I thought my videos were getting better, not worse. Maybe YouTube just deleted some inactive accounts. But Thanksgiving is this week and I should be thankful for the 83 subscribers I already have- and I am.
I almost didn't make this recipe, but then I thought to myself, "What if I could combine all the elements of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner into a single meatloaf?" My family on Thanksgiving, has way more food for dinner than just green beans and French fried onions, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mashed sweet potatoes. They also have ham and pineapple, and people bring other stuff, like dinner rolls and olives(yuck!). Thanksgiving in my family is more of a potluck than anything else, and I'm contributing 3 items to the cause this year(my Meatloaf Birthday cake, sweet potato pie, and a store-bought birthday cake that is hopefully chocolate and peanut-butter flavored). Last year, I only brought a store-bought birthday cake to the dinner. So I'm really proud of myself for making a dessert AND an entree for Thanksgiving! My mom never brought an entree over to Thanksgiving. Heck, when I was a kid, I asked her to make a pie for Thanksgiving and she said she didn't know how to make pies. She thought pies were too complicated. :(
The dough to make it is, but you can get ready-made crusts from the supermarket.
But it would just be gross putting EVERY single Thanksgiving dish into a meatloaf. Besides, most people only stick to the turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, and gravy.
About the omission of gravy in this recipe: personally, I think gravy is disgusting(though to be fair, I made pumpkin spice gravy last September for one of my videos, but it was just too watery). On Thanksgiving, I eat turkey with cranberry sauce and without gravy. Most people usually pig themselves out on the dinner itself. But I pig out on the dessert course- there's always lattice apple pie, pumpkin pie, and coconut cream pie, in addition to my birthday cake and this year, sweet potato pie.
You can put gravy in this meatloaf, in addition to, or instead of the cranberry sauce though.
As you can tell, I love Thanksgiving. But it's a real shame my homebound grandma that lives in my basement can't go out for Thanksgiving. My original intent wasn't to make this recipe for her though. I just thought my dad and grandma would have this turkey meatloaf and some vegetables. But I had leftover green beans, mashed sweet potatoes, and stuffing from this recipe. So I gave my grandma this meatloaf with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans. It's a shame this is her only home-cooked Thanksgiving meal this year, even though my dad buys a Boston Market turkey dinner for her, but come on people, it's not the same thing as a home-cooked meal.
My dad put ketchup on his turkey meatloaf! I think that's a little sacrilegious- nobody in their right mind asks, "Pass the ketchup" on Thanksgiving! But like I have said countless times before, my dad is a meatloaf traditionalist- he will always put ketchup on his meatloaf. But at least my dad ate this meatloaf! He said it was one of the best meatloaf recipes I've made!
I said in my video I used instant mashed sweet potatoes(yes, that's a thing!). Here's a link to where you can buy it:
It's so much easier than making mashed sweet potatoes from fresh sweet potatoes. I usually cook my (fresh) sweet potatoes in the microwave for 10 minutes, and that's just for 1 sweet potato! I don't think 1 sweet potato is enough to make 1/2 a cup's worth of the mashed kind.
So what's in it for you? I can find a number of scenarios where this meatloaf would be perfect for Thanksgiving:
1. You're alone or are with a small amount of people, but want a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
2. You are snowed in(it happened to me one year, and my dad said this would be a perfect recipe to eat at home if this scenario came to fruition. Although my dad said, "if you can get all the ingredients in the supermarket before Thanksgiving". I'm not sure about the sides, but I'm pretty confident most supermarkets will have ground turkey available even until the last minute).
3. You don't have the know-how or just don't feel like cooking a 8-20 pound turkey. Seriously, that's enough leftover turkey until the New Year!
There's a some prep for this recipe- you need to cook some stuffing and some mashed sweet potatoes before making the meatloaf. But trust me, it will be worth it in the end.
You will need:
For the cooking vessels:
A lasagna pan
A large bowl
Nonstick cooking spray
For the actual meatloaf:
1/2 tbsp. of onion powder
2 beaten and whisked eggs
1/2 cup of canned, drained green beans
1/2 cup of French fried onions
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of mashed sweet potatoes(see helpful link)
3/4 cup of jellied cranberry sauce
1 cup of cooked stuffing(I used the Savory Herbs flavor, as to me it makes no sense to use beef stuffing or chicken stuffing for a turkey dish)
Pinch of sage
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
1 pound of ground turkey
Carrots as a side dish(optional)
1. Wash your hands! :)
2. Put all ingredients inside a large bowl.
3. Mix all the ingredients together until all the ingredients are distributed evenly among the meatloaf mixture. Since the cranberry sauce is jellied, you're going to have to break it up into smaller chunks using your hands as you form the meatloaf mixture.
4. Spray a lasagna pan with nonstick cooking spray.
5. Form 2 loaves.
6. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until the turkey is fully cooked.
7. Bon appetit!