Turkey Meatloaf with BBQ Glaze

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Generously seasoned and topped with a BBQ glaze, this turkey meatloaf is full-flavored and satisfying. A family favorite!

Turkey Meatloaf

For all its merits as a low-fat alternative to ground beef, ground turkey can be incredibly dry and bland. The key is to add flavor and moisture without adding fat, which would defeat the whole purpose. This turkey meatloaf is generously seasoned with sautéed onions and garlic and topped with a tangy-sweet barbecue glaze, which makes it full-flavored and satisfying. A family favorite!

What you’ll need To Make Turkey Meatloaf with BBQ Glaze

ingredients for turkey meatloaf

It’s important to use ground turkey that 93% lean and 7% fat. Avoid 99% lean ground turkey, which will result in a dry, bland meatloaf.

How to make Turkey Meatloaf with BBQ Glaze

Begin by making the BBQ glaze: in a medium bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and mustard.

glaze ingredients in mixing bowl

Whisk to combine.

whisked glaze ingredients

Next, in a small pan, heat the olive oil and add the onions.

sautéing onions for turkey meatloaf

Cook until softened, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more.

sautéing onions and garlic for turkey meatloaf

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the BBQ glaze with the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper, and eggs.

seasoning and eggs in mixing bowl for turkey meatloafWhisk to combine.

whisked seasoning and egg mixture

Mix in the onion mixture.

adding onion and garlic mixture to the bowl

Then add the bread crumbs and turkey.

adding the bread crumbs and turkey to the bowl

Use your hands to mix it all together.

mashed turkey meatloaf mixture in bowl

Form two loaves on a baking sheet.

free-form turkey meatloaves on baking sheet

Then spread the remaining BBQ glaze over top.

turkey meatloaves topped with glaze, ready to bake

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. I prefer this “free-form” meatloaf to those made in a loaf pan; clean-up is so much easier and all the extra fat is able to ooze out during baking.

baked turkey meatloaf fresh out of the oven

Scrape the fat away from the loaves, transfer to a platter, and slice.

How to make turkey meatloaf

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Turkey Meatloaf with BBQ Glaze

Generously seasoned and topped with a BBQ glaze, this turkey meatloaf is full-flavored and satisfying. A family favorite!

Servings: 4-6
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes


For the BBQ Glaze

  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

For the Meatloaf

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (93/7)
  • 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • A few springs chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. Set oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil; grease the foil with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Make the BBQ glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard. Set aside.
  3. Make the Meatloaf: Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Do not brown. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, eggs, and ¼ cup of the BBQ glaze. Whisk until well combined. Stir in the onion mixture. Add the ground turkey and breadcrumbs and mix with your hands until evenly combined.
  5. Transfer the meat mixture into two even piles onto the prepared baking sheet. Shape into two long loaves about 1½ in high x 6 in long x 4 in wide. Spread the remaining BBQ glaze over the loaves, letting it drip down the sides a bit. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the meatloaves are cooked through. Scrape any fat away from the sides of the loaves, then transfer the loaves to a platter. Slice and garnish with parsley if desired.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cooked meatloaf can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, defrost it in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then reheat it in a 300°F oven until hot in the middle.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 413
  • Fat: 17g
  • Saturated fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Sugar: 20g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 35g
  • Sodium: 1086mg
  • Cholesterol: 166mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • My wife and I loved the recipe…better than any meatloaf we have made. Moist and the sauce was great!

    • — mikermeals on October 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • Made this last night. Loved it. And have another in the freezer for another night when I don’t feel like cooking. Super easy to toss together and really wonderful taste. Thanks AGAIN, Jen. You never fail.

    • — Judi on October 16, 2019
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on October 17, 2019
      • Reply
  • I love this recipe it is my new favorite meatloaf recipe. I’m not a fan of beef meatloaf and I think this recipe is perfect. I did change two things I used less onion and a store bought bbq sauce(a all natural no additive one). Thank you for this wonderful meatloaf recipe.

    • — Nicole on October 10, 2019
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  • Really, really good! I was a little worried because my onion was on the larger side, but it the recipe turned out well balanced and delicious! Kids had seconds. Another winner! Last night did the buttermilk chicken tenders – YUM!

    • — Sara on October 8, 2019
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  • Hi Jenn,
    I have always been a bit shy about using turkey instead of beef for meatloaf. But my husband and I both agree that this meatloaf is wonderful. It is both flavorful and moist. I followed the recipe exactly, but cut the recipe in half and made only one loaf. Perfect! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!
    -Mary Johnson

    • — Mary Johnson on October 7, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Could you please confirm if the ratio of dried italian spices to bread crumbs if I was to make my own italian bread crumb mixture or must I buy the finished crumbs?
    Thanks very much…

    • — Kim on October 7, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Kim, Here’s a quick recipe that will give you the ratios. Keep in mind that the meatloaf calls for just 3/4 cup of bread crumbs, so you can cut back on the seasonings just a touch. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the meatloaf!

