Okay, friends. Time to toss aside any negative connotations you might subconsciously carry about meatloaf. I'm about to blow your meatloaf mind with a simple recipe packed with juicy flavor. My meatloaf gloriousness is anything but bland, and it's the ideal make ahead dinner to carry you through the week. A classic meatloaf sandwich made with the leftovers? Mhhmm. I'm getting ahead of myself.
My meatloaf recipe yields 8 servings, and costs about $11.00 for the entire sheet pan! That's $1.38 per plate.
Here's what you'll need:
2lbs ground turkey
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper finely diced - don't forget to remove the vein and seeds (the pepper itself is optional)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
A few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
1 sleeve Club Crackers crushed
1 8oz can tomato sauce
Salt + pepper
1) Chop your onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper half. If you do decide to use the jalapeño, remove the vein and the seeds prior to chopping. Dice very finely and do not rub your eyes before washing your hands thoroughly. Preheat your oven to 375F degrees.
2) Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook your onion mixture until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Once cooked, remove from the heat, set aside, and let cool for a second.
3) Next, or while your onion mixture is cooking, place one sleeve of Club Crackers into a ziplock bag. Use a meat mallet (or the back of a spoon, ha!) to crush the crackers into crumbs. This will be our binding agent, along with the eggs, within the meatloaf itself.
4) Pop your 2lbs of ground turkey in a big bowl. I prefer lean ground turkey with a touch of fat for needed flavor.
5) Then, dump in your crushed crackers and the entire 8oz can of tomato sauce...
6) A few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce... Can you tell I'm really bad at measuring?
7) Cheeeeeese time. Which, I got the photos mixed up but you get the idea. There is no right or wrong order in which to add ingredients to the meat mixture.
8) Then, add your two eggs with some salt and pepper.
9) Lastly, spoon your onion mixture into the bowl and use the two best tools we have in the kitchen - your hands - to combine the ingredients into the turkey.
10) Form the meat into a loaf on a foil lined sheet pan.
11) Top the meatloaf with ketchup and evenly smooth. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165F degrees.
Let's talk variations.
Once again, my meatloaf recipe is easily customizable. You can substitute ground meat or even ground pork instead of ground turkey, make the jalapeño optional, and finish the meatloaf with something other than ketchup. When I have more time on my hands, I like to get creative with the tomato topping aspect but honestly, ketchup tastes equally delectable. The next day, place a slice of meatloaf in a skillet with a little butter until each side is crispy, place on a piece of toasted bread with lettuce and tomato, and you have a classic meatloaf sandwich ready for lunch. Don't forget the smear of mayo, either. You could even shape the meatloaf into little individual loafs for a cute presentation.
Happy meatloaf making!