Turkey Meatloaf

Chef's notes:

I have to give Whole Foods props here. Their fresh ground white and dark turkey meat is what inspired me to create this recipe. I stood there in front of the poultry case looking at those two contrasting ground meats and realized that here was an opportunity to make something that looked very cool. I recollected back to a time when I was working as a baker in a German kitchen. Between baking Schwarzbrot and Sachertorte I also sometimes made Marmorkuchen, i.e., marble cake. I naturally realized that not only could the dark and light meats be kept separate, but they could also be seasoned differently. The result made for a very attractive and also flavorful turkey meatloaf.


  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • ¼ cup fine minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 5 Tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch of cayenne

Turkey Meatloaf Recipe: White and Dark Ground Turkey Swirled Together into a Marbled Turkey Meatloaf

  1. Pick up your ground meats. Find some ground turkey breast and some ground turkey thigh. Most grocery stores are carrying these now. They may not be fresh-ground but they will work just fine. Another thing you will want to get ready is the caramelized ¼ cup of onion for the dark turkey mixture. Do this by cooking it with 2 tablespoons of butter until a light brown.
  2. Mix the ground turkey up separately. Use the recipes that I’ve written for the two separate ground turkey mixtures. Add the caramelized onions to the dark meat when they’ve cooled a little. Also, make sure to mince the raw onions extra-fine for the white meat so that they melt away into the meat when it cooks.
  3. Assemble the turkey meatloaf. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil on the counter and spray it with a bit of pan spray or rub it with oil. Put the dark meat layer down first and smooth it out into a sheet using a rubber spatula. Then spread the white meat out and roll the meat into a tube.
  4. Bake the turkey meatloaf. Fold the ends of the aluminum foil in to secure the tube. Place the turkey meatloaf on a baking sheet and into the 350 degree preheated oven for 30‒40 minutes until an instant read digital thermometer reads 160 degrees F in the center. Let the turkey meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before you slice and serve it.

Tips & Tricks

  • You can substitute ground chicken if you are having trouble finding ground turkey.
  • Use a heavy-duty aluminum foil or double wrap with the regular stuff.
  • You can also make the meatloaf in a sprayed bread loaf pan. Use an ice cream scoop and drop balls of the mixtures into the pan, alternating light and dark.

Dark Meat Recipe

  • 1 pound ground turkey thigh
  • ¼ cup onion minced (caramelized in 2 Tbsp of butter)
  • 2 Tbsp bread crumbs
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp herbes