Hard, dry, and made with more bread crumbs than beef, meatloaf wasn’t a dinner we looked forward to, like spaghetti or anything potato-based. And when Ma served it, our disgust was palpable. We made “yick” faces, diced it into microscopic bits, and hid the refuse under neighboring green beans, all in the futile hope she wouldn’t detect our duplicity and ground us for ten years.
Traumatized, I haven’t voluntarily eaten meatloaf since the ‘80s. Then came Ina.
Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa, is the Food Network’s resident State-Department-Nuclear-Policy-Maker-Turned-Hamptons-Hostess. Her meals are largely impeccable, and even food Nazis dig her first collection of recipes, cleverly titled The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Hidden deep inside this tome, among pages and pages of high-fat, high-pleasure goodies, is Turkey Meatloaf. Moist, flavorful, and relatively guilt-free, it’s a paragon of loaf-based cuisine. I cook it fairly often, with a few minor changes.
First, since Ina’s recipes generally make enough for the Duke graduating class of 2007, I cut the ingredients in half. Second, I use Jill W's glaze, which came from favorite blogs, Words to Eat By. Third … there is no third. It’s pretty infallible as-is.
It should be noted, though - unless you use 99% fat-free ground turkey breast, calorie-wise, this is comparable to a lot of other meat loaf recipes. However, the fat is reduced by a third to a half, and the price can’t be beaten. Plus, you’ll have leftovers that will absolutely knock your socks off.
Barefoot/WtEB Turkey Meatloaf
10 servings - 1 slice each
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa.
1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
1 T. olive oil
1 t. salt
½ t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. fresh thyme leaves (½ t. ground)
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
6 T. chicken broth
1 t. tomato paste
2 ½ lb. ground turkey [I use 1 package each of “lean” and of breast]
¾ cup plain dry bread crumbs
4 large egg whites, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar (Don’t use Tablespoons – I did this once and my kitchen smelled like a Mott’s factory. - Kris)
1) Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add onions, salt, pepper, and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 15 minutes or so. Add Worcestershire sauce, chicken broth, and tomato paste and stir well. Kill the heat and allow everything to come down to room temperature. [I put the pan in the fridge to speed up the process. - Kris]
2) Preheat the oven to 350. While onion mixture is cooling, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. (Pamming is an unskippable step. - Kris) Set aside.
3) In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg whites, and onion mixture using your hands or a wooden spoon. Shape into a meatloaf and set on the prepared baking sheet. Combine the glaze ingredients and pour on loaf.
4) Bake for 90 minutes, or until temperature on a meat thermometer is 160 degrees and the meat loaf is cooked in the middle. (Mine took about 80 minutes. - Kris)
5) Serve immediately, or savor it for the next day. Either way works
Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
269.3 calories, 9.96 g fat, $0.91
1 large yellow onion: 125 calories, 0 g fat, $0.40
1 T. olive oil: 120 calories, 14 g fat, $0.08
1 t. salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
½ t. freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
1 t. fresh thyme leaves (½ t. ground): negligible calories and fat, $0.10
3 T. Worcestershire sauce: 45 calories, 0 g fat, $0.45 total
6 T. chicken broth: 4 calories, 0 g fat, $0.20
1 t. tomato paste: 2 calories, 0 g fat, $0.03
2 ½ lb. 93/7 ground turkey: 1623 calories, 81.1 g. fat, $6.29
¾ cup plain dry bread crumbs: 360 calories, 4.5 g fat, $0.35
4 large egg whites: 70 calories, 0 g fat, $0.63
Cooking Spray: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
1/2 cup ketchup:160 calories, 0 g fat, $0.33
4 tablespoons brown sugar: 180 calories, 0 g fat, $0.09
4 teaspoons cider vinegar: 4 calories, 0 g fat, $0.07
TOTAL: 2693 calories, 99.6 g fat, $9.08
PER SERVING (TOTAL/10): 269.3 calories, 9.96 g fat, $0.91