.
  2. Heat the oven: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
how to make turkey meatloaf steps in 4 images
  1. Make the turkey meatloaf mixture: Prepare the turkey mixture in a large mixing bowl by combining the ground turkey, panko bread crumbs (or you can also use regular bread crumbs), large egg, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and the now-cooled vegetables. Gently mix together with a large spoon or, my favorite kitchen tool, your hands!
  2. Shape & Bake: Transfer mixture into a mound on the sheet pan and pat into a 9 x 3-inch freeform loaf shape. Place in the oven and bake until the internal temperature on an instant-read meat thermometer reads 165 degrees, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and set your broiler to low.
  3. Make the glaze & broil: While the meatloaf is baking, make the glaze/sauce by combining the ketchup, maple syrup, and black pepper in a small bowl. Spread the glaze over the top of the now-cooked meatloaf and broil until it begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Garnish with fresh parsley, slice, and serve!
A healthy turkey meatloaf sliced and photographed from the top view.

How To Make Ahead, Meal Prep, Store & Freeze:

  • To Make Ahead: Bake the turkey meatloaf fully, bring it to room temperature, and place it in an airtight container. When ready to serve, heat it in a 325 degrees F oven for 10-15 minutes or until warmed thoroughly. Spread it with the glaze and broil for 5-7 minutes.
  • To Meal Prep: Make it for meal prep by simply doubling (using 2 pounds of ground turkey) the recipe and baking each loaf on two baking sheets. Enjoy one for dinner and completely cool, slice, and freeze the other in an airtight container or plastic freezer storage bag with small squares of parchment between each slice. To reheat, bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly warmed through.
  • To Store Leftovers: Bring leftovers to room temperature and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 3-4 days. Slice and make into sandwiches for lunch throughout the week.
  • To Freeze: Bring it to room temperature. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-friendly container. Freeze for up to a month. To thaw, let it defrost in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, bake in a 350-degree oven until warmed thoroughly.
Slicing the freshly baked loaf

FAQs

What Is The Best Turkey Meatloaf Baking Temperature?

I find the best oven temperature to bake your classic turkey meatloaf is 350 degrees. This is the standard for most turkey (and non-turkey) meatloaf recipes.

How Long To Cook It In The Oven at 350 Degrees F.?

The length of time it takes the baked turkey meatloaf to cook really depends on the thickness of the actual loaf. If your loaf is gently formed into a 9 x 3-inch loaf, the cooking time should be about 30-35 minutes to cook through thoroughly.

How To Make Turkey Loaf Moist?

The best method to make sure you have a moist turkey meatloaf is to include an array of vegetables. I choose onions, peppers, and carrots, but you can make several variations of this recipe with minor ingredient changes based on your dietary needs.
The added liquid from the chicken stock helps with the moisture content, too.  
Don’t have chicken stock on hand? Simply replace it with an equal amount of water.

How To Make The Ketchup Sauce?

The ketchup sauce comes together with just a few simple ingredients.  It is best to make it in a small bowl while the meatloaf is in the oven. I really enjoy Sir Kensington’s Ketchup(affiliate link) since it is made with clean ingredients and has such a great flavor.  I prefer maple syrup to add a touch of sweetness because it adds a slightly smoky flavor, but you can use 1 teaspoon of sugar (or brown sugar) instead. Honey or agave would work just as beautifully, too!  

What Should Be The Internal Temperature of Turkey Loaf?

Since ground turkey is poultry, we want to make sure the internal temperature of turkey meatloaf reaches 165 degrees. This is the required temperature to rid of any bacteria and prevent any foodborne illnesses.

How to properly measure the internal temperature of turkey meatloaf after it is cooked?

To prevent any pink in the middle and know for sure that your meatloaf recipe with ketchup has thoroughly cooked through, use an instant-read thermometer.  When its cooked, place the thermometer into the center of the meatloaf and wait 30 seconds so that the temperature fully registers. If you’re not quite there yet, put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes longer, then recheck the temperature. If it reached 165 degrees, dinner is ready! 

How Many Calories is a serving of this turkey meatloaf recipe?

You get about 8 slices of meatloaf and each slice is only 176 calories! This lean turkey meatloaf recipe is low calorie, low carb, and low fat because we are taking it a step further by using the 93% lean variety. So go ahead – have two slices!

Why is Ground Turkey Is A Healthier Choice?

The following comes from the popular website, Healthline: Turkey is rich in protein and an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins. Skinless cuts have fewer calories and less fat than those with the skin on.

Can I use oatmeal instead of bread crumbs in meatloaf?

Yes, you can. Simply use an equal amount of old-fashioned rolled oats as a substitute for bread crumbs.

Why does my meatloaf fall apart?

