Turkey (or Chicken) Parmesan Meatloaf


I’m wondering if I mebbe screwed up.

Don’t get me wrong – this was a very tasty meatloaf – nicely cheesy and with a bit of a zip added from the spicy tomato sauce, but…

I thought it was just a touch on the dry side.

Now, re-reading the original recipe, from 365 Slow Cooker Suppers via the nice folk at Dash, I believe I may see the problem.

06cTurkeyParmSlicedbfLOAs you may have noticed from the title of the cookery book source, this recipe was designed to be made in a loaf pan in a slow cooker, which would’ve insured a slow, moist roasting environment.


01aOnionEggBreadCrumbsbfLOMy main slow cooker was committed to brewing a big batch o’ ratatouille, and my backups were too small to accommodate a loaf pan, so I opted to fire up the oven.

Here’re the basic details, and then I’ll offer some thoughts on possible fixes for traditional oven baking.

•1 lb ground chicken or turkey
•1 onion, finely diced
•2 large eggs
•1/2 cup panko crumbs
•1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
•1 tbsp garlic powder
•1 cup prepared pasta sauce, divided
•2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Lightly beat the eggs, then combine with the onion, panko crumbs, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a mixing bowl – I used an 8 cup glass measure.

02aAddTurkeyMixbfLONote: if you are planning to try this in a regular oven, I would suggest adding 1/2 cup of buttermilk to the panko and letting it rest for 15 minutes before continuing; or mebbe use 1/2 pound ground turkey/chicken and 1/2 pound ground beef or pork to up the fat/moisture content for oven roasting.

Stir in the one cup of the shredded cheese and 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce. As I noted above, I used my new spicy tomato, but feel free to use your own favorite, or try my doctored pasta sauce for an easy way to customize jarred sauce.

03bMeatloafAddMarinarabfLOAdd the ground turkey (or chicken) and mix well – sorry – the best way to do this is with your hands, and it is messy.

Turn the mixture into a loaf pan and top with the remaining half-cup of sauce.

Here’s your choice:

04aMeatloafReadybfLOIf you want to try the slow cooker thing, add the remaining cheese on top of the marinara, place the loaf pan in your slow cooker, cover, and bake (do NOT add any water to the slow cooker) on low for seven hours, or high for four hours, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160º.

If you choose to go the regular oven route, place the sauce-topped meatloaf in a heated 325º oven for 45 minutes, then add the remaining mozzarella and bake for another 30 minutes, again until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 160º.

05bMeatloafPlatebfLOTasty change from your everyday meatloaf, and really very nice with a bit of that ratatouille and some garlic toast on the side.

But a bit dry.

Leftover, tho, crumbled over ratatouille and topped with a bit of spicy tomato sauce and freshly shredded Swiss cheese, as a home made ‘za!, it was a very good thing.

Do try the buttermilk soak, that’s what I plan on trying next time I make this; if I don’t go ahead and try it in the slow cooker.

By the way, the ratatouille rocked, and I have no regrets about tying up the slow cooker with its making. Tomorrow is the weekly Doris Project post, so look for the ratatouille details on Thursday.

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