Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

Are any of you watching The Americans on FX? I won’t lie – I mostly started DVR’ing it because I saw Keri Russell in the promos and I’ve basically been in love with her since the days of Felicity. The first few episodes were really slow for me, and since I already watch way too much tv, this show nearly got the ax. I’m so glad I stuck it out though because it’s just been getting better and better every week; at this point I’d say it’s one of my favorite shows on tv! I don’t want to say too much to spoil it for anyone, but if spy thrillers are your thing, it’s a must see. And if you’re a Keri Russell fan too, she’s phenomenal in this show, though it’s definitely a complete 180 from Felicity…

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

And that random tangent had absolutely nothing to do with this meatloaf so I won’t even try to connect them :)

After last week’s string of dinner recipe fails, I turned to this healthy comfort food favorite because it never disappoints. Meatloaf is always a winner in our house, and it’s probably the dish we make most often when we find ourselves with an extra pound or two of ground turkey hanging out in the freezer (which is pretty much all the time).

This one is actually fairly basic and it comes together easily. Onions, garlic and thyme are quickly cooked and then combined with the turkey, a bread/milk paste that ensures moisture, and a few ingredients that incorporate more flavor such as Dijon mustard and hot sauce. The tangy-sweet glaze adds the perfect finishing touch! The meatloaf bakes for about an hour so you’ll have plenty of time to whip up a side or two while you wait. Or grab a drink and a seat on the couch and catch up on your favorite tv show :)

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze

One more thing – be sure to use whole milk where indicated and not skim or low-fat. We always buy 1% milk – never, ever whole – so whenever a recipe calls for it, here’s a trick I picked up from the folks at Cook’s Illustrated years ago. You can “make” whole milk by combining 1% milk and half-and-half in a ratio of 2:1. So, for example, if you need 1 cup of whole milk, you’d use 2/3 cup 1% milk and 1/3 cup half-and-half. I make this substitution all the time when recipes call for whole milk, I love it!

Turkey Meatloaf with Brown Sugar-Ketchup Glaze
from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

{Note: you can definitely halve the recipe if you’re only feeding a few people, I do it all the time.}

1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 lb ground turkey (not 99% lean)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Set a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet. Fold a piece of foil in half (it should measure at least 10×6 inches) and use a skewer to poke holes in the foil at 1/2-inch intervals. Place on top of the wire rack and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the oil to a medium nonstick skillet set over medium to medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and thyme and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer the onion mixture to a bowl and allow to cool.

Tear the bread into small pieces and add to a large bowl along with the milk. Use a fork to mash them into a paste. Add the cooled onion mixture, the eggs, parsley, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and stir with the fork until combined. Add the ground turkey and use your hands to mix until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared foil/rack. Shape into a loaf. In a small measuring cup, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, and cider vinegar. Brush half of the mixture over the top of the meatloaf. Bake for 45 minutes, then brush with the remainder of the ketchup mixture and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160 F. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and tent – let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.