From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of January 28, 2013
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Terrific Turkey Meatloaf

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

Change up an American favorite by using turkey. It is healthy and the taste may surprise you.

Like many dishes, of course, meatloaf it is not without its history. After the Industrial Revolution during the mid-19th century, meat became more available to the average citizen. The lack of refrigeration, however, made many folks reluctant to purchase ground meats since the shopper could not always be certain of age, actual ingredients or quality. The introduction of small meat grinders, though, enabled people to grind their own cuts of meat at home. One of the results was meatloaf – a quintessential part of traditional American cuisine.

Although typically made of beef or pork, or a combination of those meats, this recipe brings the nutritional benefits of turkey into the mix for a great tasting dish. Although it can be made with all dark or all white meat, using a combination of light and dark turkey ensures that it has minimal fat, but maintains its moisture. The mushrooms and onion also help the meatloaf remain succulent.

The onion, Worcestershire sauce and stock enhance the flavor of the mix. The breadcrumbs keep it tender and the eggs help bind the mixture. You can use ketchup or tomato paste to coat the top.

If you have leftovers, they can be warmed up and enjoyed again, or make a sandwich with cold slices. Just as you might associate meatloaf with nostalgic memories of family dinners, you can create the same memories for younger family members with this great variation of an American favorite.

Terrific Turkey Meatloaf

Terrific Turkey Meatloaf

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/8 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 2 lbs. ground turkey (mix of dark and light meat)
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and mushrooms, add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire, stock and tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl combine turkey, breadcrumbs, eggs and onion-mushroom mixture. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf in shallow baking dish. Brush ketchup on top.

Bake 90 minutes or until meat is cooked through and internal temperature is 165 degrees. Serve hot. Leftovers may be served cold in sandwiches.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 238 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 14 g carbohydrate
30 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 335 mg sodium.

Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $105 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, at

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