Make these gravy-studded Skillet Mini Turkey Meatloaves, complete with flavorful veggies for a weeknight dinner ready in just about an hour!
With gratitude and appreciation, today’s recipe courtesy of our friends at Southern Living Magazine!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Bread and bread forms are the best binding agents for meatloaf. They are also the most economical, as very little is required to get the meat to adhere, and these items are more likely than not, already in your pantry. Day old bread, bread crumbs, oatmeal, crushed crackers, and sugar-free cereals like Corn Flakes all make fabulous binding agents for a meatloaf.
It’s time to return to our kitchens and do what we do best; cooking wholesome recipes that feed our bodies AND nourish our souls…
Lean ground turkey breast, sweet carrots, and crispy Brussels sprouts are the basis for this fabulous recipe for Skillet Mini Turkey Meatloaves. A silky and altogether indulgent mushroom pan gravy accompanies each delicious bundle of yum.
The best part of this turkey meatloaf method might well be the super lean ingredients you’ll love cooking with. That’s right. Quality food, minimally processed ingredients, and a TON OF FLAVOR…
Do You Have What’s Needed To Make These Mini Turkey Meatloaves With Mushroom Gravy? Check The List!
85/15 lean ground turkey
ground black pepper
fresh Brussels sprouts
fresh cremini mushrooms
all-purpose flour, or gluten free flour of choice
low-sodium or unsalted chicken stock, homemade if you have on hand
hot cooked mashed potatoes for serving
How This Recipe Came About…
I made this meatloaf back in October, a sheet torn from the pages of Southern Living Magazine by my mom. I shared it in a newsletter to Not Entirely Average readers in early November asking for feedback as to if I should share it here on the blog.
After more than 300 “resounding YES responses,” I’m excited to finally be sharing here. A huge ‘thank you’ to those readers who answered the call for offering up their opinions!! I have also been sure to include your substitutions and suggestions in this post, I promise 😉
This makes enough for four servings, freezes well, and next day leftovers are even better. If you don’t eat turkey, go ground beef. I did exactly as the folks at SLM suggested, and was sure to have hot cooked mashed potatoes ready to serve this plate of homey comfort with.
What Can I Do To Ground Turkey To Give It Some Flavor?
We all know the downside to to cooking with ground turkey and ending up with a dried-out end result. That turkey burger on the grill that tasted more like cardboard than a burger, or the turkey mini meatballs you thought would be fine swathed in sauce?
Let’s face it, turkey is delicious, but it can be a challenge sometimes getting it to taste amazing or have it still be chewable once cooked! Say goodbye to boring, and hello to a meat mixture brimming with aromatics and pure umami flavor that is sure to make not only your meatloaf recipe taste great, but the vegetables and resulting pan sauce be fabulous, too.
In a handful of minutes, you will have chopped, measured, and at the ready, some onion, garlic, olive oil, and thyme which will help to maintain moisture while our meatloaves bake. A couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce add an umami component while also helping the raw vegetables beneath caramelize and crisp up tasty!
And funny enough, the drippings from the meatloaves and lite char from the sugar in the vegetables as they roast, yields an unexpected and most pleasing pan sauce to top your plates. This trilogy of deliciousness achieved in home recipes to be shared and enjoyed by the entire family.
What If I Don’t Have Worcestershire Sauce?
If this recipe will be dinner in a pinch, and you are thinking of omitting the 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, DON’T. If you simply do not have Worcestershire on hand, you’ll need to come up with a suitable stand-in to make this recipe work.
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented sauce made with ingredients like garlic, onion, tamarind, molasses, malt vinegar, and anchovies, which give it a strong, complex flavor. It’s an ingredient that even using just a little of makes a BIG difference to the outcome of a dish.
Equal amounts of fish sauce, tamarind concentrate, and soy sauce whisked together makes a sauce so close to Worcestershire, it would be difficult to tell it was something other than Worcestershire. Another hack for subbing Worcestershire is a combination of equal parts soy sauce and ketchup. Lastly, oyster sauce or coconut aminos by themselves make good stand-ins for Worcestershire.
My Kids Won’t Eat Brussels Sprouts; Can I Use A Different Vegetable?
This meal is done in a single pan – a cast iron skillet. If you’ve cooked with cast iron before, you know that the pan gets REALLY HOT really fast. Brussels sprouts are tough little vegetables in that they are able to stand up in cast iron. Same goes for the carrots.
Readers to Not Entirely Average whose kids boycott the green stuff found ways to work around the Brussels while still offering the nutrition in the finished dish. Everything from matchstick turnips, chopped sweet potatoes, and hunks of rutabaga worked with this method, and in lieu of the Brussels.
