Why Should You Make This Recipe:
If you are looking for easy meals that you can get on the table fast, this healthy turkey meatloaf recipe fits the bill perfectly because:
- It can be ready in under 1 hour with every day ingredients. Plus, the best part is that you can make it ahead, meal prep or freeze for later.
- Made with lean ground turkey, it is a healthy alternative to ground beef meatloaf. It is also a dairy-free, protein and veggie-packed dinner your family can enjoy any night of the week!
If you are thinking about what to do with ground turkey, this healthy turkey meatloaf recipe might be your answer.
How To Make A Moist Turkey Meatloaf
Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and sautee the onions and fennel until soft. Add garlic and sautee for 30 sec more.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl add the ground meat and the remaining ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Once the veggies are soft, allow them to cook for a bit then transfer to the bowl with the meat. Mix until very well combined.
Transfer the meat mixture into the prepared loaf pan and gently press to get into the corners and take the loaf shape.
Spread extra ketchup on top, if desired.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the inside temperature reads 165F.
Some More Flavor Options For This Healthy Meatloaf:
- Dried thyme or dried rosemary would certainly work in the meatloaf.
- Add some tomato/fresh marinara sauce to the top in the last fifteen minutes to brown.
- You can also add ketchup or even a ketchup and brown sugar mixture.
- Make a fresh basil pesto to top the meat loaf or sandwiches.
Tools used in the making of this Easy Healthy Meatloaf:Loaf Pan: Mine was available a few years ago from Crate and Barrel but this one is just as cute!Meat Thermometer: Super inexpensive, makes cooking to the right temperature a breeze.
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Whats In Our Chicken Meatloaf Mix
Meatloaf is generally made of ground meat and other ingredients, such as vegetables and breadcrumbs that are mixed then shaped into a loaf. Its topped with velvety marinara sauce, then baked to cook.
In this recipe, were using leaner meats like ground chicken or turkey which have less fat content and therefore fewer amounts of bad cholesterol. But if you prefer, you can use a blend of lean meat and fattier meat to avoid having a dry meatloaf. 70% of the blend can be any lean meat of your choice, while 30% can be beef, pork, or even lamb meat.
Well also show you how to make meatloaf without breadcrumbs by using oats. Other than being healthier for the heart, this meatloaf recipe with oatmeal also has other health benefits. Oats are nutritious, good at controlling blood sugar levels and for digestion, and can also help improve your skins health.
We also added crispy vegetables in our chicken loaf like onions, bell peppers, and carrots, but you can add just about any vegetable you might have lying around in the refrigerator. This chicken meatloaf recipe uses ingredients with zero to low levels of cholesterol, so no need to worry about your heart with this recipe around!
Sodium Notes By Alex G Registered Dietitian
A typical meatloaf recipe made at home could easily contain between 400-600 mg of sodium in one 4 oz serving due to sodium filled ketchup and salty seasoning powders. Even worse for your sodium budget, a restaurant serving can contain as much as 930 mg per serving, due to the flavoring coming from added salt or possibly MSG. This savory and delicious recipe saves you hundreds of milligrams of sodium by making simple yet highly flavorful swaps. The use of onion and garlic powders here amp up the savory taste and add only about 10 mg of sodium for the entire meatloaf. Adding herby dried parsley and oregano and no-salt added ketchup also helps create the Italian inspired flavor you crave in a good meatloaf recipe, without the heavy dose of sodium. Make sure to choose plain, unseasoned panko breadcrumbs to avoid sneaky additional sodium.
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How To Cook A Healthy Meatloaf: A Master Basic Meatloaf Recipe And 4 Easy Variations
Learn our 4 steps to cooking a healthier meatloaf recipe and how to add different flavors to a healthy, basic meatloaf recipe.
There’s a new way to make a great meatloaf. Purists focus on the meat, de-emphasizing the importance of the other fillers like breadcrumbs, vegetables and seasonings, but we look at meatloaf as an opportunity to sneak in some extra vegetables and whole grains and play with different flavors to give this classic a regular place on a healthy dinner table. See how we give meatloaf a modern makeover.
