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Jan 14, 2013 06:22 PM

Turkey meatloaf

Ok, so after reading the "how do you cook your meatloaf" thread, I am now craving meatloaf. Problem is I only have ground turkey , and do not feel like heading to the store. Can I make it with ground turkey? Will it be mushy? (I love crisp meatloaf edges) do you have any stellar recipes? Thanks guys

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  1. Can you make it with turkey? Sure. Will it be mushy? Unlikely as I have used turkey for meatloaf many times in the past.

    The biggest challenge is that it has a tencency to be dry due to the low fat count in turkey. Sure it will have a lot of dark meat in the mix but that is unlike the far more flavorful and moisture laden fat found in ground beef and gound pork.

    For turkey I have added schmalz (rendered chicken fat) and that helpd both moisture and flavor a lot. If no schmaltz, then up your panade and watch the bread crumbs. I use 1 large egg per 1lb of meat but you may need to up that too. I also use ketchup (both in the loaf and with balsalmic vinegar and brown sugar as a glaze) , herbs, worschtershire sauce, grated fresh onion, salt , pepper, sometimes sauteed onions, and granulated garlic.

    Don't overmix with turkey as it can make it too dense.

    Instead of reducing the fat in meatloaf, i personally reduce my portion size per meal which allows the meatloaf to be flavorful and moist. Adding mushrooms also adds moisture which helps a lot.

    Good luck.

    1. I always use turkey.

      My default recipe includes a panade of milk and bread, as well as a generous amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

      The most important thing is to use the 7% fat ground turkey, not the kind with 1% or 0% fat. If all you have is the 0% kind, don't waste the cheese on it.

      I also grate a little fresh nutmeg, and will sometimes include a small amount of diced canned tomatoes.

      Oh, and some egg. And parsley and/or basil (fresh only). And S&P.

      I think that's about it.

      I never put raw onion in meatloaf. That's a shootable offense in my book. A little raw garlic, as long as you chop your own. That stuff in the jar is garbage.

      Before you put it in the oven, fry a little in a pan, to taste for seasoning. Add S&P as needed.

      I cook it on a sheet pan. This gives you maximum crust, particularly if you put the meatloaf directly on a cake cooling rack (or something like it), and then put both on the sheet pan (which you can line with foil).

      I never made meat loaf in a loaf pan after my first time. The meat steams that way, and there's no crust.

      Some people put strips of bacon on top. I would avoid that if you don't put the meat loaf on the cooling rack.

      I think that's it. LMK if you have any questions.

      1. Since I don't eat bread adding a panade of milk and bread isn't an option for me so I add diced sauteed mushrooms and it stays moist. Sometimes a drizzle of coconut oil, too. And don't overcook it.

        1. I use this recipe which calls for adding some veggies to add moisture, and it's great.

          I cook in one big loaf on a baking sheet, versus in a loaf pan or the mini versions shown in the photo.

          As already stated, the issue w/ ground turkey is not mushiness, sort of the opposite, it can tend to be dry. So you have to add extra things to keep the moisture content up.

          Also, these are meatballs but the same idea works... she adds shredded carrot to up the moisture on them.

          I've never had much luck with taking a recipe that's meant for ground beef etc, and just swapping it out for turkey. It's best to use recipes that are originally meant for turkey.

          1. I make turkey meatloaf all the time. I usually add chopped spinach to it. That adds moisture and flavor. I also add bread crumbs, egg, mustard and ketchup.