Not Your Lunch Lady’s Meatloaf

I usually only blog about one recipe a week, but this one was too delicious not to share.  My friend Ashlee Stubits shared it with me, and now I’m sharing it with you!

I’ve proposed making a meatloaf several times over the course of my 8-month marriage, but my husband never showed very much enthusiasm.  I think his experience with meatloaf was just the soggy mush you see in the lunchroom cafeteria or the buffet line at the Golden Corral.  I finally convinced him to give it a try and got the recipe from Ashlee (AKA I stalked her down and made her tell it to me over the phone as I prepared it!).  Neither Shea nor I were disappointed!

If this is what you're picturing, you've got it all wrong!

And if you're picturing this, close your eyes until the image passes!

Here’s what you’ll need (Serves 4):

1 pound of ground turkey

1 egg

1 cup of finely chopped fresh parsley

3/4 of a medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped

7 oz roasted red pepper (from the jar), finely chopped

1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs

1 cup ground or shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

Salt and Pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper)

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Chop onion, parsley and red peppers.  Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl (You may want to whisk the egg separately before adding it.)  It’s most efficient to use your hands to mash up the mixture…so wash them well and don’t be afraid to get dirty!  Transfer mixture to 13×9 casserole dish and pat down into a loaf (I suggest spraying the dish with olive oil spray to prevent sticking!).  Bake for 45 minutes.  Let sit for a few minutes (or take several pictures of it like we did!).  Serve and enjoy!


This nutritious main course is simple to throw together for a family on the go!

What I like about this recipe is that it relies on nutrient-dense veggies for flavor rather than lots of brown sugar or ketchup (You won’t even miss them!).  You can also substitute different veggies, such as spinach, basil and different kinds of peppers and play with spices like oregano, rosemary and thyme.  Make it your own, and of course share any successful tips with us!


I served my meatloaf with steamed broccoli and salad. Before you add a starchy side, remember there's already a 1/2 cup of bread crumbs in the meatloaf!

Meatloaf also makes for great lunch leftovers!  Or as Ashlee suggested, you can mash up the leftovers and combine it with spinach and pasta and you’ve got a whole additional dinner the next night!

Don’t be afraid to give yo mama’s meatloaf a nutritious makeover!

Have a healthy and happy holiday weekend.


Filed under Recipes

4 responses to “Not Your Lunch Lady’s Meatloaf

  1. JoAnna, who knew that meatloaf could ever sound so good? I know that you took the lunch lady out of the equation, but did you have to wear a hairnet and name tag while you prepared this at home?

  2. Stephanie

    Love the blog, JoAnna! I have been printing all your recipes and chuckling at your humor. Though I do this in snipits of time and am not a big commenter, I am sending word of thanks for your time and energy in sharing such helpful and informative posts! I’ll link you on Facebook because I know most of my friends would be grateful!

    • Thanks so much for the encouragement, Stephanie! Keeping this blog started out as just a little hobby, but I’m having so much fun and the ideas keep flowing! The more I write about nutrition the more passionate I become about it, and I’m learning right along with the readers. I’m so happy to know that people are reading it. If you or any of your friends have topic suggestion or request or just a question, I’m always open to that. Thanks for passing the blog along and have a great holiday weekend!

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