glazed turkey meatloaf on a parchment lined baking sheet, basting brush with glaze in the background next to a plate with more meatloaf

MEATLOAF WITH A GLAZE

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The perfect family dinner awaits: Meatloaf with a Glaze! It’s simple to throw together, can be made in advance, and can easily be customized to suit everyone’s tastes. It’s always a winner!

Growing up, meatloaf was one of my mama’s specialties. Being very Italian, she had her list of 5-6 main dishes we could always count on finding on the dinner table. To this day, she still has those same 5-6 dishes on rotation and I always know what to expect to eat when I go for a visit.

Whether it was pasta with cauliflower and bacon (one of my 3 year old niece’s favourite dishes today) or carciofoli aka Italian stuffed artichokes (still one of my favourite dishes today), she had her staples and wouldn’t veer far from them. You know? Italians, stuck in their ways. Thankfully, all of the food she cooks is good and I have no complaints.

And thankfully, meatloaf, for as long as I can remember, has always been a guaranteed part of that list.

sliced of glazed meatloaf on a plate, more in the background

You know, come to think of it.. I haven’t blessed this blog with my mama’s very own meatloaf recipe yet. Which is kinda weird considering that this recipe for meatloaf with a glaze will actually be my third meatloaf recipe. I have a killer bacon wrapped keto meatloaf posted already. As well as an air fryer meatloaf which, come onnnnn… IF you were ever skeptical about meatloaf, cooking it PERFECTLY in an air fryer should be enough to change that! It’s no wonder everyone loves making meatloaf as much as they love eating it!

I like to bust out the meatloaf recipes when I’m feeding a large crowd. Unlike my mama who cooked for 5 of us, I only have to cook for 2. And while the boyfriend and I most certainly would not have a problem devouring an entire meatloaf in one sitting, it’s just the perfect meal to serve up amongst friends.

You can seriously throw whatever ingredients you have on hand into it, only have to do a few minutes of actual work, and it’s always a crowd pleaser! Ain’t nobody complaining about meatloaf in my house!

And who knows, I may even be able to snag a few extra bonus points for making this meatloaf with a glaze as healthy as it is delicious!

INGREDIENTS TO MAKE MEATLOAF WITH A GLAZE

ingredients for meatloaf with a glaze - ground turkey, bell peppers, onions, garlic, ketchup, honey, dijon, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, worcestershire sauce
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

This meatloaf with a glaze recipe uses simple ingredients that come together to create a flavourful and satisfying meal that’s sure to please the whole family. Let’s discuss each one in a little bit more detail down below:

FOR THE GROUND TURKEY MEATLOAF

  • Ground Turkey: Serves as the base of the meatloaf, providing a lean source of protein. Opting for lean ground meat helps keep the dish healthy while still delivering plenty of flavour. Choose lean ground turkey to keep the meatloaf healthy and avoid excess fat. This will also help prevent the meatloaf from becoming too greasy. However, with that being said, you can certainly use a different kind of ground meat instead, if you prefer. Beef, chicken, pork, or lamb all make great options.

  • Breadcrumbs: Act as a binding agent and help give structure to the meatloaf. If you want to keep this meatloaf with a glaze on the healthier side, opt for whole wheat breadcrumbs. Whole wheat breadcrumbs offer added fiber and nutrients compared to traditional white breadcrumbs.

  • Onion, Bell Pepper, Garlic: These aromatic vegetables add depth of flavour to the meatloaf. They also contribute moisture and texture. I used a green bell pepper but you can use whatever colour you prefer or have on hand.

  • Eggs: Act as a binder, helping to hold the ingredients together and prevent the meatloaf from falling apart. They also add moisture to the mixture.

  • Milk: Adds moisture to the meatloaf, keeping it from becoming too dry during baking. You can use whatever kind of milk you prefer or have on hand. However, using skim milk keeps the dish lighter in calories and fat.

  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds savoury umami flavour to the meatloaf. It’s a classic ingredient in meatloaf recipes and helps enhance the overall taste.

  • Dried Oregano and Thyme: These dried herbs add a hint of earthy, aromatic flavour to the meatloaf. You can adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences or even use fresh herbs if available.

  • Salt and Pepper: Essential for enhancing the flavour of the meatloaf. Be sure to season the mixture generously to ensure it’s well seasoned throughout.

