Easy Southwest Turkey Mini Meatloaves (Or Muffins!)

With a Southwest twist on the classic meatloaf recipe, these delicious mini turkey meatloaves are perfect for meal prep or a quick and healthy dinner! This recipe can also be turned into mini meatloaf muffins.

Next time you’re rushing around looking to make an easy dinner that will please the whole family, you should give this mini meatloaf recipe a try. This can be on the table in 30 minutes, and combines a ton of flavor with a healthy nutritional profile: 180 calories with 17 grams of protein per loaf. These little guys are some a dinner my whole family loves, and that I can feel good about serving!

​Why you want this recipe

  • easy to make
  • on the table in under an hour
  • high protein, low fat
  • perfect for meal prep
  • lower calorie version of the classic comfort food!


This recipe doesn’t use the standard meatloaf ingredients; instead, we borrow from the world of Southwest flavors to get tons of flavor without adding to the calories!

Ingredients for turkey meatloaf
  • Ground Turkey: To keep the protein high and the fat low, I recommend choosing lean ground turkey. I prefer the 90/10. 93/7 makes for a very dry loaf, and 85/15 feels greasy to me!
  • Picante Sauce: This is the flavor powerhouse in this recipe! The combination of chiles, onions, and spices here means that you get a ton of flavor with no work from you. You can use any store-bought picante sauce. I do not recommend fresh salsa for this recipe. Picante sauce is very liquid compared to fresh salsa, and that liquid is important in creating the right texture. That said, if you have a particularly liquid-y salsa, feel free to use it.
  • Eggs: Eggs provide structure, holding the recipe together. 
  • Bread Crumbs: I use plain bread crumbs in this recipe, but you can use any kind of seasoned bread crumbs you’d like to add flavor. 


Step 1 | Mix It Up

In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground meat, picante sauce, eggs, and bread crumbs to create a meatloaf mixture. I typically have to use my hands to get it to come together; a wooden spoon just doesn’t cut it. If you want to, you can add some additional spices or herbs here, like garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, or chopped cilantro. 

meatloaf mixture

Step 2 | Form the Loaves

Cover a baking sheet in aluminum foil, then spray the foil with cooking spray. Split the turkey mixture into 6 even amounts. Use your hands to form each of those into little turkey meatloaves. 

Alternately, if you’d like to make turkey meatloaf muffins, you can spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray, then press the meatloaf mixture into the muffin cups. Fill them about 3/4 full. This should make 12 muffins. 

forming the loaves

Step 3 | Bake and Serve!

To bake mini meatloaves, set your oven to 400° and set the timer for 25 minutes. For muffins, adjust the time to 15 minutes. Your muffins or mini loaves are done when the internal temperature reaches 165°. You can check this with a meat thermometer.

Remove your meat loaves from the oven, and let them sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. We serve this with steamed veggies like green beans or carrots, or a side salad. We also like rice or mashed potatoes. Baked sweet potatoes done in the microwave are another super easy side that turns this into a full meal!

Easy Southwest Turkey Mini Meatloaves


This turkey meatloaf recipe is a super simple base that you can make your own! Here are some variations and substitutions we’ve tried and loved!

  • Chipotle Turkey Meatloaf: Use a chipotle flavored picante sauce to add that lovely spicy flavor!
  • Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf: You can sub the picante sauce in this recipe for barbecue sauce in a 1:1 ratio to create a delicious barbecue-flavored loaf. Try experimenting with a different bbq sauce: honey barbecue, brown sugar, or even a spicy sauce can change the flavor!
  • Hidden Zucchini Meatloaf: Add 1/2 cup grated zucchini to increase the nutritional profile of your mini turkey meatloaf. You don’t even need to press out the water — the moisture from the zucchini can add to the texture of the meatloaf!
  • Chile Verde Meatloaf: Use a salsa verde in place of picante sauce for a slightly different but still Southwest flair!


Can I use ground chicken instead of ground turkey?

Yes, ground chicken can be used as a substitute for ground turkey in this recipe. Just keep in mind that ground chicken may have a slightly different flavor and texture compared to ground turkey.

Can I use ground beef instead of ground turkey?

Yes! Using a lean ground beef will also work here, although there will be a change to the flavor and texture of your finished meat loaf. 

Can I freeze leftovers?

Yes, you can freeze leftover turkey meatloaf for future use. Allow the meatloaf to cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in a freezer-safe container. Label the container with the date and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How do I store leftovers?

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. This makes this recipe perfect for meal prep!

Can I make this as a big loaf?

Yes! If you bake this in a standard bread loaf pan for 45-50 minutes, you can create a standard-size meatloaf.

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Southwest Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Salsa adds a southwest flair to this high protein, low calorie meatloaf.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 180kcal
Cost $6.00


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • ½ cup picante sauce
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup bread crumbs


  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix well.
  • Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Form the mixture into 6 loaves.
  • Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes until internal temperature reaches at least 165°.
  • Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Tried this recipe?Mention @homanathome or tag #homanathome


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.7g | Protein: 17.4g | Fat: 1.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Cholesterol: 77.7mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 11.5mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 0.7g
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