Last night I hosted my mother’s birthday dinner at my house. During the menu selection process, she gave the green light for this elegant meat loaf. I adapted this recipe from a Turkey Store cookbook that I sent away for some 15 years ago. The loaf is actually easy to prepare and looks great on the table. As a matter of fact, I almost posted this recipe as a Thanksgiving Day substitute for folks who didn’t want to go the whole turkey/turkey breast route. The best part is I prepared the whole thing earlier in the day and just popped it in the oven at the appropriate time. This freed me up to spend time with my Mom and the rest of the guests.
The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups cheese. In the past I used to omit the cheese altogether to keep the dish leaner. In honor of La Mama, I added 1/2 cup cheese which was enough to get a hint of a cheesy taste without it being overwhelming. Cheese lovers may want to add the whole amount. I also used homemade marinara sauce in lieu of plain tomato sauce because I happened to have a jar in my fridge.
I paired the meatloaf with baked potatoes and a simple dish of steamed green beans. Mashed potatoes, brown rice or any other green vegetable would work well too. Everyone (even my Very Traditional Brother who admittedly doesn’t usually like meatloaf) commented on much they enjoyed it. Best part of all, La Mama felt spoiled…as she should have.
- 1 1/4 lbs. ground turkey
- 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 8 oz. tomato sauce, divided
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon oregano
- 10 oz. thawed and well drained frozen spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Mix turkey, bread crumbs, onion, eggs, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Roll out a 12″ x 18″ sheet of aluminum foil or wax paper. Shape the meat mixture into a 10 x 8 inch rectangle. Arrange spinach on turkey mixture to within 1/2 inch of edges; sprinkle with garlic salt and cheese. Roll up rectangle carefully, beginning at 8 inch side and using foil to lift. Press edges and ends of roll to seal. Place seam side down in pan. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes. Drizzle with remaining tomato sauce. Bake 15 minutes longer.