I think of meatloaf as a classic comfort food. It is one of those things that American mothers have been serving their families for ages. People are adamantly divided on their love or hate of meatloaf, mostly as a response to however their parents made it growing up, but once you have tasted a great one, you will be a meatloaf lover for life. This veggie meatloaf is one of my favorite comfort food recipes.
This recipe is especially nice because there are hidden veggies inside! If your kids refuse the sight of anything green, worry not. This meatloaf has chopped mushrooms and onion that blend right in, so they won’t even notice. Plus, this recipe utilizes ground turkey, rather than ground beef.
Why You'll Love this Veggie Meatloaf
- B+ Entrée – This dish is rich in Vitamin B, which aids in digestion, brain health, and even eyesight! Vitamin B is a great source of energy, so you won’t feel bogged down after eating it.
- New Old Fashioned – Meatloaf is an American classic. It has stood the test of time, and I wouldn’t mess with that. However, classic meatloaf gets an upgrade in this recipe with fresh ingredient swaps, like ground turkey, diced mushrooms, fresh herbs, and gooey shredded mozzarella. This fresh take keeps it relevant, while also remaining a great, familiar dish to serve at family dinners and dinner parties alike.
Ingredients For Mushroom Meatloaf
- Ground Turkey – Meatloaf is traditionally made with ground beef, but I swapped it for ground turkey, which contains less saturated fat.
- Onion – Yellow onion works best with the spices and flavors in this meatloaf. If you don’t have yellow onions available, white would work instead.
- Mozzarella – Shredded mozzarella cheese helps to bind this meatloaf, as well as keeps it moist and flavorful!
- Mushrooms – Mushrooms are so good for you, but too often they are not treated right, and that results in kids (and lots of adults) thinking that they dislike the fungi. When prepared with care, mushrooms can be incredibly tasty, or even unnoticeable. In this dish, the mushrooms get chopped finely and mixed into the meatloaf, so they will add a little umami to the dish, while remaining mostly undetectable!
- Breadcrumbs – All meatloaves require a healthy dose of breadcrumbs to keep them together, and to help achieve a slightly crispy exterior. You can use whichever type of breadcrumbs you prefer for this dish. I like panko!
- Egg – You need one egg to bind your meatloaf. If you ever need to check that your egg is fresh, you can try gently placing it in a cup or bowl of water. If the egg floats, it is old, when it sinks, it is fresh!
- Garlic Powder – This anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial seasoning will add the perfect base note for your meatloaf’s flavor profile.
- Salt & Pepper – You will also need your basic salt and pepper to season this dish!
- Worcestershire – Worcestershire sauce is one of the things that gives meatloaf its signature flavor. I love the taste and smell of Worcestershire. It adds that slightly smoky, tangy element you crave.
- Parsley – I find that using fresh herbs really turn up the notch on this meatloaf’s flavor. Parsley is a given
- Thyme – Fresh thyme adds an earthy note that complements the mushrooms and turkey really nicely
- Tomato Topping – Some people simply top their meatloaf with ketchup. I like to jazz that up a bit! My topping is easy to prepare, and the recipe is at the bottom of the instructions.
- Garnish – You can serve your meatloaf as is, or you may wish to garnish it with some more fresh parsley. Roasted veggies make a great side, and can act as a garnish in and of themselves as well!
How to Make Veggie Meatloaf
1. Preheat oven 350F then grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Parchment isn’t necessary but it makes unpanning so much easier.
2. In a mixing bowl fold together the ground turkey, onions, mozzarella and mushrooms.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly until everything is incorporated.
4. Scoop into a prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.
5. Spread tomato topping on the top of the meatloaf as desired and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
6. Let cool before unpanning. Garnish with fresh parsley as desired and enjoy warm.
Tomato Topping Recipe
½ cup Ketchup
1 tbs Dijon Mustard
1 tbs Brown Sugar or Honey
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
Optional: ¼ tsp Salt
Whisk all ingredients together and pour over meatloaf.
Veggie Meatloaf Step by Step Instructions
Start out by preheating your oven to 350F. Grease your loaf pan, and line it with parchment paper if you wish. You don’t have to use parchment paper, but it makes for a much easier clean up!
Now it is time to prepare your meatloaf mixture! Place your ground turkey in a mixing bowl and fold in the onions, mozzarella, and mushrooms.
Next, add in the rest of your ingredients. You want your meatloaf to be mixed thoroughly, but it is also important not to overwork the meat, or it can end up tough. You can also mix your egg, seasonings, herbs, and Worcestershire in a separate bowl before combining it with your turkey mixture, if you prefer.
Now, turn your mixture into a loaf shape! Transfer it to the loaf pan and press it together to shape.
Bake your meatloaf for 45 minutes.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and spread the tomato topping onto your meatloaf. You can use as much as you like. Some people prefer just a little drizzle on top, while others like it slathered all over the top and sides of the meatloaf. It is up to you!
Bake for 15 more minutes, to allow the tomato mixture to set. Allow your meatloaf to cool before removing it from the pan. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy warm!
Cook's Tips For Veggie Meatloaf
- The best way to check for doneness is with a meat thermometer. It should reach an internal temperature of 165F.
- If you like your meatloaf with a little pink inside, that is okay, as long as it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
- Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 60-second intervals, or in the oven for 8 minutes at 350F.
Should you cook vegetables before adding to meatloaf?
It depends on what kind of vegetables you are using. Most veggies should be cooked before adding them to the meatloaf mixture, for textural purposes. In this recipe, I use mushrooms and onions, both of which are fairly soft in texture and will soften more when cooked inside the meatloaf. However, if you prefer, you can always give your mushrooms and onions a quick sauté before adding them to your meatloaf mixture, drain the excess moisture.
Meatloaf is so versatile. You can easily adapt a meatloaf recipe to suit your preferences. However, a few tips will help you nail the technique. One thing to keep in mind is to avoid overworking the meat when combining the ingredients. You can also change how you cook it. It is traditionally prepared in a loaf pan, but if you want more of the fat to drain out, you can cook it in a larger dish instead.
I like to create my own topping using ketchup, Dijon, brown sugar, garlic and salt. If you have a major ketchup aversion, you can use BBQ sauce instead.
You don’t need to, but if you find that your meatloaf is not as moist as you would like it, then try covering the dish with foil during the first part of cooking. Remove the foil and add the tomato topping, and then finish baking uncovered.
Looking for more delicious hidden veggie recipes? Try these:
Tried this Veggie Meatloaf recipe and love it? Please leave me a comment and rating below. Feel free to also tag me, I love to see your creations and sharing them. For more inspiration follow us on Instagram Or like us on Facebook
Veggie Mealoaf Recipe
- 2 lbs. Ground Turkey
- ¼ cup Yellow Onion small diced
- ¼ cup Mozzarella Cheese shredded
- 1 cup Mushrooms finely chopped
- ½ cup Panko or Bread Crumbs
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbs Worcestershire
- 1 tbs Fresh Parsley chopped
- ½ tbs Fresh Thyme chopped
- Optional Garnish: Fresh Parsley
Meatloaf Tomato Sauce
- ½ c Ketchup
- 1 tbs Brown Sugar or Honey
- ¼ tsp Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp salt optional
- Preheat oven 350F then grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Parchment isn’t necessary but it makes unpanning so much easier.
- In a mixing bowl fold together the ground turkey, onions, mozzarella and mushrooms.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly until everything is incorporated.
- Scoop into a prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes.
- Spread tomato topping on the top of the meatloaf as desired and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Let cool before unpanning. Garnish with fresh parsley as desired and enjoy warm.