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Get ready to enjoy our Mini Turkey Meatloaf, a tasty twist on classic meatloaf, perfect for smaller servings. This recipe features ground turkey, expertly seasoned with sautéed onions, garlic, fresh parsley, and Italian herbs. Topped with a sweet and tangy glaze, it’s ideal for a delightful weekday dinner or a special meal for one or two. This mini meatloaf is sure to be a standout in your recipe collection.

Craving more individual-sized or small-portion meatloaf dishes? You’re in for a treat with our savory Mini Meatloaf, made with ground beef, and our delectably tender Slow Cooker Meatloaf. Pair these comforting meals with creamy mashed potatoes, crisp green beans, and a slice of freshly baked, crusty French bread for a truly hearty and fulfilling dining experience.

Why You’ll Love This Turkey Meatloaf Recipe

  1. Perfect Portion: Ideal for small households, this mini turkey meatloaf serves one or two perfectly, eliminating waste.
  2. Healthier Option: Using ground turkey makes this a lighter, leaner alternative to traditional beef meatloaf.
  3. Flavorful and Moist: The combination of sautéed onions, garlic, and herbs ensures each bite is packed with flavor, while the glaze adds a delightful sweetness.
  4. Easy to Make: This simple recipe is fantastic for both novice and experienced cooks, ensuring a hassle-free cooking experience.
  5. Versatile Meal: Perfect for any occasion, whether a cozy dinner at home or a special meal for guests.

Ingredients

ingredients needed to make a small turkey meatloaf on a wooden cutting board.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Chosen for its superior quality, extra virgin olive oil enhances this recipe with its rich, authentic olive flavor and nutritional benefits. It’s the least processed form, brimming with the natural taste and healthful compounds of olives. While I prefer extra virgin for its robust profile, a lighter olive oil can be substituted for a milder taste.
  • Onions, Garlic, and Parsley: Essential for flavor, finely chopped onions and garlic are key ingredients, infusing the meatloaf with depth and aroma. Fresh parsley, used generously, adds a fresh, herby touch. These three ingredients are used in many of our recipes like Paprika Chicken, Baked Stuffed Fish, and Spaghetti and Meatballs.
  • Seasonings: A blend of Italian seasoning, kosher salt, and black pepper keeps the flavors balanced yet enticing. Italian seasoning, a mix of basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary, provides a Mediterranean flair. Don’t have Italian seasoning? Substituting with one or two of these herbs can create a similar taste profile.
  • Ground Turkey: A leaner alternative to beef, 6 ounces of ground turkey makes this meatloaf lighter and healthier. Use leftover ground turkey in Turkey Chili or in a Sloppy Joe.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated Parmesan not only adds a savory depth to the meatloaf but also acts as a binder, complementing the breadcrumbs in holding the loaf together.
  • One Egg: Integral for moisture and binding, the egg ensures that the meatloaf maintains its shape and texture.
  • Breadcrumbs: A key structural ingredient, breadcrumbs prevent the meatloaf from crumbling, ensuring a firm yet tender loaf. Use homemade breadcrumbs or breadcrumbs from the store.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: This brings a rich, umami depth to the dish, elevating the overall flavor profile.
  • Ketchup and Brown Sugar: These create the sweet and tangy glaze that beautifully tops off the meatloaf, adding a delightful finish.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

Recipe Variations

  • Add Cheese: Mix in some grated cheese like cheddar or mozzarella for a cheesy twist.
  • Spicy Glaze: Add a dash of hot sauce to the glaze for a spicy kick.
  • Herb Changes: Experiment with different herbs like thyme or rosemary.
  • BBQ Glaze: Replace the ketchup glaze with barbecue sauce for a smoky flavor.
  • Veggie Boost: Mix in finely chopped bell peppers or mushrooms and cook along with the onions and garlic.
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How To Make A Turkey Meatloaf For One

These step-by-step photos and instructions help you visualize how to make a mini turkey meatloaf. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
chopped onions in a black saute pan.
  1. Add the chopped garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
onions, garlic, and seasonings in a small frying pan on a stove.
  1. Place the ground turkey in a medium-sized bowl. Add the seasoned vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, Parmesan cheese, egg, and breadcrumbs to the bowl. Using a large spoon, mix the meat and all of the ingredients together until fully combined.
ground turkey, vegetables, egg, and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl.
  1. Shape the meatloaf into an oval and transfer it to a small baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
unbaked turkey meatloaf in a small baking dish.
  1. Remove the turkey meatloaf from the oven. In a small bowl, stir together ketchup and brown sugar. Spoon over the top of the meatloaf and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
ketchup and brown sugar glaze spooned over meatloaf.
  1. Remove the meatloaf from the oven, cover, and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
a mini meatloaf in a small baking dish on a wooden counter.

