Let’s face it, ground turkey can be pretty bland and tasteless unless it has a little help. When you’re trying to cut down the amount of red meat in your diet and also trying to serve family meals that please others, you have to be a bit creative.

I developed this recipe a few years ago and it’s been well received by my husband who has discriminating taste when it comes to his meatloaf. You can bake this in your oven, or kick it up one more notch and prep it on the smoker for an added layer of taste. The key ingredients in the flavor profile of this dish are ground red chipotle powder (I get mine from Penzey’s) and Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

3 pounds ground turkey
1 medium onion, finely diced, about a cup
1 small green pepper, finely diced, about a cup
1 small red pepper, finely diced, about a cup
2 stalks celery, finely diced, about 1/2 cup
3 TSP minced garlic
2 TBSP canola oil
2 TSP ground red chipotle powder
2 TSP kosher salt
1/2 TSP ground pepper
1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce (plus more for glazing the top)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Panko bread crumbs

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place a skillet over medium heat and add canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, peppers and celery. Sweat the vegetables over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the chipotle powder and stir until it coats the vegetables. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add the turkey, beaten eggs, panko bread crumbs and 1/2 cup BBQ sauce. Mix well. Add the cooled vegetables to the mixture along with the salt and pepper. Mix with hands until vegetables and seasoning are evenly incorporated.

Spray non-stick cooking spray on a baking sheet with sides. With your hands, form the meat mixture into a loaf shape on the pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 60-75 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees in the center of the meatloaf. During the last 10 minutes of baking, spread about 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce over the top.

Let stand for at least 5-10 minutes before removing to a serving plate and slicing.

Some helpful tips: If you want to make this fast, have vegetables chopped and portioned in the refrigerator or freezer for future use. This meatloaf freezes well. Put in aluminum foil loaf pans and wrap with foil before sliding in a freezer bag. Let meatloaf thaw for at least one day in the refrigerator before baking.

Grammy


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