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Turkey meatloaf

Ok, so after reading the "how do you cook your meatloaf" thread, I am now craving meatloaf. Problem is I only have ground turkey , and do not feel like heading to the store. Can I make it with ground turkey? Will it be mushy? (I love crisp meatloaf edges) do you have any stellar recipes? Thanks guys

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  1. Can you make it with turkey? Sure. Will it be mushy? Unlikely as I have used turkey for meatloaf many times in the past.

    The biggest challenge is that it has a tencency to be dry due to the low fat count in turkey. Sure it will have a lot of dark meat in the mix but that is unlike the far more flavorful and moisture laden fat found in ground beef and gound pork.

    For turkey I have added schmalz (rendered chicken fat) and that helpd both moisture and flavor a lot. If no schmaltz, then up your panade and watch the bread crumbs. I use 1 large egg per 1lb of meat but you may need to up that too. I also use ketchup (both in the loaf and with balsalmic vinegar and brown sugar as a glaze) , herbs, worschtershire sauce, grated fresh onion, salt , pepper, sometimes sauteed onions, and granulated garlic.

    Don't overmix with turkey as it can make it too dense.

    Instead of reducing the fat in meatloaf, i personally reduce my portion size per meal which allows the meatloaf to be flavorful and moist. Adding mushrooms also adds moisture which helps a lot.

    Good luck.

    1. I always use turkey.

      My default recipe includes a panade of milk and bread, as well as a generous amount of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

      The most important thing is to use the 7% fat ground turkey, not the kind with 1% or 0% fat. If all you have is the 0% kind, don't waste the cheese on it.

      I also grate a little fresh nutmeg, and will sometimes include a small amount of diced canned tomatoes.

      Oh, and some egg. And parsley and/or basil (fresh only). And S&P.

      I think that's about it.

      I never put raw onion in meatloaf. That's a shootable offense in my book. A little raw garlic, as long as you chop your own. That stuff in the jar is garbage.

      Before you put it in the oven, fry a little in a pan, to taste for seasoning. Add S&P as needed.

      I cook it on a sheet pan. This gives you maximum crust, particularly if you put the meatloaf directly on a cake cooling rack (or something like it), and then put both on the sheet pan (which you can line with foil).

      I never made meat loaf in a loaf pan after my first time. The meat steams that way, and there's no crust.

      Some people put strips of bacon on top. I would avoid that if you don't put the meat loaf on the cooling rack.

      I think that's it. LMK if you have any questions.

      1. Since I don't eat bread adding a panade of milk and bread isn't an option for me so I add diced sauteed mushrooms and it stays moist. Sometimes a drizzle of coconut oil, too. And don't overcook it.

        1. I use this recipe which calls for adding some veggies to add moisture, and it's great. http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/07/ba...

          I cook in one big loaf on a baking sheet, versus in a loaf pan or the mini versions shown in the photo.

          As already stated, the issue w/ ground turkey is not mushiness, sort of the opposite, it can tend to be dry. So you have to add extra things to keep the moisture content up.

          Also, these are meatballs but the same idea works... she adds shredded carrot to up the moisture on them. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/el...

          I've never had much luck with taking a recipe that's meant for ground beef etc, and just swapping it out for turkey. It's best to use recipes that are originally meant for turkey.

          1. I make turkey meatloaf all the time. I usually add chopped spinach to it. That adds moisture and flavor. I also add bread crumbs, egg, mustard and ketchup.

            1. I've make a reasonably good meatloaf with ground turkey, but it takes a lot of seasoning and a good amount of breadcrumbs to make it tasty and with a good texture. I think you'll find that ground turkey for meatloaf is the opposite of "mushy" and you must add breadcrumbs in a sizeable amount to keep it from having the texture of a brick. Sauteed veggies are a way to add good flavor and more moisture.

              1. I know I am too late to answer but the answer is yes! Just made a great meatloaf with a mix of lean and dark meat turkey. It was super flavorful and included a great basting sauce that doubles as a serving sauce.
                Here it is but for the full post go to www.neurotickitchen.com

                Best Ever Turkey Meatloaf
                Adapted from Marina E. and Inspired by Ina Garten
                Serves 4 to 5

                1 large Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
                1 Stalk Celery, roughly chopped
                1 large Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
                3 large Garlic Cloves
                6 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme. leaves only

                2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

                1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
                1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper - or more to taste
                1 teaspoon Oregano
                Salt to Taste

                1 Lb dark meat Ground Turkey
                1 Lb Lean Ground Turkey

                2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
                1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
                Just over a 1/3 Cup Chicken Stock
                1/2 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes, roughly chopped - not the ones packed in oil
                3/4 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
                2 Large Eggs Beaten
                1.25 Cups Basting and Serving Sauce* Ingredients and Recipe follow

                *Basting and Serving Sauce
                Adapted from Alton Brown and Marina E
                Yield - About a 1.25 Cups

                1 Cup Ketchup
                3-4 Tablespoons Prepared BBQ Sauce (optional
                )2 teaspoons Cumin
                4 teaspoons Dry Mustard
                3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
                Several dashes of Tabasco or other Hot Sauce to taste
                2 Tablespoons Honey or Agave Syrup
                2 Tablespoons of Water or Dark Beer

                Meatloaf Preparation Method:
                Preheat oven to 325 with rack in the middle, and another rack below.
                *Mix together the Basting and Serving Sauce by combining all ingredients. Set aside. You will glaze Meatloaf with it before cooking and again about a half hour in.

                Using food processor, combine the first 4 ingredients (Onion, Celery, Carrot, Garlic) until they form a coarse yet paste-like consistency. Next, add Fresh Thyme Leaves, and Sun Dried Tomatoes to the processor. Pulse 5 or 6 times until incorporated (little chunks of Sun Dried Tomatoes will taste good in the meatloaf).

                In a medium saucepan on low heat, add Olive Oil and Vegetable paste mixture. Sweat the mixture until all the rawness has cooked out of it. This should take about 5 minutes. During this time, add a generous dose of Salt, the Black Pepper and Red Pepper, and the Oregano. Now add Chicken Stock, Tomato Paste, and Worcestershire Sauce. Stir to Combine. Pop the pot into the freezer to cool it quickly.

                In a large bowl, combine Turkey Meat, Eggs, Panko Breadcrumbs, and the Veggie/Herb/Stock Mixture from the freezer. Make sure all elements are incorporated but try not to overwork the meat.

                Assemble free-form Meatloaf on an ungreased cookie sheet (to help meat hold its shape).
                You should end up with a rectangular loaf about two inches high.

                Place a pan of water in the oven one rack below where the meatloaf will cook. This will help the top of the Meatloaf not to crack on top. Baste Meatloaf all over with the Glazing Sauce (don't double dip your basting brush so you can use any remaining sauce to serve with cooked meatloaf).

                Cook about 1 hour and 10 minutes, basting meatloaf again at about midway through cook time. Take Meatloaf out of the oven and let rest in the pan 7 minutes tented with foil.

                Slice, and serve with any leftover sauce.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Samurai Sam

                  If you don't want to add bread crumbs or panko, try oatmeal that has been moistened with milk. Otherwise, all of the above ideas are great.

                  1. re: beanodc

                    yes to the oatmeal. I use old fashion oats and run it thru the food processor first. The texture is more bread crumby that way.

                2. I haven't made this yet, but it's on the list. (Cooking with Sugar TV).

                  Here it is --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlPtyd...

                  1. I only use turkey for a seriously delicious meatloaf recipe I have from a Boston cafe. Also, I use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs. Here's the link to the original recipe... (instead of beef use turkey):