      • — Jenn on October 8, 2019
      • Reply
  • Jenn,
    Thank you for another awesome recipe. My husband loves a good meatloaf and he thought this recipe was great. He’s already looking forward to the leftovers! Sue

    • — Sue Branscomb on October 6, 2019
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  • I was wondering could you use ground chicken in place of ground turkey? Thank you very much

    • — Mary Raiti on October 3, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I haven’t made this with ground chicken, but a couple of readers have commented that they have and have been happy with the results. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 4, 2019
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  • Hi – the actual recipe is not showing up for me. Is it missing or am I not looking in right place?

    • — Emily on October 3, 2019
    • Reply
    • It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on October 3, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I made this last night and it was FABULOUS!!! So good and now I have to skip two meals today! LOL Thanks for all of your great savory recipes! Kristen Berry

    • — Kristen Berry on October 3, 2019
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  • One word: delicious!! Honestly better than any meatloaf I have made in the past. I used panko bread crumbs and because they are more coarse than traditional bread crumbs, I soaked them in a couple tablespoons of milk before adding to the mixture. I also added a chopped yellow pepper when sautéing the onion. The glaze is fantastic!! This dish was excellent right out of the oven, reheated for leftovers and also sliced for a cold meatloaf sandwich for lunch. I made the cauliflower puree with thyme from this site to go alongside and it was the perfect. I’m so glad I came upon your site! I ordered your cookbook and am excited to cook my way through it! From a super busy military wife with four kiddos running in different directions, thank you for a great recipe that has become a family favorite!

    • — Tiffany on October 2, 2019
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it, Tiffany (and I hope you find lots of new favorites in the cookbook)! ❤️

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2019
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      • The BEST meatloaf recipe I have ever made! It was so moist and loaded with flavor. My picky husband loved it. I will make this again and again!

        • — Deborah Jones on October 6, 2019
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  • Hi Jenn, I made this recipe and it was delicious! The whole family of picky eaters loved it. The only change I would make is to use a little less thyme next time. The bbq glaze is very tasty and the recipe came out exactly as pictured. Thanks!

    • — Marianne on October 1, 2019
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  • Delicious! I will definitely make it again. Thanks Jen!

    • — Kim Craighead on October 1, 2019
    • Reply
  • Found this recipe today & prepared for dinner. It is moist & flavorful. I wouldn’t change a thing!

    • — Linda on September 23, 2019
    • Reply
  • Looking forward to trying. What sides would you recommend with this?

    • — Chad on September 19, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Chad, this would pair nicely with Roasted Broccoli with Chipotle Honey Butter and Cauliflower Puree with Thyme. I have a feature on the website– for all main dishes, I suggest one or two sides that I think would pair nicely with them. To see what I’ve suggested, scroll down to the bottom of the recipe. Immediately under the recipe, you’ll see the dishes that I’ve suggested. (If you know about that feature already, I’m sure you noticed that there weren’t any side suggested with this recipe –sorry about that — I’ve updated it. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 20, 2019
      • Reply
  • This may have been the best meatloaf I’ve ever made and absolutely rivals a traditional meatloaf. The flavors combine beautifully to yield a flavorful, well-formed, and tender meatloaf. My husband and I raved about it the entire time we were eating, and I plan to now make this regularly.

    • — Elise on July 17, 2019
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  • Amazing! Moist and flavorful. Thank you for sharing it.

    • — Stephanie on June 23, 2019
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  • Outstanding recipe. I made it last night and the two of us devoured one loaf. We were smacking our lips. The BBQ glaze was delicious. Baking it free form and not in a loaf pan was so much easier. I used a combination of ground turkey and ground chicken.
    The instructions and photos were amazing. Sharon, Toronto, Canada

    • — Sharon Wiesenfeld on June 20, 2019
    • Reply
  • Made this for dinner tonight, followed the recipe exactly as written, another winner winner chicken (or turkey I guess!) dinner from Jen!

    • — Cheryl B on June 12, 2019
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  • Love the recipe with the exception of the thyme. I will try this again but using less thyme next time. Outside of that it’s very good.

    • — Tyesa on May 10, 2019
    • Reply
  • This meatloaf is absolutely delicious! It has quickly become a family favorite. I never thought to add thyme to something like this but it really works. I do double the dijon mustard and add a splash more apple cider vinegar to the sauce to make it tangier as a personal preference. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • — Jeremy Chase on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    How would I adjust the cooking time if I cook meatloaf in one large loaf pan?
    One of the reviewers put mixture in loaf pan upside down on parchment paper and I wondered if the pan would pull off easily, and if you have ever tried that method.
    Thank you so much for all your delicous recipes

    • — Julie Hill on January 30, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, I prefer this “free-form” meatloaf to those made in a loaf pan because the clean-up is so much easier and all the extra fat is able to ooze out during baking. That said, you can make this in a loaf pan if you’d prefer. If you’re putting it all in one loaf pan, I think the baking time should be 60 – 70 minutes. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it this way!

