I’ve never been much of a fan of meat in loaf form — it’s a texture thing. But Dan knows me and my palate quirks well and created a meatloaf that I actually really like. He took the standard turkey meatloaf ingredients — ground turkey, milk, bread crumbs, egg and ketchup — and added cheese and Rotel tomatoes to turn bland and boring turkey meatloaf into something much more appetizing and special. The little pockets of melted cheese break up the texture and the Rotel adds a little spice and Tex-Mex flavor. This is not your typical turkey meatloaf, but it still has the comfort food aspect and is as easy to prepare as the more basic variety.
If you’re not familiar with Rotel, it’s a brand of diced tomatoes that includes chopped green chiles and spices. It is commonly paired with Velveeta cheese to make a really good queso dip. For the meatloaf, start by draining the extra juices from the tomatoes and chiles.
Beat 1 egg in a large mixing bowl and add 2/3 of the can of Rotel to the egg. Save the remaining 1/3 of Rotel for the topping.
Add the breadcrumbs, milk, turkey and salt and pepper to the mixing bowl.
Stir everything together with a big wooden spoon, or mix together by hand (if you’re not squeamish about squishing raw meat through your fingers.)
Slice the cheese into cubes. We use a mild Colby/Monterey Jack mixture, but other cheeses would probably work as well.
Fold the cheese cubes in with the other ingredients.
Place the mixture on a foil-lined cookie sheet (after spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray), then shape the mixture into a loaf. Or you could pack the mixture into a loaf pan. When shaping the loaf, try to make sure most of the cheese is tucked away inside the loaf, to avoid too many cheese volcano eruptions while the meatloaf cooks.
Add the ketchup to the remaining tomatoes and mix them together.
Spoon the Rotel/ketchup mixture over the meatloaf.
Part of the reason we like using a cookie sheet instead of a loaf pan is because it allows us to spread more of the topping down over the sides of the loaf than if we used a loaf pan.
Bake the meatloaf in the oven preheated to 400 degrees until the meatloaf’s internal temperature reaches 160 degrees — about 40 minutes.
The meatloaf can get a little messy while it cooks — hence the foil and nonstick cooking spray.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles, drained and divided
- 1 egg
- ½ cup milk
- ¾ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- pinch salt
- dash pepper
- 6 ounces Colby/Monterey Jack cheddar, cubed
- ¼ cup ketchup
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl. Drain the Rotel and add two-thirds of the tomatoes to the egg. Reserve the remaining tomatoes to use in the topping. Add the turkey, milk, bread crumbs and salt & pepper to the mixing bowl and mix all the ingredients together with a large wooden spoon or by hand.
- Fold the cubed cheese into the turkey mixture.
- Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the turkey mixture to the cookie sheet and shape it into a loaf. (If not using a cookie sheet, transfer the turkey mixture to a loaf pan.)
- Add the ketchup to the Rotel tomatoes and mix them together. Spoon the ketchup/Rotel mixture over the top and part-way down the sides of the meatloaf.
- Bake the meatloaf until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees — about 40 minutes. Slice and serve.