Delicious Healthy & Hearty Fall Meal

If you’re looking for a healthy, hearty, and easy fall meal, here’s a great option.  I didn’t plan this meal in advance–it was a lucky night in which I had everything that I needed on hand – score!  My Hubby wasn’t feeling well, so comfort food seemed in order, with a healthy twist.

The cook time (one hour) of the Turkey Loaf is the longest thing that you’ll need to plan for – but it’s worth it. Sometimes Turkey just doesn’t seem to cut it as a tasty substitute – that wasn’t the case here. I found the basic recipe on, and following the other reviewers advice, I then “shopped around” for the right glaze (come on, it doesn’t feel like a proper meatloaf without some kind of ketchup-based concoction on top!). The result was so tasty that I’m sharing my version of it.

They say the proof is in the pudding, and I admit that half the loaf quickly disappeared just between the two of us.  Pretty much the same situation with the Carrot-Sweet Potato Mash.  I tossed in some classic Jellied Cranberries into the spread, and well, you can read Mike’s (the Critic) reviews below…

Easiest Turkey Loaf Turkey Meatloaf

by Karen Kay (Lisa’s modified version)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hr        Yields: 1 loaf


7 oz of Seasoned Bread Stuffing Mix (I used dry Pepperidge Farm)

1/2 to 3/4 cup very hot water

1 lb ground Turkey (I like the lean version)

1 egg, beaten

1/4 tsp garlic powder, approx

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, approx

1/2 small onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Cajun seasoning (I used a few shakes of Earl’s, Tony Chacheres will work…etc) to taste

GLAZE INGREDIENTS: (I borrowed this from Chef John’s Classic Meatloaf recipe)

2 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp ketchup

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Hot pepper sauce to taste (I used several shakes of Texas Petes)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 5 3/4 x 11-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix the stuffing mix with hot water, and let the mixture stand for 2 minutes to plump up the bread crumbs. In another bowl, mix the ground turkey with beaten egg, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, chopped onion, cajun seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Mix into the stuffing until thoroughly combined. Spoon the loaf mixture into the prepared pan.
  3. Begin baking in the preheated oven.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, ketchup, Dijon mustard, and hot sauce. Stir until the brown sugar has dissolved.  After 15 minutes, remove the meatloaf from the oven. With the back of a spoon, smooth the glaze onto the top of the meatloaf, then pull a little bit of glaze down the sides of the meatloaf with the back of the spoon.
  4. Continue to bake in the oven until no longer pink in the center, about 1 hour. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

This made one very moist (Note: I used the 3/4 cup of water with the stuffing), mildly spicy Meatloaf.  My husband, the meatloaf connoisseur, reviewed this as:

This recipe will be a crowd favorite for sure–county fairs, sewing circles, social events, office potlucks. Do it.  – Mike

Carrot-Sweet Potato Mash Carrot-Sweet Potato Mash

by Kristin (on
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 min      Yields: approx 4 servings


  • 1 (8 ounce) package baby carrots
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, or as needed (I used 1/4 cup and it turned out great!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional: I didn’t use)


  1. Place carrots and potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, then stir in the applesauce and brown sugar until dissolved. When the potatoes are ready, transfer to a serving bowl and mash until smooth. (I did this by hand with a Potato Masher for a chunkier texture, as pictured above. If you want it smoother, use a hand mixer.)  Then fold in the applesauce mixture and raisins, if desired.

UPDATED:  The original recipe called for twice as many carrots.  I’ve made it both ways, and my husband definitely liked it with less carrots – it gave more balance to the dish.  The hubby’s review of this delicious and perfect autumn side dish, with only 8-oz carrots, is as follows:

This takes orange foods to the next level! This is everyday, every meal good… take it from someone that doesn’t eat orange foods…   – Mike

Buen provecho! Would love to hear your feedback too.

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7 thoughts on “Delicious Healthy & Hearty Fall Meal

  1. Ieva Dører says:

    I have tried turkey loaf and it was really delicious, thanks for the recipe.


  2. Making this recipe with 85/15 ground beef right now. I’ll let you know how it turns out!


    • Lisa says:

      Great – please do let me know how it turns out with the ground beef! Thanks 🙂


      • Its the best meatloaf ever. I’ll never use another recipe. Also, I used Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning and Chicken Stove Top stuffing. (Warning: Recipe is Addicting!)


      • Lisa says:

        Thanks for your feedback, Samantha, especially with the tips about what you used! Glad you enjoyed it and will continue to – Meatloaf feels like comfort food to us, but some recipes make it so bland.


  3. […] Foodie Progress: Homemade Packzi’s (for Fat Tuesday), Brined Turkey, healthy & hearty meals, […]


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