      • — Jenn on January 31, 2019
      • Reply
  • Another delicious recipe, Jenn! Will be in our rotation now for sure. I’d like to try it with beef too. Thanks for all your excellent recipes, cooking tips, and awesome cookbook! 🙂

    • — Corinne Forster on January 15, 2019
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  • Jenn–your recipes NEVER disappoint. I made smaller loaves, so we could try to have some portion control and leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Worked perfect. Although the brown sugar added more sugar, the bbq sauce was easy and tasty. Thanks, Jenn!

    • — Carrie on January 13, 2019
    • Reply
    • Nice and moist, lovely texture but a tad on the sweet side for my taste. I was wondering if I could substitute chili sauce for the ketchup as I would like to make it again

      • — Pam Labelle, Port Hope, Ontario on October 6, 2019
      • Reply
      • Sure Pam, that should work. Please LMK how it turns out with chili sauce!

        • — Jenn on October 7, 2019
        • Reply
  • This is a good basic recipe for turkey meatloaf. However, if you are like me and do not like your meat sweet and/or are trying to reduce sugar consumption (let’s face it sugar is BAD for us and unfortunately it’s in just about everything, when it doesn’t need to be) then leave out the brown sugar. This works as a nice savory sauce. If you must, add a scant tablespoon or less of molasses.

    • — Mary Madden on January 10, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hello Jenn,

    I’d like to try this recipe but Italian seasoned breadcrumbs are not available. Shall I adjust the seasoning if I want to use regular breadcrumbs? Thank you!

    • — E. on January 8, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi E, Sure – I would add about 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 8, 2019
      • Reply
  • Great variation on meatloaf. Moist, flavourful and even my picky teen liked it.

    • — PN on January 5, 2019
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  • Loved this healthier version of meatloaf! Made it for the family tonight and it was completely devoured! Home run – adding to our week night rotation! Thanks, Jenn!

    • — edavig on January 2, 2019
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  • This is my go to meatloaf recipe. I make both loaves and freeze one to cook later. I have also used very lean ground beef with good results! A yummy twist on a classic comfort food. Thanks Jenn as always!

    • — Michelle M on December 21, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen-Would a 2# meatloaf mix with beef, pork and veal work for this recipe?

    • — Toni Wells on October 20, 2018
    • Reply
    • Sure, Toni. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 20, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made the turkey meatloaves this afternoon. Baked them on parchment. Worked perfectly. Your recipe makes the best turkey meatloaf I’ve ever ate. I baked them on parchment paper, no sticking . This was the best turkey meatloaf ever. We have leftovers and another for a busy night. Love your recipes and cookbook. Keep up the great work.

    • — Gary on October 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made the turkey meat loves today . I baked them on parchment paper ,no sticking . This was the best turkey meatloaf ever. We have left overs and another for a busy night . Love your recipes and cook book. Keep up the great work.

    • — Gary on October 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • This recipe is out of this world delicious!! No matter who I’ve served it to they have loved it. My husband had back surgery so I made the loafs and froze them in individual pieces. It was so easy to quickly reheat them and it was the ultimate comfort food my husband needed. I even love them and would never eat turkey loaf before making these!

    • — Lori T. on October 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • I love this recipe! It’s the only meatloaf I’ve ever made! I have lean ground beef thawing. Wondering if I could substitute the turkey for beef? Would I need to make any adjustments?

    • — Abbey on September 15, 2018
    • Reply
    • I think that’d be fine, Abbey – no adjustments. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on September 15, 2018
      • Reply
  • I’m allergic to apple cider vinegar. What can I use as an alternative? Thank you Judy

    • — Judy on September 4, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, you could use white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar in its place. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 4, 2018
      • Reply
  • A delicious and contemporary spin on the comfort classic, all the flavor and no guilt! Total winner and no need for the chicken dinner.

    • — Josh on August 12, 2018
    • Reply
  • Loooove this meatloaf. need to prepare ahead for company… freeze loaves before or after baking? Congrats on the cookbook. will be great Christmas gifts.

    • — Lala on July 21, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Lala, You really can freeze it cooked or uncooked, but I usually freeze meatloaf after cooking it. I’d recommend wrapping it in foil before putting it in a freezer bag and then reheating it at 300 degrees until hot in the middle. (And thanks for the good wishes on the cookbook!) 🙂

      • — Jenn on July 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this for dinner last night. This was fantastic! And lots of leftovers for those wonderful meatloaf sandwiches which is always a good thing.

    • — Mary on May 14, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this turkey meatloaf for the first time this week and I have to say it is delicious! Hands down the best meatloaf I’ve ever had. It was moist have flavorful without falling apart. I will definitely be making this again.

    • — Jeremy Chase on May 9, 2018
    • Reply
  • Allergic to eggs can you subdtitute something else?

