Cozy Up with Our Hearty Turkey Meatloaf!

Dear food lovers,

As a culinary explorer, I am excited to share with you my latest recipe discovery – Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf! This dish is a true masterpiece that will leave you licking your lips and asking for seconds.

I understand that meatloaf may not be everyone’s favorite dish, but trust me when I tell you that this turkey meatloaf recipe is unlike any other. The combination of sharp cheddar cheese, ketchup, and onion create a flavor explosion that will have your taste buds begging for more.

At first glance, you may question the turkey meatloaf’s ability to be moist and delicious, but let me reassure you that with the right ingredients and method, it can be just as juicy and flavorful as the traditional beef meatloaf.

So, whether you are a lover of meatloaf or just looking for something new to add to your recipe collection, give Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf a try. Trust me; it’ll change your perception of what a good meatloaf can be.

Let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Tan's Turkey Meatloaf
Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf

Are you in the mood for a hearty and flavorful meal but are tired of the same old meatloaf recipe? Look no further! Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe is an absolute game-changer. This recipe takes ground turkey, a lean protein source, and transforms it into a moist and delicious meatloaf that will have you coming back for seconds (and even thirds!).

One reason why you’ll love this recipe is that it doesn’t sacrifice flavor for health. Instead of using ground beef, which is high in saturated fat, this recipe calls for ground turkey breast. The turkey not only provides a lower fat option but is also packed with protein, making it a great choice for those trying to maintain a balanced diet.

Another reason why Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe stands out from the rest is the combination of ingredients used. The mixture of ketchup, light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and Old Bay seasoning adds a zingy and tangy flavor to the meatloaf. This blend creates a perfect balance of sweetness and savory flavors while adding some heat to keep your taste buds tantalized.

Furthermore, this recipe incorporates sharp cheddar cheese into the meatloaf mixture, giving it an added layer of richness and creaminess. You can even go one step further by adding some onions to create another dimension of flavor – trust me when I say, your taste buds will thank you.

Last but not least, this recipe allows for flexibility in cooking methods. You can cook the turkey meatloaf in the oven using a loaf pan or opt to use an air fryer which makes it healthier by reducing oil usage. Regardless of your method of cooking, this meatloaf comes out perfectly browned on top within 45 minutes.

So, why settle for an average meatloaf when you can wow your family or guests with something as flavorful as Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe? With its wholesome ingredients and unique blend of flavors, this recipe is sure to become a regular staple at your family dinners.

Ingredient List

Before we dive into the recipe how-to, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe. Here they are:

For the Meatloaf:

  • 1 pound ground turkey (I recommend using ground turkey breast for a moist and healthy option)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

I prefer to use Old Bay seasoning as it adds a unique flavor to the dish that complements the turkey meat perfectly. If you can’t find Old bay seasoning, feel free to use your favorite seasoning instead. The glaze is sweet and tangy, giving the meatloaf an extra kick of flavor. You can adjust the ketchup and sugar ratio based on your preference. In terms of equipment, you’ll need a loaf pan or an air fryer if you prefer to use one. Once you have all of these ingredients ready, we can start making the best turkey meatloaf ever!

The Recipe How-To

Now it’s time to get cooking! Follow these simple steps and you’ll have a delicious Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf on your table in no time.

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Next, grease a loaf pan with cooking spray or olive oil.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 lb. ground turkey, 1 egg, ½ cup milk and 1 cup bread crumbs. Add in ½ cup finely chopped onion, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together until they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Step 3: Shape and Top

Form the meat mixture into a loaf shape and place it into the greased loaf pan. Spread 1/4 cup ketchup on top of the meatloaf. Then sprinkle over the top with 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar and drizzle with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.

Step 4: Bake with Foil Cover

Cover the meatloaf with foil, making sure it’s sealed tightly around the edges of the dish. Bake for 45 minutes covered in foil.

Step 5: Air Fryer Alternative

If you prefer to use an air fryer, place your meatloaf mixture in a pie plate or tin foil container that fits inside your air fryer basket. Place your meatloaf in your air fryer at 350°F (175°C) for about 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

Step 6: Brown and Finish Cooking

Remove the foil from the meatloaf after 45 minutes of baking, then bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked through and a beautiful brown crust forms on top.

