Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf gives classic meatloaf a lighter holiday twist with cranberry sauce and ground turkey. A delicious alternative for Thanksgiving dinner, especially for a small group.
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The classic meatloaf I admit can be a touch boring although sometimes having a good cut of meatloaf with gravy and mashed potatoes sounds pretty good to me! That doesn’t stop me from playing around with how it’s made, like with this Slow Cooker Luau Meatloaf, or what’s in it.
I love that turkey is a much lighter alternative to traditional ground beef so you don’t get quite the same heavy feeling after eating this meatloaf. The cranberry adds a lovely touch of sweetness and moisture.
- ground turkey
- Dijon style mustard
- whole berry cranberry sauce
You can use fresh minced onion or dried.
I’ve chosen to use whole berry cranberry sauce for the additional layer of texture and it’s looser texture. Since I have never made this with cranberry jelly I don’t know how it would turn out.
What to serve with this
You can go the classic mashed potatoes route or do a half and half sweet potato/mashed potato mix.
Here are some other delicious ideas to pair with the meatloaf.
To make this
- In a bowl, add the cranberry sauce, ketchup, and the Dijon style mustard.
- Mix together well.
- In a separate bowl, add the ground turkey, oatmeal, onion, spices, and egg.
- Gently mix together until it is mixed together well.
- Add the cranberry mustard mixture to the meatloaf.
- Gently mix again until well combined.
- Pat into a greased loaf tin.
- Warm the remaining cranberry sauce and spread over the top of the meatloaf. Bake!
How to tell when it is done cooking?
You know the meatloaf is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. Allow the meatloaf to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.
How to make this in a slow cooker
To cook in a slow cooker:
- Follow the same directions but instead of putting into a loaf tin, pat the meat mixture into a slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours.
Tips for cooking with kids
Making meatloaf is a fun one for kids because they love getting to “play” with the meat. Not only can they help add all of the ingredients to the bowl but allow them to mix the meat with their hands and pat it into the loaf tin.
Don’t forget to encourage them to smell and taste along the way. Cooking with kids is about the experience along the way and you want it to be fun! The more fun they have the more likely they are to eat.
See here for more tips on cooking with kids!
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- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8 by 4 by 2 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, combine ketchup, Dijon mustard, and ½ cup of the cranberry sauce. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the ground turkey, oatmeal, egg, black pepper, minced onion, garlic, thyme, paprika, and salt. Add the ketchup mixture and mix gently until combined. Gently press into the prepared loaf pan.
- Heat ½ cup cranberry sauce in a small microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Brush the loaf with the warmed cranberry sauce.
- Bake for 60 to 75 minutes until meatloaf is cooked through (see notes).
- Serve with mashed potatoes, green beans, and additional cranberry sauce for serving.