    • — Mary on April 21, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, I suspect you’d be fine using a packaged egg replacer. Also, While I’ve never used them, I know a number of people that have egg allergies use “flax eggs” when baking. I’m guessing they would work for something like meatloaf as well. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2018
      • Reply
  • Another go to recipe from Once Upon a Chef. Big hit with my husband and teens.

    • — LisaLen on March 23, 2018
    • Reply
  • Yet again, you never fail. Freaking amazing and my family loves it (so do I). You have made cooking very exciting for me again. Love to know that whatever recipe I try, it always turns out delicious!!

    • — Deanna on March 19, 2018
    • Reply
  • My husband has an allergy to beef, pork, lamb and venison. — or any meat from 4-legged animal. That leaves us with chicken, turkey and seafood. He misses meat but never complains. I made the BBQ turkey meatloaf and he loves it. He likes to take leftovers and make sandwiches. We both love it and probably more than meatloaf made with beef and pork!! Never a miss with Jennifer. Cannot wait for cookbook.

    • — Nina Cheatham on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • This recipe is INCREDIBLE!!!
    My husband poo-pooed my idea to make a turkey meatloaf right off the bat, but when he got a taste of this he asked to have it AGAIN in the same week!
    Truly amazing and flavorful! The only thing I added was a smidge of finely-diced red bell pepper because I had some to use up — it gave the loaf a tiny hint of sweetness, which was excellent!
    Thank you!!

    • — Caitlyn Jane on February 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi! I have a hankering for meatloaf and this looks delicious! Would omitting the onions be a big mistake? Not a big fan, but can tolerate them if necessary to the recipe. Thanks!

    • — Lori on February 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Hi Lori, I would recommend sticking with the onions here as they add nice flavor to the dish. You will be sauteeing them which removes any bite (and they also add some moisture to the meatloaf). I’d love to hear what you think if you make it!

      • — Jenn on February 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • OMG! This recipe is amazing! The meatloaf was so moist and delicious! I didn’t go exactly by the recipe, I used Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce instead and I did not only mince onions I minced bell peppers as well. I added garlic powder to the mixture because I didn’t have any garlic and it still turned out delicious! The best meatloaf I’ve ever made, so moist and flavorful!

    • — Keya on February 11, 2018
    • Reply
  • My husband and I are preparing for a ski trip with our daughter and son in law. We want to eat a few meals in, so I made this last night ( always want a test run before I serve anything new! ) Fabulous flavor and texture! I thought I would have preferred beef, but was unable to find 93/7 , so I used 85/15 good quality ground turkey. The combination of flavors… sweet, savory and just enough mild heat from the black pepper were perfect! The only thing I will do when I make it for vacation will be to double it! I’m sure after a day on the slopes, we will all want a lot of it!!!

    • — Judy Foody on January 29, 2018
    • Reply
  • I have made this meatloaf twice now, and my family loves it! We have substituted lean ground beef for turkey.

    The first time I made it, I forgot to sauté the onions first and the second time I did. I would agree that you don’t want to hand chop the onions but would rather have them chopped in a chopper so that the meatloaf doesn’t fall apart.

    We don’t make two loaves so we halve the recipe. We find that one loaf provides 6 servings so definitely good for leftovers or if you make the full recipe it is great so that you can freeze it for use at a later date. This is definitely my go-to meatloaf recipe!

    • — Jen C on November 30, 2017
    • Reply
  • Easy and Tasty! And it satisfies the “real” meat lovers at my house. One can make it ahead and keep in the frig until it’s time to bake. I have made it with a higher fat turkey with good results, but I prefer the lower fat. Reducing or using no salt also still yields a tasty loaf. When you consider the other ingredients like ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard, there is plenty of “hidden” salt already.

  • This is a general question: Is there a way to know which of your recipes I’ve reviewed? I’m forgetting which ones I’ve tried and reviewed and which ones I haven’t. If this is a time consuming request for you, just let me know. I’ll just have to keep better track! Thanks.

    (I’m going to write a review on this recipe next…I don’t think I’ve done one.)

    • Hi Maret,

      Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to see which recipes you’ve already reviewed. So sorry!

  • This barbeque meatloaf was amazing! I find ground turkey has a strange after taste so I used lean ground beef instead and it was the best meatloaf me and my family has ever had!

    Side note,
    It’s also great sliced up in a sandwich next day

  • This recipe was my first attempt at meatloaf & we really enjoyed it. Very easy to make & very moist & flavourful. Loved the glaze!!! Thanks for another winner of a recipe Jennifer.

  • I replaced the ground turkey with lean ground beef and it was amazing! Definitely going to make this again!

  • WOW! Love this meatloaf ! It is so tasty and moist and delicious! I do add about a cup of finely chopped mushrooms ( in mini food processor) just because I love them. With or w/out mushrooms this meatloaf is by far the best I’ve made. It is part of my rotation- it’s that good! The bbq glaze is deliciously different. Never going back to bland and boring meatloaf!

