Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins are juicy, flavorful, quick to make, and egg-free & gluten-free, with a tender texture and a yummy barbecue sauce glaze!

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with text overlay.

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If you enjoy meatloaf muffins, you'll love classic Mini Meatloaf Muffins and taco-inspired Mexican Meatloaf Muffins!

It's been years since I've made "regular" meatloaf in a "regular" pan. Instead, I've become a forever fan of meatloaf muffins, taking a standard meatloaf recipe and dividing it between the cups of a muffin pan. And today I've taken my favorite method and turned it into tasty Turkey Meatloaf Muffins!

Before I get into the particulars of this turkey meatloaf recipe, allow me to first enumerate the reasons that I prefer baking meatloaf as muffins. 🙂

Platter of Turkey Meatloaf Muffins with BBQ sauce glaze.

Why Make Meatloaf in a Muffin Pan

  1. Meatloaf muffins are quick to make! They simply cook faster than ground meat formed into a big fat loaf, which typically takes around an hour to cook through to the center. And usually, I don't want to wait that long for what should be a speedy weeknight dinner! So cooking meatloaf in smaller scoops in a muffin pan means it bakes significantly more quickly.
  2. There's a higher ratio of glaze-to-meat! Is it just me, or is the glaze not one of the best parts of a meatloaf? And with little meatloaf muffins, there's a perfect smidge of glaze for each and every bite.
  3. Individual portions are fun! I mean, mini food is just cuter, isn't it? My kids love that they each get their own mini meatloaf. And bigger appetites can enjoy two or three!
Turkey Meatloaf Muffins in baking pan.

Egg-Free and Gluten-Free

Since I already have several ground beef meatloaf muffins on the site, I decided it was high time to create one featuring ground turkey.

And while I was at it, I experimented with making it egg-free and gluten-free for those who may have sensitivities.

But you would never guess that this recipe is missing anything at all, because these Turkey Meatloaf Muffins turned out absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

Labeled ingredients to make turkey meatloaf recipe.
  • Ground turkey. You may encounter different options at the grocery store. But to ensure the juiciest meatloaf, I recommend buying ground turkey, which is a mixture of white and dark meat, as opposed to ground turkey breast.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil. Since ground turkey is prone to drying out, adding a bit of EVOO to the meatloaf mixture helps combat this.
  • Quick oats. To replace traditional breadcrumbs while giving the turkey meatloaf structure. Quick oats are small/fine enough, however, that you don't notice biting into them. Just be sure to use certified GF oats if you need this recipe to be gluten-free.
  • Garlic powder + black pepper. For seasoning.
  • BBQ sauce + ketchup + Worcestershire sauce. These combine to make the sauce, which is both incorporated into the meatloaf mix and spooned on top of the muffins as a glaze.

How to Make Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

(The below photos are intended to be helpful, but please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for FULL DIRECTIONS.)

With easy prep and a quick cooking time, these Turkey Meatloaf Muffins can be on the table in a flash!

  1. Preheat the oven and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray a six-cup muffin pan with cooking spray and set atop the baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, olive oil, quick oats, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper.
Combining ingredients for turkey meatloaf.
Ingredients combined for turkey meatloaf.
  1. In a bowl or 1-cup measuring cup, combine barbecue sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
Combining BBQ sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire.
Glaze ready for turkey meatloaf recipe.
  1. Pour half of the barbecue sauce mixture over the ground turkey mixture and mix to incorporate.
Adding sauce to turkey meatloaf mixture.
  1. Evenly divide the meat mixture between six muffin cups, smoothing the tops of the mounds.
  2. Carefully spoon the remaining barbecue sauce mixture over the meatloaf muffins. 
Diving mixture into sixths.
Turkey Meatloaf Muffins in pan, topped with glaze and ready for oven.
  1. Bake until the meatloaf reaches 165°F on an instant read thermometer.
Turkey Meatloaf Muffins baked in pan.
  1. Lift the muffins out of the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Serve warm and enjoy!
Aerial view of Turkey Meatloaf Muffins for dinner.

For Evenly-Sized Muffins

As depicted above, there's a trick to making sure my meatloaf mixture gets evenly divided between the six muffin cups.

  1. Smooth the top of the turkey mixture in the bowl.
  2. Use a butter knife to "cut" it into six equal portions (like a pizza).
  3. Scoop each triangle out with a big spoon and form it into a ball with your hands.
  4. Plop the ball-o-meat into the muffin pan!

Hopefully the high-quality iphone shot below can explain this method better than words. 😉

Dividing turkey meatloaf mixture into sixths.

And obviously, if you double this recipe, you'd need to divide your meatloaf mixture into twelve equal "slices" instead.

Aerial view of Turkey Meatloaf Muffins on plate.

How to Make Turkey Meatloaf Moist

My other beef meatloaf muffin recipes are cooked at a fairly high temperature. To keep my turkey meatloaf from drying out, I cooked them at 375°F and substituted some olive oil for the egg that I usually include. As mentioned above, I also opted for ground turkey (a mixture of white and dark meat) as opposed to ground turkey breast to ensure tender and juicy meatloaf muffins.

