Caramelized Turkey Meatloaf with Cheddar Polenta



Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

45 minutes


Calories 550, Carbs 41 grams, Fat 28 grams, Protein 30 grams



For the glaze:

  • 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup no salt added tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • pinch of kosher salt

For the meatloaf:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or grated
  • 1 medium stalk celery, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or chicken)

For the polenta:

  • 4 cups no-salt added chicken stock
  • 2 cups polenta (coarsely ground cornmeal)
  • 3 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, as needed



  1. To make the glaze: In a small sauce pot combine all the ingredients for the glaze and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly, until just slightly reduced (it should still be loose enough to drizzle). Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375⁰F. Lightly grease an 8- or 9- inch loaf pan (or line a sheet tray with parchment paper).
  3. To make the meatloaf: In a large mixing bowl combine the breadcrumbs and the milk.
  4. Heat a medium sauté pan on medium high heat. Pour in enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is shimmering add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes until onions turn translucent. Add the garlic, celery and carrot and cook until just softened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the breadcrumbs and milk; stir to combine. Add the egg, tomato paste, Dijon, smoked paprika, Worcestershire and parsley; mix. Add the ground turkey to the bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and mix until all the ingredients are just combined.
  6. Transfer the turkey mixture to the loaf pan and press down firmly, all the way to the edges, making sure it’s evenly spread out all the way through. Pour half of the glaze on top and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 160⁰F. (If the top begins to caramelize too much before the meat is cooked then cover it with aluminum foil.) Let rest for at least 5 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing.
  7. To make the polenta: Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  8. While whisking, add the polenta along with a generous pinch of salt.
  9. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, until the polenta is cooked through.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and chives. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  11. To finish: Ladle some polenta onto the plate. Top with a few slices of meatloaf and more of the glaze.