Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf is an easy entree your whole family will love. Serve it with your favorite sides for a healthy dinner you’ll make again and again.
This recipe is Trim Healthy Mama friendly (THM E), low fat and great for light meals.
I always though I don’t like meatloaf. But then I realized: Hey! I can just make it in ways I’ll actually enjoy it. Ding ding ding!
So I started playing with adding plenty of chopped veggies to beef-based meatloaf (which has definitely turned into a stand-by I keep stashed in my freezer!). But I wanted to go further and find a way to make a meatloaf with ground turkey that’s a) not dry, b) super flavorful and c) NOT DRY. And I think I hit gold with this ground turkey meatloaf!
- it’s extremely easy to make!
- it’s made from all-natural ingredients, even the meatloaf sauce on top is homemade
- with the shredded zucchini and the feta cheese, this is a yummy and most of all NOT dry meatloaf you’re going to absolutely love!
Best of all, my kids both love when I make this for dinner. Any time my little one asks for thirds when there’s ground meat involved, you’ll know it’s REALLY good 😉
- Cheese: Don’t like feta cheese? You can use pretty much any cheese here. Mozzarella, cheddar, goat’s cheese… Whatever you prefer! Just stick to the recommended amount to keep it in an E-setting (if you’re on the Trim Healthy Mama plan), and use a reduced fat cheese if you like.
- Meat: Can you use ground beef? Yes, absolutely! You can use lean ground beef in place of the ground turkey if you’d rather use that.
- Oats: Feel free to use an equal amount of breadcrumbs, if you prefer. This will change the nutrition facts.
- Make it low-carb/grain free: You can swap out the oats for an equal amount of THM Baking Blend (or my DIY baking blend recipe). You can also use plain almond flour.
- Sauce: Feel free to use ketchup or BBQ sauce if you’re not concerned about making your own.
To save money:
I ALWAYS buy meat when it’s on sale! So to save money, I recommend buying turkey on sale . I buy a whole turkey breast and grind it myself, but I’m crazy like that.
You can either freeze the meat as-is and defrost when you want to make this recipe, OR you can assemble a few meatloaves and keep them in the freezer (freezer instructions further below).
To make it quick and easy:
Use a handheld mixer with the dough hooks attached to combine the meat with the egg and spices!
I hate kneading ground meat by hand (even wearing gloves – it’s the worst feeling). So whenever I’m making burgers, meatloaf or meatballs, I use my mixer to combine the meat. It’s easy, it’s WAY faster than kneading, and you won’t get your hands dirty.
Please note: Use your mixer on medium speed and don’t overdo it – otherwise you’ll get a tough meatloaf.
Turkey meatloaf FAQ
According to the Federal Food Safety Information, you need to cook ground turkey dishes to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. See their full chart for more information.
Here, I’m using shredded zucchini throughout the meat mixture to help keep the meatloaf from drying out. It’s also important to not overbake the meatloaf, and to generously cover it in glaze to help lock I the moisture.
The egg acts as a binder to help the meatloaf hold its shape. But no, it’s actually not an absolute essential! You can use 4 tablespoons sour cream or even tomato sauce in place of the egg.
If you’re concerned about the meatloaf falling apart, you can try adding a binder like psyllium husk or ground chia seeds along with the sour cream (or tomato sauce). I recommend 1/2 teaspoon per egg you’re replacing.
Freeze the turkey meatloaf unbaked, without sauce on top. I recommend flash-freezing on a lined baking sheet for about an hour or until firm before wrapping it.
- wrap well in foil, then either wrap in aluminium foil or put in a glass container (I avoid aluminium so I always use a container)
- label with the name and use-by date (the meatloaf can be frozen for up to 3 months
- Defrost in the fridge overnight. Remove the foil before baking and add another 10-15 minutes baking time if it’s not done after the time specified in the recipe.
I sometimes struggle with putting together full meals, so I thought I’d give you some inspiration.
Our favorite sides for an E-meal (low fat on the Trim Healthy Mama plan) include:
- mashed sweet potatoes (keep the butter low or it turns into a crossover – I shared the sweet potato recipe as a great healthy holiday option, where you’d be likely to cross over but maybe still want on-plan ingredients)
- steamed vegetables (green beans – yum!) and brown rice with a fat free sauce
- Greek chopped salad (we would make it with chickpeas instead of feta cheese to stick to E)
If you’re not concerned about fat content, a regular Greek salad and sautéed green beans are wonderful!
More healthy dinners
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Mediterranean Turkey Meatloaf
For the meatloaf:
- 1 pound extra lean ground turkey I use ground turkey breast
- 1 large egg
- 1 zucchini finely shredded and excess moisture squeezed
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 green pepper finely diced
- 5 tablespoons quick cooking oats
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon honey optional; you can also use 1 extra tablespoon tomato sauce plus a pinch of your favorite sweetener
- salt to taste
- Make the meat mix: Place all ingredients for the meatloaf EXCEPT for the feta cheese to a large bowl. Mix well (I likening a handheld mixer with the dough hooks attached).
- Shape the meatloaf: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet. Place the meat mix on the baking sheet and shape into a loaf. Make a long well along the middle and add the cheese. Close the meatloaf over the cheese, making sure you're shaping it firmly.
- Bake: Stir all ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl. Brush 1/3 all over the meatloaf. Bake the meatloaf for 30 minutes. Brush with another 1/3 of the sauce. Finish baking for around 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining sauce.
- Serve: Let the loaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
I first published this recipe on 09/09/2018. I updated it on 05/29/2020 to make it more helpful to you.
B R says
Do you have to have a mixer? Or can you just combine the oats and zucchini to ground turkey
You can just combine them by hand! I only prefer the mixer because it’s quicker and less messy, but it’s not mandatory to use.