Enjoy serving my mouth-watering Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf!

Substitutions and Variations

One of the great things about cooking is you can always experiment with different ingredients and flavors to suit your taste. This turkey meatloaf recipe is no exception, and there are plenty of substitutions and variations to try out.

Firstly, if you don’t have ground turkey on hand, you can substitute it with ground chicken or even ground beef. Bear in mind that the recipe may not be as lean with beef, but it will still be delicious.

For those who prefer a spicier version of this meatloaf, I suggest adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the mix. On the other hand, if you want to make it milder and suitable for kids, try leaving out the old bay seasoning altogether.

As for the type of cheese used in this recipe, feel free to switch it up with your favorite variety. While sharp cheddar cheese adds a nice tangy flavor to the dish, mozzarella or even feta cheese are great alternatives.

If you’re feeling adventurous, add some additional textures by folding in some chopped mushrooms or bell peppers to the meat mixture. Alternatively, try a twist by replacing traditional ketchup with BBQ sauce or mustard for added zing.

Lastly, if you don’t have an air fryer and don’t want to bake in an oven, why not try making this meatloaf on an outdoor grill? It’ll give your turkey meatloaf a lovely smoky flavor that’s perfect for summertime barbecues.

Whatever substitution or variation you choose, make sure to keep notes of what works for future reference. By tweaking the recipe according to your preference and mood, you’ll end up with a meatloaf that’s uniquely yours while keeping it exciting for your palate every time.

Serving and Pairing

Once your Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe is cooked to perfection, it’s essential to let it rest for a few minutes before serving. The resting time allows the meat to settle and absorb the juices, making it more tender and flavorful.

While meatloaf is a satisfying meal on its own, you can add a few sides to make it a complete meal. My favorite side dishes to pair with this Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe are creamy mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables like green beans or broccoli. If you’re looking for something more substantial, try some roasted sweet potato wedges or a mixed green salad for an added nutritional boost.

If you’re entertaining friends or family, this recipe pairs well with a medium-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Shiraz. If beer is more your thing, I recommend pairing this meatloaf with a rich, malty Irish stout like Guinness.

Don’t forget about the leftovers! This Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe tastes even better when reheated the next day. You can slice it up and serve it in sandwiches or on its own with some zesty tomato ketchup for dipping.

With its juicy, moist texture and smoky flavor, this meatloaf is perfect for any occasion – from casual weeknight dinners to holiday gatherings with loved ones. Whatever your preference, make sure to try this Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe and impress your guests with an unforgettable meal that will leave everyone satisfied and craving more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

When it comes to making-ahead and storing Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf, this recipe is a winner. In fact, I’d recommend making a large batch of it so that you can enjoy it for dinner the day of and leftovers throughout the week.

To make-ahead this dish, prepare the meatloaf according to the recipe instructions, but instead of baking it in the oven, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate it overnight. When you’re ready to cook, bring the meatloaf to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking as directed.

As for storing Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you have a lot of leftovers or want to freeze some portions for later, portion them out into freezer-safe containers and store in the freezer for up to three months.

Reheating this meatloaf is easy and hassle-free. Whether you’re reheating leftovers or frozen portions, simply preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the meatloaf (covered with aluminum foil) on a baking sheet. Cook until heated through, which should take about 15-20 minutes.

Another option for reheating is using your microwave or air fryer (if you have one). Both methods work great if you’re short on time or don’t feel like heating up your oven. Just be sure not to overcook it as this can dry out the meatloaf.

Overall, Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf is perfect for busy weeknights, meal prep sessions, and even potlucks. Its versatility, ease-of-preparation and delicious taste make it a go-to dish that everyone will love.

Tips for Perfect Results

Your Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf is going to be a big hit, no doubt about it. But if you want to elevate the taste of this recipe and make it even more delightful, follow these tips for perfect results.

Firstly, be sure to use ground turkey breast instead of regular ground turkey. It makes the meatloaf moist and flavorful without unnecessary fat.

Secondly, Worcestershire sauce and bread crumbs are essential ingredients which help bind the meat together and create a tender loaf. Don’t skip these two!

Thirdly, If you’re using the air fryer to cook the Turkey Meatloaf, preheat it for at least 3 minutes at 375°F before placing the meatloaf in it. It will ensure evenly cooked meatloaf with crispy edges!

