We haven’t had turkey meat loaf in a very long time and it is a perfect crowd pleaser for the family table. Perfect for a large family gathering or just the two of you with great left-overs.
The first time I made this was in Aspen with my friend Susan many moons ago. We found the recipe from Barefoot Contessa and it was back in the day I wasn’t living out here yet and before my blog was born. We collaborated on it, and Joel and Drew liked it so much they used to tell us to open a shop with turkey lasagna and turkey meat loaf (uh uh, not happening) In any event , it has long become a staple in both of our households and even Drew makes it now. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I have made a few changes to the original, but the original is a perfect recipe as is. It can easily be cut in 1/2, and tonite I cut it even more using only 1 1/2 lbs. of ground turkey. This recipe as is will serve 8 – 10 servings easily. Great for a large crowd. I serve with roasted butternut squash , roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and/or a beautiful salad. Possibilities are endless with this meatloaf.
*you will need a meat thermometer to check for doneness
5 lbs ground turkey— I prefer chopped dark meat as it has a little fat and a lot less dry than white meat turkey. You can find 85% lean which is fine . It’s sometimes hard to find dark meat ground turkey so when I find it I buy it. It just makes for a tastier meat loaf. You can mix dark meat and white meat.
3 cups chopped yellow onions ( app. 2 large onions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups plain dry bread crumbs
3 extra-large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup ketchup/1 tablespoon brown sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a medium saute pan (frying pan) , over a medium low heat, cook the onions in the olive oil, add salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent app. 10 minutes or so. Don’t brown them. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow this mixture to cool in frying pan off the heat to room temperature.
In the meantime, combine the turkey, bread crumbs, and eggs in a large bowl and mix well. Then add in the onion mixture when it’s cooled down and incorporate well. Shape into a rectangular loaf on a lightly sprayed sheet pan. When you shape as a loaf , try to make the ends even with the middle or they will dry out. ( I kind of like the ends like that but just saying…) Spread the ketchup/brown sugar evenly on top. Bake for app. 1 1/2 hours until the internal temperature of meatloaf is 160 degrees and the meatloaf is cooked through.
I place a large Pyrex with water underneath the meatloaf (rack below) it will help to keep meatloaf from cracking . (it works) I always let it stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Serve hot, at room temperature and delicious cold the next day.