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Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf

Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf gives classic meatloaf a lighter holiday twist with cranberry sauce and ground turkey. A delicious alternative for Thanksgiving dinner, especially for a small group.

A plate with a slice of Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf, corn and mashed sweet potatoes with a napkin, fork and salt and pepper shaker above it

The classic meatloaf I admit can be a touch boring although sometimes having a good cut of meatloaf with gravy and mashed potatoes sounds pretty good to me! That doesn’t stop me from playing around with how it’s made, like with this Slow Cooker Luau Meatloaf, or what’s in it.

I love that turkey is a much lighter alternative to traditional ground beef so you don’t get quite the same heavy feeling after eating this meatloaf. The cranberry adds a lovely touch of sweetness and moisture.

labeled ingredients on a white background
ingredients shown: ground turkey, an egg, cranberry sauce, Dijon style mustard, spices, ketchup, minced onion, and oatmeal


Shopping list:

  • ground turkey
  • Dijon style mustard
  • whole berry cranberry sauce
  • egg

Pantry staples:

  • onion
  • oatmeal
  • spices

You can use fresh minced onion or dried.

I’ve chosen to use whole berry cranberry sauce for the additional layer of texture and it’s looser texture. Since I have never made this with cranberry jelly I don’t know how it would turn out.

A plate with a slice of Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf, corn with herbs, and mashed sweet potatoes

What to serve with this

You can go the classic mashed potatoes route or do a half and half sweet potato/mashed potato mix.

Here are some other delicious ideas to pair with the meatloaf.

a collage showing the first steps to making the meatloaf

To make this

  • In a bowl, add the cranberry sauce, ketchup, and the Dijon style mustard.
  • Mix together well.
  • In a separate bowl, add the ground turkey, oatmeal, onion, spices, and egg.
  • Gently mix together until it is mixed together well.
showing the steps to forming the meatloaf and prepping it for baking
  • Add the cranberry mustard mixture to the meatloaf.
  • Gently mix again until well combined.
  • Pat into a greased loaf tin.
  • Warm the remaining cranberry sauce and spread over the top of the meatloaf. Bake!

Top Tips

How to tell when it is done cooking?

You know the meatloaf is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F.  Allow the meatloaf to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

How to make this in a slow cooker

To cook in a slow cooker:

  • Follow the same directions but instead of putting into a loaf tin, pat the meat mixture into a slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours.
a close up view of a slice of cranberry turkey meatloaf with cranberry glaze on top

Tips for cooking with kids

Making meatloaf is a fun one for kids because they love getting to “play” with the meat. Not only can they help add all of the ingredients to the bowl but allow them to mix the meat with their hands and pat it into the loaf tin.

Don’t forget to encourage them to smell and taste along the way. Cooking with kids is about the experience along the way and you want it to be fun! The more fun they have the more likely they are to eat.

See here for more tips on cooking with kids!

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cranberry turkey meatloaf laid out on a wooden cutting board. Slices are falling over and everything is sprinkled with fresh herbs.

Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf

Enjoy this delicious fall twist on the classic comfort food, meatloaf. This makes a terrific alternative for Thanksgiving dinner for a small group.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 287kcal
Author: Jade Jones


  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 16- ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce divided
  • 1 ½ pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons minced onion dried or fresh
  • 2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8 by 4 by 2 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, combine ketchup, Dijon mustard, and ½ cup of the cranberry sauce. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the ground turkey, oatmeal, egg, black pepper, minced onion, garlic, thyme, paprika, and salt. Add the ketchup mixture and mix gently until combined. Gently press into the prepared loaf pan.
  • Heat ½ cup cranberry sauce in a small microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Brush the loaf with the warmed cranberry sauce.
  • Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until meatloaf is cooked through (see notes).
  • Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans, and additional cranberry sauce for serving.


You know the meatloaf is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. Allow the meatloaf to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
To cook in a slow cooker: Pat meat into a loaf shape and place in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours.


Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 433mg | Potassium: 453mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
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