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Turkey with all the Trimmings Meatloaf

If you are lucky enough to have leftover stuffing, this free-form meatloaf for a crowd is a snap to assemble.

serves 6 to 8

2 cups stuffing mix
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dried cranberries
2 medium-sized McIntosh or Gala apples, peeled and cut into small dice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 pounds ground turkey (We prefer turkey thighs for flavor)
3-4 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (See Note.)
1 large egg
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, soak stuffing mix and cranberries in the chicken stock. If you have leftover stuffing, use 2 to 3 cups, omit the chicken stock, and toss in the cranberries.

In a large bowl, add diced apples and lemon juice and toss together. Add turkey, celery, onion, mushrooms, poultry seasoning, egg, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add stuffing it to the bowl with the turkey. (If stuffing mixture has standing stock, remove bread with a slotted spoon and discard excess liquid.) Mix everything together well, then turn mixture out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and shape it into a large rectangular loaf of even thickness. Coat with extra virgin olive oil if desired (we like a crispy crust and don’t use it), transfer to the oven and roast until brown and cooked through, about 1 hour.

Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans, and some cranberry sauce on the side.

Note: For poultry seasoning, substitute your own blend of these pantry staples in order of amount from largest to smallest, or to taste: dried sage, dried thyme, dried marjoram, dried rosemary, ground nutmeg and black pepper.