Fourthly, Rather than greasing your loaf pan with olive oil or Pampered Chef, lined with foil or parchment paper works best for easy handling of your meat mixture when removing from the pan.

Fifthly, adding sharp cheddar cheese gives a rich and tangy flavor to your meatloaf.

Sixthly, while forming the mixture into a loaf shape make sure not to over pack it too tightly – this way it wil not become too dense when cooked.

Seventhly, adding Old Bay seasoning adds depth of flavor and boosts your meatloaf savory factor to a whole new level; however, if you don’t have Old Bay seasoning available, try experimenting with different seasoning blends like cajun or Italian herbs.

Lastly, if you like a bit of sweetness and tanginess in your meatloaf give a generous amount of ketchup mixture (made from ketchup, light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar) spread across the top layer just after 15 minutes of baking uncovered, then cover meatloaf with foil then continue baking until done.

Follow these tips and your Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf will be perfect every time!


Before we conclude this recipe article, I want to address some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe. These questions are commonly asked by cooks who are looking for ways to customize or adjust the recipe to meet their preferences or dietary restrictions. Whether you’re new to cooking or a seasoned expert, these FAQs will offer valuable insights that will help you prepare the best meatloaf possible.

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

When cooking meat, always remember to incorporate moisture into every step of the recipe. Make sure not to overlook ingredients like eggs, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire, barbecue sauce, or any other wet seasonings which not only give a delicious taste and texture but also contribute to keeping the meat perfectly moist. This is a crucial step in achieving a quality and tender meat dish. Keep this in mind for your next culinary expedition.

What ingredient keeps meatloaf from falling apart?

One of the main causes of a meatloaf that crumbles apart is the lack of sufficient binding agents, such as breadcrumbs and eggs. These crucial ingredients are responsible for holding the meat mixture together during cooking. Without them, the meatloaf may not stay intact and fall apart easily. Therefore, it is crucial to include an adequate amount of these binding agents in the recipe.

Why do some people put milk in meatloaf?

To ensure that your meatloaf is moist and tender, it’s essential to add a liquid ingredient that will soak into the bread crumbs. Milk is often chosen for this purpose as it not only adds moisture, but also brings a creamy texture and subtle flavor. However, if you are lactose intolerant or simply don’t have milk on hand, there are plenty of other options available, such as low sodium beef or chicken stock, water, or non-dairy milk substitutes. The key is to choose a liquid that will not overpower the rest of the ingredients but complement them perfectly.

Should I cover meatloaf with foil when cooking?

When it comes to cooking meatloaf, there is a common question: should it be cooked covered or uncovered? Although it is perfectly fine to cook it uncovered, if you want to avoid burning your meatloaf, you can cover it with foil for the first 45 minutes of cooking and then take off the foil for the final 15 minutes of cooking to ensure that the top gets nicely browned.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf recipe is an absolute must-try for meatloaf lovers and anyone looking to add a delightful twist to their meal. The blend of savory turkey with sweet brown sugar and tangy apple cider vinegar creates a unique flavor profile that is sure to tickle your taste buds.

This recipe is incredibly versatile, allowing you to customize it to fit your preferences by substituting ingredients or adding variations. Plus, it’s easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for future meals.

So what are you waiting for? Whip up some Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf tonight using our step-by-step guide, and prepare to be blown away by its mouthwatering taste. With its delicious flavors and high nutritional value, this recipe will become a regular part of your menu rotation in no time. Trust me; your taste buds deserve it!

Tan's Turkey Meatloaf

Tan’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

I decided to see what the Old Bay Seasoning would do to the taste of the ground turkey. I adapted the sauce from recipe #54257.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 378.9 kcal


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 slice sourdough bread, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg


  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Combine all meatloaf ingredients together in a bowl and mix well. Put in loaf baking dish. Combine sauce ingredients and pour on top of meatloaf.
  • Bake the loaf for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours or until cooked through.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 256gCalories: 378.9kcalCarbohydrates: 34.9gProtein: 26.4gFat: 14.7gSaturated Fat: 5.2gCholesterol: 154.2mgSodium: 784.7mgFiber: 0.7gSugar: 23.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Easy, Meat, Poultry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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