Meatloaf is one of Ben’s most favorite dinners.  In fact, it is probably second only to “Benchiladas” in his book.  When I saw this recipe for turkey meatloaf I was intrigued.  It is certainly healthier than the version I usually make using ground sirloin, and it is an Ina recipe – she’s never let me down before, so I gave it a shot.  Good thing I did because we both agreed this is even better than my old meatloaf.  The flavor was fantastic and I honestly didn’t really notice a difference in taste due to the turkey.  It was also a lighter meal so I didn’t feel overly full after dinner which I appreciate.  I guess we can kiss the old recipe goodbye!

I made this with Parmesan smashed potatoes (see the recipe in Tara’s blog, linked below) and fresh green beans.  While the potatoes were tasty, I think I still prefer my regular plain mashed potatoes.  The Parmesan flavor was definitely prominent and gave them a unique taste, so if you are looking for a way to switch up your potatoes, this is a good alternative.

Turkey Meatloaf


1 cup chopped yellow onion

2 tsp. olive oil

½ tsp. kosher salt

¼ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. fresh thyme leaves

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

¼ cup chicken stock

½ tsp. tomato paste

 26 oz. ground turkey breast

½ cups bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup ketchup



Preheat oven to 325°.  Line the bottom of a loaf pan with two slices of bread to soak up the grease during cooking.


In a medium sauté pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme until translucent but not browned, approximately 15 minutes.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock and tomato paste.  Mix well.  Allow to cool to room temperature.


Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg and onion mixture in a large bowl.  Mix well.  Press into the loaf pan.  Spread the ketchup evenly on top.  Bake for 1 ½ hours until the internal temperature is 160° and the meatloaf is cooked through.  Let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Source: adapted from Smells Like Home, originally from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

  • It looks delicious! I made a turkey meatloaf about a month ago and I too liked it better than the beef.

  • ohh I can’t wait to try this! :) Thanks Annie!

  • I am not a meatloaf fan, but this is enough to make me convert.

  • I almost never make meatloaf, but that does look pretty darn healthy. Definitely worth trying!

  • bettylou79

    Ohh! I will have to try this! I’ve got ground turkey taking over my freezer. Thanks for the idea!

  • Erin

    This looks yummy! I discovered this summer that I love ground turkey. I have this recipe for stuffed turkey meatloaf that I’ve been wanting to try forever, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I was actually planning on making meatloaf this Friday using regular ground beef, but now I might have to try this version instead :)

  • Oh, goodness – this looks fantastic! I love Ina Garten’s recipes and her Turkey Meatloaf never fails to deliver for me. I waver on serving it versus my Grandmother’s recipe, which simple but very good. I really enjoy reading your recipe/cooking blog – very well done!

  • Hi, Annie! I love turkey meatloaf, too. :) I think I might actually have a contribution to the recipe world (other than happy taste tester) for a change because I think I, too, have a smashing meatloaf. Maybe I’ll make it for you sometime and see if it passes muster. I promise not to make you eat it if you don’t like it–I remember telling a friend that I loved meatloaf, then his mom made a BANANA BREAD MEAT LOAF and I was sickened and embarrassed. What the heck do you do when you just talk about liking a food and then you get served that? But I digress… :)

  • I have never had meatloaf, but yours looks pretty good.

  • my last meatloaf ended in disaster so i am going to give this a try

  • I had turkey meatloaf on the menu for Friday night but hadn’t decided which recipe to use. This post makes up my mind!

  • What a comforting dinner, looks delicious!

  • I have never made meatloaf and that has been on my list to make as soon as it cools down as that to me is more cozy winter comfort food. I love the idea of Turkey a healthier option and of course all things INA are wonderful!!

  • Melissa

    I will have to try this. My husband only likes HIS meatloaf, but I might get him to go for this. Meatloaf is perfect as the weather cools down, looks delicious!

  • Hi Annie! I made this over the weekend and we loved it! I was happy because Dh isn’t historically a meatloaf fan :)

  • I dont know how you managed to take a photo that made meatloaf look pretty, but you did it! We tried the recipe last night and it was AWESOME! Thanks so much for posting. Yum!

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  • Just stopping by looking for a good ground turkey recipe. I think I will be heading in the meatloaf direction tonight. Thanks!

  • Amy

    This sounds like a great recipe! Does anyone know if it’s okay to prepare the recipe today and bake tomorrow? Alternately, is their a recommendation for reheating this without risking that it gets dried out or overcooked? Last question, when you serve this do you serve the bread with the slice of loaf, or disgard the bread? Thank you!!

  • Annie

    Yes, you can prepare in advance and bake the next day. No, you definitely don’t serve the bread with the meatloaf, its only purpose is to soak up grease that accumulates during cooking.

  • Melissa

    Hi Annie! I tried the turkey meatloaf for dinner tonight and wow am i impressed! io love meatloaf, but this is far better than my usual recipe, i think i will be sticking with turkey rather than beef from now on! Thanks for such a great recipe.

  • Kessler

    Thank you for sharing this! I’m not a big meatloaf person, but after falling in love with the meatloaf sandwich at Mimi’s Cafe, I was determined to find a recipe I loved and this is it… the only recipe I will use. I’m beyond excited to finally have a meatloaf recipe. Every mom should have one and I didn’t. Yay! Also very good as a sandwich the next day. Thanks!

  • Mirasigner

    This looks yummy but was wondering if you have any idea if gluten-free bread crumbs will work??

  • Anonymous

    I would assume so but I haven’t tried it myself.

  • Smzucker15

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!! I love this site. I do have a question. What do you do with the remainder tomato paste? Do you know how long something like that is good for? Thanks!!

  • annieseats

    I save it and use it for other recipes.

  • Squiggleq

    Put in in the freezer for another time.

  • Judy

    Success! Thanks, Annie. First meatloaf and it came out nice and juicy. I didn’t have a few ingredients on hand (Worch sauce and improvised the bread crumbs) so I’m not sure if it was suppose to come out tasting a little different, but it seemed good nonetheless!

  • annieseats

    Wonderful! Definitely try the worchestershire next time. I think it’s one of those magical ingredients that really adds something special.

  • Tara

    I’ve never been a huge meatloaf fan, but this recipe certainly converted me. I love it! I even made it in a mini muffin tin and topped with mashed potatoes as “frosting” as an appetizer for my daughter’s first birthday party (inspired by Tyler Florence’s recipe), along with your mac and cheese bites made mini, and both were a big hit with kids and adults. Several people asked for the recipe. Thank you, Annie.

  • tom

    do i cover the loaf pan during cooking

  • annieseats


  • Shari

    This is really good! Added 2 tbsp of brown sugar to the ketchup!

  • Rachel Page

    Great meatloaf. I will make again for sure.

  • Sarah

    Would you freeze this before or after baking it? I am trying to stock the freezer, and this looks perfect.

  • annieseats

    I would freeze this before baking. Enjoy!

  • Sarah

    Thank you! This worked out really well. I divided the mixture into four mini-loaf pans, so I can pop one into the oven for a single serving anytime.