A comfort food classic with a twist, this ground chicken meatloaf recipe is tender, juicy and loaded with veggies and tons of flavour. Homemade meatloaf is easy to prepare and makes for such a satisfying supper any day of the week!
Growing up, we regularly enjoyed meatloaf. Granted, it was typically made with ground beef (which is also really tasty).
These days, though, we enjoy a lot more ground chicken and ground turkey (and it’s more readily available in the grocery store), so today’s meatloaf recipe is made with ground chicken, and is it ever delicious!
Meatloaf may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but it doesn’t have to be exciting or exotic to make those taste buds happy!
There’s something special and nostalgic about childhood recipes that not only fills your belly and pleases your tastes, but also tunes into memories and happy times. Know what I mean?
How To Make Ground Chicken Meatloaf
Here is an overview of how to make ground chicken meatloaf (refer to the recipe card below for full ingredients and instructions):
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken meatloaf ingredients (except the meatloaf sauce) and mix until combined.
- Place the meatloaf mixture into a prepared loaf pan and bake.
- Partway through cooking time, brush the top of the meatloaf with a barbecue sauce mixture (made with barbecue sauce and apricot jam). Place back into the oven to finish cooking.
- Once cooked, carefully remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to cool for a tad before removing from the pan. Then allow the meatloaf to cool for another 5 minutes before slicing.
What Ingredients Keep Meatloaf From Falling Apart?
Binders, such as bread crumbs and eggs, help to keep everything together. I also recommend letting your chicken meatloaf cool for about 5 minutes after it’s cooked to allow things to settle. This makes for easier slicing.
Tip: Add a little extra flavour by using a herb bread. For instance, a rosemary flavoured bread. I love to use my food processor to blitz up some into bread crumbs (and, if you’re like me, you probably have a bunch of odds and ends of bread on hand). If you just have a regular bread, though, no worries! This ground chicken meatloaf is still packed with deliciousness. (I’ve made this recipe with whole wheat bread crumbs, white bread crumbs and flavoured bread crumbs.)
Meatloaf is typically topped with ketchup (with some added ingredients). To mix things up, especially since this is a ground chicken meatloaf recipe, this meatloaf was topped with barbecue sauce mixed with apricot jam. Talk about yummy! The apricot jam adds a little sweetness, which compliments all of the nice savoury components. And, as a bonus, it adds a little shine to the sauce.
The meatloaf sauce is not added until the last 10 to 15 minutes of cook time. I enjoy it a little saucy, plus you don’t want the sauce to burn.
Keeping the Meatloaf Moist
Ground chicken is leaner than, say, ground beef. However, this meatloaf is really moist! No joke, there was juices coming out of it after I removed the cooked meatloaf from the pan. Oh, and don’t discard those juices. You can drizzle them over the meatloaf. There’s tons of flavour there!
To keep the meatloaf moist, there are wet ingredients, such as barbecue sauce, eggs and milk-soaked bread crumbs. Plus, the addition of finely minced onion and grated zucchini and carrots really adds flavour and moisture.
Even when reheating leftovers, this ground chicken meatloaf was still juicy!
Type of Pan To Use
I used a loaf pan that was about 9-inch x 5-inch. If your pan is smaller, for example, your cook time may vary. When cooking ground chicken meatloaf, it should reach a minimum internal cooking temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. An instant-read meat thermometer is your best friend here.
Tip: After greasing your loaf pan, line it with parchment paper (just some hanging over the two longest sides), then grease again.
Removing the Meatloaf From the Pan
Before removing the cooked meatloaf from the loaf pan, I like to gently run a rubber spatula along the top edge of the meatloaf, just to ensure nothing is sticking (especially the sauce).
Then, using the overhanging parchment paper as handles, gently remove the meatloaf from the pan.
This ground chicken meatloaf recipe yields approximately eight slices (which is great for a crowd). However, if you find yourself with leftovers, there are lots of ways to use it!
Probably my favourite way to use it is to enjoy a leftover meatloaf sandwich. Other than that, leftover meatloaf can be crumbled up and used in your favourite pasta sauce to serve with pasta, in tacos, nachos, wraps, sliders, for breakfast with a fried egg, toast and hash browns, or simply reheat and enjoy as is. What’s your favourite way to enjoy leftover meatloaf?
Properly store leftover meatloaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 2 to 4 days, reheating when ready to enjoy.
What to Serve With Meatloaf
My favourite thing to serve with meatloaf is mashed potatoes or homemade fries. Other delicious sides that pair lovely with meatloaf is sautéed green beans, green salad, roasted veggies or creamy polenta.
More Chicken Recipes
- Hunter’s Chicken Recipe (Easy Chicken Cacciatore)
- Chicken and Sausage Recipe With Peppers
- Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies
If you try this recipe for chicken meatloaf, be sure to leave a comment below!
Ground Chicken Meatloaf Recipe
- Cooking spray, to grease loaf pan
- 5 tablespoons barbecue sauce, divided (⅓ cup)
- 1 tablespoon apricot jam
- 1.5 cups bread crumbs, don't pack the bread crumbs into the measuring cup (let it naturally settle)
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese, about heaping ½ cup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup shredded zucchini, about 1 small zucchini (don't pack the zucchini into the measuring cup, let it naturally settle)
- 1 cup shredded carrot, about 2 small carrots (don't pack the carrots into the measuring cup, let it naturally settle)
- ¾ cup minced yellow onion, about 1 smallish yellow onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more to taste for optional garnish
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper (just so it hangs over the longest sides of the loaf pan). Spray again with cooking spray, then set side.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce with apricot jam. Set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine bread crumbs with milk, stir, then set aside for a few minutes so the bread crumbs absorb the milk. (The bread crumbs are not overly soaked here, just more or less dampened by the milk.)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken with the milk-soaked bread crumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce, Parmesan cheese, egg, zucchini, carrots, onion, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, oregano and cayenne pepper and mix until combined.
- Transfer the ground chicken mixture to the prepared loaf pan and spread out into an even layer, gently packing it into the pan. Once in the pan, I simply tap the pan onto the counter about 5 or 10 times to allow it to naturally settle. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Carefully remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush with the reserved barbecue sauce mixture. Place the meatloaf back into the oven and continue to bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until it's fully cooked through (the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the centre of the meatloaf when checked with an instant-read meat thermometer).
- Once cooked, carefully remove the meatloaf from the oven. Allow the meatloaf to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Before slicing, let the meatloaf cool for another 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley (if desired). Slice, serve and enjoy!Note: I like to run a rubber spatula just along the top of the outer edges of the meatloaf before removing it from the pan, just to be sure it's released.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!