Ground chicken meatloaf is healthier than traditional meatloaf, but still packs great flavors in every tender bite. If you have a pantry full of condiments and some ground chicken, you’re ready to cook up a new family favorite! Best of all, this comfort food is low in calories, so you can feel good about enjoying every savory bite.
Chicken meatloaf is prepared the same way as classic beef meatloaf recipes, the ground meat is combined with breadcrumbs and seasonings and then baked in the oven until cooked through. The obvious difference is that the main protein is chicken instead of beef.
I tried a variety of frostings and toppings for this meatloaf, but ultimately my favorite was the same frosting that I use in my classic meatloaf recipe. It’s deliciously sweet and tangy and perfect for making the ultimate chicken meatloaf!
In hindsight, I think using a salsa-like sauce like the one I created for my cocktail empanadas would have tasted phenomenal if I had thought to try it. Maybe even with a handful of herbs… just an idea to spark your creativity!
Ingredients you will need
- Free range chicken – This simple recipe will also work with other poultry, like ground turkey. Otherwise, you can also blend boneless chicken breasts in a food processor to create ground chicken breast, but it will be drier due to lack of fat.
- Breadcrumbs – I recommend breadcrumbs, but you can substitute breadcrumbs.
- Onion – Better a yellow onion.
- Grated Parmesan cheese – Grated parmesan is just as good.
- Fresh parsley
- Tomato paste – I prefer Pasta with tomato sauce because it has more flavor and less liquid.
- English sauce – You can substitute soy sauce.
- Condiments: Table salt, garlic powder (or garlic cloves), ground sage, and ground black pepper
- Meatloaf Glaze – Ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce
How to keep chicken meatloaf from drying out
The biggest concern when making a lean meatloaf is how to keep it from getting too dry. Fat adds a lot of calories, but it also adds moisture and flavor.
Since ground chicken doesn’t contain much fat, the moisture in this meatloaf comes from the breadcrumbs absorbing the milk, as well as the grated Parmesan cheese that will melt into the meatloaf.
How to do it
Prepare the meatloaf mixture by crumbling the ground beef into a large bowl. Separately, combine dry ingredients and sprinkle over chicken. Then add the wet ingredients with the ground chicken mixture and combine everything.
Note: Combining them separately helps ensure a more even distribution of ingredients.
Next, prepare the meatloaf glaze. Combine ketchup with brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce and mix in a small bowl. Add a couple of tablespoons of glaze to the bottom of the pan, then spoon the meat mixture on top and form into a loaf.
Advice: It’s easiest to form the chicken bun in a baking dish, but you can also use a rimmed baking sheet. Whatever you use, I recommend covering it with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
How long to cook chicken meatloaf at 350 degrees
It’s especially important to cook chicken meatloaf long enough, since you don’t want to serve raw chicken to your family. The internal temperature of the meatloaf needs to reach 165 degrees, so it will take about 90 minutes to cook to 350 degrees.
It’s important to note that cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meatloaf, so I always recommend using a digital meat thermometer to monitor your progress.
Advice: Let your meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes after you remove it from the oven. Not only does this allow it to cool slightly, but it also allows the juices to settle within the meatloaf.
Chicken Meatloaf Recipe FAQ
How to store and reheat leftovers
Leftover meatloaf should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or wrapped in plastic wrap. It’s best to reheat individual slices of leftover meatloaf individually. You can do this in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Best of all, a leftover slice of meatloaf makes a great meatloaf sandwich the next day!
Can ground chicken be used as meatloaf?
Yes, ground chicken is great for making a healthier meatloaf. Since ground chicken has less fat than beef, the meatloaf will have fewer calories. Ground turkey or ground pork can also be used.
What’s the secret to moist meatloaf?
Generally, fat is needed to make a moist meatloaf, however, when making a ground chicken meatloaf, you will have considerably less fat. To prevent this, we add moisture through other fats and liquids in other parts of the recipe, such as tomato paste, Parmesan cheese, eggs, and milk.
What is the best meatloaf filling?
Plain breadcrumbs are most commonly used as a filling in meatloaf. They are often considered the best filling because they have a fine texture, little flavor, and work as a great binder. Other options are panko or oatmeal.
Is chicken meatloaf healthy??
Chicken meatloaf is healthier than traditional meatloaf because ground chicken is exceptionally lean. Ground chicken has about half the calories of the same serving of 80/20 ground beef. This delicious dinner tastes great and is the best for you!
what to serve with it
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ground chicken meatloaf
Chicken meatloaf is healthier than traditional meatloaf, but still packs great flavors in every tender bite.
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Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Gently shred chicken in a large bowl. In a separate dish, combine all dry ingredients and mix together, then sprinkle over ground chicken. Add remaining wet ingredients to raw meatloaf mixture and mix well.
In a separate dish, prepare the meatloaf glaze by mixing together ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
Add a couple tablespoons of glaze to the bottom of a baking dish and add the chicken meatloaf mixture to the pan and form into a loaf. Brush top of meatloaf with remaining glaze.
Bake uncovered for 90 minutes, or until core temperature reads 165 degrees using a digital meat thermometer.
Remove from oven, let meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes, slice and serve.
Calories: 416kcal | Carbs: 26g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 1153mg | Potassium: 1071mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 400 IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 203mg | Iron: 3mg
This recipe was originally published March 11, 2019 on FoxValleyFoodie.com.