FOR THE GLAZE

  • Ketchup: Serves as the base of the glaze, providing a tangy, slightly sweet flavour. It adds moisture and helps caramelize on the surface of the meatloaf during baking.

  • Dijon Mustard: Adds a subtle tanginess and depth of flavour to the glaze. It complements the sweetness of the ketchup and balances the overall taste. You can use a different kind of mustard instead, if you prefer. Yellow, whole grain, honey, or spicy all make great alternatives.

  • Honey: Adds natural sweetness to the glaze, creating a well-rounded flavour profile. It also helps the glaze achieve a nice glossy finish when baked. You can use maple syrup instead, if you prefer.
meatloaf with a glaze on a parchment lined baking sheet next to a knife, a plate of broccoli and another plate with more meatloaf

HOW TO MAKE MEATLOAF WITH A GLAZE (KEY TIPS)

hand holding a slice of turkey meatloaf over a tray with more

You can find full instructions for how to make this healthy recipe for meatloaf with a glaze in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a loaf pan (aka my most favourite tip of all time when it comes to making meatloaf!!!). Using a loaf pan helps shape the meatloaf and keeps it together during baking. Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap or lightly grease it to prevent sticking. EXTRA TIP: After turning your meatloaf out onto a lined baking sheet from the loaf pan, use your hands to smooth it out and fill in any cracks or weird looking areas.

  • Don’t overmix. Mix the ingredients for the meatloaf until just combined. Overmixing can result in a dense and tough texture. Mix until everything is evenly distributed, but avoid excessive handling. EXTRA TIP: If you find that the meatloaf mixture is too dry, you can add a bit more milk or even some chicken broth to moisten it. Conversely, if the mixture is too wet, you can add more breadcrumbs to absorb excess moisture.

  • OPTIONAL (but if you’re concerned…) Test for seasoning. Before baking the entire meatloaf, cook a small portion of the mixture in a skillet and taste-test it for seasoning. This allows you to adjust the seasoning as needed before baking the entire meatloaf.

  • Don’t be shy with the glaze! You want it all over the tops and sides of the meatloaf. Trust me, there is more than enough to go around and the amount of flavour it adds is irreplaceable! EXTRA TIP: Make sure all of the glaze ingredients are well combined before slathering it all over the meatloaf. This ensures an even balance of flavours in every single bite! EXTRA EXTRA TIP: If you find that your glaze is cooking too fast in the oven or burning, loosely tent the meatloaf with foil for the remainder of the cooking time.

  • Check for doneness. To ensure that the meatloaf is cooked through and safe to eat, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The meatloaf is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

  • Let it rest. Allow the meatloaf to rest for a few minutes after removing it from the oven before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavourful meatloaf. It also makes it firm up a bit and therefore, become easier to slice.
slices of meatloaf on a plate, more in the background
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS MEATLOAF GLAZE MADE OF?

Meatloaf glaze typically consists of a combination of sweet, tangy and savoury ingredients. A basic meatloaf glaze can include any number of ingredients. Some typical culprits you’ll often find in a meatloaf glaze are ketchup, brown sugar or honey, mustard, vinegar or worcestershire sauce, and spices.

In this particular recipe for meatloaf with a glaze, the glaze is made up of 3 simple ingredients that provide the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavours for the meatloaf. Ketchup, dijon mustard, and honey.

WHAT IS THE SECRET TO MOIST MEATLOAF?

The secret to moist meatloaf lies in a few key techniques and ingredients:

While lean meat like turkey or chicken is healthier, it tends to be drier. To counteract this, incorporate ingredients with moisture such as finely chopped vegetables (onions, bell peppers, carrots) or moistening agents like milk, broth, or tomato sauce.

Don’t overmix. Overmixing can compact the meat proteins, resulting in a dense and dry texture. Mix the ingredients until just combined to avoid this.

Add binders. Binders like eggs and breadcrumbs help hold moisture in the meatloaf. Be careful not to overdo it, as too much can make the meatloaf too dense.

A flavourful glaze not only adds taste but also moisture. Applying it generously on top of the meatloaf before baking helps keep it moist during cooking.

If you find your meatloaf drying out during baking, you can cover it with foil for part of the cooking time to retain moisture.

Allowing the meatloaf to rest for a few minutes after baking gives the juices a chance to redistribute, resulting in a juicier end product.

