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From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of January 28, 2013
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Terrific Turkey Meatloaf

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

Change up an American favorite by using turkey. It is healthy and the taste may surprise you.

Like many dishes, of course, meatloaf it is not without its history. After the Industrial Revolution during the mid-19th century, meat became more available to the average citizen. The lack of refrigeration, however, made many folks reluctant to purchase ground meats since the shopper could not always be certain of age, actual ingredients or quality. The introduction of small meat grinders, though, enabled people to grind their own cuts of meat at home. One of the results was meatloaf – a quintessential part of traditional American cuisine.

Although typically made of beef or pork, or a combination of those meats, this recipe brings the nutritional benefits of turkey into the mix for a great tasting dish. Although it can be made with all dark or all white meat, using a combination of light and dark turkey ensures that it has minimal fat, but maintains its moisture. The mushrooms and onion also help the meatloaf remain succulent.

The onion, Worcestershire sauce and stock enhance the flavor of the mix. The breadcrumbs keep it tender and the eggs help bind the mixture. You can use ketchup or tomato paste to coat the top.

If you have leftovers, they can be warmed up and enjoyed again, or make a sandwich with cold slices. Just as you might associate meatloaf with nostalgic memories of family dinners, you can create the same memories for younger family members with this great variation of an American favorite.

Terrific Turkey Meatloaf

Terrific Turkey Meatloaf

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/8 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 2 lbs. ground turkey (mix of dark and light meat)
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup ketchup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions and mushrooms, add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add Worcestershire, stock and tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl combine turkey, breadcrumbs, eggs and onion-mushroom mixture. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf in shallow baking dish. Brush ketchup on top.

Bake 90 minutes or until meat is cooked through and internal temperature is 165 degrees. Serve hot. Leftovers may be served cold in sandwiches.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 238 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 14 g carbohydrate
30 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 335 mg sodium.


The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $100 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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