Slow Cooker Instructions For Turkey Meatloaf

For those who prefer using a slow cooker, this recipe adapts seamlessly. A small slow cooker, ranging from 1.5 to 3 quarts, is ideal for this purpose.

  • Start by following steps 1-3 of the original recipe (see the recipe block below).
  • Once your meat mixture is ready, shape it into a loaf and place it gently into your slow cooker.
  • Cover and set the slow cooker on high for 5 hours or on low for 3 hours. The meatloaf is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Expert Tips

  • Sauté Vegetables First: Resist the urge to mix raw onions and garlic directly into the meatloaf. Instead, spend a few extra minutes to sauté these vegetables. This crucial step not only enhances their flavor but also adds essential moisture to the meatloaf.
  • Avoid Overmixing: For a tender and juicy meatloaf, handle the mixture gently. Overmixing can lead to a denser, tougher texture, so mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Choose the Right Baking Dish: Space matters when baking meatloaf. Opt for a 4×6-inch or a 5×5-inch dish, which provides enough room for the meatloaf without crowding it. This allows for even cooking and a nice caramelization around the edges. A small sheet pan can also be a good alternative.
  • Perfect Your Glaze: The glaze is the crowning touch. A classic combination of ketchup and brown sugar creates a harmonious blend of sweet and tart. For a sweeter glaze, increase the brown sugar; for more tanginess, reduce it. Experiment with honey, molasses, maple syrup, or agave nectar as alternatives to brown sugar. Barbecue sauce can also be a delicious topping for a different twist.
  • Rest Before Slicing: After baking, let the meatloaf rest under a foil tent. This pause allows the meatloaf to firm up for smooth slicing and helps retain its mouthwatering juices, ensuring each slice is as flavorful as possible.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoying this mini turkey meatloaf is a treat, and here are some fabulous ways to serve it:

  • With Mashed Potatoes: A classic pair, creamy mashed potatoes complement the meatloaf beautifully.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Pair with roasted butternut squash or roasted carrots for a light and healthy meal.
  • Over Rice: Serve sliced meatloaf over a bed of fluffy rice for a comforting meal.
  • In a Sandwich: Leftover meatloaf makes for a delicious sandwich filling.
  • With a Side Salad: A fresh tomato salad balances the richness of the meatloaf perfectly.

Make-Ahead And Freezing Instructions For Turkey Meatloaf

Preparing in Advance:

  • Turkey meatloaf is not only scrumptious but also conveniently prepped ahead of time. To prepare a day before, simply follow the recipe up to the point of shaping and baking. Store the uncooked mixture in the refrigerator for up to a day. When you’re ready to bake, shape the meatloaf into an oval following the recipe’s baking instructions.

Freezing Unbaked Meatloaf:

  • To freeze the meatloaf before baking, assemble it as per the recipe, then shape it into an oval. Wrap the shaped meatloaf securely in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. Ensure you thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before baking.

Freezing Baked Meatloaf:

  • For freezing the already baked meatloaf, let it cool down first. Once cooled, wrap it in foil or plastic wrap, and then place it in a freezer bag. The baked meatloaf can be frozen for up to one month.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does turkey meatloaf last in the fridge?

Properly stored, baked turkey meatloaf remains fresh and safe to eat for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Ensure it’s covered or stored in an airtight container.

Can I make a larger meatloaf?

Absolutely! Feel free to double the ingredients for a larger serving. When doing so, use a larger baking dish and you may need to adjust the baking time to 40-45 minutes before applying the glaze. Use a digital instant-read thermometer to check that the internal temperature reaches 165°F, indicating it’s fully cooked.

How can I modify this turkey meatloaf recipe for a gluten-free diet?

For a gluten-free version, replace regular breadcrumbs with gluten-free alternatives like gluten-free breadcrumbs, certified gluten-free rolled oats, crushed nuts, gluten-free crackers, or Corn Chex cereal. If your Worcestershire sauce isn’t gluten-free, substitute it with 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar.

What size baking dish should I use?

