Ground Turkey Meatloaf

Well, folks, it’s back to meatloaf at our house. We had a good run with dog food for about a month or so. At first Nathan would eat the dog food with renewed veracity, but that veracity died down as the weeks passed and now he has informed me that he’s off dog food and back on meatloaf. Which means it’s time for me to start finding more recipes to suit his refined taste.

There was a sale on ground turkey this weekend which led me to and an interesting-looking recipe that used grated zucchini and grated carrot. I had never considered grated zucchini as a meatloaf recipe but I thought it a clever way to sneak in the vegetable. I diverted a bit from the recommended recipe by nixing the lemon juice and lemon rind and adding some garlic. Because garlic makes everything better. Same as butter. And cheese.

The meatloaf was an official hit with Nathan and I have to say that I agree with him. When I was “tasting” the meatloaf during cutting and taking photos I tasted a bit too much because I just couldn’t help myself! I had just eaten a bowl of oatmeal but a big slice of meatloaf went down real nice anyway. I like this recipe because it seems healthier than a lot of meatloaf recipes by using ground turkey and a fairly large amount of zucchini (despite the fact that I used four slices of white bread – but you could totally use wheat bread instead!).


  • 4 slices sandwich bread (white or whole wheat)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 small zucchini (10 ounces), grated to make about 3 cups
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and coarsely grated to make about 1 cup
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 T. Dried parsley
  • 2 T. Dijon mustard
  • 4 T. sweet chili sauce
  • 3 lb ground turkey


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Set a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Tear the bread into tiny pieces with your fingers or pulse in the food processor to make coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, zucchini, carrot, parsley, garlic, mustard, and chili sauce. Mix until fully incorporated. Add the ground turkey, mixing and pressing until the ingredients are uniformly distributed.
  4. On a large rimmed baking sheet, form the meatloaf mixture into a rough football or oblong shape. Pat smooth.
  5. Bake the meatloaf for one hour or until the loaf registers 165F in the middle with an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. I like to allow my loaf to cool down substantially because I find it easier to cut.

I loved the story that accompanies the recipe because the author mentions that her mom always eye-balled the ingredients, which is something I do frequently when making savory dishes. I am not a fan of measuring ingredients out specifically unless there’s a scientific need to do so. Truth be told, the above ingredients are a little bit of a guess because I didn’t measure the ingredients to the T.

Recipe rating: 

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