  • Another fantastic dish! I made it in a jumbo muffin tin instead – 6 perfect portions!

  • Made this for the first time for a Sunday night dinner with friends and family…it was a hit! I used a meat thermometer which helped a great deal.

  • Made this with ground chicken. It was delicious. I’m on a mission to make something from Jenn’s recipes at least 3 times a week, preferably everyday. I love the pictures and detailed instructions and tips.

  • Hi Jenn. I’ve made this recipe before and it was over the top delicious!! My question is, can I make the sauce (topping) the day before and just keep it refrigerated? Thank you for all of your amazing recipes.

    • Hi Lori, Glad you enjoyed it! You can definitely make the sauce a few days ahead of time.

  • I love this recipe. I just made it for dinner and my family loved it. This is definitely going to be my go to meatloaf recipe. I followed the directions exactly and it came out great. Thank you for this

  • Very good dinner! I halved the recipe except for the sauce! I made the full batch as I know I like sauce! I also used panko bread crumbs that I seasoned myself. Definitely worth giving this recipe a try!

    • — Nora Schuffenhauer
    • Reply
  • Because I’m such a lazy cook, and I don’t like to touch icky stuff, I put meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan and turn it upside down on parchment lined pan and voila a perfect ly formed meatloaf!
    Oh, meatloaf was DELICIOUS!

  • oops I meant it never disappoints, it always comes out right. i should have proofread what i wrote, sorry Jenn.

  • I made this again last night because it never fails to disappoint. It’s so delicious. I usually follow the recipe to a tee but this time I tried it in a loaf pan. I wish I’d shaped it on the sheet pan as Jen suggests because it really does let the fat drain away. I still loved it though.

  • This is really good. I am not a meatloaf fan, but this is just delicious! I usually halve the recipe because we are a family of three and 1 lb of turkey is plenty for us. I also use the ground turkey breast because I much prefer it. It still turns out great –not dry at all. I don’t skimp on the BBQ sauce though–I make it per the recipe because the more of that the better! If doing one loaf it also doesn’t take quite as long to bake–somewhere between 30-35 minutes I have found. This is a must try recipe folks!!

  • I tried this recipe last night and it was absolutely delicious. I tweaked it by using only 1 lb of ground turkey and used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce and a Dijon mustard with balsamic and onion and added my own spices to plain breadcrumbs. I raved to my friends about how moist it was.

  • Made this recipes couple of times, My kids favourite, they especially enjoy the following day in their sandwiches. Thanks, another family favorite!

    • — Julie from Burnaby, BC
    • Reply
  • Have made this a couple of times now following recipe exactly and it’s a keeper. Loaf is tender and sauce is a nice addition. We have the leftovers cold in a sandwich using a good quality white sandwich bread, American cheese and green or red pepper relish. Delicious either way.

  • Really loved this Jenn! Easy and delicious, made plenty and the leftovers were even better. Thank you!

  • Most delicious meatloaf. Ever. Perfectly moist, full of flavor and most importantly for me, super fast prep. My husband who proclaims to not like ground turkey took a second helping. He already asked if we could have it again! I baked it in convection oven at 350 to speed things up and it took 35 minutes. Paired it with baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. Definitely a repeat for next week.

  • Double Yumm! The trick of the onions is brilliant. I have made this a bunch, and have used the food processor to also add mushrooms and broccoli for extra veggies. (don’t tell the kids!)

  • Could you substitute ground chicken instead of turkey?

    • HI Irene, I haven’t made this with ground chicken, but few readers have commented that they have and have been happy with the results.

  • I absolutely LOVED this! I felt like a regular chef doing this! Thank you so much!! Was an instant favorite in my household! 🙂

  • Cannot print recipe or email it to then print

    • Hi Rosemarie, I’m sorry you’e having trouble printing the recipe! I will send a copy of it to you through email and I’m hoping you can print it that way. Please let me know if you continue to have difficulty.

  • If I use premade BBQ sauce, how much should I use?

    • Hi Gayle, About a cup should be sufficient.

  • Ive been making this meatloaf recipe once a week since I found it. Sometimes I use store bought BBQ sauce when im pressed for time but its still great. Thanks for sharing!

  • I make this recipe every week practically. My family LOVES it. Thank you for sharing!

  • Ack! I’m attempting to create a ground turkey shepherd’s pie. Why? because ground turkey is on sale and St. Paddy’s day is around the corner. I’m merging your thyme, paprika and ground turkey with http://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/shepherds-pie . I’ve made the turkey base. Peeled cut potatoes in the fridge. Figured I will make the mashed potatoes when kids get home from school, layer pie and throw in the oven, maybe w/ some frozen peas. Please tell me this will be okay! I shouldn’t have done this.

    • Elizabeth, it sounds like it will be tasty. Just be sure to store the potatoes submerged in water so they don’t brown.

