Kim’s Turkey Meatloaf: Comfort food can be healthy

Kim’s Turkey Meatloaf: Comfort food can be healthy

I was raised on comfort food. Like most women at the time, Mom served a weekly rotation of recipe staples. One of my favorites was meatloaf, always served with a side of mashed potatoes that included a puddle of melted butter. Pure comfort!

Of course, this was before carbs and fat grams had become a part of our vocabulary.  We paid little attention to the pool of grease that came along with the meatloaf.

Today, one of the main drawbacks to the typical meatloaf is the high fat content. A medium slice of meatloaf made with ground beef has about 13 grams of fat. However, you can make this dish using healthier ingredients to turn this comforting dish into one that is nutritious enough to include in your diet. This recipe uses ground turkey instead of beef which brings the fat grams down to around 7.

You can also enjoy a side of mashed potatoes without the guilt by eliminating the butter. Just use buttermilk, along with salt and pepper. That’s all that’s needed to give the potatoes a richness that will taste like they’re loaded with butter and sour cream.

An added bonus when making a meatloaf is having leftovers for sandwiches the next day. Cold meatloaf with a little mayo and sweet pickle on a sandwich – Yum!

Turkey Meatloaf

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium red pepper, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 pounds ground turkey
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (I like Progresso Italian style)
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with oil.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions, garlic and bay leaf until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook until the red pepper is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and let the onion mixture cool. Discard the bay leaf.

In a large bowl, combine the beef, eggs, bread crumbs, ½ cup of ketchup, the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and the cooled vegetables. Use your hands to mix everything together.

Transfer the mixture to the center of the baking sheet and form into a loaf. Coat the meatloaf with the remaining 1/2 cup ketchup.

Bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours (depending on the shape of your loaf), until the meatloaf is firm. Let set for about 5 minutes before slicing.

Fat analysis:


Kim Becker

My name is Kim Becker. I live in Lavalette, W.Va. I love to eat! I also love to feel good about what I eat. That's why I'm always looking for healthy, seasonal recipes that don't require a lot of time or ingredients. The thrill of making a delicious, nourishing dish that came together with a minimum amount of effort and clean-up inspires me to continue on my quest to find another equally impressive dish to add to my repertoire. If you don't know where to begin when it comes to making healthy food choices, or if you are already following a healthy diet but need some recipe ideas, I hope you will find some inspiration in my monthly recipes and cooking tips.