Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

5 from 3 votes
2 hours 15 minutes
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Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a summery spin on traditional meatloaf with a cheesy, vegetable center!

Photo of Layered Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce on white background with sauce partially spread over the top.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

It’s been a little wild around our house the past few weeks so when “the crazy” hits, it’s nice to have something to enjoy for several meals like a good 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 Layered Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a take on the combination of the two.

Photo of Layered Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce sliced into with a piece on a white plate.

Tips for making Layered Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:

  • 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 internal temperature of 165 degrees, let the meatloaf rest for 10-15 minutes, then drain off any excess liquid/fat.  Slice, serve and enjoy!

We served this with an epic pile of kale simply sauteed in olive oil with garlic, salt and black pepper which is my favorite way to enjoy kale.

Photo of one slice of Layered Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce on white plate with fork.

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Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

5 from 3 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is a summery spin on traditional meatloaf with a cheesy, vegetable center!
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6
Calories 597 kcal

Ingredients
  

Meatloaf

  • 2 medium plum tomatoes - thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini - thinly sliced lengthwise into 6-7 slices
  • Salt
  • 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
  • 3 cups fresh bread crumbs - loosely packed
  • 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 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Sauce

  • 1 jar (12-ounce) roasted red bell peppers in water - drained
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce - from the opened can
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Instructions
 

Meatloaf

  • 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 the 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 the remaining sauce on the side.

Sauce

  • Combine roasted red peppers, tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD: Meatloaf can be assembled up to 1 day before baking as long as the ground turkey is VERY fresh. 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:  Cut into pieces as desired.  Place in airtight containers and freeze 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Reheat in a 350-degree oven or toaster oven until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 8 | Calories: 597kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 880mg | Potassium: 827mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 961IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 369mg | Iron: 6mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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13 Comments

  1. I have never used ground, fresh turkey in any recipe. I was raised on a hog farm, married a farmer, and we’ve raised hogs, beef, chicken and goats. Turkey has always been a ‘main event’ food, roast with all the sides. After a few days, we’re always looking for new ways to serve it. I was wondering if it is possible to mince the leftovers, and proceed to use them in any of your meatloaf recipes? I figure a broth made with the neck and gizzard could be added for moisture.

    1. Hi, Chris, Really interesting question, thanks so much! I did a little online research and yes, it can be done with cooked turkey meat. Chop it up super fine and add some things for moisture such as what you suggested. The tomato and zucchini in this recipe would also add some moisture. Thanks again and let me know how it goes!

  2. 5 stars
    We love turkey meatloaf but have never tried it terrine style. I can imagine how delicious this is, and even with sweating of the veggies the addition of those slices has to keep some moistness to help prevent drying out. It’s usually too hot to grill in the summer in Palm Springs, and I’m always looking for great meals that can multi-task more than once. This sure fits the bill!

  3. 5 stars
    We love turkey meatloaf but have never tried it terrine style. I can imagine how delicious this is, and even with sweating of the veggies the addition of those slices has to keep some moistness to help prevent drying out. It’s usually too hot to grill in the summer in Palm Springs, and I’m always looking for great meals that can multi-task more than once. This sure fits the bill!

  4. What a beautiful main dish for any time of the year! How interesting and an invaluable tidbit about sweating the veggies that have a lot of water – I’m going to have to remember that. The roasted red pepper glaze sounds so good!