This super tender ground turkey meatloaf is packed with flavor, slathered in a lip-smacking balsamic ketchup glaze, and rivals the beefy classic.
Meatloaf is such a classic home-cooked meal. But ground turkey meatloaf? Not so classic. Still, you’ll love this recipe. It produces a leaner heart-healthy meatloaf—and it’s still smothered in that must-have ketchup-y glaze. (Is it even meatloaf without the ketchup-y glaze?)
A healthy turkey meatloaf with oats.
Oats! That’s right. Your typical meatloaf recipe uses breadcrumbs or milk-soaked bread as a binding agent and to add moisture. But in this recipe, we use organic ground oats. Not only do they work well as a binder, but they come with a generous amount of health benefits. Oats may:
- Help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol
- Reduce the risk of heart disease
- Make you feel fuller for longer thanks to the hefty dose of fiber
- Aid in controlling blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Stimulate the immune system and reduce cholesterol levels
You can ground your oats into a fine texture in a coffee grinder, food processor, or blender. Your turkey meatloaf will be SO so tender.
How do you keep the turkey from being bland?
Ground turkey has a bad reputation for lacking flavor and moisture due to its low fat content. Because let’s face it: fat is tasty. This is why people love beef and pork. But ground turkey can keep up when blended with flavorful goodies. Here’s are some things I swear by:
- Onion. You don’t even have to precook the onion. As long as you add half an onion to the mix—yellow, white, or red—it’ll make a difference.
- Garlic. Because everything should have garlic. This recipe suggests 3 large cloves, but go ahead and add a couple more if you’re into it.
- Tomato sauce. Weird, I know. But it helps with keeping the turkey moist and it adds a perfect savory flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce. This good stuff brings big flavor to any ground meat, but I find it especially important with ground turkey. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use soy sauce.
- Herbs. This recipe calls for fresh, but you can use dried. Herbs add a smidgen of freshness to that savory goodness.
- Salt. More importantly, the right amount of salt! I have a rule for salt: 1 teaspoon for every pound of ground meat.
How long do you cook a turkey meatloaf?
Every time we’ve made this recipe it’s been a melt-in-your-mouth treat. Since this recipe only calls for about a pound of ground turkey and is a small loaf, you don’t have to bake it for very long; 40 minutes at most. If you double the recipe, you’ll want to increase the time by about 20 minutes and check in at the hour mark. Turkey is a leaner meat, so you don’t want to overcook it and risk drying it out. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165º F.
What can I serve with my turkey meatloaf?
Here are a few of my favorite things to serve along with this main:
- Roasted Potatoes with Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Baked Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary
- Hot Honey Roasted Carrots
Hope you love it!
If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme
Super Tender Ground Turkey Meatloaf
- 1 lb (give or take) of ground turkey I use 93% lean.
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced White or red onion can also be used.
- 3 large cloves of garlic, smashed, peeled, and finely minced
- 3/4 cup ground rolled oats
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme You can also use dried thyme
- 2 TBSP ketchup
- 1 TBSP balsamic glaze
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- Place parchment paper into a loaf pan or over a baking sheet, if you're forming your meatloaf without an loaf pan.
- Place all of the ground turkey ingredients, from the ground turkey through to the thyme (not the glaze ingredients), into a large mixing bowl. With clean hands, mix the ingredients well, until fully blended.
- Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan. If you're forming the loaf yourself onto a sheet pan, go ahead and do that now. Then, place the meatloaf in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to set.
- Preheat oven to 350º F and position middle rack.
- In a small bowl mix the ketchup and balsamic glaze. Then, spread it evenly over the top of the meatloaf.
- Place the meatloaf in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 165º F.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, to further set.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve.