Feta Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf – Low Carb and Grain-Free
Okay, you caught me. This turkey meatloaf recipe is not a new one. It’s been on my blog since its nascent stages, way back in 2010. But it’s such a good healthy turkey meatloaf, I decided it needed a shiny new update.
It’s easy and flavorful, and much lighter than traditional beef based meatloaf recipes. So while you may not think of making meatloaf in May or June, I highly recommend this one at any time of year.
Bonus points that it’s stuffed with delicious feta cheese. We’re a family of feta lovers over here. And the tzatziki sauce drizzled over is a nice touch too!
When I think of comfort food, I don’t necessarily think of meatloaf. The first thing that comes to mind is soup (or stew, or chili – anything of the broth-based variety). Next come casseroles and lasagnes. Meatloaf probably rates a distant third in my comfort food line-up.
And yet, I love meatloaf and every time I have it, I wonder why I don’t have it more often. It’s an easy meal to throw together, and it’s wonderfully versatile. You can spice it up with any number of flavourings, you can dress it up with toppings and sauces.
It gets a bit of a bad rap because everyone has had bad, dry, flavourless meatloaf at some point, but it shouldn’t be relegated to “only choke down under grandma’s watchful gaze” pile. It’s easy to make good meatloaf, and good meatloaf is delicious.
Turkey Meatloaf Inspiration
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were kicking around ideas for dinner. As he had just come home from our local wholesale club with a large tub of feta cheese and a big package of ground turkey, I was focussing on those two ingredients.
We wanted something easy to put together, and the idea of a greek-inspired meatloaf just came to me. My husband is a true lover of feta cheese, and his biggest concern was that the flavour of the cheese not get lost in the rest of the meatloaf.
So I decided to pack it into the middle of the loaf, so as to get a concentrated area of feta-ness. Spinach and feta go so well together, I thought I might mix frozen spinach right into the meatloaf base. And to top it all off, a wonderful garlicky tzatziki yogurt sauce.
How To Make Healthy Turkey Meatloaf
Try to use dark meat ground turkey: Turkey can tend to be kind of dry, especially when it bakes for a long time, as in a turkey meatloaf recipe. So if you can find dark meat ground turkey, try to use that. If not, perhaps add a tablespoon or two of healthy oil, like avocado oil.
Use a grain-free binder: Contrary to popular belief, meatloaf does not need bread crumbs. But a binder of some sort does help hold in the moisture. I used almond flour here but you could use crushed pork rinds if you prefer.
Get creative with flavor: Turkey meatloaf is like a blank slate, just waiting for you to put your creative touches on it. I went with a Greek theme here, with feta, spinach, marjoram, and tzatziki. But you could do taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning, jalapeños, Italian flavors, cheeseburger flavors, bacon, low carb ketchup. Really, whatever floats your boat.
Be prepared to get dirty: Mixing the meatloaf with your hands ensures that all of the ingredients are well combined.
Freeform it: Meatloaf doesn’t need a loaf pan and they often make it deeper and hard to cook through. I like to cover a pan with parchment and hand form the meat into a loaf.
Don’t overcook it: I can’t stress this strongly enough. Watch your meatloaf and check it regularly with an instant read thermometer. Turkey meatloaf needs to be fully cooked through, of course, but get it just to the right temperature and then stop. Unless you like eating dry sawdust!
Now have I convinced you that you need to make this keto turkey meatloaf recipe? Go on, heat to your kitchen and whip it up!
- For the sauce, mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and chill until serving.
For the meatloaf, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, spinach, almond flour, eggs, onion, salt, marjoram, and pepper. Mix with your hands until very well combined.
Place half of the turkey mixture on the prepared baking sheet and shape into a flat rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Cover with 3/4 cup of the feta cheese. Place remaining turkey mixture overtop of feta and shape the whole thing into a rough loaf. Sprinkle with the remaining feta, pressing lightly to adhere.
Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160F on an instant read thermometer.
- Cut into slices and drizzle with tzatziki sauce, passing remaining sauce at the table.