Turkey Meatloaf

turkey meatloaf muffins

With the start of a new year comes the New Year’s Resolutions, and for most people that involves eating healthier and/or exercising more. We’ve all heard about the overload of people at gyms in January, much to the dismay of regular gym-goers. Thankfully I work out at home, but I experienced something just as terrifying at the grocery store last Sunday afternoon. I strolled over to the ground turkey section of the meat case only to discover there were only 2 packages of ground turkey left!!! It was not even on sale! My theory: the gung-ho New Year’s Resolution-ites are buying up all the ground turkey in an effort to cook more healthfully. I felt just like one of these regular gym goers – I am a loyal turkey purchaser who counts on the stuff just being there; I guess I shouldn’t take it for granted! Anyway, I quickly picked up 1 package of turkey and hid it in my cart as I continued shopping. Never know when a turkey thief is lurking around the aisle.  

So, what exactly were my plans for said turkey? Last month I finally tried out this turkey meatloaf recipe I saw on Annie’s Eats a long time ago. It’s adapted from Ina Garten, so I figured I would love it. I had made turkey meatloaf only once before and it turned out very watery – perhaps ground turkey has more liquid/water content than ground beef? Annie had the genius idea of lining the loaf pan with sandwich bread to absorb this liquid and let me tell you, no more soggy meatloaf!  

muffin tin with biscuit cutter and small round pieces of honey wheat bread

This recipe was so fantastic that I couldn’t wait to make it again. This time I made meatloaf muffins, and this is how I will make them from now on. I love how they are pre-portioned and each one is like a capsule, keeping in all of the moisture. I’m not exactly sure what makes this meatloaf so tasty – I think it’s that the onions are cooked and then seasoned with Worcestershire and tomato paste. Mmm. And the ketchup on top is fantastic. My mom never put ketchup on our meatloaf, but I really like it. Bob said it was like “frosting on top of the meatloaf cupcakes.” Whatever works for him 🙂   I was so tempted to apply the label “Muffins” to this post, but I’ll refrain…

The first time:
The second time, in muffin form. Notice the sweet potato side dish which I will post soon – making side dishes is one of my New Year’s Resolutions.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
3 slices of sandwich bread (I used wheat)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 pound ground turkey (if you buy Jennie-O, it may be ~1.25 lbs.; that’s ok too)
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup ketchup
Preheat oven to 325F.
1. Use a small biscuit cutter or a small cup/glass to cut sandwich bread into circles to fit in the bottom of a 6-cup muffin tin.
2. Over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until onions are translucent but not browned, approximately 15 minutes.
3. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Mix well. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
4. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, egg, and onion mixture. Add ground turkey and mix until completely incorporated.
5. Press turkey into muffin cups. Spread ketchup on top. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 165F and the meatloaf is cooked through. (This takes about 1 – 1 1/2 hours for meatloaf in a loaf pan and much less time, about 35 minutes or so, for the muffins).
6. Let meatloaf muffins stand 10 minutes, then carefully remove them from tin, gently removing and discarding the soggy bread from the bottom.
Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Ina Garten

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