      • Thank you very much. James Beard’s “American Cookery” taught me how to boil eggs, before there was the internet. You have that talent. Warning ahead of time of a simple pitfall that I would probably fall into… like making the potatoes brown. Need some tweaks… buying a different fat % in the ground turkey. If using my leftover chicken stock toss the schmaltz and limit the salt. My kids liked the concept of a lighter shepherd’s pie.

  • Delicious!!! My family loves it!!! Any tips on how to best reheat the second loaf after freezing it? And would you recommend wrapping it in tinfoil before putting it in a freezer bag? Thank you!!!

    • Glad your family likes it Andi! Yes, I would recommend wrapping it in foil before putting it in a freezer bag and I’d reheat it at 300 degrees until hot in the middle.

  • OMG ! ! !…Best turkey meatloaf ever…very moist and packed with flavor…the sauce is incredible…my whole family loved it…even the kids..they said it was the best turkey meatloaf I’ve ever made..lol…I am so glad I came across your site…I made this a few days ago, and today I made the blackened tilapia which again was an OMG ! ! ! delightful tasty dinner that kids loved also…I look forward to seeing new recipes
    Thank you

  • This looked like a good recipe and I was in the mood to try a new meatloaf recipe. Not a good choice. Way too bready and not a lot of flavor. I thought the homemade “barbecue” sauce was awful. Never make this again. Such a waste of food.

    • You obviously don’t know how to cook.

    • You probably missed a step or have absolutely no taste buds

    • I don’t think it was the recipe’s fault. Must have been the cook.

      • — Ann on September 21, 2019
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn!
    1. I have dark ground turkey. Do you think that will work for this recipe?
    2. What would you serve with this?

    Thank you so much! I love your blog! Your recipes are the best! We are currently loving the beef stew!

    • Hi Steph, I use the 93/7 Shady Brook Farm ground turkey, but you can use dark ground turkey if that’s what you have. I think this would be tasty with a green veggie (maybe these French green beans or this roasted broccoli) and these smashed potatoes or some simple roasted potatoes. Enjoy!

  • Hi jenn,
    Since there is only 2 of us, I want to make only 1 loaf. Would I simply cut all ingredients in 1/2? How much sugar, for example? Thanks!

    • Janet, You can just completely halve the recipe, ingredients and all. No need to make any additional adjustments. Hope you enjoy!

      • If I could give more than 5 stars, I would! I don’t eat meat and my BF isn’t a fan of the idea of ground turkey and we both loved it! I won’t cut i 1/2 next time. Also, he likes to grill and wants to use your BBQ sauce for other things 🙂 Another hit – thank YOU!!

        • — Janet Sorrentino
        • Reply
  • I have been eyeing this recipe for sometime. Tonight I was finally able to try it. All of my sons had seconds, even the hyper-sensory-aware one! Many thanks….

    • Anyway to use white beans instead of bread crumbs? Thx.

      • Hi Elizabeth, I’m not sure how it will turn out with white beans instead of the bread crumbs- not sure how the texture will be. If you do make it that way, please let me know how it turns out.

        • We liked the texture. I chickened out and only swapped out half the bread crumbs. The middle didn’t hold as well upon slicing, then again I only made one loaf. I always have beans in the fridge, but I don’t always have bread crumbs. White beans came to mind, because of the chicken chili recipe… wanted to stretch out the meatloaf, since I have three teen sons. Trying to add a lot more beans, with three roaring appetites. Thanks… 🙂

          • So glad to hear the beans worked out Elizabeth!

            • — Jenn
  • this meatloaf was soooo yummy!!! not dry and had tons of flavor. a new family favorite!

  • Best turkey meatloaf! I’ve made 3-4 different recipes over the last few years but this is the most flavorful. We’ve had it 3x now and this time I omitted the thyme (just my preference). Throwing out the other recipes….no need to keep them! Thank you!!

  • Wow! I again, will thank my sister-in-law for you! You are a superb cook. I never saw anyone’s recipes that were all delicious! Your’s are! Thanks?

  • Best turkey meatloaf ever! Used Ina’s in past -her recipe is SO blah after eating yours!!! Puzzled as to which paprika to use — smoked or regular?? Thnx so much for sharing your good eats!!

    • Hi LALA, So glad you enjoyed it! Use regular paprika here 🙂

  • should we use smoked paprika or regular paprika in you BBQ turkey meatloaf ?

    • Regular 🙂

  • I made this with half ground chicken and half turkey which is what I had and it was delicious. my husband loved the bbq sauce! I love all your recipes, they are fail-proof!

  • This recipe sounds delicious, want to try it,however, I need to use gluten free breadcrumbs. Can I season them with Italian seasoning, as I have been unable to find gluten free already seasoned? How much seasoning would you add? Did you use all white meat turkey or a mix of white and dark?

    • Hi Michele, Yes, that’s fine — I would use about 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. I use the 93/7 Shady Brook Farm ground turkey. Hope you enjoy 🙂

  • This turkey meatloaf was flavorful, moist, melt in your mouth delicious. Will definitely add to my favorites!

