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Turkey Meatloaf

November 30, 2022

Your mom made it and your mom’s mom too. There’s a reason meatloaf recipes gets passed down from one generation to the next. Start your own family tradition with this best turkey meatloaf.


homemade turkey meatloaf with a brown sugar sauce sliced on a serving plate
Photography by Gayle McLeod

A Simple Turkey Meatloaf For Any Night of the Week

This healthy turkey meatloaf recipe is full of flavor, built upon lean ground turkey and a foundation of seasonings you might even already have in your cupboard (Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder). We mix this with tomato paste (ketchup gets a glow up, and will do in a pinch) and eggs. The secret ingredient is a Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar rub for the top of the loaf to round things out. We can guarantee that this is a loaf you’ll be excited to slice into.

oil, onion, garlic, brown sugar, Worcestershire, tomato paste, ground turkey, bread crumbs, milk, eggs & seasonings in bowls

What Is The Secret To Moist Meatloaf?

Our secret to a moist turkey meatloaf is a combination of ingredients, a special topping, and bake time. We use a couple of eggs to bind the ground turkey. If you’re wondering why does my turkey meatloaf fall apart your ratio of meat to binder might be off. Our recipe calls for a relatively small amount of bread crumbs–just enough to add the right amount of texture. The secret sauce is a brown sugar-Worcestershire rub (for more sweet umami goodness!) to really soak the turkey with flavor. We then bake our meatloaf until an instant read thermometer reaches 160° F–usually just under an hour depending on your oven. This simple ground turkey meatloaf recipe is an easy weeknight staple that you can make again and again.

onion cooked in a pan in olive oil until softened then garlic added and cooked until fragrant
brown sugar, Worcestershire, tomato paste mixed in a small bowl until smooth
ground turkey, onion mixture, bread crumbs, milk, tomato paste, seasonings, Worcestershire & eggs in a bowl ready to combine
ground turkey, onion mixture, bread crumbs, milk, tomato paste, seasonings, Worcestershire & eggs  mixed well in a bowl

How To Make Our Favorite Recipe For Turkey Meatloaf

You’ll build the flavor of your meatloaf in a few easy steps. Follow along for our tips to make the best turkey meatloaf recipe next time you need a comforting, homemade meal:

  • Sautée onion and garlic. Once you start cooking these two ingredients you know you’re on your way to a delicious turkey meatloaf!

  • In a bowl, mix together all the good stuff (we like to use our hands!)--turkey, bread crumbs, milk, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, cayenne, garlic and onion powder, Worcestershire, eggs, salt, and pepper until well combined.

  • The secret to our ground turkey meatloaf? A brown sugar and Worcestershire rub on the top of the meatloaf.

  • Cook until the internal temp of turkey meatloaf reaches 160° F on an instant read thermometer, about 50 minutes.

  • Let the meatloaf rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. The payoff is worth it!!

Turkey meatloaf on a parchment lined baking sheet coated with a brown sugar sauce ready to be baked in the oven
homemade turkey meatloaf coated in a brown sugar sauce just out of the oven cooling on a parchment lined baking sheet

Tools You’ll Need

homemade turkey meatloaf with a brown sugar sauce sliced on a serving plate surrounded by bright green beans

Classic Turkey Meatloaf

Love this easy turkey meatloaf recipe and ready to keep rolling with the classics? We’ve got a few more indispensable recipes we’d love to recommend.

homemade turkey meatloaf with a brown sugar sauce sliced on a serving plate surrounded by bright green beans

This Classic Turkey Meatloaf Is No One Hit Wonder

We hope this turkey meatloaf recipe is something your household loves as much as we do! Let us know you’ve made it, hopefully with a heaping side of our Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes by tagging us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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Turkey Meatloaf

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  50 min
  • Calories: 350


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F with a rack in the center position. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire, and 1 tablespoon tomato paste until smooth.

  4. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onion mixture, bread crumbs, milk, remaining 2 tablespoons tomato paste, Italian seasoning, cayenne, garlic and onion powders, remaining 2 tablespoons Worcestershire, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix well, then with wet hands, form into a loaf on the prepared sheet pan. Rub the meatloaf with brown sugar mixture, completely coating the top.

  5. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 50 minutes.

  6. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice the meatloaf and serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories350
  • Protein34 g
  • Carbohydrates18 g
  • Total Fat16 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol167 mg
  • sodium1033 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Turkey Meatloaf

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Hannah

    Can you substitute panko for the bread crumbs?


  • Erin

    We can’t use Worcestershire as it has fish sauce in it. Any way to substitute?

    You could try mixing equal parts soy sauce and ketchup to mimic the flavor. Hope you enjoy Erin. We haven't tested the meatloaf this way but imagine it will work.

  • Jan

    Can I substitute a plant based milk instead of whole milk


  • Jen

    Love this! Have made three times now, and each time It’s a super delight. I don’t buy Italian seasoning pre-made, so I wing it with my own dried herb mix. And, we like sauce, so I double up on the sauce and gently poke the top of the loaf so it settles into the loaf a bit.

    Wonderful! So glad you love it!

  • Cait

    Absolutely fantastic! Great flavor, so satisfying. Adding to the weekly rotation!

    Thanks Cait, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Erika

    Delicious! My husband is not a big meatloaf fan but he had two servings and said he wants me to make it again.

    AMAZING! What a great story to hear, glad you both loved it Erika!

  • Jenn

    Was not sure if this would be as good as beef meatloaf but it was great! So happy I tried it!

    Thanks Jenn, so glad you loved it! We are also happy you tried it!