Sunday, March 13, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf

Ya know, I've never had a 100% beef meatloaf that I ever really liked. Always too dense & dry and about as appetizing as a hockey puck. Other iterations, with blends of ground pork, beef & veal are generally better. Another secret to great meatloaf is to saute the veggies before you mix them in with the ground meat. Raw onion in a meatloaf doesn't always lose that less than delectable raw onion flavor even after an hour of baking. I've been making this version of meatloaf with ground turkey now for several years, and have perfected this recipe to be healthy (chock full of veggies), tasty and super moist. Pasilla peppers have a little bit of heat to them. If you don't like spicy, then just substitute with regular bell peppers.

2 lbs. ground turkey
1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs (or 16 saltine crackers, or 3 slices bread crumbled)
1/3 cup ketcup
1 3.5-oz. package Lawry's or other meatloaf seasoning mixture (or even 1/2 cup taco seasoning, for a Tex-Mex flavor)
1/2 small onion, diced
2 pasilla peppers, diced
1 small potato, peeled & shredded (optional-omit if you want a less starchy meatloaf)
1 small carrot, peeled & shredded
1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped.
1 cup water
2 eggs, lightly beaten (or 1/2 cup of egg beaters)

1. In a medium pan, saute onion in 1 tsp. of olive oil 2-3 minutes until softened. Add pasilla peppers and saute briefly. Stir in shredded carrot & potato and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat & let cool.

2. Place ground turkey in a large bowl. Using your hands, combine remaining ingredients with the turkey (including cooled veggie mixture) until well-blended.

3. Preheat oven to 350F.

4. Press turkey mixture into a large loaf pan, cover with foil, place on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Internal temperature should be 160F.

Shredded carrot & potato, diced pasilla peppers & diced onion.

Saute onion in 1 tbsp. of olive oil until softened.

Add in the pasilla peppers. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of water to the pan.

Add shredded carrot, potato (if using) & chopped cilantro and saute another 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat & set aside to cool.

Use 2 lbs. of ground turkey for this recipe.

Some of the other ingredients: I use 1/2 cup of egg beaters, which is equivalent to 2 eggs (minus the cholesterol). Ketchup & Panko bread crumbs.

Use your favorite meat loaf seasoning mix. Lawry's includes salt, onion, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder & other "secret" spices. You can use a packet of taco seasoning instead for a more Tex-Mex flavor.

Mix in the ketchup, Panko bread crumbs, egg beaters (or eggs) & seasoning mix with the ground turkey.

Stir in the cooled veggies. Best way to blend everything together is with your hands. 

Mix in 1 cup of water. This is what makes the meatloaf extra juicy.

Shape the meat mixture into a loaf in a large casserole dish. 

Cover loaf with foil & bake 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350F.

This is not a great photo of the final product, but trust me when I say it's fall-apart tender, good for you, & really flavorful.

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