Mini Turkey Meatloaves

These individual meatloaves are made with ground turkey and stuffed with a small amount of cheese. They’re a healthier take on comfort food. 

There are some meals that stay with you forever. Tastes you’ll always remember, smells you’ll always savor. And, often, it’s not what’s on the table — but who’s around it — that makes those memories so delicious.

This recipe is simple. Some may call it unsophisticated. But, it will always be one of my favorites.

When James and I first started dating, I waited a long time before letting him step foot in my apartment. At the time, I was a single girl working a nightside reporting shift. I’d often go out after work with friends then come home and spend a couple hours on my latest kitchen experiment. As a result, my sink was almost always full of dirty dishes and my apartment was frequently a mess. I knew if James was going to come over, I had to get it together. 

After a few weeks, I finally gave in and invited him over. The night before, I stayed up until 5 a.m. deep-cleaning my apartment. That wasn’t even the hard part.

I told James I’d cook him dinner. I’ve always been confident in the kitchen, but I was terrified when it came to making that meal. We were just getting to know each other and I wasn’t even sure what kind of food James liked. I’d typically whip up something fancy and exotic to impress someone, but what if he was picky?

I decided to go with an old standby: mini turkey meatloaves. I’m pretty sure the recipe came from a kids cookbook my mom bought me in first grade. It’s so easy, but everyone I’ve made the recipe for loves them. I figured it was a tasty, but safe option.

When we sat down to eat that night, I barely touched my food. I wanted more than anything to impress James and was worried I’d fall short. I served the meatloaf alongside my grandmother Cattaneo’s green bean casserole — to this day James’ mom says she’s shocked I got him to eat something green.

It wasn’t long into our dinner before James asked for seconds. And then thirds.

I was so relieved. I’d like to think this meatloaf played a role in sealing our fate.

So, next time you’re looking to impress that special guy or gal, whip up this meatloaf. I can’t promise it will get you a husband, but at least you’ll have a great meal.


Turkey Mini Loaves

[ingredients title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. dried minced onion
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 oz. cheese, cut into four pieces about the size and width of your pinky
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce

[directions title=”Directions”]

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray
  2. Using a fork or whisk, beat together egg, parsley, breadcrumbs, milk, salt, onion and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add turkey to the mixture and mix with hands until just combined.
  4. Divide meat into four, equal portions. Wrap each portion of meat around one slice of cheese.
  5. Place mini meatloaves on cookie sheet, seam side up. Bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Brush meatloaves with barbecue sauce and bake for an additional five minutes.



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