BBQ Turkey Meatloaf
This BBQ Turkey Meatloaf is a little out-of-the-box the week before Thanksgiving, I know, but I thought you might appreciate a home-style dinner you could make tonight instead of a fancy, once-a-year dish for the main event next week. (We all still have to get dinner on the table between now and then, right?) It’s a family favorite…hearty, deliciously full-flavored and—bonus—low in fat.
For all its merits as a low-fat alternative to beef, ground turkey can be incredibly dry and bland. The secret is to add flavor and moisture without adding fat, which of course would defeat the whole purpose. In this case, you start by making a tangy and sweet BBQ glaze: a simple mix of ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and mustard. Easy.
Next, finely mince a yellow onion. It’s important to mince, rather than chop, so large pieces of onion don’t cause the meatloaf to fall apart. The best way is in a food processor; just be sure to pulse carefully so the onions don’t turn to paste.
Cook the onions in olive oil until soft, then add some garlic and cook a bit more.
Combine some of the BBQ glaze with Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, paprika, thyme, salt, pepper and eggs.
Add the onion mixture, ground turkey and seasoned breadcrumbs.
Finally, use your hands to mix it all together, then form two loaves on a baking sheet and spread the remaining BBQ glaze over top. I prefer this “freeform” meatloaf to those made in a loaf pan: clean-up is so much easier and all the extra fat is able to ooze out during baking. (Sorry, I know raw meat is neither appetizing nor photogenic, but hopefully the pictures will help you visualize.)
Bake, slice and serve…
Btw, leftovers are delicious, hot or cold. Enjoy!
BBQ Turkey Meatloaf
For the BBQ Glaze
- 2/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1-1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
For the Meatloaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup minced yellow onion, from one large onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup BBQ glaze (from above recipe)
- 2 pounds ground turkey (93/7)
- 3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (I use Progresso)
- A few springs chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Set oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Make BBQ glaze by combining ketchup, light brown sugar, cider vinegar and Dijon mustard. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in medium sauté pan and cook onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, eggs and ¼ cup of BBQ glaze and mix well. Add onion mixture and stir to combine. Finally, add ground turkey and breadcrumbs and mix with your hands until well combined.
- Transfer the meat mixture into two even piles on prepared baking sheet. Shape into two long loaves about 1½ inches high x 4 inches wide. Spread remaining BBQ glaze over loaves, letting it drip down the sides a bit (you may have a little extra), then bake for 40-45 minutes. Slice and garnish with parsley if desired.
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