Looking for a juicy ground chicken meatloaf recipe that’s full of flavor? You’ll love this delicious, quick, and easy comfort food dish!
This Chicken Meatloaf recipe makes a fairly small meatloaf for four that cooks quickly and is perfect for a weeknight meal. Using chicken means that it’s a bit leaner than the classic ground beef meatloaf. But there’s no need to worry about it being too dry, since this recipe makes a super-moist meatloaf that tastes great. I love to serve this classic comfort food with mashed potatoes and green beans.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
Video: Making Ground Chicken Meatloaf
This meatloaf recipe is based on my ground turkey meatloaf recipe. It does seem to make slightly smaller loaves than the turkey though. I suspect that ground chicken compacts more easily, but don’t worry, it’s just as delicious.
I’ve used ground chicken here, not ground chicken breast. The breast will be quite a bit drier and is not ideal for meatloaf without added wet ingredients, which tend to make the loaf too soft.
We’re also using an egg, Worcestershire sauce, and breadcrumbs for this meatloaf recipe.
The blend of seasonings that I’ve used here are very basic but work really well with the chicken. If you want to try something else, my Meatloaf Seasoning Blend is a homemade version of McCormick’s meatloaf seasoning blend and is different in flavor from the recipe given below, but just as delicious. If you want to use that, you’d use 4 teaspoons of the seasoning blend and then omit the salt, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper from the below recipe.
To use a different store-bought or homemade seasoning blend, like the blends here, check first whether the blend contains salt. If it does, then use 4 teaspoons of the blend and omit the same list of ingredients I said to omit above. If the blend doesn’t contain salt, then use 3 and 1/2 teaspoons of the blend and also use the 1/2 teaspoon of salt called for in the recipe.
Complete the meatloaf with a brush of BBQ sauce, which I prefer over ketchup for this recipe. I do two rounds of BBQ sauce, one brushed on before the baking begins, and one brushed on midway through.
Tips For Perfect Chicken Meatloaf
Don’t overmix. That’s why I mix everything else first, so you know it’s fully mixed before adding the meat. Then you just have to gently mix it in, while not having to worry if every individual ingredient is evenly distributed too.
No need for a loaf pan. I find the results are much better when you shape the meatloaf mixture into a loaf and bake it on a sheet pan. It gets more browning on all sides, it’s easier to slice, and allows you to get the tasty BBQ sauce glaze on more of the loaf.
How To Make Chicken Meatloaf
- Combine all the ingredients together in one bowl, don’t overmix!
- Transfer ground chicken mixture to a sheet pan and shape loaf.
- Spread half of the BBQ sauce on all sides.
- Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes, then brush it with sauce again and bake at 450°F for 10 minutes.
Temperature to Cook Chicken Meatloaf
The cooking is done in two stages, first at 350°F then at 450°F. The lower temperature lets the meatloaf cook almost all the way through at an even rate. Then the temperature increases for the last 10 minutes, during which time the last bit of sauce that you add gets a chance to darken a bit. If you’d like that sauce even darker, put the meatloaf under the broiler for a minute or two once it’s done cooking.
Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Don’t skip this step! It’s necessary for the liquid inside to stop simmering and settle down, so that the meat can slice nicely. It also brings the temp up to the safe internal temperature of 165°F. You can take it out before it gets to 165°F, which will result in a juicier meatloaf since it won’t be overcooked. But then you really do need to make sure that it gets up to the safe 165°F temperature after the resting stage. I advise testing again with an instant read thermometer before slicing to be safe.
The meatloaf is actually really really juicy and flavorful. It has a whiter color that nobody would mistake for beef, but it’s just as juicy and tasty as a ground beef meatloaf.
Can I Double The Recipe?
This makes a fairly small meatloaf, which means that it cooks reasonably quickly, ideal for a weeknight. The loaf will yield 8 slices, which is enough for 4 lighter eaters, or for my family where two of us are lighter eaters and two of us are more average.
If you want to double the recipe to make sure you have enough to feed your family (or for leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches!), you can. Simply double the ingredients and mix as instructed. But then shape it into two loaves instead of one.
You can put them on the same sheet pan in the oven as long as there is a couple of inches between them so that the heat can circulate. The cooking time will not change based on doubling the recipe, so long as you form two loaves. Easy!
Podcast Episode About Making Chicken Meatloaf
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this recipe, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 lb. ground chicken*
- 2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In large bowl combine egg, Worcestershire, salt, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and breadcrumbs. Mix well.
- Add chicken to bowl and mix just until combined being careful to not over mix.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer chicken mixture to parchment and shape into a 6inch by 3 inch loaf that’s about 1 and ½ inches high. Brush the top, sides, and ends with 1 tablespoon of the BBQ sauce.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and spread with remaining tablespoon of sauce.
- Return to oven and increase heat to 450°F. Bake until internal temperature is 160°F, about 8-10 more minutes.
- Let rest for at least 5 minutes and until temperature has reached 165°F before transferring it to a cutting board to slice and serve.
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*I advise that you don’t use anything labelled “ground chicken breast” since that will be too dry. Choose a package labelled as “ground chicken” which tends to be made of both dark and light meat and is therefore a bit higher in fat content and thus less lean and less dry.