One of my favorite meals as a kid has always been meatloaf. My mom was an amazing cook and always came up with best variations to my favorite recipes, including meatloaf! Now that I am the “head chef” I have learned ways to make my favorite dishes healthier, including this delicious air fryer turkey meatloaf.
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Turkey Meatloaf Variations
If you are unsure about turkey meatloaf, I suggest you try it by using 1/2 beef and 1/2 turkey to start. For a juicer turkey meatloaf use ground turkey that is 93% lean. I have found that ground turkey that is leaner will obviously be more dry.
- Add Cheese
- Mom used to flatten out the meatloaf, then layer it with swiss cheese, then roll it up so there is cheese in every bite! Yum!
- Spice it Up
- I don’t love spicy things, but Mike sure does. Sometimes I will cut up and sauté a jalapeno and add it to 1/2 the turkey meatloaf. Or top it with a siracha and catchup mixture.
- For the Sweet Tooth
- Mix in a tablespoon or two of brown sugar with the ketchup. Sure to satisfy the sweet tooth.
- Mix it up
- Like I said above, try mixing beef and turkey. The extra fat from the beef will make it juicer and those picky eaters will never know.
- I have found that over working ground turkey can make it tough. So don’t over work the meat.
- By accident I learned you can bake in the meatloaf in the Air Fryer. My oven took a crap and the Air Fryer came handy! Not sure I will ever use the oven again!
- Make them Fun Size
- I like to make individual meatloaf’s by cooking them in muffin pans (if baking in the oven) or rolling them into 4 smaller loaves, they will cook faster this way!
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How To Prepare Turkey Meatloaf
Start by chopping 1/2 an onion. This food chopper is a total game changer when it comes to chopping anything! To ensure your onions are not crunchy, you should always sauté them prior to mixing in with the remaining ingredients. If you are adding jalapenos, sauté them too.
Determine what your turkey meatloaf topping will be, sweet, BBQ or spicy. In this recipe I used Worcestershire and ketchup. Mix together 2 tablespoons of ketchup and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire in a small bowl, set aside.
In a small bowl, mix turkey, egg, bread crumbs, ketchup, and sautéed onions. Don’t over work the mixture, I have found the turkey becomes tough when you do.
Next, form into a loaf, or divide into smaller portions using a muffin tin or divide into 4 equal parts making mini loaves.
Best Way to Bake
Honestly I love a meatloaf baked in the oven the traditional way, 350 degrees for about an hour. However, my oven took a dump right in the middle of baking this delicious turkey meatloaf so I pulled out the air fryer. I was pleasantly surprised.
Since I had prepared my turkey meatloaf for the oven, I had already formed it into one large loaf and spread the topping over the meatloaf. When cooking in the air fryer I would change a couple things.
Air fryer turkey meatloaf is best when using a higher fat content turkey, 93% lean would be good. You might also add a little milk to the mixture for extra moisture. Divide into two smaller loaves will help to cook faster and placing a piece of foil in the bottom of the air fryer will keep the turkey meatloaf moist.
Reserve the toping until the last 15 min of cooking time, it will be nice and juicy when you cut into the meatloaf. After cooking let the turkey meatloaf rest for 5 minutes prior to serving.
- 1/4 cup ketchup, plus 2 tbsp.
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 small onion, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground Turkey
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I like whole wheat)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- In a small dish combine 2 tbsp. of Ketchup and Worcestershire sauce
- Heat olive oil and onion in a skillet over low heat until onions are translucent. 3-5 min.
- In a medium bowl combine turkey, onions, breadcrumbs, egg, ketchup and salt.
- Place mixture in loaf pan (if baking in oven at 350 degrees) or shape into loaf and place in air fryer. I like to line the air fryer with a sheet of foil to help keep it moist.
- cook at 350 degrees for 15 min
- Spread ketchup mixture on top and bake for an additional 5 min.
- Let turkey meatloaf sit for 5 min before slicing.