Turkey Pesto Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce

(from kylerhea’s recipe box)

Source: Kalyn's Kitchen

Serves 4 people

Categories: February2012, Freezer Friendly, Gr Turkey, Main Dish, Meatloaf, SBF


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 T finely minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground turkey (use ground turkey with less than 10% fat for South Beach Diet)
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (I used my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, but good quality purchased pesto will be fine.)
  • 2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup 100% whole wheat breadcrumbs (make in the food processor from 100% whole wheat bread if you can't find whole wheat breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup low-sugar marinara sauce (I used Classico tomato and basil sauce)
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar


  1. Take the turkey out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while you prep the other ingredients. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spray a roasting pan with olive oil or nonstick spray (preferably a pan with some slits to let any extra fat drip out.)

  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the onion with medium-high heat until it’s starting to slightly brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic, lower heat slightly, and saute about 2 minutes more.

  3. Using a bowl that’s large enough to get both hands into it, combine the ground turkey, sauteed onion and garlic, pesto, Parmesan cheese, salt, and whole wheat breadcrumbs. Use clean hands to mix the ingredients, just until they are combined.

  4. Form the mixture into a loaf shape and place on the roasting pan. I like to use a butter knife to make diagonal slits into the top of the meatloaf, but that’s optional.

  5. Bake meatloaf for 40 minutes. While it bakes, stir together the marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar and after 40 minutes use a pastry brush to brush it onto the meatloaf, until it’s completely covered with sauce. Continue to bake, brushing with more sauce a few more times if you have some left, until a meat thermometer shows a temperature of 160F/71C. I cooked my meatloaf for a total time of one hour and twenty minutes before it got to that temperature. Serve hot.

  6. This freezes well. For best results, thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Email to a friend | Print this recipe | Back