Layered Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a summery spin on traditional meatloaf you’re going to love.
I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day/Fourth of July holiday!
It’s been a little wild around our house the past few weeks. We did a road trip to Wisconsin for the holiday to visit our families. I’m sure you can relate to the hectic week preparing to leave before a trip, then the hectic week after trying to catch up. However, our midsummer visit to see our families is always so worth it. My husband and I have both lost a parent and our living parents (David’s mom and my dad) are in their 80’s. We treasure every trip to see them and every moment we spend!
When “the crazy” hits, it’s nice to have something to enjoy for several meals like a good meatloaf. “What?”….you’re probably wondering? “Run your oven for about an hour to cook a meatloaf in the summer?” Um. Yes! It will be worth it for this turkey meatloaf!
After the second holiday of the summer…. lemme just say……. we’re starting to get a little grilled out so change is good!
This meatloaf is done in a terrine style. A terrine is French and is generally made with ground meats (often game), layered with other ingredients. They can also be made from fish such as salmon. The texture, when done with meat, is similar to a pate’ which is served cold or room temperature. Vegetable terrines are also quite common in France. This turkey meatloaf is a take on the combination of the two.
So that you don’t have a lot of excess moisture in the bottom of the baking pan, you’ll need to sweat the tomatoes and zucchini. There’s a lot of water in those vegetables even when using Roma (plum or paste) tomatoes as is called for here. Slice, then salt and let drain on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel (if you don’t mind doing some laundry). Pat dry before using.
Whenever I do ground meat combinations such as meatloaf or meatballs, I like to get all the seasonings and binders (breadcrumbs and eggs) combined first then add the ground meat last. I feel everything is more balanced this way. The best way to mix it all together is to wear disposable gloves and just get into it!
After baking to a safe temperature, give the meatloaf a good rest, then drain off any excess liquid/fat.
We served this with an epic pile of my sister’s kale that we brought home–simply sauteed in olive oil with garlic, salt and black pepper. It’s my favorite way to enjoy kale.
Slice, serve and enjoy!
NOTE TO READERS: I sincerely care about the results my readers achieve with my recipes so I retested the recipe today (5/10/17) because of negative feedback on Pinterest. The commenter did not specify what the issue was–just slammed the recipe. Except for a few minor adjustments (which is normal in recipe development), I didn’t find any significant problems with this recipe and we enjoyed it once again! Those adjustments are reflected in the recipe. If you try it and experience any problems, please provide constructive feedback so that I can continue to improve the recipe because I think it’s a fun spin on meatloaf you’ll enjoy. Thanks so much and I appreciate you!
45 minPrep Time
1 hr, 30 Cook Time
2 hr, 15 Total Time
2 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise into 6-7 slices
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1 large onion (red or white), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 can (8-ounce) tomato sauce, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound ground white turkey meat
1 pound ground dark turkey meat
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE
1 jar (12-ounce) roasted red peppers (in water)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (from the opened can)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread the tomato and zucchini slices out in one layer on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Sprinkle top side of vegetables with salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Turn the slices over, salt again and let sit another 15 minutes. Blot vegetables as dry as possible with a paper towel and set aside.
While vegetables are draining, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, reduce heat to medium and cook 5-7 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add garlic, stir and transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly.
Stir in parsley, basil, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, 1/2 cup tomato sauce (from the opened can), eggs, and Parmesan cheese. Mix until well-combined. Add ground turkey and mix well, being careful not to overmix.
Oil a large 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Place approximately half the turkey mixture in the loaf pan, smoothing the top. Place zucchini slices in one layer over the turkey meat. (It's okay for them to overlap slightly in the middle. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with tomato slices placed in one layer.
Place remaining turkey mixture over the vegetables and smooth the top to make a nice loaf shape.
Bake for 1 hour. Pour half the sauce over the meat loaf and continue baking until a thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 165 degrees (approximately another 20-25 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. CAREFULLY drain off any excess juice/water.
Cut into slices and serve remaining sauce on the side.
SAUCE: Combine roasted red peppers, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
MAKE AHEAD: Meatloaf can be assembled up to 1 day before baking. Meatloaf reheats well so you can bake and reheat. If you're reheating the cooked meatloaf, be sure to keep it covered so it doesn't dry out.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY: Meatloaf freezes well.