Cheap Recipe: Autumn Turkey Loaf

21 Aug

For a printable version of this recipe and complete listing of ingredients, click here.

Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce--it's all in there!

Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce--it's all in there!

This is another great idea I got from Taste of Home’s Dinner on a Dime, with some modifications, of course. (I don’t know if I’ve ever followed a recipe by the letter in my whole life…but that’s just how I roll.)

What I love about this dish is that it incorporates pretty much everything I’d like for a turkey dinner all into one easy loaf. And it actually comes out tasting like all of those things at once, too!

The bowl I used was borderline too small in the end. Make sure you have room to knead!

The bowl I used was borderline too small in the end. Make sure you have room to knead!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Begin by putting 1 lb. ground turkey into a bowl that’s large enough to knead in. Chop about 1/4 cup of green onions or celery (I used 2 green

Diced green onions or celery weren't in the original recipe, but I wanted to add some interest.

Diced green onions and/or celery weren't in the original recipe, but I wanted to add some interest.

 onions and about half a stalk of celery to achieve this amount). Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl along with about 1 cup (half of a regular-sized box) of instant stuffing mix (like StoveTop). 

Pour 1 beaten egg over the mixture and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Add about 1/2 cup cranberry sauce (jellied or whole-berry) while reserving the rest of the can for later to be used as topping. Roll up both sleeves and start kneading the mixture until ingredients are generally distributed evenly. The dried stuffing mix

It probably wouldn't really matter if you beat the egg or not, but I did anyway.

It probably wouldn't really matter if you beat the egg or not, but I did anyway.

will still feel a little bit hard in texture right after kneading, so you’ll be able to tell from those “crunchy” spots when everything has been properly incorporated.

See what I mean about the bowl being a little too small?

See what I mean about the bowl being a little too small?

Place the kneaded mixture in an ungreased loaf pan (it will probably look lower or smaller than your average meatloaf because there’s only one pound of meat in there, but it will turn out fine). Place uncovered loaf in oven and bake 45-60 minutes. (The original recipe called for 55-65 minutes, but mine was starting to look over done at the 50-minute mark, so just keep an eye on it.)

The loaf won't be as tall as regular meatloaf, but who cares?

The loaf won't be as tall as regular meatloaf, but who cares?

When loaf is done and removed from oven, take remaining cranberry sauce from can, place in covered, microwaveable bowl and microwave for about one minute and stir well. Slice the loaf and serve drizzled with melted cranberry sauce.

The heated cranberry sauce really adds moisture and zing to the finished loaf. I loved this.

The heated cranberry sauce really adds moisture and zing to the finished loaf. I loved this.

What I love about this loaf is that unlike your traditional meatloaf, it holds together beautifully even straight out of the oven. Usually when we have a regular meatloaf, the first round falls apart when I try to get the slices out of the pan. The leftovers or second helpings of regular meatloafs will hold up okay, but that first round is often pretty hacked up by the time it makes it to the plate.

Not so with this turkey loaf, though! Straight from the oven, it sliced and served up absolutely beautifully! And it really kind of reminds me of the old school dressing my mom makes every year at Thanksgiving in breadloaf pans…with mushrooms and oysters and sausage and all sorts of good stuff in there. My family acts like I’m a nut for spooning my cranberry sauce over Mom’s dressing loaf every November, but maybe now they’ll see that other people like it, too! (So find another reason to call me a nut…there’s plenty of material.)

Advertisements

7 Responses to “Cheap Recipe: Autumn Turkey Loaf”

  1. redforkhippie August 22, 2009 at 10:56 PM #

    I tend to be philosophically opposed to physical contact between sugar and meat (hence my hatred of ham glaze and disdain for sweet barbecue sauce), but I’m guessing I could swap a splash of buttermilk or broth for the cranberry sauce and toss in some rubbed sage and a few finely chopped oysters to get something I’d really like.

  2. Gracie August 24, 2009 at 9:56 AM #

    Yeah, but you might want to think of something to put over it at the end instead of sauce, too, though–or it might be dry or uninteresting. I bet some gravy would work, though, especially if you added a little lemon juice to it.

  3. redforkhippie August 24, 2009 at 8:00 PM #

    Gravy would be good. I made a lazy woman’s version last night — just turkey, stuffing mix, an egg, and a little sage — and warmed some up for dinner tonight. It was a tad dry, but a little soy sauce fixed the problem. A can of Franco-American mushroom gravy would have been good over the top, assuming they still make that stuff. (I used to get it all the time in college, because it was completely vegetarian — and at the time, I was, too.) Lemon juice would probably be really good if you used chicken in place of the turkey.

  4. Linda August 27, 2009 at 8:51 PM #

    How about posting the recipe for those great looking green beans?

  5. Gracie August 28, 2009 at 8:48 AM #

    I am planning on it, actually–I took pictures of me making the beans the same night, I just haven’t posted them yet. 🙂 I’m going to give away Daddy’s secret ingredients when I do!

  6. Tina October 6, 2010 at 3:24 PM #

    I was searching for a different way to use my ground turkey than just the typical stuff. I found this recipe on my google search.I thought it sounded unique, so I made it for me and my husband. We loved it! It’s a keeper for sure! I’m giving the recipe to my daughter’s and mom. I know they’ll all enjoy it as well. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Gracie October 6, 2010 at 3:35 PM #

    Thanks for the great review, Tina! I’m glad you enjoyed it — I was just thinking last night that it had been a while since I made one at our house — you’ve reminded me to put ground turkey on next week’s grocery list! (So thanks for that, too!)

    Best,
    Gracie

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: