The BEST Healthy Turkey Meatloaf that is moist, super flavorful, and packed with hidden veggies all topped with a delicious tomato glaze!

The BEST Healthy Turkey Meatloaf that is moist, super flavorful, and packed with hidden veggies all topped with a delicious tomato glaze!

If you’re anything like me, you grew up eating meatloaf and while some of you may not be a fan, I absolutely loved it!  Meatloaf was one of my favorite comfort meals my mom made as a kid which she made with ground beef, buttery Ritz crackers for the breadcrumbs and slathered it all in ketchup.  This turkey meatloaf recipe has all the basics of traditional meatloaf, but is a much healthier version using lean ground turkey, whole wheat breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and veggies, along with making our own delicious tomato glaze!  Trust me, it’s still just as delicious!

Serve this with my creamy mashed cauliflower, which honestly tastes just as good as those classic buttery mashed potatoes you grew up with, along with a side of green beans, asparagus or roasted brussels sprouts.

The BEST Healthy Turkey Meatloaf that is moist, super flavorful, and packed with hidden veggies all topped with a delicious tomato glaze!

Here’s What You’ll Need

  • ground turkey – I used 93% lean ground turkey, but you could also use ground chicken or beef
  • onion – I grated half a medium white onion, but you could also use yellow, red or green onions in this.  You could also finely chop the onion rather than grating it if you want bigger chunks of onion in your meatloaf
  • carrots – I love grated carrots in my meatloaf because not only is it a great way to add some moisture to lean ground turkey, but you’re also adding in those hidden veggies.  I bet your kids won’t even notice!
  • garlic – all you need are three cloves of garlic, but feel free to add more if you want more garlic flavor.  You could also substitute the garlic with about a teaspoon of garlic powder, but I think fresh always tastes best
  • eggs – I used two eggs in this which help to bind the meatloaf together
  • tomato paste – to get that tomato flavor without using sugary ketchup
  • worcestershire sauce – I love the sweet, tangy flavor this adds to the meatloaf!
  • breadcrumbs – I used whole wheat panko breadcrumbs to help bind the meatloaf, but you could also use rolled oats if gluten-free or even gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • milk – since we’re cooking with lean meat, the milk (and other wet ingredients) help to keep the meatloaf nice and moist when baking.  Any type of milk will work in this recipe, or you could use a little chicken or veggie broth if you don’t want to use milk
  • fresh parsley – I love adding in fresh herbs to my meatloaf and you could also add in some fresh thyme or rosemary
  • seasonings – combination of Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper

For the Tomato Glaze:

  • tomato paste – this is in place of using ketchup, which is loaded with sugar
  • white vinegar – this adds a touch of acid to the glaze and a nice tangy flavor.  You could also use apple cider vinegar if that’s all you have on hand
  • maple syrup – for a little sweetness since we’re not using ketchup, you could also use honey or any other sweetener of choice!
  • worcestershire sauce – for more of that delicious sweet, tangy flavor!
  • seasonings – a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper
The BEST Healthy Turkey Meatloaf that is moist, super flavorful, and packed with hidden veggies all topped with a delicious tomato glaze!

How to Make Turkey Meatloaf

  1. Mix all the ingredients.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together and mix until just combined.  Over-mixing this can result in a dense, more tough meatloaf and we want this to be nice and tender!
  2. Form into a loaf.  One all the ingredients are mixed together, spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray (or line with parchment paper) and form the meat mixture into a loaf making sure that the loaf is even on all sides so that it cooks evenly.  You could also press the meat mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake it that way.
  3. Bake to perfection!  Pop the meatloaf into the oven and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes (then we’ll top it with the delicious tomato glaze and pop it back in).
  4. Make the tomato glaze.  While the meatloaf is baking, time to make the glaze!  In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste, vinegar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings.
  5. Bake again and done!  After about 45 minutes, take the meatloaf out and spread the tomato glaze evenly all over the top.  Pop it back into the oven and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees on a digital thermometer.  Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf sit for about 10 minutes to seal in all that flavor, slice and enjoy!

