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Standard Comfort Food With a Twist: Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf

There are certain food items for all of us that create nostalgia or comfort or stomach wrenching just on name and smell alone in our lives (my latter comment if I'm referencing myself would be BBQ flavored corn chips, really bad experience at a slumber party as a child. Still invokes fear from me, don't ask...). Meatloaf on the other hand has always been a reference to the nostalgic/ comfort food realm. I found the base of this recipe years ago from Williams Sonoma and added to it. What I love about it is the use of ground turkey and cheese in a meatloaf that is just a flavorful and as moist as if you used beef and has such a depth that is often not found in your standard weeknight meatloaf. I like to serve this one with garlic mashed potatoes and some roasted sheet pan vegetables. Which foods reference nostalgia for you. Love to hear your take!


  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 1/2 yellow or red bell pepper

  • 1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

  • 5 chopped mushrooms (I use whatever brand I have on hand in the house that time) soaked in 1 cup hot water or hot chicken broth for 10 mins and the soaking liquid reserved

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 1/4 cups bread crumbs

  • 1 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 6 oz. fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2-inch cubes and then 2 oz. of any type of shredded cheese you have on hand that melts well ( I used pepper jack this time around)

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 2 lbs of ground turkey meat

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan with 1 Tbs. of the oil. Warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat . Add the carrots, celery and onion and sauté until tender and starting to caramelize, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Let cool for 10 minutes. In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the bread crumbs and 1/3 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid and soak for 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine the remaining 3/4 cup bread crumbs, the 1 Tbs. parsley, the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, shredded cheese, salt and pepper. In a large bowl, using your hands, gently mix together the ground beef, soaked bread crumbs, vegetable mixture, eggs, the 1/4 cup parsley, thyme, cubed cheese, salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and shape into a 10-by-5-inch loaf. Cover the top and sides of the meat loaf with the cheese-bread crumb mixture. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat loaf registers 165°F, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let the meat loaf rest for 5 minutes before slicing.



“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

~Lao Tzu



“Dream big and dare to fail.”

~Norman Vaughan



“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” ~Dr. Robert Schuller 

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