  • I made this turkey meatloaf as is and it was a big hit! Since it is made with turkey I was worried it would be a little dry but that was not the case at all. The barbecue sauce was delicious and easy to whip up so I’d definitely make this recipe again!

  • My husband is not a fan of ground turkey so when he said, “this is the best meatloaf ever”, I was thrilled! I am so happy to have stumbled upon your recipes Jen! I won’t stop until I’ve tried them all.

    • — Kelly Moneyhun
    • Reply
  • Wow, this takes meatloaf to a whole new level! I’ve made meatloaf for years, but this version with ground turkey is a winner. Great for sandwiches the next day!

  • I made this with my kids ( really fun for them to learn how to cook with easy to understand recipes) and the whole family loved it!!!! I mean LOVED IT.

  • This turkey meatloaf is absolutely delicious comfort food. I served it with mashed potatoes and a vegetable. The two little loaves make clean up a breeze and Jenn is correct about the extra fat that comes off in preparation this way. The leftovers make the best sandwiches ever. My husband loves this recipe!

  • My husband LOVES this recipe. I’ve never been a meatloaf fan. The sound of it is just unappealing, but I do really enjoy this. It’s leaner and doesn’t taste like a loaf of meat. On the last 20-30 min of cooking we will oven roast mixed vegtables as a side dish.

  • I made a half recipe of this for just my husband and me, but wish I’d made the entire recipe for more leftovers!! I immediately shared the link to this with my friends and family — it’s hands-down the best meatloaf I have ever made. So easy, too.

  • Made this for my birthday yesterday and it was delicious. My husband thought it was beef; boy was he surprised it was turkey.
    Is the paprika supposed to be ground, not dried? I wasn’t sure because spices come in so many different forms nowadays. From the pic, it looked like ground, so I just used what I had.
    My little one even liked it. I think that I’m going to make this for Xmas.
    Thanks for the recipe and also making my bday extra special. 🙂

    • Hi Melinda, So glad you enjoyed the meatloaf! It is ground paprika. Happy Birthday!

  • Loved it!!

  • I cooked this last night and was surprised at how great it taste. My family loved it and it will be a reg on our menu. Great recipe.

  • Sounds tasty! I’m currently obsessed with roasted poblanos… I could incorporate them in this meatloaf, right?

    • Hi Penny, I don’t see why not. Hope you enjoy!

  • Any idea on how many calories per serving?

    • Sorry, Cindy, I don’t offer nutritional info for my recipes. But it’s something I’m working on, so stay tuned.

  • This meatloaf is the vest I’ve ever made! My family went bonkers over it. They couldn’t believe it wasn’t beef. This is my go-to meatloaf from now on! Thanks so much for this recipe!!!!!!!

  • I bought ground turkey for the first time – just to make this BBQ Turkey Meatloaf. Wow. We loved it! The paprika, onions, thyme, Dijon – all worked together to pack some real hearty flavor into this dish. The BBQ glazed added an additional sweet and tangy punch.

    My only alterations were to cut the recipe in half and pop the meat mixture into muffin tins and top them with the glaze, that helped me cut down on the cooking time for my hungry family. Plus, they love having portions served as a muffin size.

    This is another family fav!

  • This is my go to meatloaf recipe! My favorite part is the topping, perfect balance of tang and sweet!

    • — Carrie Hirshfield
    • Reply
  • DELICIOUS! My husband thought he didn’t like meatloaf until I made this. I changed absolutely nothing about the recipe. It was spiced perfectly and very moist.I served it with roasted acorn squash and broccoli. I know I can always count on your recipes to be a hit on the dinner table. Thank you!

  • I loved the sauce on this, but the meatloaf came out kind of dry and crumbly. I don’t remember whether I used extra-lean turkey, but I’d be willing to try it again with 93/7 turkey just in case, since your recipes don’t usually give me trouble.

    • Hi Becca, Yes, be sure to use 93/7. Hope it comes out next time.

  • I made this for a ladies’ lunch today. I followed the recipe exactly. It went so deliciously with broad noodles. I just wish I had doubled the glaze! My friends loved it!
    Next time I make it I will cut one meatloaf in half to freeze for another time. This makes two good-sized meat loaves.

  • This meatloaf was delicious and will be my new “go to” meatloaf. The consistency was perfect and you would never even know it was made with turkey. Thank you for the recipe.

  • I look forward to trying this recipe out on my family this week. We have enjoyed your recipes in the past. My question is, if I freeze one meatloaf, how should I reheat when I’m ready to use it? Defrost and then what temp should I reheat at? Thank you – Rebecca

    • — Rebecca Salerno
    • Reply
    • Hi Rebecca, I’d reheat it at 300 degrees. Hope your family enjoys it!

