Turkey Meatloaf with Bacon, Carmelized Onions, and Smoked Mozzarella


1 onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bacon slices, cut in 1/4” slices
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 teaspon salt
5 grinds pepper
2 lbs ground turkey
1/4 C ketchup
1/4 C breadcrumbs
1/4 C milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper
4 oz smoked mozzarella, shredded
1/4 C chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1/4 C ketchup
2 tsp Tobasco brand chipotle sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium high heat. Add bacon and onions, salt and pepper, sautee over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until onions have browned a bit and bacon has crisped. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Remove mixture from heat and cool.
Place ground turkey in a large bowl. Add onion mixture, 1/4 c ketchup, breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, oregano salt and pepper. Use your hands to combine, it really is the only way to get it all mixed together thoroughly. Just ask Harrison!
In a loaf pan, place half of the turkey mixture. Top with sun dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella. Put the remainder of the turkey mixture on top of the cheese.
In a small bowl, combine ketchup, chipotle sauce, (or any other kind of peppery sauce you have/like) and brown sugar. Brush on top of meatloaf.
Cook meatloaf 1 1/2 hours or until internal temp is 165 degrees with a meat thermometer. Given that it is ground turkey, you really want to make sure it is fully cooked.
Let cool sightly, 5 or so minutes, and it will be a bit easier to slice and serve. OBVIOUSLY, you eat meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas. I think it is a rule somewhere. If you want to be creative, find your unique filling, and serve it without your favorites. Have fun, it's meatloaf!!


Back before I was married, I worked at a retirement home on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. It's residents were wealthy, rather demanding, but generally kind. The days where the demands outweighed the kindness, my friends/co-workers Regina and Shelley and I, would fake an important meeting, close my office door and talk food. We got on a kick of coming up with stuffed meatloaf concoctions. We competed who could come up with the best; blue cheese and mushrooms, bacon and cheddar, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil, ratatouille. Meatloaf was our blank canvas; we could put all kinds of combinations of ingredients in it and it would come out delicious. And, no one was a loser in this competition.

I was thinking of those days and thought I needed to bring the stuffed meatloaf back! So my creation today starts with caramelizing onions and bacon, then combining that with ground turkey. Smoked mozzarella and sundried tomatoes create the gooey layer in the middle. It's topped with a sweet and spicy tomato sauce. The end result is a slightly smoky, almost sweet dish, with a creamy texture from the melted cheese and a bit of tomato in every bite.

Harrison was hanging with me, so he was my helper in the kitchen. It is one of those dishes that kids can easily help create. He got his hands in there and mixed it up and had a blast. I will say, there was ground turkey everywhere when he was done; light switch, sink, floor, stool, yuck. But, so what! He helped and was really proud come dinner time. He told everyone how we made it, that yes, there really is bacon in it! He ate it, and the rest of the family gobbled it up and asked why I don't make meatloaf more often. Victory!

Other Names:

Turkey Meatloaf


6-8 servings


Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 6:01pm


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