Frequently maligned and categorically under-appreciated, meatloaf is one of my favorite underdogs of the dinner table. This version deserves your attention — it is anything but bland, with lots of smoky spice from powdered chipotle chilies, cumin and smoked paprika, and savory herbal notes of sage and thyme. It’s also quite dense, which I prefer — this makes for an easily slice-able loaf, perfect for tucking leftovers into sandwiches the next day. It’s also much healthier than most meatloaves, since I use 93% lean ground turkey. You can go with 99% lean ground turkey breast if you want to cut out even more fat and calories.
Most meatloaf recipes call for a specific temperature and baking time, but different ovens can produce different results, so I like to go by something more reliable — a probe thermometer with a remote display. The thermometer has a heat-proof cord attached, so you can monitor the temperature of your meatloaf (or whatever you’re baking) without opening the oven door.
In this recipe, I used a couple of samples I received last week — Nature’s Pride 100% Whole Wheat Bread and Lee & Perrins Reduced Sodium Worcestershire Sauce. I’m happy to say I’d recommend both. The wheat bread is light and soft, perfect for PB&J sandwiches that remind me of my childhood, in a good way. It’s a basic grocery store loaf, good to have around in a pinch. As for the Worcestershire sauce, I cannot tell the difference between the low sodium and regular varieties, and I’ve been using Lee & Perrins’ sauce as long as I can remember. It’s nice to have a lower sodium alternative!
Chipotle Turkey Meatloaf
1 1/4 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 C. cooked basmati rice
1 large egg
3 slices whole wheat bread, diced
1 Tbsp. reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. chipotle powder
1 tsp. dried thyme
1tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a Pyrex loaf pan lightly with olive oil.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together evenly — they are the best tool for this job.
3. Firmly pat the meatloaf mixture into the loaf pan, using your hands to round the edges.
4. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, or until internal temperature registers at 175F. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.