  • Followed this recipe exactly, but I did mince the onion by hand. The glaze was delicious and added just the right sweet and sour touch to the turkey meat. This meatloaf was served to the family along with yukon gold mashed potatoes, steamed carrots and sauteed spinach. Moist, tasty and a crowd pleaser.

  • Please tell Amy Simonson it’s really not a good idea to freeze her new baby….or maybe she should just proofread what she writes….I really am kidding you, Amy, I just got such a kick out of your line about the baby and freezing….I’m 87 and a greatgrandmother of 8, and this just made me smile but I knew what you meant!!

  • This was absolutely delicous! I made it for a group of 10 and everyone loved it. It satisfied everyones taste buds and food preferences. I added about 2 pounds more of ground turkey so it would feed more people. I also made it ahead of time before I baked it and it set up well in the fridge overnight. I didn’t have time to sauté my onions so I grated them and added to the mix. It turned out well. Thank you, it’s one of my favorite recipes now!

  • This recipe has become a staple, with a few simple changes. I add a few shakes of crushed red pepper and granulated garlic, plus I grate the onion to distribute it more evenly through the meatloaf. Even better, stuff the mixture in bell peppers and roast for 45 minutes (until it reaches 165 degrees). Serve with either the glaze or a good marinara and it is fantastic.

  • This looks like a great idea to jazz up a rather boring dish. THe bbq sauce will surely add alot.

  • I have to say, I’m not really a meatloaf fan, but this recipe has made me one! My husband didn’t even know it was turkey!! This has become one of my standard menu items. I just had a baby and have learned that it freezes really nicely. One for tonight and dinner for next week’s already done! Thanks for another great one!

  • This looks delicious.

  • Hi I just made this and it was delicious! Definitely a hit with the family! Thanks for sharing. I was wondering if you had any idea what the caloric value per serving was? Thank again!

    • Hi Megan, So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Unfortunately, I’m not sure about the calories but I know there are site that allow you to plug in recipes for nutritional data. Hope that helps.

  • I have dont this recipe both ways, with Turkey as well as ground beef.
    If you are in a pinch, I have used manwhich bbq flavor, it is not as good but the kids loved it!

  • This is the recipe that got me hooked on this website. You won’t miss the beef. The turkey is so moist and flavorful. Yum

  • I can not wait to make this for dinner tonight. Exactly what I’ve been looking for!

  • By far my favorite meal! I mix it up using turkey one time and beef/pork the next time I make it. It also makes great meatloaf sandwiches the next day for lunch.

  • Great healthy way to enjoy meatloaf. The glaze is like the icing on the cake.

  • This too, has become a staple. We don’t eat much beef in my house but like old fashioned beef type recipes, so finding good recipes to compliment turkey/chicken is a must. This is it for meatloaf, turkey never tasted so good!

    • — Marissa Pacelli
    • Reply
  • I’ve never made meatloaf before, but I gave your recipe a go, and boy was it delicious! Thanks for continuing to provide healthy but delicious recipes!

  • This meatloaf recipe has become a staple for a weekend meal in my house. The loaf stays very moist, while the barbecue sauce is tangy and delicious. For a family of three, I usually half the recipe.

  • This recipe was amazing! I also tried it with ground chicken and it tasted just as great!!

  • Another wonderful recipe….My husband & daughter don’t eat red meat so no meat loaf for the rest of us meat eaters…lol…I’ve tried other turkey meatloaf’s, they were dry & tasteless…Not this one! My daughter doesn’t really like any kind of meat, but I made her try it & she ABSOLUTELY loved it. Actually, every one loved it. I did add 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce in the bbq sauce & it took the bold ketchup taste away; Other that that I followed the recipe. I will be making this again. Thanks!

  • Made this tonight and it was so easy and me and my husband LOVE it !! Thanks for giving us an amazing lowfat alternative to a family favorite.

  • I use sundried tomatoes in my meatloaf along with fresh herbs and some grated parmesan cheese. This recipe looks yummy!

  • This is so great! I made it for dinner the other evening and had leftovers in the most delicious sandwich for lunch. Plus, I put the extra meatloaf in the freezer for a meal next week! Brilliant!

  • love love the bbq turkey meatloaf. huge hit here!! thank you!

  • Who knew turkey could be so tasty?! My family loved this…will definitely be a regular at our house. Thanks!!

  • fabulous recipe! looks terrific and yummy..on new years eve i prepare like that recipe thanks for sharing.

  • yummm!!!thanks jenn! you always come to my rescue! xoxo’s happy thanksgiving! Hope you have a great one!

  • yum. looks great!! going to make this right after the holiday 🙂

  • Wow…made this last night and it was terrific! My kids gobbled it up!

  • Delicious! I love the lightened up version for meatloaf

  • This sounds really yummy. I grate my onion when making meatloaf. It seems to get it to the perfect consistency. (Onion paste doesn’t work so well in meatloaf – as my experience has shown) And the moisture from the onion helps to keep the turkey from drying out.

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