The other major substitute I made when converting my standard meatloaf muffin recipe to this one was that I swapped quick oats (gluten-free ones, if gluten is what you're trying to avoid) for my usual breadcrumbs. And I honestly couldn't tell a difference!

Close-up of Mini Turkey Meatloaf.

Safe Temperature

To make sure your Turkey Meatloaf Muffins cook through without drying out, it is imperative to use a meat thermometer and cook them to 165°F. I prefer the type of digital probe thermometer that stays inserted as a recipe is cooking. This way, you are alerted the moment it reaches the desired temperature! My Turkey Meatloaf Muffins took 35 minutes to fully cook.

You can find a link to the particular thermometer I use in the next section. Just make sure any thermometer is inserted into the center of a muffin and that the tip isn't touching the bottom or sides of the muffin pan.

Ready for the oven with BBQ glaze on top.

Tips, Tricks, & Equipment

  • I generally make meatloaf muffins in ceramic muffin pans, but a regular nonstick muffin tin will work just fine.
  • Here is my favorite digital food thermometer.
  • One pound of ground turkey fills 6 muffin cups and makes 3 to 4 servings. Feel free to double the recipe...now that my kids are older, I always do!
  • Any fat from the ground turkey will drain to the bottom of the muffin cups and creep up the sides. I like to place my muffin pan on a baking sheet just in case there’s an overflow of grease. Then once the muffins come out of the oven, I use two forks (or spoons) to carefully remove each muffin to a paper towel-lined plate to finish draining, though most of the fat will remain behind at the bottom of the muffin cup.
  • If you don't have any reason to avoid eggs or gluten, you may make this recipe with one egg in place of the olive oil and/or plain breadcrumbs in place of the quick oats.
  • The type of barbecue sauce you decide to use will largely affect the final flavor of your meatloaf. I typically use a mixture of sweet Kansas-style BBQ sauce and savory/slightly spicy Texas BBQ sauce. Or if you're feeling ambitious, you can make your own Homemade BBQ Sauce!
  • I always check the labels of store-bought barbecue sauce and ketchup for "real" ingredients. 🙂
  • You may add 1 cup of finely minced/grated veggies (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers) to the meat mixture, if you wish.
Aerial view of Turkey Meatloaf Muffins on dinner plate and serving platter.

More Quick, Easy, Kid-Friendly Dinners

Aerial view of Turkey Meatloaf Muffins on plate with broccoli and mashed potatoes.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins are juicy, flavorful, quick to make, and egg-free & gluten-free, with a tender texture and a yummy barbecue sauce glaze!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 muffins
Calories: 243kcal
Print Pin Rate

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup quick oats, (gluten-free, if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray a six-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray and set on top of the baking sheet.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, olive oil, quick oats, garlic powder, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • In a 1-cup measuring cup, measure out barbecue sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce; stir well. Pour half of the barbecue sauce mixture into the ground turkey mixture and mix to combine.
  • Evenly divide the meat mixture between the six muffin cups, smoothing the tops of the mounds. Carefully spoon the remaining barbecue sauce mixture over the meatloaf muffins. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the center of a meatloaf muffin reaches 165°F on an instant read thermometer. Use a spoon to help lift the muffins out of the pan and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Video

Notes

  • I generally make meatloaf muffins in ceramic muffin pans, but a regular nonstick muffin tin will work just fine.
  • The baking sheet under the muffin tin is to prevent any potential overflow of ingredients from making a mess on the bottom of your oven.
  • One pound of ground turkey fills 6 muffin cups and makes 3 to 4 servings, depending on the size of appetites. This recipe is easily doubled.
  • If you don't have any reason to avoid eggs or gluten, you may make this recipe with one egg in place of the olive oil and/or plain breadcrumbs in place of the quick oats.
  • Keep in mind that the type of barbecue sauce you decide to use will largely affect the final flavor of your turkey meatloaf.
  • You may add 1 cup of finely minced/grated veggies (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers) to the meat mixture, if you wish.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 349mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 125IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Post originally published on March 7, 2019, and updated on August 15, 2021, and April 26, 2023.

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5 from 9 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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11 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We are doing a Shelf-tember cleanout in our house and I had some ground turkey to use up. We tried these and loved them! Lots of glaze/sauce and crispier edges in every bite. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I’m going to double the recipe and make 24 cupcake-sized meatloafs. I think I’ll bake for 15-20 minutes…fingers crossed!

  3. 5 stars
    This was good. It held together great. Husband liked it, even though he does not like turkey burger too much!
    He did not even ask.
    Will make this again

    1. I'm so glad these were a hit, Misty! My hubby's not a huge fan of ground turkey, either, but he likes these. 🙂

  4. Hi! Is the serving size for all six ‘muffins’? Is is 243 calories for each individual meatloaf muffin?

    1. Hi Sara! This recipe makes 6 servings, or 6 meatloaf muffins. So each serving/muffin has 243 calories. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Hubby and I think these look delicious! It is supposed to rain all weekend so I am going to stay in and cook. These are on the plan!

    1. Same here, Robin...meatloaf edges are the best! So happy y'all enjoyed these. 🙂