The weather in Napa Valley has been straight trippin’ lately. Chilly mornings with dense fog warnings followed by mid-70s in the afternoon? I mean, I know it’s autumn (yay!) but it would be great if the weather could start acting like it. It’s also been quite crisp and chilly in the evenings, which obviously makes me want comfort food. So I’ve been making some. And let me just say that, omg guys, this veggie-filled meatloaf is out of control.
This recipe was originally for Jessica Alba’s kid-friendly meatballs, and the DIY maven and culinary queen, Ms. Martha Stewart herself approves of this recipe. I’ve made the meatballs before, and they’re so so so tasty with homemade marinara and some s’ghetti. However, I was craving something that wouldn’t require as much time to make (forming all of those meatballs was a pain in the ass, to be quite frank), so I modified the recipe a bit to be more time friendly.
I even added some spinach to the mix. This recipe can be a “kitchen sink” recipe, if you’d like. And I’d like.
This recipe is packed with heaps of finely chopped veggies, which makes it great for kids (or adults who shall remain nameless..) who may not like vegetables. I’d recommend waiting to tell them about the veggies camouflaged in the meatloaf until after they tell you how delicious it is.
I decided to serve mine up with homemade mashed potatoes, effectively neutralizing the healthiness of this dish, and Brussels sprouts.
- 2 lbs. ground turkey (I used 1 lean and 1 “regular”)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup finely chopped carrots (I buy the thin carrots — like shoe string– and then chop those)
- 1 cup finely chopped zucchini
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 finely chopped spinach (mine was previously thrown in a blender and frozen)
- 2 large eggs
- A pinch or two each basil, oregano, and parsley
- 1 Tablespoon salt (or a few twists on a grinder)
- 2 Tablespoons bacon grease (I know. I know.)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Preheat your oven to 375 F and grease a 13×9″ glass baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix turkey, breadcrumbs, carrots, zucchini, onion, spinach, eggs, herbs, salt, and bacon grease until well combined; form a loaf in the greased baking dish.
- Pour chicken broth over the meatloaf; bake for 40-45 minutes, basting around the 30 minute mark.
Serves approximately 5-6.
The fabulous thing about this dish is that you can make it as versatile as you’d like! Making spaghetti? Turn them into meatballs. Want pre-portioned bites? Use a cupcake pan. Don’t like zucchini? Add yellow squash. I can’t get over how delicious all of the veggies make this meatloaf. They’re cooked perfectly and definitely add a nice texture to a dish that can sometimes be soggy or mushy.