Low-Fat, High-Protein Turkey Meatloaf Burger Recipe

I have worked hard to stay fit and understand the complex relationship between aging, nutrition, and exercise.


A High-Protein Turkey Burger That Tastes Like Mom's Meatloaf

If you're trying to get more protein without a ton of fat, and if you love homemade meatloaf (hot out of the pan or cold out of the fridge), then this recipe will make you very, very happy. It's easy, affordable, and quick, and you don't need to be a master chef to pull it off.

These super-nutritious turkey burgers are so good in so many ways that you will wonder how you lived your life without them. Each burger-sized patty is loaded with lean protein, fiber, and enough nostalgia to make you think you're at your folks' dining room table with Mom's meatloaf and a big glass of cold milk.



  • one pound ground turkey
  • one small yellow onion, diced
  • half-cup old-fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
  • one slice whole-wheat bread, crumbled
  • one tablespoon yellow or dijon mustard
  • two tablespoons ketchup
  • one teaspoon steak or barbecue sauce
  • one large clove garlic, minced
  • one egg
  • one teaspoon vegetable oil


  1. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, the heavier te better. I usually put the dry ingredients (oatmeal, bread crumbs) in first.
  2. Mix thoroughly, using your hands or a wooden spoon. If you use your hands, get ready for a sticky mess! I sometimes use a spoon, but there's something about really getting your hands into the messy mixture that makes my inner six-year-old really happy. Just remember to wash your hands first!
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet on high-medium heat. Do this a few minutes before you're ready to drop the patties in so it doesn't burn. You want a good sizzle when the burger hits the pan.
  4. Form meatloaf mixture into patties and place in skillet. This is a relatively sticky mixture, so get ready to deal with the patties clinging to your hands. I generally just go for a lump or a ball and then smash them down into a patty with a spatula once they're in the pan.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning patties once or twice to ensure even browning.
  6. Optional: Sometimes I'll break one patty open to check that all of them are cooked through. You really don't want under-cooked ground turkey in your life.
  7. Remove from heat and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil and fat (even though there's very little fat in this recipe).

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

15 min

45 min

Makes four 4-ounce burgers


Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition breakdown is for the patty only—if you put it on a bun, then of course the totals will change. But it's still a powerhouse of protein, fiber, and whole grains. If you add some cooked spinach or other finely-chopped vegetables, then these turkey burgers get even more virtuous.

Totals per patty, if you divide the recipe into four:

  • Calories: 296
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g

I myself typically just eat the patty with some asparagus or raw red pepper strips on the side. A nice whole wheat bun, though, makes this recipe really sing.

Good Stuff!


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