I struggled with posting this because, well. I’m sorry, meatloaf, but you’re not very cute. There isn’t a photography secret (at least that I know of) that can make meatloaf look five-star. I mean, even the name…a loaf…of meat? I never liked meatloaf as a kid, but have since come to appreciate both the ease of preparation and the flavor of this unattractive, under-appreciated entree! This recipe is kind of a nod to some in-our-family-famous (and we’re talking immediate family here) meatballs that I make, but instead of beef and pork, I used turkey. Oh and of course, I added cheese. Because we live in Wisconsin.
Jalapeño Cheddar Turkey Meatloaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup Italian or seasoned bread crumbs (divided)
1/2 cup 1 or 2% milk (divided)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 ounces pepper jack cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
(Or, if you have it available in a market near you, I REALLY like using 6 ounces of jalapeño cheddar cheese)
1 cup Saz’s Sassy Barbecue Sauce (or your favorite)
1 cup chili sauce
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Next, you’ll want to saute your onions. In a large saucepan, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add your onion and saute until they start to turn brown and soften, about 15 minutes. Keep the onions moving around throughout this time. Remove from pan and place on a cutting board. Chop the sauteed onions until they’re very small. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of the breadcrumbs. Let these sit and soak for at least 10 minutes. Add the pound of ground turkey, sauteed onions, remaining bread crumbs, remaining milk, egg, garlic powder, seasoned salt, onion powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and cheeses. It’s best to mix this with your hands, so take off any rings and dig in! You don’t want to overmix because this will cause the meat to toughen, but make sure you get all of the ingredients incorporated. If you’d like, you can use regular cheddar. We just really liked the extra (and subtle) kick we got from the jalapeño cheddar/pepper jack.
Place meat in a very lightly greased loaf pan and shape to resemble a loaf. Put the meatloaf into your preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. While the meatloaf is cooking, combine the barbecue sauce and chili sauce in a bowl. I make 2 cups worth, but feel free to make any amount you like, with equal parts BBQ and chili sauce. At the 30 minute mark, pull the meatloaf out of the oven and pour half of your prepared sauce over the meatloaf to cover it (about 1 cup). Place the meatloaf back in the oven and cook for 35 more minutes or until the meatloaf reaches 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.
The cheese will be gooey, so I like to let it sit for about 7-10 minutes before slicing through. I also like to reserve some extra sauce, so this is the perfect time to heat it up in the microwave. We like this served with mashed potatoes, a salad, or even between two pieces of bread in a sandwich!