One reader also suggested very large, fresh “hunks” of broccoli cut from a stalk. Roasted stalk-side down with the turkey meatloaves on top, she said they roasted up beautifully with a lightly crispy flower.
How To Make Mini Turkey Meatloaves?
Once my vegetables are chopped, I place them in an oiled (Canola oil, NOT olive oil) cast iron skillet. In the case of the Brussels, I flip them cut side down so they will char a bit during the oven cook.
I then mix all of my meatloaf ingredients in a large mixing bowl, being careful not to overmix or pack the meat tightly. I divide the mixture first in half, then into fourths. Each handful is then shaped into a football shaped patty about 4-inches long and just under 2-inches thick.
The patties are placed atop the vegetables already arranged in the cast iron, then the lot is popped into a hot oven until the meatloaves register done at 165°F using an instant read thermometer.
The pan gravy is a cinch and is assembled while the meatloaves and veggies are resting on a serving platter. I cover them tightly with heavy gauge aluminum foil while I whip up the pan sauce.
To serve, plop a heaping spoonful of hot cooked mashed potatoes onto each plate. Follow with veggies, a mini turkey meatloaf, and a ladleful of the mushroom pan gravy atop the whole shebang.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
I played with the recipe a couple of weeks ago in preparation for this post. In lieu of the chopped fresh garlic cloves, I instead roasted garlic cloves in my oven. I roasted them until they were softened but still intact. Mashed with a fork and added to the meat mixture, I had deliciously garlic-infused mini meatloaves in minutes.
I also combined a couple of tablespoons of prepared barbecue sauce with some brown sugar. The mixture caramelized nicely brushed atop the meatloaves during the last 10 minutes of the bake. This, combined with swapping out old-fashioned oats for the panko yielded four mouthwatering turkey loaves I was excited to dig into.
How Long Do Mini Turkey Meatloaves Take To Make?
Although this recipe moves fast, you will need to allow both the turkey and the vegetables ample time in a 450°F oven to cook properly. All in all, this recipe took me one hour from start to finish. I prepared my hot cooked mashed potatoes for serving while the oven did the brunt of the work.
What To Serve With Mini Turkey Meatloaves?
As recommended by the editors and recipe developers over at SLM, hot cooked mashed potatoes are their choice for pairing with this recipe. And really, given that the main, the vegetables, and the gravy are all prepared together, I do not feel like I ever need more than the mased potatoes.
If I were to add to the menu by offering additional sides for this healthy mini turkey meatloaf, I would consider my Skillet Creamed Corn, Creamy Mac and Cheese, or some good old Cheesy Country Biscuits.
Skillet Turkey Meatloaves With Mushroom Gravy
- cast iron pan
- large mixing bowl
- sharp paring knife
- cutting board
Ingredients For Skillet Turkey Meatloaves With Mushroom Gravy
- 1 pound ground turkey 85/15 preferably
- 1/2 cup yellow onion finely chopped
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 – 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 3 teaspoons garlic fresh; finely chopped
- 3 teaspoons thyme fresh, divided; plus, additional for serving
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper divided
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 3 large carrots halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch lengths
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 ounces (1 package) cremini mushrooms fresh; sliced
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Place turkey, onion, panko, Worcestershire sauce, 1½ tablespoons of the oil, 2 teaspoons of the garlic, 2 teaspoons of the thyme, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper in a large bowl. Mix together using your hands just until incorporated. Divide turkey mixture evenly into 4 portions, and form each portion into a football-shaped loaf about 4 inches long and 2 inches thick. Set aside.
- Place Brussels sprouts and carrots in a large cast-iron skillet. Add ¼ teaspoon of the salt and remaining 1 tablespoon oil and toss to coat. Spread in an even layer in the skillet and flip Brussels cut-side down. Arrange uncooked meatloaves on top of vegetable mixture. Bake in preheated oven until vegetables are browned and tender and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of each meatloaf registers 165°F, about 25 minutes.
- Remove skillet from oven. Transfer meatloaves and vegetable mixture to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil to keep warm. Do NOT wipe skillet clean.
- Add butter to skillet, and melt over medium-high until sizzling. Add mushrooms in an even layer. Cook, undisturbed, until bottom sides are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir mushrooms and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, and stir in remaining 1 teaspoon each garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Slowly stir in stock, scraping up any flour stuck to bottom of skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium, stirring occasionally. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened to desired consistency, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Serve meatloaves and vegetables alongside hot cooked mashed potatoes. Top with gravy. Garnish with additional thyme leaves.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
- French Onion Salisbury Steak
- Hearty Beef & Sausage Ragù
- Amazing Swedish Meatballs in Creamy Gravy
- Tailgater Frito Pie With Cowgirl Chili
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