Since Thanksgiving is the quintessential American holiday and meatloaf is the classic American comfort food, why not serve meatloaf for your holiday feast?  That’s what I’m planning to do this Thanksgiving, with a few tweaks here and there.

It is Thanksgiving, after all, so I’ll substitute chopped turkey for the chopped beef in the recipe. To add a touch of frolic and whimsy, I’ll bake the turkey meatloaf mixture in muffin cups, and then pipe pureed sweet potatoes on top.

You can always use this recipe to make a whole meatloaf—just shape the mixture into a loaf and bake for an hour.  If desired, you can place the sweet potato mixture into a casserole dish sprayed with Pam, top with some brown sugar and chopped pecans and bake for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Wishing all a joyous and bountiful Thanksgiving!


Turkey meatloaf muffins

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ red pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey (dark meat)
  • ¼ cup teriyaki sauce
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper—about 10 grinds
  • ½ cup bread crumbs

Sweet Potato Swirl

  • 4 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Smart Balance buttery spread (or margarine)
  • ¼ cup pineapple or orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt

To make the turkey meatloaf muffins

Before you begin, you will need a 12-cup muffin pan (measuring 2 ½ inches across the tops).  Spray the muffin cups with Pam to prevent the turkey muffins from sticking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the red and yellow peppers, onion and garlic, and sauté over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes until the onions are softened and translucent.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Place the ground turkey into a large bowl and with a fork break up into small pieces.

Add the sautéed peppers, onion and garlic, teriyaki sauce, barbecue sauce, egg, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, freshly ground pepper and mix well.

Add the bread crumbs and combine until the mixture just holds together. You may need to add more bread crumbs as needed to bind the mixture.

Grab about ¼ cup of the mixture and roll into a ball.  Place the ball into the prepared muffin cup, flattening it so it is level with the top. Repeat with the remaining mixture.  You should end up with about 10 turkey meatloaf muffins. Place in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

If desired, brush on some barbecue sauce about 10 minutes before the turkey muffins are done.

If desired, pipe the sweet potato swirl onto each of the turkey meatloaf muffins, before serving.

To make the sweet potato swirl

Place the sweet potatoes into a pot large enough to hold them all with enough water to cover by at least an inch.  Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until they are very soft—1 to 2 hours.

Allow the potatoes to cool for about 10 minutes, then peel off the skins.

Place a ricer over a large mixing bowl, and rice the potatoes into the bowl—or just mash them with a fork.  Add the Smart Balance, pineapple juice, pumpkin pie spice and salt and beat well with an electric mixer.  Add more Smart Balance or pineapple juice as needed to get the pureed sweet potatoes to the right consistency for piping.

Prepare a piping bag with a ½ inch star tip.  Spoon the pureed sweet potatoes into the piping bag and pipe the sweet potatoes onto the turkey muffins with a swirling motion.

November 2018