Healthy Turkey & Lentil Meatloaf

One of the home-cooked, comfort food meals that I often think of when I think of ‘ketchup’ is…

MEATLOAF.

It may not be the fanciest, prettiest meal that you’ve ever eaten… but it’s satisfying and comforting. (sigh)

I had ground turkey on hand and instead of going out to buy ground beef to make meatloaf, I felt inspired to re-create this go-to comfort food in a way that was both hearty and healthy…. AND, of course, TASTY!!

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Along with the ground turkey, I used oatmeal, chopped red bell pepper, and lentils to “beef” up this meatloaf!!

You will be enjoying a SUPER ‘good-for-you’ meal that is also comforting and full of flavor at the same time!!!

If you’re not excited, well… YOU SHOULD BE!!

That was a little bossy… I’m a firstborn… what can I say? 😉

Okay, let’s try this… IF you’re not excited, let me convince you otherwise!

First, I’ll tell you the benefits of these ‘healthier-for-you’ ingredients (in case you’re skeptical).

Ground beef is high in saturated fat and can increase your risk of heart disease. Ground turkey is a white meat that can reduce your risk of heart disease and is MUCH lower in saturated fat. You could also do a half-and-half combo with ground turkey and lean ground beef (90% lean or more) if you want some more protein and iron in your meat but still want to keep your saturated fat low.

Oatmeal is full of fiber and is a healthier alternative to your typical breadcrumbs that you’d use in meatloaf as a ‘binder’ (helping the meat and other ingredients to all come together).

ONE red bell pepper has as much Vitamin C as THREE oranges!!…. AND….

Lentils are packed full of iron and have a good protein punch too.

NOW, I’ll continue to convince you by showing you how EASY this recipe is…. and, once you make it, I think you’ll be FULLY convinced and on board with my healthy meatloaf venture!

Here is everything you need:

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You basically add everything to a bowl, mix it together, bake it, baste it, and ENJOY!

So…. into a LARGE bowl goes your ground turkey, oats, red lentils, finely chopped onion, finely chopped red bell pepper,  skim milk, an egg, worcestershire, cajun spice (or paprika), garlic powder, (kosher) salt, black pepper, and…. KETCHUP!!

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The best tool in your kitchen for mixing all these ingredients together?? Your HANDS!!

You want to really mix the components together well, but you want to do so in such a gentle way that you don’t overwork the ground turkey. This would make for a tougher, less juicy, final product.

Be brave…. take off your rings, if necessary…. and DIG IN!

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Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Transfer the ground turkey mixture to the pan and form a loaf that measures approximately 9 1/2″ x 5″.

(You could also line a rimmed baking sheet with foil/parchment and spray it with cooking spray. Then, proceed with forming your loaf as directed).

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Bake the meatloaf at 400°F for 15 minutes.

Then, it’s time to add more of our “secret” ingredient to this dish… take the meatloaf out of the oven and brush the top and sides with a good amount of ketchup. Lower the heat of your oven to 350°F and bake the meatloaf for about 30 minutes more to finish the cooking process (you want the meatloaf to reach an internal temperature of about 160°F before taking it out of the oven).

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Brush the top and sides of the meatloaf with room temperature ketchup when it’s finished baking to bring a little last minute flavor and some extra moistness to your finished product.

Allow the meatloaf to rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing into it and serving!

You can tent it with foil to keep it warm if you like.

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Serve it up with some additional ketchup on the side for dipping, if desired…

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You can add mashed or baked potatoes to this meal, a salad, fruit… whatever you like!

OR, just dig in and enjoy your low-fat…. iron, protein, and fiber-packed meal on its own 🙂

THE COST? Just $1.22 for 6 servings or  $1.83 for 4 servings!

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RECIPE!!

SHOPPING LIST!!

So, are all your excuses for being excited about this recipe gone?

Happy Economical Eating!

Love, Jenna

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