And finally, overcooking can lead to dry meatloaf. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) for poultry-based meatloaf, and 160°F (71°C) for beef or pork-based meatloaf. This ensures it’s cooked through but not overdone.

WHAT CAN I ADD TO MEATLOAF FOR FLAVOR?

Adding flavor to meatloaf is all about layering ingredients that complement each other and enhance the overall taste. Aromatics like onions, garlic, celery and bell peppers provide a flavourful base, especially when sautéed before mixing into the meat. Herbs and spices such as parsley, thyme, oregano or smoked paprika add depth and complexity to the flavour profile, while Worcestershire sauce contributes savoury umami notes.

Mustard, whether it’s Dijon or whole grain, adds a tangy kick that elevates the meatloaf’s taste. Tomato products like tomato paste or sauce not only add moisture but also lend a subtle sweetness and acidity. Cheese, such as Parmesan or cheddar, brings richness and depth of flavour, while bacon adds a smoky dimension. For those who enjoy heat, hot sauce or cayenne pepper can provide a spicy kick.

Experimenting with these ingredients allows you to tailor the flavour of your meatloaf to your preferences, creating a delicious and satisfying dish every time!

HOW LONG IS LEFTOVER TURKEY MEATLOAF GOOD FOR?

Leftover turkey meatloaf can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. To keep it fresh and safe to eat, allow the meatloaf to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container or wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate promptly after cooking to minimize the time it spends at room temperature.

If you have more leftovers than you can eat within a few days, consider freezing portions in airtight containers or freezer bags. Frozen turkey meatloaf can maintain its quality for up to 3 months.

HOW DO YOU REHEAT TURKEY MEATLOAF WITHOUT DRYING IT OUT?

To reheat turkey meatloaf without drying it out, there are a few methods you can use:

Oven Method: Preheat your oven to around 325°F (160°C). Place the turkey meatloaf in an oven-safe dish and cover it loosely with aluminum foil to help retain moisture. Reheat for about 20-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). This gentle reheating method allows the meatloaf to heat evenly without drying out.

Steam Method: If you have a steamer or a pot with a steaming basket, you can use the steam method to reheat turkey meatloaf. Place the meatloaf in the steamer basket and steam over simmering water for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through. The steam helps to keep the meatloaf moist while it reheats.

Microwave Method: If using a microwave, place the turkey meatloaf on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel to help trap moisture. Reheat on medium power in short intervals, checking and stirring in between, to prevent overheating. This method is quicker but requires careful monitoring to avoid drying out the meatloaf.

Regardless of the method you choose, it’s essential to check the internal temperature of the meatloaf with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches 165°F (74°C) throughout. This ensures that it’s safe to eat while maintaining its juiciness and flavour.

sliced of glazed meatloaf on a plate, more in the background

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glazed turkey meatloaf on a parchment lined baking sheet, basting brush with glaze in the background next to a plate with more meatloaf

MEATLOAF WITH A GLAZE

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

The perfect family dinner awaits: Meatloaf with a Glaze! It's easy to throw together, can be made in advance and can easily be customized to suit everyone's tastes. It's always a winner!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Bell Pepper, finely chopped (any colour)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Skim Milk
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

FOR THE GLAZE

  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, onion, bell pepper, garlic, eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined but be careful not to overmix.
    eggs, diced onions, bell peppers, breadcrumbs and spices unmixed in a bowl
    bowl of meatloaf mix
  3. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap then pack the meat in. Turn it out onto the lined baking sheet. Use your hands to smooth out any imperfections. Alternatively, shape the mixture into a loaf then place it on the baking sheet.
    loaf pan lined with plastic wrap
    raw meat with diced green peppers and onions in a loaf pan
    raw meatloaf on a parchment lined baking sheet
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together ketchup, Dijon mustard, and honey to create the glaze.
    bowl of ketchup, honey and dijon mustard unmixed
    reddish/orange sauce in a bowl with a mini whisk
  5. Spread the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the meatloaf.
    hand with a basting brush brushing an orange/reddish glaze onto a meatloaf
    orange/reddish glazed meatloaf on a parchment lined baking sheet
  6. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Let the meatloaf rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Notes

The meatloaf you see in the photos is based on doubling this recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 524Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 524mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 44g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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