We just had a delicious turkey loaf tonight. It seems like just the right time of year (in MN) to start making things in the oven once again. Now, why wouldn’t I call this Turkey Meatloaf? When I call it that my family expects the texture and flavor of the traditional beef meatloaf. I’ve decided to stop trying to turn turkey into something it’s not and let its natural properties shine.
Turkey is tender, mild, and lean. Because of these attributes I tried adding flavors that would be too subtle to shine through a traditional meatloaf. The results were great! One of my kids that wouldn’t touch my “turkey meatloaf” ate three helpings of the turkey loaf. He never even noticed the hidden veggies he doesn’t like and that added nutrients he would not have gotten otherwise. Remember when you use lean ground turkey you need to had some healthy fat so it sticks together. Try this with your family. I hope you like it as much as my family did.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- ½ cup steel-cut oats (organic if possible)
- 1 med-small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped in small pieces
- ¼ cup sweet onion, chopped small
- 1 small Roma (Italian) tomato
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 eggs (organic if possible)
- ¼ cup freshly grated Romano cheese (you can use parmesan, but the tang from the Romano is really delicious)
- ¼ cup ketchup, without high fructose corn syrup
- Seasoned salt (natural if possible, I like the one from Tastefully Simple)
- Ground pepper
Note: If you’re making this loaf for kids, I recommend using a food processor on all the veggies after they are cooked so they mix magically into the meat. If you’re cooking for adults who like to see bits of healthy veggies in their food, just go with the small chop on the veggies.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with cooking spray or non-stick aluminum foil.
- Add chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, and onion into a fry pan with olive oil. Sauté until the veggies are cooked through and soft. (Approx. 5 mins.) Add seasoned salt and pepper. Let cool.
- Meanwhile, add steel-cut oats to food processor. Process until finely ground. Add to large bowl.
- Add veggie mixture to oats in bowl. Beat the two eggs and add to bowl along with the grated Romano cheese. Mix all together.
- Add ground turkey to the bowl. Mix (I use my hands) until all ingredients are well blended together. Make sure you’re thorough, but don’t pulverize the poor poultry.
- Form meat mixture into a ball and place on baking sheet. Form the ball into an even disk, about 2 inches or so thick.
- Poor ketchup over top and spread evenly.
- Place in oven and bake at 375 for one hour.
I served this with roasted carrots (I baked them right in the oven with the Turkey Loaf) and a fresh green salad.
The Turkey Loaf had a beautiful, soft, cheesy flavor. The veggies blended right in (since I put them in the food processor) for a dotted pink throughout. With a sweet, tomato-y crust, this Turkey Loaf became an instant favorite.