Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

As a natural snoop I love to know how other people do… just about anything. But, no surprise, I’m particularly curious about how people manage meal prep. The notes some of  you wrote to us last week about school lunches were solid gold and will definitely have an effect on future lunches and future posts. One of best ways to snoop, I mean research, what other parents are doing is just watching my Twitter stream flow by. There’s always a lot of dinner chatter by late afternoon most days and I’m always inspired – and made hungry – by it.

But there’s a group I really watch out for: the batch cookers. And my favourites are an awesome trio of women who all happen to work at Today’s Parent, where SPC has a monthly column: Elana Schachter, todaysparent.com’s General Manager, Nadine Silverthorne, todaysparent.com’s managing editor and Sandra E. Martin, Today’s Parent magazine’s executive editor. They’re all smart, cool and hilarious. Highly snoop-worthy. The three of them often compare notes on a Sunday afternoon about what’s been cooking in their respective kitchens. Sometimes it’s soup or stew, sometimes it’s chili, but it’s always something that’s going to get them ahead of the game that week. I know they all enjoy cooking but I bet what they really love is knowing that at least one meal during the weekday wind sprint which is our working lives is figured out.

So, when Laura and I were thinking of doing a week of meals that were freezer friendly I felt a little nervous. Could I come up with something that would be good enough for the Today’s Parent ladies? We’ll have to wait and see but I have to say I’m pretty pleased with these little meatloaves. I like freezing things in small portions so that you can take out of the freezer only what you need. These come together really quickly  and are the perfect size for small kids. Parents or older kids might want two for dinner. It’s got all the yummy, comfort-food flavour of a classic meatloaf but the turkey and oats (I know that sounds weird but they disappear) make them a little lighter. You’ll probably want to serve with these with some kind of potato and another vegetable but I like that it’s already pretty packed with veggies to start with. This will easily double up if you want more goodness waiting for you in the freezer!

photos by Maya Visnyei

The only thing left is to ask how my batch cooking inspirations like them….. well, ladies? Let me know! And let us know your favourite freezer friendly meals are. We love hearing all of your amazing ideas!

Mini Turkey Meatloaves

Ingredients

  • Makes 6 minis
  • 1 glug of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion, diced on the fine side (this is about half of a medium onion)
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced small
  • 1/3 cup carrot, peeled and diced small
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 pound of ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Warm up your olive oil in a pan over medium heat.

Add your vegetables and the fennel seeds and allow them just start to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a bit.

In a large mixing bowl, combine your meat, oats, ketchup, sauteed vegetables, cheese and egg

Mix with your clean hands or a fork

Now use a 1/3 cup measure to scoop up your mixture and put it into your muffin tin.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp of ketchup and 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce.

Use a small spoon to smear this glaze over the top of your mini meatloaves

Pop them in the oven for 40 minutes.

The internal temperature for meatloaf should be 160 to 165 degrees.

*If you're going to freeze these do not allow them to cool on the counter first. The bacteria that can make you sick flourish between 40 and  140 degrees. The other thing to keep in mind when freezing is to do it fast. Food that is frozen slowly will be full of large ice crystals which will damage the food as it thaws. The faster you freeze food, the smaller the ice crystal. So, just check that your freezer is set nice and low. The easiest ways for these to keep them shape well is to get them into the freezer while they're still in the muffin tins and allow them to chill and firm up. After an hour or so you can more easily get them out of the tray and put them in a zip lock bag or air tight container - just don't forget to mark the date on them. They'll keep well for 2 to 3 months.

When re-heating, you can either thaw them in the fridge over night and then  re-heat them in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes of pop them in frozen for about 20.


 

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12 Comments

  1. Laura
    February 06, 07:49 Reply

    Neat – love the idea of oats instead of the traditional bread crumbs! And like the idea of muffin-sized … my girls would find this fun!

  2. erin
    February 06, 07:52 Reply

    I am definitely going to try these, I made your chicken tacos last week and loved them. I have a question about freezing, you say not to cool them first? So you freeze them still warm? I have never frozen meatloaf before so I want to be sure…

  3. Kelly
    February 06, 14:49 Reply

    Can I use ground beef instead? Or ground moose?

  4. Ceri Marsh
    February 06, 15:37 Reply

    Well, now this is a first! I have no idea about cooking with moose! Is it very lean the way other game is? I’ve definitely done it with ground beef and even with half beef/half pork, which super delicious but less lean than turkey. I’d love to hear if you do try them with moose!

    Erin, yes, that’s what I understand that you should get things in the freezer pretty promptly. I mean, nothing is going to happen if it sits on the counter for a half an hour but the sooner the better. The only downside I’ve heard to putting hot items in the fridge or freezer is that hot food warms up your fridge and freezer and so the food cools less quickly. But I think if you set your freezer to a good, low temp it’s the lesser of two evils. So glad you liked the tacos! Let us know if you try the meatloaf!

  5. Fatima
    February 09, 09:07 Reply

    I made these last night and OMG they were so good! So excited to find a healthy recipe! And I love the idea of making them muffin size!

  6. Amber Massey RD, LD
    March 01, 14:58 Reply

    These sound so great! I have a similar recipe I make often, but switch between saltine crackers and ground fiber cereal! Depending on how I’m feeling that day 🙂

    I’ll have to give the oats a try!

  7. Kelly
    June 06, 12:25 Reply

    I made these a few months ago and my family loved them! The fennel flavor was a little strong-is there a different spice you would recommend? Thanks!

    • Ceri Marsh
      June 08, 12:36 Reply

      Hi Kelly,
      So glad they were a hit with your family! Hmmm… if the fennel wasn’t your cup of tea you could try dried oregano. Let me know how that goes. Now I wish I could have these for my lunch right now!
      Thanks so much for reading,
      Ceri

  8. Janine Laplante
    February 17, 14:09 Reply

    I LOVE these mini meatloaves. I use ground beef instead of turkey and I make the recipe in triplicate. Everyone loves these – including my 3 and 1 year olds.

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