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Chicken Meatloaf Recipe

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This old fashioned ground chicken meatloaf is incredibly easy to make and the epitome of classic comfort food. Your whole family will love this delicious glazed meatloaf.

Chicken Meatloaf   

This recipe for ground chicken meatloaf is such a family favorite in my house. It holds together so well and feels like an updated version of the old fashioned style meatloaf my grandma used to make.

This meatloaf is moist and has tons of flavor. You can honestly taste so much flavor in each bite, from the melted parmesan cheese, to the deliciously tender onions, to all the seasonings in between. 

The eggs and Italian bread crumbs help hold the shape and keep the meatloaf super moist. Then the sticky sweet glaze lays perfectly on top like a blanket. It’s seriously so good! The glaze is so easy to make, and it definitely completes the meatloaf.

This is one of the best ground chicken recipes of all time! It’s an easy sheet pan meatloaf, and I bet it will be a staple in your house like it is in mine. I definitely recommend using the leftover meatloaf to make meatloaf sandwiches, I had that for lunch the other day and it was unbelievable!

Ingredients

Ground Chicken: I used ground chicken, but you could also substitute that with ground turkey. Don’t use extra-lean ground chicken, you want the fat content to keep the meatloaf from drying out.

Eggs: Eggs help keep the form of the meatloaf and act as a binder.

Breadcrumbs: The breadcrumbs are both a binder and a filler. They absorb the fat and juices from the meat while the meatloaf is cooking. This holds in the flavors and aids in keeping the meatloaf from becoming dry. They’re also a filler, which helps make the meat stretch further to feed more people. 

Milk: Adding milk to the mixture hydrates the breadcrumbs to prevent them from pulling too much moisture out of the meat.

Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan adds a rich, salty, umami flavor that pairs so well with ground chicken. It’s kind of like the flavor profile of chicken parmesan. The combination of chicken, parmesan, and tomatoes is pretty much always a winning flavor combination.

You need to use freshly grated parmesan cheese because pre-grated cheeses are coated in an anti-caking agent. That changes the texture of the cheese when melted and it doesn’t melt smoothly.

Onion: Onions are savory and sweet! They add a lovely flavor to the meatloaf. When dicing the onions you need to make sure they are finely diced or grated. An alternative to finely dicing the onion is sauteing them until they are translucent. That prevents risking any undercooked pieces of onion in your meatloaf. 

Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce gives the ground chicken a savory and umami flavor. Such a small ingredient with so much power!

Ketchup: Adding ketchup gives the meatloaf a sweet and tangy flavor. Ketchup is also the best base for the glaze!

Brown Sugar: Brown sugar has a caramel like flavor and it caramelizes very well. Its purpose is to give the glaze a sweet sticky mouthfeel. 

Spices and Herbs: Seasoning the meat is important. It’s where you capture the main flavors. You only need a few spices and herbs, like parsley, garlic powder, fine sea salt, and ground black pepper, to add tons of delicious flavor to the meatloaf. 

The labeled ingredients for chicken meatloaf.

How To Make Chicken Meatloaf

Start off by making this easy and delicious glaze. To a small mixing bowl, add the ketchup and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly and set aside for later. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.) 

Mixing ketchup and brown sugar together in a small mixing bowl.

To a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and beat together. Add in the breadcrumbs, milk, shredded parmesan cheese, onions, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Adding and beating two eggs in a large mixing bowl then adding the dry ingredients to form the meatloaf mixture.

Mix everything together. Break the chicken up into smaller chunks as you add it to the mixing bowl.

Mixing the dry ingredients and beaten eggs together then adding ground chicken chunks.

Use your hands to mix the ground chicken thoroughly into the wet mixture. Make sure not to overmix the meat because that will make it tough when it cooks. Transfer the meatloaf mixture to the center of the lined baking sheet. Use your hands to form the loaf by pressing tightly and pinching together any cracks. Make sure that it is sized evenly all the way around for even cooking.

Mixing the chicken into the meatloaf mixture then transferring and molding into a loaf on a prepared baking sheet.

Grab the glaze you set aside and spoon it onto the meatloaf. You can use the spoon or a silicone brush to evenly spread it across the tops and sides of the meatloaf. Bake the meatloaf until the internal temperature reaches 165F on an instant read meat thermometer. You need to stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the meatloaf for an accurate reading.

Just before the meatloaf is fully cooked, turn the oven to broil to let the glaze caramelize. Once the glaze has caramelized, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Cut the meatloaf into 1” to 1 ¼” slices, and serve it with your favorite sides. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.

Covering the meatloaf with the ketchup glaze and then baking in a preheated oven.

