Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meatloaf

We may use ground turkey instead of beef in this meatloaf recipe but we don’t skimp on flavor! By adding sautéed vegetables, lots of condiments, seasonings, and topping the whole thing off with bacon, this meatloaf is definitely not bland. On the contrary, it’s moist and flavorful. Comfort food at its best!

The turkey meatloaf sliced on black cutting board.

 

This meatloaf recipe is a family favorite. My step-father taught me how to make it years ago. Now, he wasn’t thrilled I wanted to substitute ground turkey for the beef. But, I had already won him over with my turkey picadillo so he decided to give the meatloaf a chance. The main thing that makes this turkey meatloaf different is the use of a mirepoix (a combination of onions, carrots and celery that’s sautéed in a little oil). The vegetables serve to add a ton of flavor and moisture to the ground meat.

Diced onions, carrots and celery arranged in a glass bowl.

 

What kind of ground turkey to use?

We want to use a ground turkey that contains a little bit of fat. We use 85/15, which means it’s 85 percent lean and 15 percent fat content. You can use leaner if you wish, however I don’t recommend using ground turkey breast. There’s just not enough fat or flavor for a meatloaf.

 

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Ingredients

  • 1½ tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Carrot, finely diced
  • 1 Celery Rib, finely diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 3 pounds Ground Turkey (85/15 works well)
  • 1½ teaspoon Salt, we used kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Ketchup, plus 2-3 tablespoons for the top
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Steak Sauce, plus 1-2 tablespoons for the top
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs, plain
  • 3-4 Slices Bacon

The ingredients for the meatloaf arranged on a white table.

 

You will also need

 

Prep work

There’s a little extra prep work with this recipe because we gently cook a combination of onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a little bit of olive oil first. Then it has to cool completely. This vegetable mixture adds flavor to the ground turkey and much needed moisture. It’s worth the extra effort because we get a wonderful turkey meatloaf that will silence the skeptics.

 

For best results, try to get a really small, uniform dice on the vegetables. That way they’ll be woven throughout the ground meat and will look and taste fantastic!

  • Dice the onions, carrots and celery. They’re all going in the skillet at the same time so keep them in the same bowl. I like using glass nesting bowls to hold my prepped ingredients, there’s a size for everything I need.
  • Next, mince the garlic. Alright, that’s it for the knife work. The rest of the work involves measuring ingredients, and you can do that right over the bowl you’re using to combine the meatloaf mixture.

 

Cook the vegetables

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. We want them to soften but not brown.

Diced onions, carrots and celery cooking in a white pan.

 

Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

 

Remove the vegetables from the heat and allow them to cool a bit. Give them a stir occasionally to release some steam. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely.

 

Preheat Oven to 350°F

 

Make the mixture

Use a very large bowl. There are a lot of ingredients and you want to be able to get in there and combine them without spilling over.

 

Add the ground turkey, the cooled vegetables, salt, garlic powder, pepper, 3 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon steak sauce, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Mix all of the ingredients together until they’re well incorporated. The best way to do this is to use your hands. You’re going to have to handle the mixture to shape it anyway so might as well get in there!

The ingredients in a large, glass bowl before being mixed.

 

Try not to overwork the meat to avoid dry, tough meatloaf. Mix it just enough to incorporate all the ingredients.

 

Shape and bake

Lightly spray or brush the baking dish with oil. Then, loosely shape the ground turkey mixture into a ball while it’s still in the bowl. Transfer the meat to the baking dish and shape it into an oval loaf. Don’t compress the mixture, use a gentle touch.

The meat mixture shaped into a loaf in a white baking dish.

 

Top with the bacon slices. Place them on top at a slight angle and tuck the excess under the loaf.

Four bacon slices wrapped over the loaf in a white baking dish.

 

Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of ketchup and 1-2 tablespoons of steak sauce to the top of the meatloaf. Use a pastry brush to combine the sauces and spread in an even layer.

A gray silicone brush spreading a ketchup and steak sauce mixture on top of the uncooked meatloaf.

 

An image of the loaf with the ketchup and steak sauce glaze before baking in a white casserole dish.

 

Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 1½ – 2 hours. Check it after 90 minutes and gauge the remaining cooking time from there. As a reference, our meatloaf took 1 hour and 45 minutes.

 

Use an instant read thermometer and insert into the center of the thickest part of the loaf. Make sure the internal temperature is at least 165°F.

 

Let the meatloaf rest for approximately 15-20 minutes before slicing.

The baked meatloaf in a white baking dish.

 

Side dish suggestions

We serve our meatloaf with steamed vegetables, here are a few more delicious side dishes to consider:

Two slices of meatloaf served on a blue plate with steamed broccoli, carrots and cauliflower in the background.

 

If you’re wondering what to do with the leftover meatloaf, try this delicious meatloaf sandwich.

 

You may also like these comfort food recipes:

 

The turkey meatloaf sliced on black cutting board.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Turkey Meatloaf

We may use ground turkey instead of beef in this turkey meatloaf recipe but we don’t skimp on flavor!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ground turkey
Servings: 8
Calories: 360kcal
Author: Elizabeth

Ingredients

  • tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion finely diced
  • 1 Carrot finely diced
  • 1 Celery Rib finely diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 3 pounds Ground Turkey 85/15 works well
  • teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Ketchup plus 2-3 tablespoons for the top
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Steak Sauce plus 1-2 tablespoons for the top
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs plain
  • 3-4 Slices Bacon

Instructions

You will also need

  • Cooking spray (or a little extra oil to brush on the casserole dish or pan), Large bowl, Casserole dish or rimmed pan (at least 7X11 inch), Instant read meat thermometer

Cook the vegetables

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove the vegetables from the heat and allow them to cool a bit. Give them a stir occasionally to release some steam. Place the mixture in the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely.
  • Preheat Oven to 350°F

Make the meatloaf

  • Add the ground turkey, the cooled vegetables, salt, garlic powder, pepper, 3 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon steak sauce, eggs, and breadcrumbs to a large bowl. Use your hands to mix all of the ingredients together until they are well incorporated.
  • Lightly spray or brush the baking dish with oil.
  • Loosely shape the ground turkey into a ball while it’s still in the bowl.
  • Transfer the meat to the baking dish and shape it into an oval loaf. Don’t compress the mixture, use a gentle touch.
  • Top with the bacon slices. Place them on top at a slight angle and tuck the excess under the loaf.
  • Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of ketchup and 1-2 tablespoons of steak sauce to the top of the meatloaf. Use a pastry brush to combine the sauces and spread in an even layer.
  • Place the meatloaf in the oven and bake for 1½ - 2 hours. Check it after 90 minutes and gauge the remaining cooking time from there. As a reference, our meatloaf took 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Use an instant read thermometer and insert into the center of the thickest part of the loaf. Make sure the internal temperature is at least 165°F.
  • Let the meatloaf rest for approximately 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Video

Notes

Try not to overwork the meat to avoid dry, tough meatloaf. Mix it just enough to incorporate all the ingredients.

Nutrition

Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 936mg | Potassium: 697mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1473IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
The nutritional information above is computer generated and is only an estimate. There is no guarantee that it is accurate.This data is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only.


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