Tomatoey Turkey Meatloaf

There’s a dish I have written about before, am writing about today, and will write about again: Meatloaf.

The love I have for it is real, and it’s deep. It’s satisfying, comforting, and just as good, if not better, than a nice steak or chicken breast (though, a lot of things are better than a chicken breast). In fact, I’d probably choose it over either of those options. It’s adaptable to different meats and seasonings, can be simple or complex, but most often, and more importantly, it’s delicious.

So, during this hour-deprived weekend (ugh) I made some turkey meatloaf to enjoy all week.  It’s based on a recipe I found years ago, which involves making a tomato relish that goes into, and on top of the meat, giving an intense flavor while keeping it moist and fluffy on the inside.

The relish involves a few simple ingredients: Tomatoes, red peppers, onions, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.


After you cook them all together, you get a bright red relish that is good enough to have as a condiment on its own.


You mix some of that with a ground meat, in this case, I used turkey, along with eggs, some thyme, and some bread that has soaked in milk. This helps to keep the inside moist. Technically, white bread is better, but I used whole wheat because I’m a heretic, and really just didn’t want to buy a whole loaf of white bread for three slices. Plus being able to call myself a heretic sounds really cool.


You combine all that, and then form it into two loaves on a pan.


Put some of more of that tomato relish on top.


Then cover it with my favorite food group, bacon!!


Do I even need to tell you that this is going to be amazing? It’s covered in bacon!

After baking for an hour, the bacon is nice and crisp, the meat is fork tender, and my mouth is watering.


Slice it and you’ll see flecks of the red pepper and the onions inside. I served it with some mashed cauliflower (recipe below), because it’s lighter, healthier, and summer is not too far away. #absbysummer


Make this and I promise you’ll be a hero to everyone. Your kids will love you, your significant other will throw themselves at you, your boss will give you a raise.  Really, there’s no limit!


TOMATOEY TURKEY MEATLOAF (Adapted from a recipe by Tyler Florence)


1 onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, finely diced

2 red bell peppers, seeded, finely diced

2 tomatoes, seeded, finely diced

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 1/2 cups ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

2 1/2 pounds ground turkey

1 cup milk

3 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed, and torn into small pieces

2 eggs

2 sprigs thyme (stems removed)

8 slices bacon



1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan, and add the onion, garlic, and bay leaves.  Sauté for 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the red bell peppers, and sauté for another 3-4 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes, parsley, ketchup, Worcestershire, and some salt and pepper to season.  Cook for about 5 minutes and remove from heat.

5. Place the torn bread in a bowl and cover it with the milk.

6. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the eggs, thyme, and 1 1/2 cups of the tomato mixture you just made. Get your hands in there to mix it all together!

7. Drain the bread from the bowl, squeezing out any excess milk.  Crumble up and mix into the turkey.

8. Oil a sheet pan and form two mounds of the meat mixture. Shape them into loaves.

9. Top each loaf with 4 slices of bacon (OMG).

10. Bake for about 1 hour, until bacon is crispy on top.  Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes.

11. Slice into a piece of heaven and bring joy to your life.




1 head cauliflower

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup milk


1. Cut the cauliflower into small chunks.

2. Boil cauliflower chunks for 10 minutes.  Drain.

3. Mash the cauliflower. You can use a masher, an immersion blender, or a food processor.

4. Mix in the butter, milk (you can also just use 1/4 cup of the cooking water), and season with salt and pepper.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s