In just 30 minutes you can throw together a killer meatloaf that has a fraction of the calories and saturated fat of a traditional recipe. To get started, pick a flavor combo you want to try and follow our how-to instructions.
–EatingWell Test Kitchen
Add vegetables to meatloaf to improve the texture, boost nutrients and keep portions reasonable without many extra calories. Cook the vegetables first to reduce the liquid in the loaf and prevent it from crumbling.
Use big bold flavorings to make healthy meatloaf taste great. For 2 pounds of meat add 3/4 cup filler-anything from whole-wheat breadcrumbs to brown rice-and an egg to help it all stick together.
Gently knead the meatloaf ingredients just until combined-overmixed meatloaf is dense and less tender.
Try making a freeform meatloaf on a baking sheet. A freeform loaf cooks about 15 minutes faster than one in a loaf pan.
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Sauce For Easy Classic Meatloaf Recipe
The glaze for this easy classic recipe is as important as the meat. The glaze should have the right balance of sweetness and tang. It is spread over the top during the baking process.
We use a mixture of ketchup, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, brown sugar, ketchup, and paprika. This simple combination complements the dish and gives it a nice touch of spices.
How To Make Meatloaf
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Ingredients You Will Need For This Homemade Meatloaf
- Olive oil we prefer olive oil but you may use any other oil of choice
- Onion any onion will do. We used white onion
- Fennel bulb
- Garlic cloves: use fresh garlic and not garlic powder
- Ground turkey if you dont liek turkey use lean ground chicken or groun beef. For a ground beef version, please chekout our Easy Homemamde Meatloaf Recipe
- Panko Bread Crumbs: or any breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Worcestershire sauce
Can You Freeze Meatloaf
Yes, you can freeze meatloaf. After you cook it, allow it to cool down completely and then wrap in a plastic foil. Wrap again in aluminum foil or place in an airtight freezer container to prevent freezer burn. You can also add the sauce to the container and freeze everything together.
To make it even more convenient, you can slice the meatloaf and freeze the individual slices on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. This makes it easy to take out as many slices as you need instead of defrosting the whole loaf.
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Healthy Meatloaf Recipe With Oatmeal: A Gluten Free Recipe
I kind of just came up with this recipe on a whim. I had two pounds of ground beef staring at me in the fridge and knew I wanted to make a meatloaf for my carnivore-ish husband. The other ingredients I already had on hand, and Im guessing you will, too. My kinda recipe one where you already have everything you need, one that theyll like and one that you will probably have leftovers with. Score!
Adding in oats as a sub for breadcrumbs has a few benefits:
Im certain that you could substitute with ground turkey or chicken, or even a mix of these but Ive only tried it with ground beef. If you change it up, be sure to comment below. I always love knowing variations that work.
My Tips For Great Low Soidum Classic Meatlof
You may also prepare this meatloaf recipe mix ahead of time. Just cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap or tin foil and refrigerate until youre ready for it a few hours later up until the next day. When ready, set it on the counter, uncover it and let it come to room temperature while the oven is preheating.
Do not over mix. Over mixing will cause your meatloaf to become dense, making seem tuff and not as tender. Mix just until well combined. Dont squeeze it through your fingers like a Play-Doh pumper. Use an easy lifting and folding motion with your hands to combine ingredients.
I like to brush on the optional glaze, about 10 minutes before the finished cooking time. This lets the top of the meatloaf develop a crust, but enough time for the optional glaze to melt over the meat.
I dont know about you, but I love horseradish sauce with my meatloaf. And while not adding as much sodium generally as mustard or ketchup it can contribute a good bit of sodium. So stay tuned for my easy low sodium horseradish sauce recipe!
**Please note: To keep the nutrition calculation as close as possible the meatloaf is calculated without the glaze. As some people may like to have the meatloaf without, light or heavy glaze. Please use the links to my Low Sodium Ketchup or Low Sodium BBQ Sauce for your choice of taste and amount, if desired.
