Whitesburg KY

Turkey meatloaf offers lighter take on classic

The recipe for this turkey meatloaf with a ketchup-brown sugar glaze appears in “The New Essentials Cookbook.” (Carl Tremblay/America’s Test Kitchen via AP)

The recipe for this turkey meatloaf with a ketchup-brown sugar glaze appears in “The New Essentials Cookbook.” (Carl Tremblay/America’s Test Kitchen via AP)

Don’t overlook the benefits of a good meatloaf; though humble, it can be just the thing for a comforting meal, and leftovers make great sandwiches.

Turkey meatloaf offers a lighter take on the classic, but because store-bought ground turkey is fine and pasty, it often comes out dense and mushy. To fix this, we exchanged the usual bread panade for quick oats, which added some chew and opened up the loaf’s texture.

Cornstarch, Parmesan, butter, and egg yolks enriched the turkey’s thin juices and added more body. Because turkey’s mild flavor is easily overwhelmed, we kept the other add-ins modest. Instead, we gave our meatloaf a double coat of glaze, letting the first dry in the oven so the second would adhere.

Baking our loaf free-form permitted more space for glazing. Do not use 99 percent lean ground turkey. The pinch of baking soda helps the onions soften quickly. Three tablespoons of rolled oats, chopped fine, can be substituted for the quick oats; do not use steelcut oats.

Servings: 4-6
Start to finish: 2 hours
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch baking soda
1/2 onion, chopped fine
Salt and pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

2 tablespoons Worcestershire
3 tablespoons quick oats
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 pounds of 85 percent or 93
percent lean ground turkey
1 ounce Parmesan cheese,
grated (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Adjust oven rack to uppermiddle position and heat oven to 350 F. Line wire rack with aluminum foil and set in rimmed baking sheet. Melt butter in 10 inch skillet over low heat. Stir baking soda into melted butter. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in Worcestershire and continue to cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute longer. Transfer onion mixture to large bowl and set aside. Combine oats, cornstarch, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in second bowl.

Whisk all ingredients in small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes; set aside.

Stir egg yolks and mustard into cooled onion mixture until well combined. Add turkey, Parmesan, parsley, and oat mixture and, using your hands, mix until well combined. Transfer turkey mixture to center of prepared rack. Using your wet hands, shape into 9-by-5-inch loaf. Using pastry brush, spread half of glaze evenly over top and sides of meatloaf. Bake meatloaf for 40 minutes.

Brush remaining glaze onto top and sides of meatloaf and continue to bake until thermometer inserted into meatloaf registers 160 F, 35 to 40 minutes longer. Let meatloaf cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.


Nutrition information per serving: 341 calories; 157 calories from fat; 18 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 172 mg cholesterol; 793 mg sodium; 20 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 26 g protein.


For more recipes, cooking tips and ingredient and product reviews, visit www.americastestkitchen.com. Find more recipes like Turkey Meatloaf in “The New Essentials Cookbook.”

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