Turkey Meatloaf a la Ina Garten

13 Aug

Everybody loves this recipe.

Even if you’re not a turkey lover, this recipe will delight you–I promise. It’s pretty simple to prepare, tastes absolutely divine, and is gobbled down by even the pickiest child.

This one started as a Barefoot Contessa recipe, and it’s pretty much still hers. Hers, though, kicks off with five pounds of turkey. And that’s an absolute boatload of meat–I can’t imagine going through that much food outside of a picnic or something (and you could absolutely serve this for a casual party–it’s delicious). I could halve it, but my grocery store only sells ground turkey by the pound or in three-pound packages. So three pounds it is.

Three pounds is still a ton of food. My family can easily eat this for three dinners. But this is also great cold on sandwiches and it freezes just perfectly, so I cut slices and wrap them individually and pop them into the icebox for future “TV dinners” on rushed nights.

A note on the tomato paste: Don’t you hate recipes that call for a tablespoon or such? Yeah, me too. But my grocery store has started selling tomato paste in tubes, like toothpaste, that keep perfectly in the fridge for a long time. It’s not with the canned tomato paste (God forbid it be simple) but up on a top shelf with the canned grated Parmesan and pizza sauce and artichokes. Give a look-see at your store. If they don’t carry it, canned tomato paste also freezes really well; take it out of the can and pop it in a freezer bag.

I made this today for my brother and sister-in-law who had a baby this morning (Yay!!), because it tastes good and is super comforting and is great in the freezer and microwave, and it’s great for nursing moms (no real spices or veggies to upset little tummies). I hope your family enjoys it too.

To make a big meatloaf, you’ll need:

1 medium onion, chopped (I ran mine through the Cuisinart)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt (I omit this, but Barefoot calls for it)

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme

3/4 of a 1/3 cup measure of Worcestershire sauce (how’s that for proper measuring?)

1/2 cup chicken broth or stock

1 tsp tomato paste

3 pounds ground turkey

1 cup bread crumbs (I like Italian style)

2 large eggs, beaten


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line a large baking sheet (with a lip around the edges) with parchment paper or foil sprayed with cooking spray.

In a medium pan over medium heat, cook the onions, oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until they’re transluscent and soft, about 10 minutes. Add the Worcester, chicken broth and tomato paste and stir together. Remove from heat and let cool until you can touch it.

With your hands (oh stop–you’ll survive), gently fold together the turkey, eggs, bread crumbs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. DO NOT squeeze the meat unless you enjoy tough meatloaf. Fold it gently until it’s mixed and then stop.

Form the meat into a loaf on the sheet pan (mine runs lengthwise end to end, all the way). Spread ketchup over the top of the loaf and bake for 90 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Slice and enjoy.

4 Responses to “Turkey Meatloaf a la Ina Garten”

  1. Leslie Setlock August 13, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Sounds good! I may make it just to slice-and-freeze (i.e. – without waiting for it to be leftovers.) We’ve got some really crazy evenings this term, our first with all three kids in activities, and could use the “TV dinners.”

  2. Tracey August 13, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    I’m trying this one, too. I love meatloaf but my family scoffs. It’s been awhile so I may sneak it on them again. Thanks =)

  3. Sheila August 17, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    This is the best turkey meatloaf I’ve ever made. Sauteing the onions with the thyme prior to mixing it all together gives it a much deeper flavor than just mixing in chopped onion.

  4. Pamela Morse September 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    I made this turkey meatloaf yesterday. It was the best meatloaf I’ve ever prepared! My boyfriend said it was the best he’s ever had in his life! I used this 3 lb version but added 2 cloves pressed garlic, 3 heaping tablespoons of Chili Sauce Ketchup to mixture. I baked for 1 1/2 hours and then added my Chili Sauce Ketchup with brown sugar and mustard mixed in on top. Broiled an additional 10 minutes to thicken topping. ( Chili Sauce Ketchup is like regular ketchup but better!

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