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How To Make Ahead Meal Prep Store & Freeze:
- To Make Ahead: Bake the turkey meatloaf fully, bring to room temperature, and place in an airtight container. When ready to serve, heat it in a 325 degrees F oven for 10-15 minutes or until warmed throughly. Spread it with the glaze and broil for 5-7 minutes.
- To Meal Prep: Make it for meal prep by simply doubling the recipe and bake each loaf on two baking sheets. Enjoy one for dinner and completely cool, slice, and freeze the other in an airtight container or plastic freezer storage bag with small squares of parchment between each slice. To reheat, bake in a 350-degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until thoroughly warmed through.
- To Store Leftovers: Bring leftovers to room temperature and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 3-4 days. Slice and make into sandwiches for lunch throughout the week.
- To Freeze: Bring it to room temperature. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place in a freezer friendly container. Freeze up to a month. To thaw, let it defrost in the fridge overnight. When ready to serve, bake in a 350-degree oven until warmed throughly.
For The Tomato Glaze:
- Tomato paste this is in place of using ketchup, which is loaded with sugar
- White vinegar this adds a touch of acid to the glaze and a nice tangy flavor. You could also use apple cider vinegar if thats all you have on hand
- Maple syrup for a little sweetness since were not using ketchup, you could also use honey or any other sweetener of choice!
- Worcestershire sauce for more of that delicious sweet, tangy flavor!
- Seasonings a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper
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How To Make The Best Meatloaf
This is the fun part and its easy to get the kids involved in this part, too!
For the Topping
- While the meatloaf is baking whisk together the low sugar tomato sauce and Swerve brown sugar substitute. Set aside.
Using A Low Sodium Bread Crumb
I have recently discovered a bread crumb that has no sodium. It is called Matzo meal and comes in a can, much like a Panko product or seasoned crumbs. You will more than likely find it in the international aisle of your grocery store.
Another thing you couldtry is crushed up no salt added pretzels. I think this would result in aflavorful result without adding sodium. I have not tried it as of yet, butintend to next time I make low sodium meatloaf. I will give my opinion, then onhow it tastes and holds together.
- Matzo meal
- Low Sodium Worcestershire sauce.
- Herb-ox sodium free bouillon
My favorite is to use my homemade leftover low sodium bread bits that I save in the freezer for meatloaf, my favorite option. When thawed my low sodium white bread and low sodium artisan bread may then be pulsed in a food processor or chopped up finely. I wanted to find an alternative for my bread though, as not everybody makes bread but you can use Matzo Meal if youre in a pinch.
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Best Ever Meatloaf Recipe
This Meatloaf Recipe is my familys FAVORITE dinner recipe! It really is the Best Ever Meatloaf, and it is incredibly easy to make. So much flavor packed inside with a delicious glaze spread on the top!
I have so many great dinner recipes that I never share here on Yummy Healthy Easy. Honestly, shame on me. I should be sharing these super, incredibly easy recipes with you! I guess I feel like not sharing them for a few reasons:
So there you have it. These are the true reasons I dont share some of the staple recipes that I feed my family on a regular basis. Lets be honest, meatloaf recipes are hard to photograph! Ive only posted these adorable Mini Meatloaves because theyre cute and small and not as hard to photograph. But I LOVE making meatloaf for my family!
I really love how I can mix a few ingredients together and put in one loaf pan and bake. Plus, meatloaf has so much protein and is low carb so it makes a great dinner for the family. This particular recipe is even gluten free!
Reviews & Comments For Healthy Hearty Meat Loaf
For being a healthier version of meatloaf, this recipe was quite good! I really liked that it was packed full of veggies. It had good texture and held together pretty well for easy slicing.
Tweaked it a bit: 1 pound extra lean ground beef 1 cup oatmeal approximate veggie measures: 1/2 pkg chopped mushrooms 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 5 chopped celery stalks 3 chopped carrots 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 tablespoon ketchup 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.It was delicious!!!!! Also, much healthier than my recipe .
I very much liked the amount of vegetables in this as I believe it gave it a softer texture and wasn’t as dry as some recipes calling for extra lean ground beef. I will definitely make this again.
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