Monday, November 14, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf - 2 Ways!

Yeah, Thanksgiving is a little over a week away and I chose to make turkey meatloaf this week. Timing is everything! Well, I actually made 2 turkey meatloaves; one stuffed with stuffing and one stuffed with tater tots!! At least I can freeze these if I think we're going to start getting too turkey'd out.

We had ground turkey in the freezer that we needed to use, and we just purchased a bunch of Stove Top stuffing boxes thanks to a great sale at one of our local grocery stores and a fantastic coupon making each box under $1. So my husband and I knew we wanted to combine one of the stuffing mixes with the ground turkey - so I started my research for recipes.

I found a few basic turkey meatloaf with stuffing recipes so I used one and just changed it a bit to make it more of my own.

I also found a recipe using hash brown potato patties (no stuffing in this meatloaf, just the potatoes), and both my husband and I were intrigued. I knew I could substitute tater tots since we had a huge bag of them in our freeze that needs to be used as well.

So I split the package of ground turkey in half and used half for each recipe. We both sampled a piece of each for dinner and they turned out great! My husband favors the tater tot loaf over the stuffing one and I am the exact opposite. But the important thing is - they worked. And we have dinners for a few nights...or lunches if we make a meatloaf sandwich!

Each recipe will be listed below. I will include the links with the original recipes, but will post my versions with the changes I made.

Turkey Meatloaf with Stuffing Inside! (Based on original recipe here).


1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1 box stuffing mix (I used Stovetop Sage flavor)
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk (water
1/2 cup onion (diced)
1/2 cup celery (diced)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
black pepper
dried parsley


Prepare stuffing according to directions on the box. Set aside when done.

Combine eggs, turkey, breadcrumbs, onion, celery, milk and cranberries in a large bowl. Mix well. (I didn't include an exact measurement of breadcrumbs, it is used as a binder so use just enough that the meatloaf will hold together).

Transfer half to a greased loaf pan, and form into a meatloaf shape.

Spread stuffing on top of that half of meatloaf mixture.

When covered, take the remaining half of the mixture and put it on top of the stuffing. Form into a meatloaf shape and make sure to seal the edges so the stuffing is completely inside the turkey.

When formed, sprinkle the pepper, nutmeg, paprika and parsley flakes on top. (Season to taste).

Bake uncovered for 50-60 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.

Remove from heat and allow to rest for ten minutes before slicing.

Tater Tot Turkey Meatloaf! (Based on original recipe here).


1 lb ground turkey
12 cup diced onion
10 3/4 Oz cream of mushroom soup (divided)
1 egg
2/3 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
tater tots (I used 14 of them)
shredded cheddar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, add ground turkey, onions, 1/3 cup cream of mushroom soup, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Mix together by hand until all ingredients are well blended.

Coat an 8 x 13 or 10 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Press half of the meat mixture into a long rectangle in the dish.

Position the tater tots from the center out. There should be an inch or at least a half inch of meatloaf all around the edges, and you can add meatloaf where needed.

Spread the rest of the cream of mushroom soup evenly over the tater tots. Try not to get the soup on the meatloaf.

Carefully press the rest of the meat mixture flat between your hands and place piece by piece over the tater tots until completely covered.

Bring the edges of the meatloaf together, pinch and smooth out bumps. No soup should peek through.

Sprinkle a small amount of shredded cheddar over the top if desired.

Place casserole dish uncovered in oven. Bake for 1 hour.

Let the meatloaf rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Since both recipes baked at the same temperature and for the same amount of time, I was able to prepare both and then bake them together, which made it easy to do 2! I would say preparation for each only took about 10-15 minutes, so it was about a half hour total of prep and then baking. Definitely something to do when you are home for a good few hours and not trying to throw together dinner after work.

All in all they turned out well and we'll be making them again! I could see the stuffing one being used for Thanksgiving as an alternative to a regular turkey for those who opt for a "different" Thanksgiving!


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