This Mini Meatloaf, made with ground turkey, brings a fresh take on the beloved traditional meatloaf but cooks in a fraction of the time. While you can also craft it with ground beef, it’s the meatloaf glaze that truly elevates its flavor. Quick to prepare, irresistibly delicious, and a must-share meatloaf recipe!
If you have leftover ground turkey that you don’t know what to do with, then this mini meatloaf recipe is the one to make. It is packed with so much flavor and protein and is great served with asparagus or potatoes for a hearty main dish that comes together in 30 minutes or less.
To make this homemade meatloaf slightly healthier we used ground turkey which is leaner and lower in calories than lean ground beef. Similar to what we did with this healthy turkey meatloaf and this air fryer meatloaf. I just adore these mini loaf versions that make the perfect size portions.
Why We Love This Meatloaf Recipe
- It’s an easy fall meal that can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes.
- The ground turkey absorbs the umami flavors of the other ingredients like sauteed veggies, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Making it so flavorful!
- Best of all, it has hidden veggies that the kids won’t even notice.
- These moist mini meatloafs are a great way to use up that ground turkey sitting in your fridge or freezer.
- They are so fun to eat and feel fancy without a lot of work.
Although I have listed some substitutions below, please note that this recipe has not been tested with all of these substitutions. If you replace any of the main ingredients, please let me know how it turned out in the comments below.
- Ground Turkey: Opt for 93/7. Alternatively, you can swap with ground chicken, lean beef, or pork as well.
- Olive Oil: I prefer extra virgin olive oil but canola, avocado oil, or butter will also work fine.
- Yellow Onion and green Bell Pepper: Adds crunch and flavor and helps keep the meatloaf moist. You could also use red/yellow peppers or swap onions with shallots/green onions.
- Egg: Binds the meatloaf. Alternative: Applesauce pumpkin puree, or a flax egg.
- Breadcrumbs: Enhances the texture and helps with binding the ingredients together. Swap: Crushed crackers, oatmeal, or almond meal.
- Seasoning: Use garlic powder for consistency; fresh garlic (1TBS minced) works too. Incorporate Italian herbs, salt, and pepper for depth.
- Ketchup & Chili Sauce: Provides sweet-tangy notes. Ketchup Alternative: Tomato sauce with sugar/honey or thinned tomato paste. Chili Sauce Swap: Hot sauce, sriracha, or ketchup with cayenne/chili flakes.
- Mustard: Use yellow or Dijon mustard for zesty notes. Alternative: Wasabi, horseradish, or vinegar with turmeric.
- Maple Syrup: A natural sweetener for balanced flavors in the glaze. Swap: Honey, agave, or diluted brown sugar.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Enhances depth with its rich blend. Alternative: Soy sauce with a dash of apple cider vinegar.
See the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to make Mini Meatloaf – Step by Step Instructions
Step 1 – Preparation of the Veggies: Warm a pan over medium heat. Add olive oil, followed by the veggies, and sauté until tender. Allow to cool.
Step 2 – Mixing the Meatloaf: In a large mixing bowl, combine all meatloaf ingredients. Next, add the cooled veggies and blend thoroughly, taking care not to overmix. I like to use my hands to do this.
Step three: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate the meatloaf mixture or form and cook it right away.
Step 4 -Glazing: In a separate small bowl, whisk together the glaze ingredients. Generously brush the glaze over the top of each mini meatloaf.
Step 5 -Baking: Finally, cook the meatloaves in a 400°F preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown. Ensure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F using a meat thermometer. Per the recipe card below.
Top with parsley and pair with your preferred healthy sides (recommendations below).
- Selecting Turkey: For optimal moisture, choose a blend of dark and white meat, like the flavorful 93/7 ground turkey available at most stores.
- Mixing Technique: Avoid overmixing to prevent density. Gently combine ingredients by hand for a more tender meatloaf.
- Enhance Moisture: Turkey’s leanness benefits from moisture-rich additions like finely chopped veggies or a dash of milk/broth. If you feel that your meat looks dry then you can also add a drizzle of olive oil to the mixture.
- Resting Phase: Post-baking, let the meatloaves sit for a few minutes to retain juiciness. This is equally as important as not overcooking the meatloaf.
- Don’t Forget the Glaze: A well-crafted glaze, perhaps with a hint of apple cider vinegar or brown sugar, can result in significantly elevated flavor.
What kind of meat should I use?
For mini meatloaf, consider flavor, fat, and dietary needs. Mixing meats enhances taste and texture. Always use fresh, quality meat. This recipe works best with ground turkey, but beef is also an option.
How long do I bake mini meatloaves?
Bake mini meatloaves at 400°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, ensuring an internal temperature of 160°F for beef/pork or 165°F for poultry using a meat thermometer.
What is the best way to keep my mini meatloaf moist?
The best way to keep the mini meatloaf moist is to incorporate moisture-retaining ingredients and avoid overcooking. Using a mix of lean and fatty meats, adding binders like breadcrumbs soaked in milk, and incorporating finely chopped or grated vegetables can all help retain moisture.
How can I make mini meatloaf muffins?
To make mini meatloaf muffins, combine the meatloaf ingredients, then scoop into a greased muffin tin. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 20-25 minutes, checking for doneness with an internal temperature of 160°F for beef/pork or 165°F for poultry. Note: I have not tested this with this recipe yet but it should work fine.
We love serving this mini turkey meatloaf with sides like green beans and potatoes or a salad for a lighter meal. They would also go great alongside this kale salad or Brussels sprouts salad with some homemade biscuits.
Refrigerator: Allow the mini meatloaves to cool completely to room temperature. Place them in an airtight container or wrap them individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing Instructions: Allow the mini meatloaves to cool completely to room temperature. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spaced apart, and freeze until solid (about 1-2 hours). Once frozen, transfer the meatloaves to airtight freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible. Label the bags or containers with the date and contents. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
From the refrigerator: Reheat in the oven at 350°F or microwave until warmed through.
From a frozen state: When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave.
More Healthy Dinner Recipes
- Air fryer breaded chicken breast
- Taco stuffed peppers
- Healthy Chicken Parmesan
- Air Fryer Chicken Sausage and Veggies
Did you make this mini meatloaf recipe? If you did then please leave a rating and comment below. I would love to hear how yours turned out!Print