Turkey Meatloaf Muffins get a zesty infusion of Mexican flavor with the addition of salsa and cheese..and, maybe cilantro!
It's a variation of Turkey Burgers with Mango Chutney. Both of these recipes prove that healthy turkey meatloaf does not have to be boring and you don't need a lot of ingredients either.
It's also a sound strategy to combat "Practice is at 5:30...what's for dinner?"
Make all of these recipes ahead of time and freeze them before or after cooking.
How to make Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
To make ground turkey meatloaf, combine oatmeal (or breadcrumbs,) shredded cheese, diced onion, salsa, salt, pepper and cilantro (if using) in a large bowl.
Tip: Combine all the other ingredients before adding the meat to ensure even distribution.
Next add ground turkey to the bowl and combine.
Tip: To avoid "tough" muffins, don't handle and mix more than you have to!
Ingredients in Healthy Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
There are 5 basic ingredients in these muffins, not counting salt and pepper. Cilantro is optional because it's controversial. I love it. Some people hate it. I get it!!!
- Ground turkey breast - It's leaner so we use it. Ground turkey will work too!
- Salsa - the type of salsa used will completely transform the flavor of these turkey meatloaf muffins. I love Newman's Own Peach Salsa.
- Cheese - try Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or Cotija cheese.
- Oatmeal - we make our turkey meatloaf with oats, the old fashioned kind. There's no need to grind it, but you can. Or, use breadcrumbs.
This recipe is low in carbs, but I've seen crushed pork rinds used to make meatloaf no-carb. Check out Low-Carb Mini Meatloaf to see this technique in action.
How Long to Cook Turkey Meatloaf
Cook turkey meatloaf to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. We highly recommend using a meat thermometer to get it right (see our Amazon store.)
The length of time it will take to cook turkey meatloaf in a 350 degree F oven depends on the packaging. Make this recipe into muffins, a traditional loaf, mini loaves, burgers or meatballs.
It also depends upon the oven. Muffins cook quicker than a loaf, which is the main reason we love them. Bake turkey meatloaf muffins for 20 minutes, uncovered. Check to make sure they are cooked through.
If you opt for the regular-sized meatloaf, it will take about an hour.
How to Make Ahead and Freeze Ground Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
This brings me to exactly how these little muffins help with the 5:00 p.m. rush and meal planning.
Double or triple the recipe and freeze these individual "muffins" for a healthy, protein-packed main entree in minutes, which comes in handy for the chauffeur as well. They are portable!
Freeze uncooked turkey meatloaf in the tin it will bake in. Wrap the tin in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Be sure to label it.
For best results, use within 2 months of freezing. Defrost in the refrigerator and cook according to the directions.
Or, freeze the cooked turkey meatloaf and reheat in the microwave.
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Turkey Meatloaf Muffins - Just 5 Ingredients
- ½ cup oatmeal or breadcrumbs
- ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
- ¼ cup red onion diced
- ⅓ cup salsa plus about 3 Tablespoons to spoon over the tops (I used peach salsa!)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup cilantro, optional chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey breast
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add all ingredients, except for turkey, to a large bowl and mix well.
- Add the ground turkey to the bowl and fold in the other ingredients so that they are evenly distributed throughout the meat. Don't over-mix or the meat will be tough when cooked.
- Portion about a ¼ cup of mixture into a muffin tin coated in cooking spray. Press mixture into muffin tin with the back of a spoon.
- Top each meatloaf muffin with a teaspoon of salsa.
- Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.