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a food snob’s meatloaf.

I’m kind of the definition of a food snob.

I blame my mother, who only occasionally made meatloaf for my father growing up as it appealed to his down home Texas-roots, even though she herself is the ultimate food snob (LOVE you Mom!).

The name ‘meatloaf’ isn’t doing meatloaf any favors either.  I mean is it just me or is there something weird about eating anything with the word ‘loaf’ in it, especially when it involves meat?

Anyway, I’ve updated the standard meatloaf a bit, using ground chicken or turkey instead of beef and tossing in some asiago cheese and parsley.  I don’t know – it just sounded crazy enough to be good.

I keep ground chicken and turkey on hand for soups, salads, pastas, meatballs and burgers and I stock up on it when I can find it for around $2.99/lb.  Here I am getting all hands on with the mixture, which I’ll top with bacon (I use turkey).

I don’t know…maybe this recipe will change your opinion of meatloaf too.  And I’m fairly certain our food snob status can still remain in tact.  🙂

A Food Snob’s Meatloaf

(serves 4)

What You’ll Need:

1/2 cup whole milk

3 slices wheat sandwich bread

1 pound ground turkey or chicken

1/2 cup grated asiago cheese

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons chopped italian parsley

2 whole beaten eggs

3-5 slices bacon (I use turkey)

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon brown or dijon mustard

hot sauce, to taste

*see updated note based on readers’ comments.


Preheat oven to 350F. Pour milk over the bread slices. Allow it to soak in for several minutes.

Place the ground turkey or chicken, bread, cheese, salt, black pepper, and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Pour in beaten eggs.

With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined. Place mixture in a loaf pan.  Lay bacon over the top.

Make the sauce: add ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce in a mixing bowl. Stir together. Pour 1/2 of the mixture over the top of the bacon. Spread with a spoon.

Bake for 25 minutes, then brush another 1/2 of the sauce over the top. Bake for another 25 minutes. Slice and serve.

*I’ve heard from some readers that they prefer extra bacon and sauce after baking.  If you’re a bacon-lover or think you’d enjoy extra sauce after cooking, plan accordingly with more than the amount included in the recipe above.  Yum.  Enjoy!

TOTAL:  $6.30 or $1.58 per serving.

Wondering how on earth I arrived at these costs?  Take a look at my shopping guide to show see what I pay for items, per serving, etc.


394 calories per serving

19 grams of fat

18 carbs

35 grams protein

2 grams fiber

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21 Comments Post a comment
  1. It’s funny, I grew up eating meatloaf (ketchup on top), but my husband and son won’t touch the stuff. Your recipe looks good – maybe I will try baking it in muffin tins like the cooking shows recommend. Although meat muffins doesn’t sound any better than meatloaf 😉

    February 19, 2012
    • Meatloaf muffins! What a great idea! Take a pic and send it to me if you do it!

      February 19, 2012
  2. Me too. Though, I feel I’m just a snob in general and have been called as much :D. This meat loaf looks lovely! I love the top photo, all of the ingredients before mixing- I shall have to try a similar shot in future 😀 Thanks for the photographic inspiration 🙂

    February 19, 2012
    • Thanks fellow frugal foodie and food snob!

      February 19, 2012
  3. Amber #

    Looks great, Kelly! I’ve always had similar thoughts about meatloaf. I recently started making a quinoa meatloaf in muffin cups and we all like it (even the kids). I will definitely give yours a try. Thanks!

    February 19, 2012
    • you’re the second person to mention muffin cups – I had never heard of that! what a great idea, especially for the kids!!

      February 19, 2012
    • Tara #

      How does the quinoa work? I have a gluten sensitivity and I want to try this. Can I just substitute Quinoa for the bread?

      October 5, 2012
      • I would give it a try! Use cooked quinoa, maybe about 3/4-1 cup. Let me know how it goes!

        October 5, 2012
  4. Amy Broughton #

    Kelly I’ll “third” the meatloaf muffins comment 🙂 Here is a recipe I LOVE. The fact that it’s a Cooking Light recipe = bonus! Lots of chopped up veggies and easy to freeze. Not greasy/mushy. Mmmmm.

    February 20, 2012
    • Love it! Thanks for sharing Amy! I’ll have to give it a try.

      February 20, 2012
  5. Amber #

    Made this last night and it turned out great! Next time I will make extra sauce to serve on the side. And maybe more bacon. We are huge bacon fans here.

    February 24, 2012
    • Thanks Amber! I’ll make a note in the recipe. Glad you enjoyed it!

      February 25, 2012
  6. Monica #

    I used TJ bacon and it was pretty oily on top. Just drained it off and it was still delicious!

    February 27, 2012
    • Thanks so much for the feedback! Did you use regular bacon or turkey bacon? I might make a note in the recipe about it…Thanks!!

      February 27, 2012
      • Monica #

        Regular bacon- and the dish was a hit. Even to me, a meatloaf hater.

        February 27, 2012
      • Thanks Monica! I’ll make a note – I usually use turkey bacon but I’m sure the real stuff would be fantastic!

        February 27, 2012
  7. In my experience, turkey meatloaf needs all kinds of flavors to perk it up. I have made it with pesto in it and I have made it with peach chutney in it (never both at once). We use Wheaties cereal as the binder in ours, rather than bread or crackers.

    March 18, 2012
  8. Nancy Mock #

    This was a great recipe and my family loved it. Thanks!

    June 26, 2012
    • I’m SO glad Nancy – thanks!

      June 26, 2012
  9. Mindy #

    This was a hit last night with my family! I only wish I had made more for leftovers. I had to use glucose-free bread but it didn’t make a difference in taste. Thanks!

    August 29, 2012
    • Love it. I always love when the recipe is a hit with the family!
      What a great idea using gluten-free bread for a gluten free meatloaf!!

      August 30, 2012

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