I recommend using a 4×6-inch baking dish with a base area of 24 square inches or a 5×5-inch dish with a base area of 25 square inches. The key is to use a dish that snugly fits the meatloaf while allowing a little space around the edges for even cooking and proper caramelization.

a mini turkey meatloaf topped with a tomato based glaze in a white baking dish.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

If you’ve tried this small turkey meatloaf or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

If you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


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Mini Turkey Meatloaf

4.82 from 11 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
This is the best turkey meatloaf recipe! This incredibly moist and tender mini turkey meatloaf is filled with flavor and is the perfect amount for one or two people.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces ground turkey
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs

For the glaze

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ tablespoon brown sugar
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Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chopped garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
  • Place the ground turkey in a medium-sized bowl. Add the seasoned vegetables, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, Parmesan cheese, egg, and breadcrumbs to the bowl. Using a large spoon, mix the meat and all of the ingredients together until fully combined.
  • Shape the meatloaf into an oval and transfer it to a small lightly greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the turkey meatloaf from the oven. In a small bowl, stir together ketchup and brown sugar. Spoon over the top of the meatloaf and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven, cover, and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

  • Sauté Vegetables First: Resist the urge to mix raw onions and garlic directly into the meatloaf. Instead, spend a few extra minutes to sauté these vegetables. This crucial step not only enhances their flavor but also adds essential moisture to the meatloaf.
  • Avoid Overmixing: For a tender and juicy meatloaf, handle the mixture gently. Overmixing can lead to a denser, tougher texture, so mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Choose the Right Baking Dish: Space matters when baking meatloaf. Opt for a 4×6-inch or a 5×5-inch dish, which provides enough room for the meatloaf without crowding it. This allows for even cooking and a nice caramelization around the edges. A small sheet pan can also be a good alternative.
  • Perfect Your Glaze: The glaze is the crowning touch. A classic combination of ketchup and brown sugar creates a harmonious blend of sweet and tart. For a sweeter glaze, increase the brown sugar; for more tanginess, reduce it. Experiment with honey, molasses, maple syrup, or agave nectar as alternatives to brown sugar. Barbecue sauce can also be a delicious topping for a different twist.
  • Rest Before Slicing: After baking, let the meatloaf rest under a foil tent. This pause allows the meatloaf to firm up for smooth slicing and helps retain its mouthwatering juices, ensuring each slice is as flavorful as possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 638kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 48g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 18g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 321mg, Sodium: 1857mg, Potassium: 878mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 827IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 304mg, Iron: 6mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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4.82 from 11 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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9 Comments

  1. Shawn Turpen says:

    I really enjoyed this meal. I used 3 oz light and 3 oz dark meat. Otherwise followed exactly and that ketchup brown sugar glaze was awesome. Only took 20 minutes to reach temperature. Severed with you mashed potatoes. I really appreciate recipes for one. I only cook for myself, husband eats gluten free and has most meals delivered. So thanks for all these wonderful recipes for one.

  2. Jheri says:

    Can oatmeal be substitute for bread crumbs?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Yes. Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions section of this recipe post. You can find the answers to most questions there.

  3. Dorothy says:

    Great recipe. First time using ground turkey. Out of parsley, so finely diced celery sauted with onion. Out of parmesan cheese so used nutritional yeast. Upped turkey to 8 oz to up protein intake. Added about 15 cc milk for added turkey. Took a little longer to cook. Delicious. Can’t wait to try with parsley and cheese.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      I love the creative tweaks you made to the turkey meatloaf recipe! Substituting finely diced celery and nutritional yeast sounds like a fantastic way to adapt to what you had on hand. Adding more turkey and a bit of milk for that extra protein boost is also a great move!
      Parsley and cheese will add even more flavor, so I’m excited for you to try it with those ingredients next time. Thanks so much for sharing your experience — this is super helpful for others who may want to make some changes too!

  4. Mary says:

    I loved the texture of this mini-meatloaf, and I loved the glaze. There was a little too much Italian seasoning for my taste, so I’ll decrease that next time. I also recently heard Ina Garten say that you can get a crispier crust if you bake your meatloaf on a sheet pan, so I did that, with good results.

  5. Robert De Montmorency says:

    I have found by using your website over the past three months, I have found ways to reduce food costs, and make delicious meals, bread and desserts for my self and grandkids when they come over. I have even recommended your website to others.

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thank you so much, Robert. I’m so happy to know our recipes are helpful to you.

  6. MaryAnn Avon says:

    Excellent recipe!! Delicious Dinner for Two!