Mini Turkey Meatloaves

February 27, 2008


It’s my belief that, by and large, people of my generation don’t really do meatloaf. It’s not that we have anything against eating our meat in less-than-natural shapes. Many of the proteins of our childhoods came in a shaped fashion: nuggets (as in the “Mc” kind) and sticks (fish), for example. And while I may have outgrown these shapes, I still enjoy meatballs and all manner of burger patties.


But the loaf? Not so much. This comes as a great shock and disappointment to my parents, who eagerly anticipate very regular meatloaf nights—a tradition they hatched pretty much the instant both my sister and I moved out of the house. While my parents’ love of the loaf form, along with the comfort food craze a few years back, make it clear that a segment of the population adores meatloaf, I’ve just had a hard time getting all that excited about it.

(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)


But, this blog makes me do the unthinkable, apparently. In the quest to cook everything but (forgive me, please) The Kitchen Sink, meatloaf crept onto my “must cook” list around mid-winter. Since then, I’ve been looking for a recipe that involved little or no ketchup, a condiment with which I have an on-again/off-again relationship (right now, we’re off). With that very tiny goal, I came up empty. Zilch. Zero. Apparently the all-American condiment is somewhat of an essential ingredient. So, I opted for a recipe that only involved a wee bit of ketchup. And one that featured ground turkey, rather than beef. And, though I was originally drawn to recipes using oats, I settled on one that called for panko instead.



Given the updated recipe and my open mind, I am happy to report that I am now officially a fan of meatloaf. Well, at least this meatloaf, which was tender and juicy and lightly dense and flavorful. We barely ate one mini loaf between the two of us, so I’m excited to build a meatloaf sandwich with the leftovers … Did I really just say that? My parents must be beaming with pride.


Turkey Meatloaf
The Martha Stewart Show

2/3 cups panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
3 pounds lean (7 percent) ground turkey, preferably organic
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place panko and milk in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Let stand 5 minutes.

Add turkey, onions, eggs, 1/4 cup ketchup, parsley, mustard, salt, sage, and pepper to breadcrumb mixture. Gently mix until well combined. Transfer mixture to a 9 3/4-inch-by-5 3/4-inch loaf pan.* Brush top with remaining 2 tablespoons ketchup.

Transfer meatloaf to oven and bake, draining any accumulated juices as necessary, until it reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.* Serve immediately or use to prepare sandwiches.

* I halved the recipe and used two mini loaf pans. I baked them at 350 for about about 45 minutes, which is about how long it took for them to reach 165 degrees.


11 Responses to “Mini Turkey Meatloaves”

  1. bevsedgehills Says:

    I have never had meatloaf but that sounds and looks so good!

  2. RecipeGirl Says:

    I often sub panko in meatloaf for breadcrumbs/oatmeal. Works out nicely, doesn’t it? Ground up mushrooms will naturally make your meatloaf turn out really moist too. I get “requests” for meatloaf from my 6 year old, so I actually have it on my menu this week. Mini-meatloaves too, in fact!

    Kudos to you for getting good pics of the meatloaf. It’s difficult to make meatloaf pretty!

  3. Emily Says:

    You must have sensed my need for a meatloaf recipe. I made a terrible version (if one could even call it that!) last weekend, so I’m thrilled to try this one. I’ll keep you posted…

  4. pille Says:

    Nice to meet you.
    An article of the cooking of your site served as a reference very much.

    I linked to your site from my blog.
    I am glad if I have you link to my blog.

  5. Deborah Says:

    The meatloaf sandwich is what makes it all worth it!

  6. culinography Says:

    I love meatloaf! And this looks wonderful! I’ll take a meatloaf sandwich tomorrow, please. 🙂

  7. julie Says:

    I have a serious meat loaf craving after looking at these yummy pics. Your blog is absolutely beautiful!

  8. michelle Says:

    the meatloaf sandwich is one of the truly great american sandwiches.

    i can never find a turkey meatloaf that i really, really like, just that i’ll tolerate. i’ll have to give this one a try! i like the idea of using panko.

  9. C Says:

    I love and adore meatloaf. My secret ingredient is Sriracha sauce – adds just a little zing.

  10. ourkitchensink Says:

    Bev: I would’ve have *never* guessed that I’d be a meatloaf converter. But I hope you give it a go!

    RecipeGirl: Thanks! Yes, meatloaf isn’t all that photogenic …

    Emily: I am so wrong about our generation! I hope you like this one. Let me know.

    Pille: Thanks for linking!

    Deborah: I have to agree.

    Culinography: I’m afraid you’re too late! Thanks!

    Julie: Thanks very much.

    Michelle: Do try — let me know what you think.

    C: Great idea. I will file that away …

  11. Louie Says:

    I used the recipe this weekend for dinner. It turned out great – fantastic flavor. But, it was even better the next day on a sandwich.

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