This would happen if the meatloaf mixture does not have enough binders like eggs or breadcrumbs. Depending on your recipe, adding one more egg or 1/2 cup more of breadcrumbs would most likely solve the issue.

How to know when meatloaf is done without a thermometer?

While the safest way to check doneness for any poultry dish is to use a thermometer, you can tell doneness by slicing it after it rests for 5-10 minutes. The visual cue you are looking for is that there is no pink meat and the meatloaf’s color is light brown.

How to make meatloaf without using bread crumbs?

Depending on your particular recipe, you can substitute bread crumbs with crushed crackers (or pretzels), unsweetened cereal (like cornflakes), or old-fashioned rolled oats.

What To Serve It With?

Variations:

As I mentioned before, this basic recipe can have a number of variations by substituting a few simple ingredients. Here are a few versions you can try:

  • Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf by replacing the breadcrumbs with an equal amount of (1/2 cup- 3/4 cup) cooked quinoa. Using quinoa also makes it a gluten-free alternative.
  • BBQ Turkey Meatloaf by replacing the ketchup with an equal amount of your favorite BBQ sauce.
  • Turkey Meatloaf with Mushrooms by replacing the peppers with an equal amount of mushrooms, such as my Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms.
    PRO TIP: Since mushrooms have a higher water content than peppers, cook these in the skillet before adding the onions, until their juices evaporate. This way, you won’t end up with a soggy meatloaf.
  • Gluten-free Ground Turkey With Oats by replacing the breadcrumbs with an equal amount of gluten-free certified Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (I use Trader Joe’s brand oats)
  • Turkey Spinach Meatloaf by adding one 10 oz package of frozen, chopped spinach that has been thawed and squeezed dry
  • Turkey Zucchini Meatloaf by replacing the grated carrots with an equal amount of grated zucchini.
    PRO TIP: Make sure to ring out the extra moisture in the grated zucchini with a clean kitchen towel before adding to your skillet to rid of too much liquid.
  • Turkey Veggie Meatloaf by replacing the onions, peppers, and grated carrot with an equal amount of any three of your favorite vegetables
  • Cheesy Meatloaf by adding ½ cup grated white cheddar, mozzarella, or Parmigiana cheese to the turkey mixture
  • Want a very low-fat meatloaf? Use 99% lean ground turkey instead.
  • Want to make mini meatloaves? Scoop the healthy ground turkey meatloaf into a 12 cup muffin tin using a large ice cream scoop. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  • Want to make this recipe Paleo or Whole30?  Replace the panko breadcrumbs with ½ cup almond flour, replace the Worcestershire sauce with Coconut Aminos, and use a Paleo/Whole30 approved ketchup for the glaze. The higher fat content in almond flour will also add even more moisture to your meatloaf recipe!
  • Not a fan of the Worcestershire sauce? For a no Worcestershire sauce version, simply omit using it or substitute it with the same amount of coconut aminos or soy sauce.
Clean Meatloaf sliced and photographed from the front view

Other Healthy Turkey Recipes You Might Like

I get it, a lot of people love to make the classic turkey meatballs recipe every week, but turkey offers much more than that. Here are a few recipes we love to make on the regular:

Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

4.97 from 79 votes
Yields8 slices
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
This Ground Turkey Meatloaf is a leaner take on the American classic meatloaf we all love. This healthy meatloaf recipe is moist, low-carb, and so easy to make.

Ingredients 

For The Vegetable Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, shredded (approximately ½ cup)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For The Turkey Meatloaf:

  • 1 ¼ pounds of ground turkey, 93%
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped – more as garnish
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

For The Ketchup Glaze:

  • cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, or sugar

Instructions 

  • To make the vegetable filling: Heat oil in a large skillet. Add in onion and bell pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until translucent, 4-5 minutes. Add in the shredded carrot and cook for a few more minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until aromatic. Add in salt and pepper, transfer to a plate* and let it cool completely.
  • To Make The Turkey Meatloaf: Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees (176 C degrees). Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • Place the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, chicken stock, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add in the now-cooled vegetables. Mix them together with a large spoon or your hands.
  • Transfer the mixture into a mound onto the baking sheet and shape into a 9X3 inch freeform loaf.
  • Place in the oven and bake until it registers 165 F degrees when a thermometer is inserted in the middle, 30-35 minutes.
  • Turn the broiler to low.
  • To Make The Glaze: Make the glaze when the turkey meatloaf is baking. Mix together ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and maple syrup in a small bowl.
  • Spread the glaze over the top of the meatloaf in a thick even layer. Place the meatloaf in the broiler and broil until the glaze begins to bubble, 5 minutes or so.
  • Remove from the oven. Let it sit for 5 minutes on the kitchen counter. Garnish with fresh parsley, slice, and serve.

