Make Ahead

Spicy Turkey Meatloaf

July 14, 2021
3.5 Stars
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

I can't make this enough—the last time I had to bump it up to four pounds of meat to satisfy the crowd! I've made it with beef and chicken too, but turkey is my fave. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

This is one the easiest, most flavorful ways to shake up a traditional ground beef meatloaf—use ground turkey instead, and make it spicy! This recipe will surely be added to your weeknight rotation. Of course, if you have any spice-averse guests, you could use Dijon mustard and add the cayenne and sriracha to taste, but on the other hand, if they love spice, feel free to up the sriracha in the glaze. And yes, as you can see in the recipe, Erin doesn't call for a standard loaf pan here; instead, she uses a foil-lined baking sheet and forms the loaf on there. The glaze won't overflow like it might with a smaller pan, and you can utilize more of the surface area while brushing and basting. We're not sure why we didn't think of that method before!

The loaf also comes together in no time. All you have to do is mix the loaf ingredients in one bowl, then the glaze ingredients in another. Bake in the oven and dinner is ready to go. Adjust the seasonings to your taste too—if you're not into cumin, halve the amount or use your other favorite spice. And be sure to use low-sodium soy sauce if you are seasoning the loaf with more salt; if it's not low-sodium, skip adding any more salt. Whatever spices and seasonings you choose, this foolproof recipe results in a tender, moist meatloaf every time, and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we do. —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Spicy Turkey Meatloaf
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • Meatloaf
  • 1 pound ground turkey (454 g)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (220 g)
  • 1 large egg (57 g)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped (15 g)
  • 3/4 cup (or more) breadcrumbs (63 g)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (48 g)
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup (32 g)
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard (32 g)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (14 g)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (17 g)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (4 g)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin (4 g)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste) (2 g)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Spicy Sriracha Glaze
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (68 g)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (28 g)
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha (or more to taste) (20 g)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (2 g)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Make the meatloaf: In a large bowl, mix the turkey, onion, egg, garlic, breadcrumbs, soy sauce, ketchup, brown mustard, rice vinegar, Worcestershire, coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper just to combine. If the mixture feels too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Form the mixture into a loaf on a foil lined baking sheet.
  2. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Sriracha, and cumin until well combined.
  3. Brush the glaze all over the loaf (this is why I don't use a loaf pan, so that you can get maximum glaze action).
  4. Bake, basting the loaf occasionally, for 35 to 45 minutes, until cooked through. If you like, you can run the finished loaf under the broiler and the glaze will form a bit of a crust.
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I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, The Book on Pie, came out on November 10th, 2020, and my pie merch collaboration with Food52 is out now too: https://food52.com/shop/merchants/manifest-food52/food52-x-erin-mcdowell

38 Reviews

Robin R. May 20, 2022
My partner and I love this. I’ve made it at least 10 times and now I triple the recipe so we can eat one when I make it, one a day or two later, and freeze one for when I don’t feel like cooking. I get asked to make it again all the time.
 
Starmade February 10, 2022
This is a meatloaf recipe I like a lot and use regularly. I have used it with various kinds of meat including beef and pork and chicken, not just turkey though I think the spices complement the turkey especially well. Caveat: turkey and esp. chicken tend to have more water in them than beef or pork so you might need to add more crumbs till the texture feels right. It will be mushy no matter how long cooked if there are not enough crumbs holding it together. Do what feels right.
 
Alison W. November 26, 2021
Took a chance on this healthier version of meatloaf. Cooked to time and temp but still soft and mushy. Added more time in oven and when that didn't work, put in cast iron pan. That didn't work either. Husband, daughter and I couldn't eat it. Gonna stick with old tried-and-true and less healthy meatloaf.
 
Patty Q. September 1, 2020
I was excited to try this one but found it to be gross. Too mushy and I even cooked it 15 minutes longer and under the broiler. Too much Cumin and very salty. We took 2 bites and threw it in the green bin. I give it a thumbs down 👎!
 
Patty Q. September 1, 2020
I was excited to try this one but found it to be gross. Too mushy and I even cooked it 15 minutes longer and under the broiler. Too much Cumin and very salty. We took 2 bites and threw it in the green bin. I give it a thumbs down 👎
 
Stevie June 22, 2020
Really delicious. My husband, the meatloaf aficionado thought it was one of the best meatloafs he has had. He praised the spice level and the moist turkey. I didn’t have sriracha, so I substituted Gochujang.
 
dawer93 May 2, 2020
Loved this recipe! Will definitely make again.
 
Prince728* May 1, 2020
Made this tonight and really wanted to love it but found the cumin overwhelming and the meatloaf itself very salty! If I made this again I would definitely cut back on the soy sauce.... does not need any extra salt. Found the cooking time too long. Mine was done after 30 minutes and stuck to the foil underneath.
 
[email protected] March 24, 2020
It would be helpful to know at what internal temperature the meatloaf should be when sufficiently cooked. I have seen different info on this, so was unsure whether or not my meatloaf was cooked through at 50 mins. & 150 degrees internal temp. Please advise. Also, how do you know if the raw meatloaf is too wet?
 
justbob November 14, 2020
160 degrees.
 
Tammy A. March 15, 2019
do you grease the foil or baking sheet that you put the turkey directly on?
 
Renee B. March 18, 2019
None needed. I made this again just last week. You'll love it.
 
Merry September 11, 2018
Just tried this last night - delicious! Two minor changes, grated the onion into the meat mixture to give it less onion flavor and left the cumin out of the glaze. Smelled terrific while baking, perfect blend of flavors and we are looking forward to leftovers tonight.
 
alliemo June 19, 2018
I made this but cut the cayenne in half to make it slightly less spicy. It was a hit!
 
Venus S. February 28, 2016
First time I made this I added Mozzarella cheese on top at last 5 min. Mmmmm yummy
 
Renee B. May 20, 2015
My husband and I both loved this. He had no idea it was turkey!
 
FavourFlavour March 15, 2015
I made this, following the recipe exactly, using panko crumbs (what I had). I did not find it was too heavy on the cumin flavor. It is certainly spicy - really a nice change for meatloaf. I recommend mincing the onions if you want to keep a consistent texture. The sauce that was brushed on is really great - I completely agree that it deserves to get as much sauce as possible on the meatloaf! If you like meatloaf, put this in your rotation.
 
Regine December 17, 2014
Would love to try this soon; however, I admit that I will definitely skip cumin because I am not too fond of it. 2 tsp of cumin in the meat plus 1 more in the topping will not do it for me. But other than that, I can't wait to try this meatloaf, particularly for my sister who is coming for the holidays and does not eat beef. Thanks for sharing.
 
VickyD October 18, 2014
I have a double batch in the oven now… recommended cooking time? To clarify--doubled the recipe and divided into 2 loaves.
 
Paula M. September 30, 2014
Did not use sriracha in my recipe, but loved the way my turkey meatloaf came out with this recipe Will definitely make this spicy turkey meatloaf again for sure. Both my husband and I loved it.
 
misslofox January 15, 2014
Really delicious, but the cumin is overpowering. Next time I'll half the amount specified. Also, the baking times are off - this recipe needs at least 30 minutes in the oven.
 
mrslarkin October 20, 2013
made a double batch last night. We loved it! Thanks for the recipe, Erin.