Recipe # 5 – Turkey Meat Loaf

From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, page 138-139

I have to admit, I was not as productive this week when it came to cooking. I made dinner for the household last night and it took me quite some time to figure out what I wanted to make.

Did I want a one-pot meal type of thing? Or did I want to combine a couple recipes as an easy way to knock out more than in one day?

Well, after some deliberating and flipping through numerous pages of cookbooks, I decided I would combine three recipes to make a full meal. I also decided that I would probably be easiest for me if I kept the recipes to the same book.

That was the real challenge, though!

The first hurdle was figuring out what the main course would be. Eventually, I stumbled upon the Turkey Meat Loaf recipe out of Ina’s first cookbook. Next came figuring out the sides. Seeing as I wanted to keep the recipes in the same book, I found a recipe for fingerling potatoes which I thought would complement the meat loaf well. Tried as I might to find a vegetable recipe that interested me to pair with the meat loaf and potatoes, I realized that the The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook would not be doing it. Eventually, I found a recipe in Make it Ahead for peas and pancetta. (Post about making the fingerling potatoes and peas dish coming Sunday!)


The turkey meat loaf recipe, as written, serves a small army of 8 to 10 people (though I think that would allow for large portions), so I decided to cut the recipe in half since I only needed to feed three and I knew I would still have leftovers.

I needed a few items at the grocery store for this one, so I went and picked up the ground turkey, grown thyme, the Worcestershire sauce, and ingredients for the other recipes. When I returned home, I started to create the meat loaf, even though dinner was hours away, I figured it wouldn’t harm anything to let the meatloaf sit in the fridge for a few hours while the flavors mingled with each other.

I cooked the onions and spices as directed, letting things go for a little longer than recommended in the recipe. It wasn’t until I added the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce that things really started to heat up — or I guess in my case, smell up!

While the onion mixture was cooling, I mixed the ground meat, eggs, breadcrumbs, and then added the onion mixture. I formed it into a loaf shape on a cookie sheet, spread ketchup on top and placed in the fridge with a piece of foil.

When dinner time arrived, I set the oven to the 325 degrees, as the recipe states. Now, since I halved the recipe, I assumed it would take about 50 minutes to cook fully. Well, that wasn’t the case. It look over an hour and the full recipe says the 5-pound meat loaf would only take 90 minutes! I think my oven temperature may be off, or Ina uses a really high-scale oven….probably both.

Once the meat loaf was done and plated, I tried some. I was impressed with how moist it was. There wasn’t a salty flavor that is usually present in the meat loafs (loaves?) I make following the Lipton soup recipe. It paired nicely with the sides I had chosen…again separate post coming at you tomorrow about that!

I think this recipe will be made frequently in my life. It’s pretty easy and really flavorful. I wonder if the flavors would be more pronounced if I had made the larger loaf? Maybe one day I’ll find out!

(Sorry, readers, no picture of this. The house was crazy around dinner time and I was also dealing with a pot of boiling potatoes and cooking a vegetable.)

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