Video

Notes

  • This recipe makes ~ 8 slices of turkey meatloaf. The serving size includes 2 slices per person.
  • Ground Turkey: A few of our readers asked to see if they can make this recipe using 1-pound ground turkey (mostly sold in stores). We tested it, and it worked well, and no adjustments to the rest of the ingredients were necessary.
  • You can spread the vegetables on the plate to make them cool faster.
  • To Make Ahead: Bake the turkey meatloaf fully, bring it to room temperature, and place in an airtight container. When ready to serve, heat it in a 325 degrees F oven for 10-15 minutes or until warmed throughly. Spread it with the glaze and broil for 5-7 minutes.
  • To Meal Prep: Make it for meal prep by simply doubling (using 2 pounds of ground turkey) the recipe and baking each loaf on two baking sheets.  Enjoy one for dinner and completely cool, slice, and freeze the other in an airtight container or plastic freezer storage bag with small squares of parchment between each slice.  To reheat, bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until thoroughly warmed through.
  • To Store Leftovers: Bring leftovers to room temperature and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 3-4 days.  Slice and make into sandwiches for lunch throughout the week.
  • To Freeze: Bring it to room temperature. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-friendly container. Freeze up to a month. To thaw, let it defrost in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, bake in a 350-degree oven until warmed thoroughly.
  • A quick note on cooking time: There is a direct correlation between the meatloaf “log” size and cooking time. This recipe has been tested for a 9 by 3 inches log. If your log is a different size, then the cooking time might be different. The best way to tell doneness is by checking it with a thermometer.

Nutrition

Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1914IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @foolproofliving or tag #foolproofeats!

This recipe was originally published in May 2019. It is updated in August 2021 with additional helpful information and no changes to the originally published recipe.

About Aysegul Sanford

Hello Friend! I'm Aysegul but you can call me “Ice." I’m the cook/recipe-tester/photographer behind this site.

If you’re looking for approachable, yet creative recipes made with everyday ingredients, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re all about recipes that’s been meticulously tested to provide you with a truly foolproof cooking experience regardless of your level of cooking.

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4.97 from 79 votes (47 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




80 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious. I’ve never made turkey meatloaf before, but your recipe sounded appetizing with the variety of veggies in it. I can’t eat bread, so I used the almond flour instead, and I baked it in a loaf pan that is approximately 8“ x 4“. Cooking time was 60 to 65 minutes to get up to the proper temperature. Really yummy. Thanks!

  2. 4 stars
    I made this gluten free using oats and turned out great. Very moist. I don’t recommend using parchment paper under the broiler though! It burnt up and burnt pieces of parchment got in the glaze and could have started a fire. Will just use foil next time.

  3. 5 stars
    This was fantastic! My family just raved about it. I followed the recipe just about to a tee–I just doubled it so it took a bit longer to cook. We loved that it is pretty healthy in addition to being delicious! I will definitely be making this again.

  4. Can you make this recipe in a muffin tin for individual portions? If so how long would I cook it for?

    1. I think so. Though the cooking time would be shorter I am assuming (sadly, I haven’t tried making it). However, I would check after the first 15-20 minute mark.
      I hope this helps.

  5. Just recently found you and love your approach, website and thanks for the turkey recipes (would love more as interesting ones are harder to find. Turkey lasagne is now a lighter version of that favourite for me and I’ve been subbing chicken recipes with turkey). Will be making this one soon and trying some others. Best,

    1. I am happy to hear that Lee. Please let me know if there are particular turkey recipes you’d like to see on the blog. Thanks.

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! I made mine in a loaf pan, and it took 45 mins to get the temp up to 165. It was actually at 168, so I probably could’ve shaved off a couple minutes. Just wanted to put that out there for those who make it in a loaf vs a cookie sheet.

    1. Oh that is wonderful to hear Andrew. I have never made this turkey meatloaf in a loaf pan, but I think it is a genius idea. Thanks for sharing your experience and coming back to leave a review. It is much appreciated.

  7. Would this recipe work with just 1lb instead of 1 and 1/4 lbs of ground turkey? Wondering how everyone makes this recipe when the way you buy ground turkey is by the pound

  8. 5 stars
    Ice,
    My wife never used chicken stock in a meatloaf and said that she never uses milk either. We are assuming that the liquid is for the meat to spread out. We are using seasoned crumbs and 2 eggs. I added “Petes” Texas Hot sauce for a zingy kick.
    If youd like we can share a plate with you! 🙂

    1. Hello friends,
      Please share with me! 🙂
      Milk would work as well. I love the addition of hot sauce. I will surely be trying that next time I make this turkey meatloaf recipe.
      Thanks for coming by and taking the time to leave a review.
      Cheers!