Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

This is another recipe I found in my The Best Light Recipe cookbook by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. The method they used to make the meatloaf intrigued me but I was nervous that the turkey meatloaf would turn out dry and tasteless… I couldn’t have been more wrong. This truly was one of the best meatloaves I have ever made. Seriously. The key is to use 93% lean ground turkey (both white/dark meat) instead of all turkey breast. Another key factor was using homemade bread crumbs and milk. This meatloaf was flavorful, tender, moist, and so delicious. I served it with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Pan Roasted Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan. It was a healthy and comforting dinner that was full of flavor without any guilt. I love that!

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil then place a wire rack on top. Fold a piece of tin foil  into a 10 x 6 inch rectangle and place on top of the wire rack; set aside.

Chop some leftover rustic bread into cubes (I used roasted garlic bread) making sure to slice the bottom of the loaf off first (it’s too hard for breadcrumbs). Once the bread is in cubes, place into a food processor, and pulse until you have fine bread crumbs.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened; about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Whisk together the milk, egg, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste in a small bowl.  In another large bowl, mix the turkey, bread crumbs, parsley, cooked onion mixture, and egg mixture together with your hands until uniformly combined. Press the mixture together into a compact mass, then turn it out onto the foil rectangle on top of the wire rack. Using your hands, press the meat into an evenly thick loaf about 2 inches tall and 1 inch smaller than the foil on all sides.

Stir the ketchup, sugar, and vinegar together, then brush half of the mixture evenly over the meatloaf.

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes. Brush the meatloaf with a bit more glaze, and continue to bake until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees with a meat thermometer, about 15-20 minutes longer. Cool at least 10-15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy.

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup of 2% milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 lbs 93% lean ground turkey not all turkey breast
  • 1/2 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil then place a wire rack on top. Fold a piece of tin foil into a 10 x 6 inch rectangle and place on top of the wire rack; set aside.
  • Chop some leftover rustic bread into cubes (I used roasted garlic bread) making sure to slice the bottom of the loaf off first (it's too hard for breadcrumbs). Once the bread is in cubes, place into a food processor, and pulse until you have fine bread crumbs.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened; about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Whisk together the milk, egg, thyme, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste in a small bowl. In another large bowl, mix the turkey, bread crumbs, parsley, cooked onion mixture, and egg mixture together with your hands until uniformly combined. Press the mixture together into a compact mass, then turn it out onto the foil rectangle on top of the wire rack. Using your hands, press the meat into an evenly thick loaf about 2 inches tall and 1 inch smaller than the foil on all sides.
  • Stir the ketchup, sugar, and vinegar together, then brush half of the mixture evenly over the meatloaf. Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes. Brush the meatloaf with a bit more glaze, and continue to bake until the center of the loaf registers 160 degrees with a meat thermometer, about 15-20 minutes longer. Cool at least 10-15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy.
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35 Comments

  1. Mmmm….looks so good! I haven’t made a meatloaf in a LONG time. I’ll be giving this one a try soon! Thanks for sharing!

  2. That is comfort food for me! I use ground lean turkey a lot in place of beef. This looks so yummy!! I made meatballs tonight with ground turkey. YUMMY!!
    How you feeling these days? Back all better now? I sure hope so!!!
    XO Kris

  3. Oooooooh!!!! What a beauty. That looks amazing and I don’t ever recall seeing a meatloaf that gorgeous. Lovely post Pam. I will have to give this one a try.

  4. I am always looking for ways to cut down on calories and turkey is the way to do it. I love turkey meatballs so this would be delicious for sure.

  5. UAU Pam,
    This meatloaf looks so yummy and with that amazing glaze, it sounds really delicious.
    Your accompaniments, couldn’t be better and I love both of them!
    Cheers,
    Lia.

  6. Wow, that’s a pretty high praise… best meatloaf you ever made? Who would have thought it with turkey?? Looks great!

  7. My first reaction to turkey meatloaf is “ho-hum” but when you say “This truly was one of the best meatloaves I have ever made,” I have to rethink my reaction, especially since I need to eat healthier. Thanks for trying it for us.

  8. This does look good, Pam! I have found that I really like the taste and consistency of ground turkey – finding a brand that has dark meat included would make it even better! Love the sweet glaze on your meatloaf too!

  9. Pam, This looks so yummy…really, sounds delicious. I like so much the sweet glaze on your meatloaf.
    Regards from Spain….

  10. Okay it’s obvious I need this cookbook. I’ve never liked meatloaf in my life…but you’ve actually made it sound good!

  11. meatloaf is a favorite in our house…yours looks divine. I need to try it with turkey sometime.

  12. i’ve really been learning to love turkey as a beef replacement, this looks SO good! i love that glaze.

  13. Total comfort food and I like that you used turkey for this meatloaf! The glaze looks incredible.

  14. if you serve me meatloaf with no glaze, i’m giving it back to you. LOVE your topping! 🙂

  15. I need to try using turkey meat for my next meatloaf.
    Never tried it, used it in burgers and even used chicken in burgers, but never turkey meatloaf.
    And I’m all about the glaze; that end piece with all the charred glaze bits? Oh yeah

  16. Just made it and waiting for it to come out of the oven…smells wonderful. I used 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard as your recipe did not say how much to use…am I on the right track?

    1. Erin,

      Yes! 1 teaspoon of Dijon. I just corrected the recipe… thanks for letting me know. I hope you love it as much as we did.

      Cheers,
      Pam

    2. Thanks…it was very yummy! Keeping this one in our go to binder for sure. Love your blog…so inspirational. One of the thing I like so much about how you post is the pictures of everything gathered together at the start of the recipe. I’m a visual person and it really helps me make sure I got everything. Thank you for such an awesome blog!

  17. Two slices of sourdough bread and a slice of that meatloaf and I’m in hog….errr…turkey heaven!

  18. Just had this for dinner tonight, it was delicious. My husband said I definitely have to make this again.

  19. Can anyone comment on whether or not this becomes pretty firm when cooled? We like our meatloaf pretty firm since it’s then easier to slice for the day-after meatloaf sammies that are even yummier than the first round meatloaf dinner.

    1. Patty,

      It will be moist and juicy out of the oven. After refrigerated, the slices are firm and perfect for sandwiches. Hope this helps.

      Pam

  20. Deborah Douglas says:

    Looks delicious !! I’m making it today for Sunday’s dinner ..with steamed cabbage and potatoes. Yum yumDe

  21. Was wondering what to fix for Sunday’s dinner today. Saw your recipe… it looked so delicious with the glazed topping. So I will be fixing your meatloaf with steam cabbage and potatoes. Yum yum !!

  22. Frances M Thompson says:

    My wife and I have made this a couple of times and we really love it, but this time I wanted to kick it up a little bit so I used picante sauce on the topping instead of the ketchup but I still used the brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. It was really good definitely recommend to my family and friends

    1. Frances,

      I’m so glad you like this recipe. Adding picante sauce instead of ketchup sounds like a terrific idea! Thanks for letting me know!

      -Pam