What’s up hungry people. Lets talk turkey. Today we’re making Friendsgiving meatloaf – it’s an entire turkey dinner stuffed into a conveient, sliceable form.
If you’re too lazy to cook and entire thanksgiving meal, then this recipe is for you. Topped with an addictive cranberry barbecue sauce, thanksgiving dinner just got a deliciously convenient makeover.
The secret to the perfect meatloaf – and this applies to pretty much any meatloaf recipe – is to not serve it that same day you cook it. It’ll have better flavor and slice more easily if you let it cool completely. I went as far to cool mine and then I chilled it overnight before reheating it at 350 for 15 minutes the next night for dinner.
You don’t have to wait overnight, but you should definitely wait at least 30 minutes before cutting the meatloaf into slices.
No matter which way you decide to go when it comes to finishing off the meatloaf, be sure to garnish it with parsley to really impress your Friendsgiving guests. Because nothing says “I totally have my life together” like a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
FOR TURKEY MEATLOAF:
- 32 oz ground turkey
- ¼ cup onion chopped
- ¼ cup carrot chopped
- ¼ cup celery chopped
- ½ tablespoon garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons butter for sauting
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 cup stuffing mix
- ¼ cup fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup mashed potatoes
- 3 tablespoons gravy
- 1 dinner roll
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
FOR JALAPENO CRANBERRY BBQ SAUCE:
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 jalapenos seeds removed & chopped
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar optional
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- ½ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- To start, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes then add the carrots, celery and garlic. Stir in the rosemary, oregano and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute until the garlic is fragrant and the celery is 'brightened' in color. Remove from heat and cool until no longer steaming hot.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey meat and sauteed veggies. Then add the egg and whole milk. Use a meat spatula to mix everything together. Add the stuffing mix, cranberries, mashed potatoes, gravy, melted butter and dinner roll. Use the spatula to mash it all together into a thick meat mixture.
- Transfer the meat mixture to a greased glass loaf pan. Spread it into an even layer across the top and press the edges into the sides of the pan to create a domed loaf shape. Cover and chill until ready to cook.
- To make the BBQ sauce, first heat the olive oil in a large pot and cook the fresh cranberries over medium high heat until the cranberries begin to burst. Stir in the jalapeno and shallot. Cook until tender and the cranberries are mostly popped, about 5-8 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and whole grain mustard then deglaze the bottom of the pan by adding the apple cider vinegar and soy sauce. Then add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar followed by the red wine vinegar, honey and a dash of cinnamon. Finally, stir in the ketchup, orange zest, lemon juice and orange juice.
- Bring the liquid mixture to a rolling bubble. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 45-60 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and a spoon leaves streaks across the bottom of the pot when stirred. Cool until the mixture is thick and no longer steaming. (OPTIONAL: Cool completely and jar the sauce for easier pouring.)
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Pour about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the top of the meatloaf. Cover losely with foil and place onto a baking sheet (the turkey may leak juices as it cooks). Cook for 45 minutes then uncover and continue cooking for an additional 30-45 minutes until the internal temperature of the meatloaf reaches 160 F.
- IMPORTANT: Let the meatloaf rest AT LEAST 30 minutes prior to cutting – otherwise it may be crumbly.
- OPTIONAL (but recommended): Cool the meatloaf to room temperature and then chill overnight to fully set the meatloaf. Reheat at 350 F for 15-20 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce and enjoy!