What Is The Secret To Moist Meatloaf?

The secret to keeping your meatloaf moist is using hydrated breadcrumbs. That’s why we add milk, because the breadcrumbs will soak it up. The breadcrumbs will also soak up any juices from the meat while it’s cooking to keep it moist and hold in the flavor.

It’s also important to not use extra-lean ground chicken. Packs that are labeled with only 1% fat won’t work as well because there isn’t enough fat to keep the meatloaf tender.

An image showing what the meatloaf looks like after cooking and resting on a serving dish.

What Ingredients Keep Meatloaf From Falling Apart?

The best binders for meatloaf are eggs and Italian bread crumbs (panko also works). These ingredients make sure the meatloaf won’t fall apart while cooking.

A side shot of multiple thick slices of meatloaf garnished with fresh parsley.

How Long To Bake Meatloaf

How long you need to bake meatloaf depends on the temperature you bake meatloaf. For this recipe, baking the meatloaf for 50 minutes was the right amount of time. After that, I broiled it for a few minutes to caramelize the glaze, and it was perfect!

A side shot showing the outer texture of the fully cooked meatloaf.

How Do You Know When Chicken Meatloaf Is Done?

You’ll know the meatloaf is completely cooked through when the internal temp on your instant read thermometer reads 165F at the thickest point of the meatloaf.

A beautiful chicken meatloaf cut into thick slices showing visible finely diced onions and spices throughout.

What To Serve With Ground Chicken Meatloaf

I love serving meatloaf with two side dishes. I normally opt for a starch (like mashed potatoes or seasoned rice) and a vegetable (like buttery frozen peas or these Southern green beans).

Keep In Touch

I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime

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A Pinterest pin image with a picture of chicken meatloaf, with title text at the top.

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Yield: 8 servings

BEST Chicken Meatloaf Recipe

The best chicken meatloaf recipe.

Delicious ground chicken meatloaf is easy to make and it’s the best classic comfort food. Your whole family will love this glazed meatloaf.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar

Meatloaf:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 small yellow onion (finely diced, about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • Freshly chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then  lightly spray the surface with nonstick cooking oil, then set aside.
  2. To a small mixing bowl, add the ketchup and brown sugar. Thoroughly mix to create the glaze. Set aside.
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add in the eggs and beat together. Add in the breadcrumbs, milk, shredded parmesan cheese, onions, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
  4. Add the ground chicken to the bowl and break the ground chicken up into pieces. Use your hands to work the ground chicken into the wet mixture until completely combined (being careful not to overmix).
  5. Transfer the chicken mixture to the center of the prepared baking sheet, then use your hands to form a loaf. Make sure the meat is pressed tightly together to keep it from separating while cooking. Also make sure to keep it an even height and thickness across the entire loaf (to ensure even cooking).
  6. Once it’s formed, spoon the glaze evenly over the top and sides of the meatloaf.
  7. Place the meatloaf into the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes, then turn the broiler on and broil the meatloaf for about 3 minutes to caramelize the glaze. The meatloaf will be done when an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest point reads 165 F.
  8. Let it rest for 10 minutes before transferring to a serving tray. Garnish with fresh parsley and cut into 1”- 1 1/4” slices and serve with desired sides.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1/8

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 14.8gCarbohydrates: 19.4gFiber: 3.9gSugar: 10gProtein: 26.6g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Tag @KeyToMyLime on Instagram so we can see your delicious meal!

Try this delicious simple ground chicken recipe and make some glazed chicken meatloaf for your next family dinner.

The best chicken meatloaf recipe.

7 thoughts on “Chicken Meatloaf Recipe”

  1. I haven’t made this recipe yet but because the only reason I looked for a chicken loaf was to eat WW friendly, I’m going to go against your recommendation of not using lean chicken and since I find ketchup alone much too sweet for anything without mustard to tone it down, I’ll be adding some of that. And of course I’ll use Swerve brown sugar. I’ll be sure to let you know how we like it!

    Reply
    • It was pretty good with my changes! Perhaps because I have gotten used to lean chicken, it wasn’t a problem. My only problem was that I didn’t get much flavor from the parsley. Looked at my bottle and it was way past date, so no wonder!

      Reply
  2. Yum I plan to make this is smaller chunks for slicing on sourdough as open faced sandwiches!! Thank you seems easy and can’t wait to try thank you! Mini meatloaves if you will

    Reply
  3. I’m in France and did 2 to 1 chicken and duck. Threw a little brown sugar in since it was there. Butter mushroom gravy. Superb! Thanks for the delicious recipe.

    Reply

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