A childhood classic just got healthier! This Turkey Meatloaf is packed with veggies and topped with a sweet sauce.
For a cute mini meatloaf that packs great in lunchboxes, try our muffin tin meatloaf.
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Healthy Turkey Meatloaf that Tastes Classic
I still remember my mother making meatloaf when I was a kid. She never had a recipe, she just added a little of this and that until it looked right. Then she popped it into the oven in a loaf pan. I loved it!
We’ve updated the traditional meatloaf to be healthier than how my mom made it (but just as yummy!) by using turkey and adding in some fresh veggies. We also reduced the total amount of sugar in this meatloaf by leaving the ketchup out of the meat itself. (It’s just in the sauce on top.)
What Does Meatloaf Have In It?
No mystery meat, here! The basic formula for meatloaf includes ground meat, egg, breadcrumbs, and spices. We used turkey for our meat in this recipe, and upped the veggies by adding red bell peppers.
A little bit of Swiss cheese adds moisture, and Worcestershire sauce brings a really tasty sweet and tangy flavor to meatloaf. Don’t skip it!
We used panko crumbs but you can use whole wheat breadcrumbs, too. This recipe is a great place to use whole grains if your kids aren’t in love with whole grains yet… the whole grains won’t stand out at all.
How to Make the Best Turkey Meatloaf
I have two essential tips for making the best meatloaf.
The first is to chop up the veggies small enough. The exact right size may be different for each family. If you feel like you need to “hide” these veggies, then go ahead and mince them. You can even grate the veggies and they’ll practically disappear.
If you want them to stand out more, chop them more coarsely, but no bigger than a penny. If you cut them larger than that, it may cause the meat the crumble when you cut it and the loaf will break apart. (I left my veggies on the bigger side so you could spot them in the photos!)
My second meatloaf tip is to not overwork the meat when you’re mixing it. If you work it too much then the meat will be tough. So treat it like you would muffin batter: just mix it until everything is just incorporated, then put it in your loaf pan.
What Should I Serve With Turkey Meatloaf?
A lot of people like to serve some kind of potato with their meatloaf. And we have some GOOD ideas for you. Try some of these yummy potato recipes:
We love to pack in the fresh fruits and veggies, so you might also like to serve meatloaf with:
- Glazed Carrots
- Fresh steamed Green Beans
- Fresh fruit Salad
- Green Salad
- Or any of these 10 Veggie Sides to Serve with Dinner
If you love your slow cooker, try out Slow Cooker Meatloaf recipe. It’s perfect for when you need to set it and forget it… then come home to a delicious dinner!
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a loaf pan.
- Dice the onion and bell pepper. Saute in a pan over medium heat until soft; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
- Add veggies to a bowl with the ground turkey, egg, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, bread crumbs, Swiss cheese, salt and pepper. Use your hands to combine the ingredients together. Try not to over-mix!
- Dump into your prepared loaf pan and use your hand to make a rounded top to your loaf.
- Place in the oven; bake for 40-45 minutes.
- While the meatloaf is baking, make the sauce. Combine ketchup, mustard and honey in a small bowl.
- Spread sauce over the top of your meatloaf and then put it back into the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Serve topped with a little chopped parsley for color!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie