This turkey and beef blended healthy meatloaf recipe keeps all the classic flavors intact but lightens its caloric load thanks to a few easy ingredient swaps no one will ever notice.
Healthy Meatloaf Recipe
Meatloaf. Like tuna noodle casseroles and deviled eggs, meatloaf is one of life’s ultimate comfort foods that had its hey day in the 50’s, but since then, has become one of those dishes eaters rarely cop to craving—at least in public.
But just like most things favorited as retro, what’s old often becomes new again. Over the past few years—like many of our favorite comfort foods—meatloaf has made a comeback and can be found on even the most haute restaurant menus and is one of today’s comfort food Cinderella stories.
Only this baby isn’t going to turn into a pumpkin at midnight.
This healthy meatloaf recipe is from The Dude Diet cookbook by Serena Wolf of the blog Domesticate Me. She wrote the cookbook to supply healthy-ish/healthier recipes for even the most robust male eater with recipes initially intended to motivate her beloved boyfriend who decided it was time to start watching his food intake a little more closely.
The cookbook is loaded with over 125 recipes that run the recipe gamut of real food cravings that take on a healthyish attitude and pulverizes the fears of what many male dieters fear most about a diet book—eating like a bird. Not here. The Dude Diet delivers plenty of delicious inspiration for every man, woman, and child alike, with wonderfully witty writing accompanied by photographs that make you want to try your hand in the kitchen, too.
In deciding which recipe to share from the book, I did the natural thing and handed the book over to my own dude to decide. He’s a great cook in the kitchen and loves cookbooks just about as much as I do so I wasn’t surprised to see him reading each and every recipe with judicious intent.
He finally settled on Serena’s recipe for her Epic Meatloaf and then set out to work in the kitchen.
There are a few simple ingredient swaps that make this meatloaf successfully transition to a healthier meal.
Instead of all an all beef or beef plus pork meaty blend in her loaf, Serena uses half ground turkey with half ground beef, citing to use a fattier ground turkey (so the loaf isn’t overly dry) and a leaner beef (to cut down on the fat but keep the beefy flavor).
Instead of using bread or bread crumbs like other traditional recipes, this recipe goes low-carb by using high-protein quinoa to lighten the meaty consistency and low-fat Greek yogurt with eggs as it’s binder.
Like many a favorite meatloaf, this one is topped with a tomato meatloaf glaze. But unlike the historic use of slathering on a ketchup glaze for meatloaf, a simple tomato paste concoction sweetened with honey is our topper here.
One cannot fully enjoy meatloaf without a side of mash, but this time around we skipped the mashed potatoes and opted for Serena’s recipe of Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan and Chives to round out our retro comfort food meal. No butter. No cream. And like our meatloaf, lighter in the calorie count.
This recipe is definitely a keeper. Nobody even noticed or griped about our healthier ingredient swaps or missed those that we replaced. We’ve made this recipe twice already and know that the next time our comfort food cravings call, we’ll definitely be making it a third and fourth time too, and we’ll feel totally alright about digging in for seconds.
What’s in This Healthy Meatloaf?
I’ll think you’ll be impressed with the clever ingredient substitutions Serena made in both the meatloaf itself and the meatloaf glaze. Here’s what you’ll need to make this healthy meatloaf recipe:
- Chicken broth
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Red bell pepper
- Tomato paste
- Lean ground beef
- Ground turkey
- Worcestershire sauce
- Red pepper flakes
- Greek yogurt
- Apple cider vinegar
How to Make Healthy Meatloaf
This healthy turkey meatloaf is a cinch to pull together. First, cook the quinoa in the chicken broth. Then, sauté the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until softened. Stir in the tomato paste.
Up next is the fun part: mixing together the meatloaf. Dump all the healthy meatloaf ingredients into a large bowl and mix with your hands.
You’re then going to shape the meat mixture into your desired loaf shape on a rimmed baking sheet. Top with the meatloaf glaze before baking.
Can I Use Ground Chicken Instead of Ground Turkey?
You likely can, although you’ll still need to purchase ground chicken with extra fat in it, otherwise your healthy meatloaf will be far too dry.
Can I Freeze Meatloaf?
Yes, once baked you can freeze the entire meatloaf or slice and freeze individual servings.
Tips for Making Healthy Meatloaf
Be sure to buy a 93% lean ground turkey as 99% lean would be far too dry. 90% lean ground beef balances out the mixture and adds that classic beefy flavor without being too fatty.
When mixing the meatloaf with your hands, be careful not to over mix. Over mixed meatloaf often winds up being tough and dry, so mix just until the ingredients are all incorporated in the meat.
Lastly, you need to let the baked meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving it. This will give the juices time to redistribute and will result in a moister, more flavorful meatloaf.
More Healthy Dinners You’ll Love
- Baked Salmon with Creme Fraiche
- Healthier Sweet and Sour Pork
- Slow Cooker Whole Chicken
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Baked Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Polenta and Marinara
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Healthy Meatloaf With Tomato Glaze
For the meatloaf:
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa , rinsed and drained
- ½ cup chicken broth , (or water)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion , minced
- ½ red bell pepper , seeded and diced
- 2 garlic cloves , pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
- 1 pound 93 percent lean ground turkey , (99 percent lean will be too dry)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
For the glaze:
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- Combine the quinoa and chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, and cook for 12-14 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Let the quinoa rest, covered fro 5 minutes, then fluff for a fork. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft but not browned. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, then transfer the veggie mixture to a large mixing bowl. Let cool.
- While the veggies are cooling, whisk together all the ingredients for the glaze. Set the glaze aside.
- Add the ground beef, turkey and cooked quinoa, Worcestershire, salt, red pepper flakes, yogurt, and eggs to the mixing bowl with the veggies. Mix everything together with your hands until just combined.Don't over mix or the meatloaf will be dry.
- Dump the meat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. It will be very soft and wet. Mold the meat with your hands into a 9 X 5-inch rectangular loaf. Spread half of the glaze evenly on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes, top with the remaining glaze and bake for another 15 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked through.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes. Slice into thick pieces and serve.
- Recipe from The Dude Diet cookbook by Serena Wolf.
More Classic Recipes Worth Mastering
- One-Pot Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe
- Beef Bourguignon
- Homemade Chicken Parmesan
- Mom’s Homemade Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- Daddy’s Baked Hamburgers
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