undeniably Turkey is not just for Thanksgiving or the cold months of winter!!
I love this turkey loaf recipe even more than traditional meat loaf. It is light, very tasty and when I make it, I serve it as turkey loaf the first night and then have leftovers for the rest of the week! I often toss it on top of dressed salad greens the next day; it tastes delicious between good slices of whole grain bread topped with tomato, spinach, just about anything. Slice and grill leftovers, or chop up leftover turkey loaf into marinara sauce and served it on top of whole grain noodles or quinoa.
Nothing is difficult about this recipe. But yes, you do need to saute the onions. There are a lot of flavor enhancers here (chicken broth, worcestershire, salt, etc) — everything is necessary unless you like bland food. I love making this in free form-shaping it is kind of fun.
Add this to your regular dinner rotation. As written it is a large recipe, and I’ve even doubled it when I have a house full of eaters. It always turns out perfectly! I made it this July and served it with sauteed lacinato kale, asparagus and pea pods and oven roasted, multicolored potatoes. It’s a winner for sure!
(Adapted from Ina Garten)
Ingredients for the loaf:
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced ¼ inch
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp dry thyme leaves
- 2 ½ Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ⅓ cup chicken stock (I used “Better Than Bouillon” reconstituted)
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 ½ pounds ground turkey (breast or thigh meat is fine)
- ¾ cups whole grain bread crumbs (I always keep in the freezer)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ c ketchup
- 1 tsp dry mustard
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and place an oven safe pyrex 2 cup measuring cup, filled with 1 ½ cups of hot water, inside. This keeps the turkey loaf from cracking.
Line a rimmed jelly roll sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme uncovered until translucent, approximately 10 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Take it off the heat, and a few minutes later dd the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow this to cool to room temperature.
Put the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and cooled saute pan ingredients in a large bowl. The mixture will feel a bit loose. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on the parchment lined jelly roll pan. Spread the ketchup mixture evenly on top of the loaf and let it dribble a little down the sides.
Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F and the meatloaf is cooked through. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.