Mini Thanksgiving Meatloaves
It almost time for everyone’s favorite food-centered holiday, THANKSGIVING! Yes, it is about a time to reflect and be thankful for all you have but we all know it’s about the food and tradition. But man, it is a ton of work! I usually host, I think there have only been 2 or 3 years I haven’t in our 13 years together. I love it so much, the planning, the shopping, the prepping, the sprucing of the house, the friends and family we have over, and the eating. To some, all of that sounds horrifying and I totally get it, it’s a lot. But that is why some love to be the guests who contribute wine, rolls, or a pie, we all need each other and that is another reason I love Thanksgiving.
If you are already craving the flavors of Thanksgiving but don’t want the work or even if you are having a small gathering and don’t want the hassle of a turkey, these mini meatloaves are the answer. I saw this recipe on Rachael Ray’s old show Week in a Day and it was different, using stuffing mix to be the binder. I made the recipe her way for years and we loved it so much but over time, our dietary preferences and needs changed. The box was in the trash and the packet of gravy was no more. I wanted these same holiday flavors so I needed to make my own version. What I made was equally delicious and so much healthier so we could enjoy it while on a round of Whole30 with a drizzle of paleo gravy, side of my Legit Mashed Potatoes and some green veggies for a filling and balanced meal.
This recipe makes 8 mini meatloaves, each one is the perfect portion for a meal, and they freeze like a dream. Just cool completely, place into a freezer bag (making sure to get the air out), freeze. When you are ready to serve, thaw if you can in the fridge overnight or during the day, place in a baking dish, add a splash of broth, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. We had leftovers of these last week and they were just as good as the day I made them.
Thanksgiving Mini Meatloaves
2 Tablespoons oil
3 stalks celery (about 1 cup), diced small
3 carrots (about 1 cup), diced small
2 Granny Smith apples (about 2 1/2 cups), diced small
1 onion (about 1 1/2 cups), diced small
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup almond flour (gluten free breadcrumbs if nut free and not on Whole30)
2 pounds ground turkey
2 teaspoons salt + more for sprinkling
pepper to taste
Top with gravy
- Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a baking sheet with oil.
- Heat a large saute pan with the oil at medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, onions, a sprinkle of salt and peppr and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the apples and saute until they are tender but not mushy, only a few minutes. Add paprika, all spice, and chipotle to the veggies and apples, toss to coat.
- Cool the mixture down in a bowl for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands. Divide the mix into 8 equal portions and shape into mini loaves, spacing evenly on the sheet. Spray with oil evenly.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the internal temperature is 165.
This is what gives it that quintessential Thanksgiving taste!
Dice all the veggies and apples as small as you can, this will help keep the meatloaves together better.
Put some oil in a large saute pan and add the onions, carrots, and celery. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook until everything is softened.
Add those apples in and they will cook a little too, you want them a little softened but not total mush.
Add the spices, excluding the poultry seasoning and parsley. Toss it around and make sure it all all evenly distributed. Now transfer it to a bowl to cool for a bit, you can even pop it in the fridge to cool.
Once the veggies and apples are cooled, add the remaining ingredients.
Get in there with your hands, its the best way, promise.
To divide, I flatten the mix and then start by dividing in half, then again, and then one more time so I have 8 equal parts. Then I scoop out the section and form into a little loaf, an oblong meatball and then flatten it.
To help fight the sticky hands, spray them with a little oil before shaping. Then spray the loaves with a little oil before putting them into the oven
Here they are out of the oven, time to make them pretty!