BBQ meatloaf made with ground turkey is a healthy comfort food dream come true. It's tender, flavorful, and easy to put together, with only 10 minutes of hands-on time. Weeknight friendly, but totally dinner party-worthy, too.
Why we love this recipe
BBQ meatloaf is a gentle twist on a long-time favorite. It's our classic meatloaf recipe, but with BBQ sauce swapped in for the ketchup and turkey subbed for the beef. It's:
- Cozy and comforting
- Lightened up a bit, yet super-satisfying
- Tender and flavorful
- Quick and easy to make
Plus, it's a great match with so many of your favorite sides. What's not to love?
What you'll need
Here's a glance at the ingredients you'll need to make this recipe.
- My favorite turkey to use for BBQ meatloaf is a mixture of white and dark meat (a pound of each). It makes things extra flavorful and tender. But if you've only got white meat or would simply rather use that, it's all good. That's what I've pictured here.
- Make homemade BBQ sauce if you're so inclined. It's extra-good. If not, your favorite bottled sauce works perfectly.
- Herbes de Provence are a beautiful blend that typically includes thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, savory, marjoram, oregano, and/or bay leaf. It quickly elevates a simple recipe like this one. We use it a lot on this site — you can type it into the search bar to find more ways to use it.
My favorite sources for meat & pantry staples
For years, I've been sourcing our meat from ButcherBox. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in my extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.
I love Thrive Market for a wide variety of products. Often described as one part Whole Foods, one part Costco, they're a membership-based online market for healthier products at discounted prices. Plus, they're mission-driven, engaged in the community, and not currently owned by a giant corporation. You can learn more in my Thrive Market review and unboxing.
How to make it
Here's what you'll do to make a great BBQ meatloaf. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Sautéing the onions in a little bit of olive oil as the first step (a smart move inspired by the Barefoot Contessa) goes a long way toward adding depth and mellowness to the final product.
- After that, you'll mix together all the ingredients except the turkey and half the BBQ sauce in a large mixing bowl. Then add the turkey and mix it in gently but thoroughly.
- Shape the mixture into an even loaf on a parchment-lined rimmed sheet pan. Brush it with the remaining BBQ sauce.
- Bake in the center of a 350°F oven for about 40 minutes, until cooked through. I like to spoon on a little bit of extra sauce right before serving.
Expert tips and FAQs
I prefer to use a mix of white and dark meat turkey when possible, since it yields the most tender and flavorful result. It's not always easy to find dark meat, so don't worry about it too much — this recipe is great with all white meat, too. That's what's pictured here.
Sure thing! For gluten-free meatloaf, use gluten-free breadcrumbs, BBQ sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. To make it dairy-free, you can substitute chicken broth for the milk. No need to make any further changes.
If evening time is a factor, you can prep the meatloaf earlier in the day, cover it with foil and pop into the refrigerator. Brush with the BBQ sauce just before cooking. You may need to add a few minutes to the baking time.
Meatloaf makes great leftovers. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and reheat or eat in sandwiches. Or slice, wrap well, and freeze for up to three months.
How to serve it
Here are some of our favorite sides to serve with this fabulous healthy comfort food dinner:
- Mashed potatoes or creamy mashed cauliflower
- Buttermilk cornbread muffins
- Steakhouse creamed spinach
- Kale salad
- Southern-style collards
- Mac and cheese (Instant Pot or baked)
More favorite ground turkey recipes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup dry Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ cup BBQ sauce, divided (bottled or homemade)
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the center.
- Warm the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and ½ teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to become translucent, about five minutes. Cool slightly.
- In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the remaining salt, the breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of the BBQ sauce, the milk, the Worcestershire sauce, the herbs, and the cooked onions. Mix well.
- Add the ground turkey. Use a rubber spatula to gently but thoroughly fold the ingredients together, mixing without compressing the meat. This will help keep the meatloaf light and tender.
- Line a rimmed half sheet pan or other large baking dish with parchment.
- Turn out the meatloaf mixture into the center of the pan and shape it into an even loaf.
- Spread the remaining ¼ cup of BBQ sauce over the top of the loaf.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160°F.
- If you like, spread a few more tablespoons of BBQ sauce over the cooked loaf.
- Let rest for at least five minutes before slicing and serving.
- I prefer to use a mix of white and dark meat ground turkey when possible, since it yields the most tender and flavorful result. It's not always easy to find dark meat ground turkey, so don't worry about it too much — this recipe is great with all white meat, too. That's what's pictured here.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs, BBQ sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. To make it dairy-free, you can substitute chicken broth for the milk.
- If evening time is a factor, you can prep the meatloaf earlier in the day, cover it with foil and pop into the refrigerator. Brush with the BBQ sauce just before cooking. You may need to add a few minutes to the baking time.
- Meatloaf makes great leftovers. Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and reheat or eat in sandwiches. Or slice, wrap well, and freeze for up to three months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 971mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 32g