Turkey Apple Meatloaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze

4.71 from 24 votes
1 hour 40 minutes
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Turkey Apple Meatloaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze is a tasty and healthful way to shake up your meatloaf routine!  A little bit sweet and a little bit tangy, this definitely is not your momma’s meatloaf!  You’ll love these mashed turnips on the side!

“This has become my family’s go-to meatloaf and a staple in our dinner rotation. It’s easy and hearty, and the balsamic ketchup takes it to a whole new level!”

Photo of Turkey Apple Meat Loaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze in white baking dish on gray towel.

Hey, all!  I’m sharing a recipe with you today that always gets rave reviews from my personal chef clients!  It’s my Turkey Apple Meatloaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze!

I have probably made this Turkey Apple Meatloaf about a thousand times and that’s not an exaggeration.  One client requested it every month for almost two years!

Over the course of my personal chef career, I’ve made this meatloaf two different ways–with a simple sweetened balsamic glaze and with labor-intensive onion marmalade.  Both are delicious, but I think this balsamic ketchup glaze wins for flavor and ease!

It’s possible to purchase balsamic ketchup, but it’s super simple to make yourself and tastes better.

Photo of balsamic ketchup in glass jar.

Speaking of something tasting better….

If possible, buy ground turkey freshly ground.  I have yet to find a packaged brand at the supermarket that I like and it’s sold in 1-pound packages.  I prefer to get ground turkey at The Fresh Market so I can purchase only what I need–like 1 1/2 pounds which is the perfect amount for this recipe.

How to make Turkey Apple Meatloaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze:

  • Saute onions in olive oil and butter until softened.
  • Add diced apples and cook until they begin to soften.  (You want them to hold their shape in the meatloaf.)
  • Add the dried sage and give it a stir.
Photo of apples and onions being sauteed and stirred in nonstick skillet.
  • Let cool and add the remaining meatloaf ingredients.  I always wear disposable gloves for this and just mix it all up with my hands!  Easy, easy!  (No photo of this step because it’s next to impossible to make ground anything look appealing.)
  • Place in a loaf pan and bake.  You don’t have to use a loaf pan, but turkey is rather dry so I think a loaf pan helps retain some of the moisture.
  • While the turkey meatloaf is almost done baking, make the balsamic ketchup.
Photo of meat loaf with some of the glaze spread over the top.
  • Top the turkey apple meatloaf with the warm glaze…
Photo of Turkey Apple Meat Loaf with glaze being spread on the top with a spoon.

…And you’re ready to enjoy this healthful, flavorful Turkey Apple Meatloaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze!

For another delicious ground turkey recipe, try my Asian Turkey Meatballs!

Photo of sliced Turkey Apple Meat Loaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze on black platter.

Serve with:

Want more great meatloaf recipes?  Try my:

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Turkey Apple Meat Loaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze - Overhead shot of whole meatloaf in white baking dish on gray towel

Turkey Apple Meatloaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze

4.71 from 24 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Turkey Apple Meatloaf with Balsamic Ketchup Glaze is a tasty and healthful way to shake up your meatloaf routine! A little bit sweet and a little bit tangy, this is sure to become your new favorite meatloaf!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 369 kcal



  • Oil or cooking spray - for baking dish
  • 2 medium Fuji or Braeburn apples - peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 large lemon - juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 large egg - beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk - low-fat or skim
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey - all white, all dark or a combination


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Pinch cloves
  • Pinch allspice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Brush a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with oil or spray with cooking spray. Set aside until needed.
  • Combine apples with lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside until needed.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 7-8 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  • Add the apples and continue cooking 3-4 minutes or until the apples begin to soften. Stir in the sage. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl and let cool at least 10 minutes.
  • Add the parsley, oats, egg, milk, salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
  • Add the ground turkey and mix until everything is evenly incorporated.
  • Place in the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top into a nice loaf shape.
  • Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees.


  • Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients, return to heat and bring to a simmer. Cook 1-2 minutes just to combine flavors and heat it through.
  • Brush glaze over the meat loaf just before serving or serve it alongside the meat loaf.


If your skillet is large enough and you don’t want to dirty a bowl, let the filling cool another 10 minutes or so. Then, add the remaining meatloaf ingredients right into the skillet and mix it up in the skillet. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cook as directed.  Cool then wrap securely.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Reheat by the slice in the oven until heated through.
Ketchup recipe adapted from Epicurious.com.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 837mg | Potassium: 691mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 553IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.71 from 24 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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    1. Hi, JD, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, you absolutely can. I freeformed this Italian Meatloaf. Be sure there’s something nonstick under the meatloaf. Spray foil with cooking spray or use nonstick aluminum foil. I usually use two layers. Parchment paper will work, but it could pull moisture from the meatloaf. As you know, turkey can be dry. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!!

  1. 5 stars
    Nice change of pace from traditional meatloaf! Definitely gives off fall vibes! I doubled the recipe and sent one off with my son to his sophomore year of college.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for some friends today for the first time.
    I doubled the recipe because I was feeding eight guys with appetites. I followed the recipe exactly except for the glaze where I cut the sweetness by adding 1/3 cup pinot noir red wine.
    As it turned out, I ended up using one meatloaf of the two I baked in separate loaf pans.
    I let the unused meatloaf cool and refrigerated it, wrapping it well and plan to serve it in two days for a birthday gathering dinner.
    I assume that it will be okay and that I just gently need to reheat it.
    Please your thoughts, thank you,

    1. Hi, Tony, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, it will be fine; not like freshly baked, but I make this meatloaf all the time for clients and no one has ever complained. Just make sure it’s reheated to 165 degrees in the center. You could also slice, fan the slices in a baking dish, cover and reheat, then drizzle down the center with the sauce. Will look nice, too. Thanks so much!

  3. 5 stars
    My son has a red meat and dairy allergy so finding creative, new ways to cook chicken and turkey that are also flavorful can be challenging. This recipe surpassed my expectations for taste and texture as well as being easy to prepare. This will definitely be a regular in my meal rotation. Thank you for a great recipe.

    1. Hi, Virginia, Thanks so much and I’m so happy to hear that! This is big favorite with my clients that can’t have dairy and switching out the butter for something like Earth Balance is no biggie. Thanks again!!

  4. 5 stars
    How did I miss this one? Love the idea of the Balsamic Ketchup and of cooking the apples prior to mixing. On the way to the store for Ground Turkey! Thanx for re-sharing!

    1. Hi, Jim, Thanks so much and hope you enjoy! I’ve been doing this one for clients for so many YEARS I could make it blindfolded! Thanks again!

  5. 5 stars
    This has become my family’s go to meatloaf and a staple in our dinner rotation. It’s easy and hearty, and the balsamic ketchup takes it to a whole new level!

  6. This recipe is absolutely perfect! I’ve already made it two days in a row for different people (myself included!) I didn’t have garlic the first time, but it still tasted incredible with the apples we picked in New England. So creative, healthy and delicious.

    1. Hi, Clarissa and thank you so very much! This is always a favorite with my personal chef clients so glad you enjoyed, too! Thanks again and please keep in touch!

  7. 5 stars
    This sounds like a great traditional dinner. The glaze that you have created sounds simply delicious. Can’t wait to try this healthier version.