One thing I love about turkey meatloaf is that I can make it almost any time, I almost always have some or all of the ingredients for it on hand. A couple of weeks ago when I was trying to think of healthy meals that I could start making to get life back on track, turkey meatloaf is one of the first things I decided to make.
Another thing I love about turkey meatloaf is how quickly the entire thing comes together. If I have more time I might make turkey meatballs – but in a pinch I can always get a meatloaf together and in the oven in just a few minutes. The only thing that takes real time is sautéing the onion – which is a step I have to take since SC and raw onions don’t get along. But if you do not have a family member that has trouble with raw onions, you really do not need to cook the onions before putting the meatloaf together.
The Basic Ingredients:
1 pound of ground turkey (we always use organic, about 93% lean)
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (panko or regular work)
1/8 cup ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Good additions: (I like adding a couple of the following ingredients when I have them around or when I feel like them. I had spinach and roasted red pepper the other day – but I opted for a simple meatloaf so left these ingredients out. I did add hot sauce, red pepper flakes and a pinch of oregano to my meatloaf and it was delicious!)
Chopped spinach (1 cup)
Hot sauce (to taste)
Red pepper flakes (a pinch)
Garlic cloves, minced or garlic powder
Oregano (a pinch)
Carrot stick (shredded)
Roasted red pepper (chopped)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cookie sheet with foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat. Once pan and oil is hot, add the chopped onion. Cook until onion is translucent and remove pan from heat.
Add the remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Personally, I like adding the egg first and mixing it up before adding the other ingredients so I know it will get distributed evenly throughout the loaf- but this is just my preference and is not necessary. Mix all ingredients (except for the onion) together with clean, damp hands. Once onion has cooled add to the mixture and mix in.
Form your loaf on your prepared cookie sheet.
If you want to top your loaf with a sauce, you can use ketchup or a mixture of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.
Cook for about 50 minutes in the 350 degree oven. Your loaf is ready when it is 165 degrees using a meat thermometer.
The hardest thing to do once my loaf is ready to eat is letting it cool and getting a photograph of it before my family digs into it! This photo was taken right after a couple of pieces were already taken and placed onto a dinner plate!
I love adding a great salad to my plate when having meatloaf for dinner – it really brightens everything up and gives you a couple of servings of vegetables. The salad does not have to be anything fancy – this night I had spinach, tomato, carrots and cucumbers on hand. It was perfect! If I have leftover vegetables from making my salad I always cut them up into veggie strips and use them for lunch or a healthy snack the next day.
I usually eat my meatloaf with a side of hot sauce or dijon mustard and organic ketchup.
I really like turkey meatloaf because it is a lean, good source of protein and it takes just a little hands on time to prepare it. It also makes great leftovers for a lunch or dinner the next day. If you are trying to develop a meal plan for you or your family, turkey meatloaf could definitely be a star in your meal rotation!