If you love classic meatloaf, try this recipe with a twist – Mexican turkey meatloaf with herbs and spices. Serve it hot from the oven or make it ahead of time to save time at dinner rush hour. It's even good cold. With holiday madness in full swing, you’ve got better things to do than worry about than dinner.
With a pound of ground turkey, some herbs, spices, and one mixing bowl, you can have this meatloaf in the oven in just a few minutes. While it bakes, get something else checked off your to-do list.
- Choose the 93% ground turkey for more flavor and moisture.
- Choose ketchup without added sugar or HFCS, I buy Primal Kitchen. Alternatively, use a mild red enchilada sauce.
- Homemade breadcrumbs are easy to make and are much better than store bought, and particularly important if you eat gluten-free. I’ll do a loaf of gluten-free bread at a time. Toasted breadcrumbs last almost forever in the fridge or the freezer, always ready to go. For directions, read here.
- Fresh cilantro adds Mexican flavor, but if you can’t stand it use Italian parsley.
- Oregano is not just Italian or Mediterranean, it’s widely used in Mexican cooking. Use fresh or dried.
- Ground cumin and ancho chili add wonderful flavor and mild heat. If you like heat, add a little ground chipotle.
- Apple adds moisture and fiber and you will never know it’s there. Go for a tart apple like a Granny Smith.
I've serve this meatloaf with spiced whipped sweet potatoes and broccolini. Make basic sweet potatoes (recipe here) and instead of the rosemary, use cumin and ancho chili pepper. If you need directions for quick and simple broccolini, read here.
If you love ground turkey, try these baked turkey meatballs. It's a pleasing recipe.
Make it Ahead
While this meatloaf is great right out of the oven, you can bake it ahead of time. Make it on Sunday, cool completely and wrap well. Refrigerate and enjoy within three days.
To heat the meatloaf up, slice while cold (easier), place in a casserole dish or foil lined baking sheet (for easier clean up), cover with foil and heat at 350º for 20-30 minutes or until hot throughout. The meatloaf should reach 165ºF. For faster heating, remove the meatloaf from the refrigerator about an hour ahead of time to get the chill off.
Meatloaf freezes well for a future dinner. After baking, cool, wrap tightly, label and freeze. To enjoy, place meatloaf in the refrigerator for 24 hours to thaw. For food safety, never thaw any foods on the counter. A slow overnight thaw is much better.
Mexican Turkey Meatloaf
- 1 pound 93% ground turkey
- ¾-1 cup breadcrumbs guten-free, homemade preferably
- ½ cup finely chopped Granny Smith apple
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- ⅓ cup ketchup or mild red enchilada sauce
- 2 large eggs
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 small jalapeño pepper seeded and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ⅛ teaspoon chipotle powder optional
- Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil (or regular foil and spray it) or parchment. Combine all meatloaf ingredients into a medium bowl, turkey all the way through the pepper. Start with ¾ cup of breadcrumbs. If the mixture feels wet, add the last ¼ cup. Mix gently but completely with your hands (I wear food handler gloves).
- Mound turkey mix on the baking sheet. Shape and pat into a long, smooth football-shaped loaf. Whisk glaze ingredients together, pour onto the meatloaf and smooth to cover the turkey top and sides with a pastry brush or knife. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a thermometer reaches 165ºF internally. Slice and serve.
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