Turkey Loaf with Roasted Tomato Sauce

My husband specially requested that I make a meatloaf, which I have never made before. I actually didn’t think I liked meatloaf all that much, having associated it with dried-out, ketchup-laden school cafeteria food. But I had some ground turkey to use up, and in the spirit of trying new things, I attempted it.

I combined two different recipes to get what I was looking for: something that would have a lot of substance, not be too dry (I hoped) and with an interesting sauce. The results — Turkey Loaf with Roasted Tomato Sauce — were fantastic. We both went back for seconds (which I later regretted, because there were no leftovers). This one is definitely a keeper.

Full Disclosure: My turkey loaf was only about half this size, but I didn’t write down the measurements of the ingredients I used, so I referenced the original recipes when listing amounts here. I think you should use amounts as a guide, not as gospel. For instance, if the loaf is looking too dry, try increasing the stock a bit or add another egg white.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Time to make: ~1 hour

What you need:

  • 1 bell pepper, halved
  • 4 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 1 whole head garlic, top sliced off and wrapped in foil
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1½ tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. On a foil-lined pan, roast the pepper, tomatoes and garlic until the pepper and tomatoes are slightly charred, about 35 minutes
  3. Let the pepper steam in a paper bag for 10 minutes or so
  4. Remove as much of the skin from the pepper as possible
  5. Puree the roasted vegetables with the remaining ingredients

Notes: Incidentally, this is a great multi-use sauce that would also work on pasta or even as a dip. Leftovers were abundant.

Turkey Loaf

Serves: 4-6
Time to make: ~1 hour 15 minutes

What you need:

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • ¾ lb. cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp. ketchup
  • salt, pepper and dried herbs to taste
  • 2 slices good white bread, processed to a fine crumb
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  1. Heat the oil over medium-high
  2. Saute the onion, garlic, carrots and mushrooms for 10 minutes, or until very soft
  3. Mix the egg, stock, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and seasonings
  4. Stir in the breadcrumbs
  5. With your hands, mix in the turkey and the sauteed vegetables until the mixture is well-mixed and holding together fairly well (it will be very moist)
  6. In a lightly oiled loaf pan, form the mixture into a loaf
  7. Bake in the 400-degree oven (still heated from roasting the vegetables for the sauce) for 50-55 minutes, until the top is browned and the interior reaches 170 degrees
  8. Slice and serve with Roasted Tomato Sauce on top

Note: If you don’t want to do the Roasted Tomato Sauce (although I highly recommend it), you could use any tomato sauce or even ketchup, if your tastes run that way. This loaf made its own “gravy” as it cooked, so it might even be fine on its own.

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5 thoughts on “Turkey Loaf with Roasted Tomato Sauce

  1. Marty 25 January 2007 at 7:05 pm

    HIT OF THE WEEK! What a recipe, though that Zeti was pretty awesome too! Bravo!!!

  2. shannonoz 25 January 2007 at 7:25 pm

    I think you mean ziti, hon. “Zeti” sounds like some kind of Star Wars creature.

  3. cookingandrecipereviews 25 January 2007 at 10:29 pm

    This looks great. I’ve never tried making a turkey loaf. My mother made one a few years ago and it was quite dry. Between the veggies and the sauce this one looks like a much better bet.

  4. shannonoz 26 January 2007 at 7:43 am

    I think the mushrooms were the key. You saute them just to the point where they are releasing their own liquid. They also add some substance to the loaf.

  5. Marty 26 January 2007 at 8:29 am

    Thanks for pointing out that I’ve worked myself stupid this week.

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