I recently made Thanksgiving inspired turkey burgers for a story over at Togo RV. This dish is inspired by those burgers. Like the turkey burgers, this turkey meatloaf is seasoned heavily with poultry seasoning which gives it a strong Thanksgiving flavor profile.
I also replaced the plain breadcrumbs that you’d normally mix into meatloaf with dried stuffing mix. The stuffing mix, along with a mirepoix of carrots, onions, and celery, amps up that Thanksgiving flavor even further.
And of course, you can’t miss that scarlet red glaze made with cranberry sauce. It adds a perfect sweet-tart taste to top off the turkey meatloaf.
If you suddenly find yourself in charge of Thanksgiving dinner, but don’t want to manage a whole bird, this meatloaf is a great alternative. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy, and your Thanksgiving dinner will be complete. And you won’t even break a sweat.
Oh, and save a few slices of this meatloaf as leftovers—like the classic turkey dinner, this turkey twist also makes a fantastic sandwich the next day.
Video: Cranberry Sauce Tutorial
Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup onion diced small, ~½ small onion
- ½ cup carrot diced small, ~1 small carrot
- ½ cup celery diced small, ~1 stalk
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup dried herb seasoned stuffing mix
- 2 tbsp poultry seasoning
- ½ tbsp kosher salt
- ½ cup half & half
- 1 egg
- 2 lbs ground turkey mix of dark and white meat, ~85% lean
- ½ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
- ¼ cup BBQ sauce thick, sweet style like Sweet Baby Rays
- 1 tbsp shallot minced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp dried sage
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt use less if your turkey stock/broth is salty
- 1 cup turkey stock or broth
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- In a medium skillet, heat ½ tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and ¼ tsp of kosher salt to the pan. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent. This will take about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly.
- Add the stuffing mix, poultry seasoning, kosher salt, and half & half to a large bowl. Mix together and let sit for a few minutes so that the stuffing mix soaks up the half & half. Then mix in the cooked vegetables. Add the egg and mix well. Then add the ground turkey and stir until well combined. This is a good place to use your hands which is the easiest tool for this job.
- On a rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper, shape the meat mixture into an approximately 9×4 inch loaf. You can also use a loaf pan lined with plastic wrap as a mold to make this job easier. Press the meat mixture into the loaf pan and then use the plastic wrap to pull out of the mold.
- In a small bowl, mix together cranberry sauce and BBQ sauce until well combined. Spread over the top of the meat loaf evenly.
- Bake the meatloaf uncovered for about an hour. Start checking the temperature of your meatloaf starting at about 45 minutes with an instant read probe thermometer inserted into the very center of your loaf. Once the meatloaf has reached 165F degrees, it's done and pull it from the oven. Let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.
- When the meatloaf is resting, make a gravy. In a small sauce pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat with the shallots, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. When the butter has melted, stir in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Then whisk in the turkey stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the gravy is thickened. Serve over meatloaf.
- I like the Pepperidge Farm herb seasoned classic stuffing mix for this recipe because of the smaller, crumbly texture of the bread crumbs which mixes better into the meatloaf. If you are using another brand, opt for a similar texture vs. cubes.
- You can buy canned whole cranberry sauce or make your own pretty easily. Here’s my recipe.
- Use a thick and sweet BBQ sauce for the glaze. I used Sweet Baby Rays, but a similar sauce should work fine.