Turkey Meatloaf with Zesty Topping


This is my version of Ina Garten’s meatloaf. I’ve made it successfully in a loaf pan as well, but I advise baking it atop a baking sheet to catch any drips if you do.

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 2 tablespoons high heat oil, such as rice bran or canola
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped


  • 2 teaspoons Spike seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 dashes natural smoke seasoning


  • 1-1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 lbs. ground turkey, preferably a combination of thigh and breast (light and dark) meat


Heat a 10-12” saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and tip the pan to let the oil coat the surface. When it begins to shimmer, add the onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper and zucchini. Stir well with a wooden spoon or heatproof spatula and turn the heat down to medium. Continue to cook over medium heat until the onions are lightly translucent. Add the garlic and cook together with the other veggies for about 30 seconds. Add the Spike and Italian seasoning, thyme, salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to low.

Zesty Turkey Meatloaf

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste together. Turn the heat under the sautéing vegetables up to medium high and stir in the sauce mixture. Cook for 45-60 seconds, or until most of the moisture has evaporated. Turn this mixture out onto a baking sheet or plate. Let it rest during the next steps.

Line a sheet pan (a baking sheet with sides, also known as a jelly roll pan) with parchment or a silicone baking mat.  Preheat your oven to 325 F.

Combine the ketchup and smoke seasoning in a small bowl and set aside.

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade (or with a knife on a cutting board), pulse the cooled veggies lightly, until they are finely chopped

Add the processed veggies, along with the bread crumbs and eggs, to the ground meat. Form the meat into a loaf on the baking sheet, about 9X4”. Brush the ketchup mixture over the top.

Bake until well browned and firm to the touch, and the center of the meatloaf registers 165 F. on an instant read thermometer, about 1-1/2 hours.

Let cool slightly, slice and serve immediately or refrigerate.