Turkey Meatloaf, Turkish Style

Summary: A lovely, Mediterranean take on meatloaf, from a September 2009 NYTimes. Serve with Riesling, if you're so inclined.

Yield: 1 loaf (6-8 servings)


  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup panko
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1⅓ cups chopped onion
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, cored, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • cinnamon (my addition), optional
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (preferably free-range)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • plain yogurt, pita, and cucumbers, for serving


Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons panko and saute until panko is golden. Remove and reserve.

Place walnuts, mint, parsley and basil in a food processor. Pulse until all are finely chopped. Remove and reserve. Without washing processor, turn on and drop garlic in through feed tube and process until minced. Stop, place onion and green pepper in processor and pulse until finely chopped. Sprinkle with a nice dash of cinnamon.

Add remaining oil to skillet and sauté garlic, onion and green pepper mixture over medium heat until soft but not brown. Remove from heat and stir in walnut mixture.

If there is a decent amount of liquid in the skillet, stir in the remaining panko until things dry up. Add some water if necessary. If you have no liquid in the skillet, mix the remaining panko with 1/4 - 1/2 cup water to soften.

Place turkey in a large mixing bowl, add contents of the skillet (including the panko) and mix until well blended. Season with at least 1 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Pack into a 9x5x3 loaf pan, and spread reserved sautéed panko on top. Bake 60-80 minutes.

Serve hot, at room temp, or cold, with yogurt, pita and cucumbers as you wish.