Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf Will Convince You To Skip The Ground Beef

From one no-frills family to another.

I have a grade-A carnivore on my hands. He's what many refer to as a meat-and-potatoes guy. Through the years, I've gotten him to try some risky-to-him foods like oysters, a range of green vegetables, and cornbread (I know, that one got me too), but he always comes back to burgers, steaks, and the occasional pork chop. Needless to say, swapping his beloved ground beef meatloaf for a turkey version was a dinnertime gamble—and one I did not take lightly. For the recipe that would help me lighten up our supper routine, Ina Garten's 5-star-rated Turkey Meatloaf was the only one I knew even held a chance of getting the job done. And did it ever.

This recipe is no frills. It calls for all the usual suspects: onions, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, a few eggs, tomato paste, and Worcestershire. But, in true Ina fashion, it kicks it up a notch with a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. Now take this major bit of advice and don't skip it. It brings a hint of fresh, herby flavor that will take the nostalgic profile of this ground turkey meatloaf to the next level. But what about the ketchup, you ask? It's simply spread over the top before baking, locking in all that flavor while it cooks away.

Turkey Meatloaf
Getty/Brian Hagiwara

Of course, Ina would be remiss if she didn't include at least one hot tip. This time, it's the secret to ensuring the top doesn't crack while it bakes. All you need to do it put a pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf and voila! A perfectly shaped turkey meatloaf.

The recipe calls for a whopping five pounds of ground turkey breast and yields 8 to 10 servings. It's a safe bet to go ahead and brace yourself for leftovers. Maybe the first time around, serve it with some of our creamy mashed potatoes or melting potatoes, but, on nights two and three (because it will absolutely go to nights two and three), grab the heartiest white bread you can find, your favorite cheese, and a cast-iron skillet because you're about to cook up the best meatloaf sandwich of all time—mark my words.

You came for the meat and potatoes, but you're going to stay for this hearty recipe served up between two slices. It's about the best thing since, well, sliced bread.

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