Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

“Look, it’s a cupcake!” blurted my junkfood-loving 3-year-old. He must have thought I’d flipped. Cupcakes for dinner at last! I didn’t care what he called them, as long as he ate them. I took the turkey meat loaf recipe from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, made some adjustments and turned them into cute individual muffin-sized servings. Meat loaf has never been a kid favorite, but meat loaf muffins are an entirely different food group. They can reasonably be considered finger food and they’re even tasty at room temperature, which makes them perfect for the lunchbox.

  • Olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 2 large garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground turkey (93% lean)
  • 1-1/4 pound ground turkey breast
  • 3/4 cup panko
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all natural ketchup (see tips)

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin lightly with a thin layer of olive oil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together onion, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, Worcestershire, chicken stock and tomato paste. Add the ground turkey and the ground turkey breast and mash together with a fork until combined. Add the panko and the eggs, stirring until incorporated. Fill each muffin cup to the top with the ground turkey mixture, taking care to press it down into the cup. There will be just enough for 12 muffin cups with slightly rounded tops. Use a knife to spread ketchup over the top of each muffin.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 40 minutes, or until the center is no longer pink. Serve immediately. To store leftovers, cool completely then cover and refrigerate.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. I used two kinds of ground turkey to control flavor and fat content. Ground turkey has more fat (and therefore, more flavor), but ground turkey breast is a bit drier and leaner. The two together strike the right balance.
  • 2. Ketchup is one of few things that sets off my gag reflex. I topped some of the “muffins” with ketchup, but I also experimented with pizza sauce, which is a bit thicker and provides deeper flavor. If you aren’t a fan of ketchup, try a nice, thick pizza sauce. My kids liked to use the “muffins” as a medium for gratuitous ketchup consumption, mopping it up from their plates with the meat.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6 (Makes 12 “muffins”)



5 responses to “Turkey Meatloaf Muffins”

  1. Mara says:

    I made these tonight and made some really creamy mash potatoes for “frosting”. They were a family wide hit! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Alissa says:

    I have a gluten allergy, I don’t care for gluten free worchestire. Is there anything I could substitute for this?

    • Alicia Sokol says:

      Hmm, good question. Have you tried gluten free tamari? That might be a decent substitute.

    • Rachel says:

      I don’t generally have Worcestershire sauce in the house… Trying Thai fish sauce, which is similar but doesn’t have the wheat. Could also get a good result with a mix of fish sauce and Tamari.

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