Turkey meatloaf offers a lighter take on the classic

  • This undated photo provided by America's Test Kitchen in October 2018 shows a turkey meatloaf with a ketchup-brown sugar glaze in Brookline, Mass. This recipe appears in “The New Essentials Cookbook.” (Carl Tremblay/America's Test Kitchen via AP)

Don’t overlook the benefits of a good meatloaf; though humble, it can be just the thing for a comforting meal, and leftovers make great sandwiches.

Turkey meatloaf offers a lighter take on the classic, but because store-bought ground turkey is fine and pasty, it often comes out dense and mushy. To fix this, we exchanged the usual bread panade for quick oats, which added some chew and opened up the loaf’s texture.


Turkey Meatloaf

Servings: 4-6

Start to finish: 2 hours


3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pinch baking soda

1/2 onion, chopped fine

Salt and pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons quick oats

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 pounds of 85 percent or 93 percent lean ground turkey

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley


1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

21/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line wire rack with aluminum foil and set in rimmed baking sheet. Melt butter in 10 inch skillet over low heat. Stir baking soda into melted butter. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in Worcestershire and continue to cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute longer. Transfer onion mixture to large bowl and set aside. Combine oats, cornstarch, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in second bowl.

Whisk all ingredients in small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes; set aside.


Stir egg yolks and mustard into cooled onion mixture until well combined. Add turkey, Parmesan, parsley, and oat mixture and, using your hands, mix until well combined. Transfer turkey mixture to center of prepared rack. Using your wet hands, shape into 9-by-5-inch loaf. Using pastry brush, spread half of glaze evenly over top and sides of meatloaf. Bake meatloaf for 40 minutes.

Brush remaining glaze onto top and sides of meatloaf and continue to bake until thermometer inserted into meatloaf registers 160 degrees, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Let meatloaf cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.