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

  • As I said before, it’s important not to over-mix your meatloaf as this can result in a dense, more tough meatloaf and we want this to be nice and tender.  Make sure to add ALL the ingredients into the bowl and then mix everything at once rather than mixing ingredients as you add them.
  • Since we’re using lean meat in this recipe, the wet ingredients are really important.  If the meatloaf turns out dry, simply add in a little more milk next time.  On the flip side, if your meat mixture seems really wet, feel free to add in more breadcrumbs so that it’s easier to work with.
  • If you’re watching your carb intake, you can easily swap out the breadcrumbs with another binding agent such as an extra egg or even some shredded cheese!
  • Want a little kick of heat?  Add in some hot sauce or sriracha!
  • Feel free to add in other veggies like shredded zucchini (just make sure to really squeeze any water out first), finely diced bell pepper or mushrooms.
  • If you don’t want to use milk in this recipe, you can substitute it with chicken or veggie broth to keep the meatloaf moist and it will add some extra flavor!
  • You’ll know the meatloaf is done and cooked through when the internal temperature reads 165 degrees using a digital meat thermometer.  Those things are super handy!
  • Make sure to let your meatloaf rest for at least 10 minutes after removing it from the oven.  This will seal in all that flavor and juices as well as help hold the shape of your meatloaf.
  • You can easily turn this meatloaf recipe into mini muffins for individual serving sizes (great for kids!) by simply dividing the meat mixture up into muffin tins.  This is a great time-saver too as meatloaf muffins only need about 20 to 25 minutes!
  • Also makes great turkey meatballs!

Prepping and Storage

This great thing about this meatloaf is that it freezes really well too!  Mix all the ingredients together, form the loaf (or place it into a loaf pan) and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap.  Then just place it in the freezer and it will keep for up to 3 months!  When ready to bake, thaw it out completely overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.  Leftovers will last in your fridge in a sealed, airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days.

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4.80 from 10 votes

The Best Healthy Turkey Meatloaf

The BEST Healthy Turkey Meatloaf that is moist, super flavorful, and packed with hidden veggies all topped with a delicious tomato glaze!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 2 lb ground turkey, I used 93% lean
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

For the Tomato Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray a baking sheet (or loaf pan) with non-stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine all meatloaf ingredients together and mix until just combined, making sure not to over-mix.
  • Form the meat mixture into a loaf making sure that the loaf is even on all sides so that it cooks evenly and place on the baking sheet.  You could also press the meat mixture into a greased loaf pan.  Place the meatloaf in the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
  • While the meatloaf is baking you can make the glaze.  In a small bowl, whisk together tomato paste, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper until smooth.  Set aside until meatloaf is ready.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the tomato glaze evenly all over the top.  Pop it back into the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
  • Remove from the oven and let the meatloaf sit for about 10 minutes to seal in all that flavor, serve and enjoy!

Notes

*Leftovers will last in your fridge in a sealed, airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8th of recipe | Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.3g | Protein: 25.4g | Fat: 10.3g | Saturated Fat: 2.7g | Sodium: 327.7mg | Fiber: 2.1g | Sugar: 4.7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

As a self-proclaimed foodie and fitness enthusiast, I have a passion for cooking and a huge desire to show that living a healthy lifestyle can actually be easy and fun!  Feel free to use the meal guide above to find your new favorite meal ideas or the dietary guides to the right to narrow things down even more!

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10 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Swap breadcrumbs with oatmeal for a fiber kick and extra moist meatloaf!

  2. AnneMarie Kulanda says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious meatloaf. Moist I stuffed the center with chopped spinach. Would recommend and will make again.

  3. Morgan says:

    5 stars
    This turkey meatloaf is amazing! I didn’t have carrots on hand and don’t believe it affected the quality of the loaf. Followed the recipe exactly otherwise. Definitely recommend!

  4. Heather G says:

    5 stars
    We tried this last night – wow! So moist and delicious. I can’t wait for the meatloaf sandwiches today… 🙂

  5. jill crews says:

    this was an excellent turkey meatloaf