Bring some happiness to your soul with this comfort food makeover. There’s nothing like a Gluten Free Apple & Sage Turkey Meatloaf for dinner to bring your family together and welcome Fall!
What a night! What a night!
We just came home from spending an epic evening with our littles parading around our church Halloween party. We ended up with two Elsas this year, which is exactly what we had last year, too. When will this Frozen Fever ever end???!
I actually don’t plan for Halloween at all. When it comes to costumes, my strategy is this: Go open your dress up bin and put something on. Bam! DONE!
It may sound cruel that I don’t spend a month making or searching for the perfect Halloween costumes for my girls, but in the end I am just protecting them. That’s right, by depriving them of the opportunity to choose something special to dress up as, I’m actually looking out for there very own well being.
Let me explain. Here is how I know the scenario would go…EXACTLY:
Braelyn and Emry would both decide what super cutesy or terrifically crazy costume they would like to be. I would then proceed to Pinterest all the ideas of how I can make that specific thing. I would spend countless hours roaming around stores all around town to find the exact props/materials/clothing I would need to make their wildest dreams of a costume come true. Everything would be perfect.
Fast forward to Halloween day. Braelyn in true Braelyn fashion would turn her nose up last minute to the “costume of her dreams” and would all of the sudden want to be something completely different. Emry would then follow suit and demand a different costume as well.
I would then (yes, I’m just flat out admitting it) lose my temper, yell and scream, put kids in time out, and announce than NO ONE is going trick-or-treating because of their ungratefulness for my efforts. And then my poor children would crawl into bed, sobbing, with not an ounce of candy.
So you see, to avoid all this trouble, we just pick our costumes the day of. And all is well in the world.
As much as I enjoy NOT planning ahead in situations like these, some moments call for the opposite. In cases like, “What the heck am I making for dinner???!” it would have been nice to have executed a plan in advance.
Well, problem solved. Make ahead meals are the freaking best! I’m telling you, there is nothing like being able to prepare a meal at my own convenience where there are no nipping children at my heals, and then have it ready to pop in the oven once dinner time approaches.
Now that’s a scenario with a HAPPY ending.
And what’s better than a make ahead meal??? A make ahead meal with COMFORT FOOD! I’m talking meatloaf baby!
But listen, this meatloaf has been totally revamped. I’m talking about total REVAMPATION around here. I could almost bet money on the fact that you ain’t never eaten a meatloaf like this one.
Gluten Free Apple & Sage Meatloaf is here to open your eyes to a whole new world of meatloaves. Let me give you the play by play.
First off, this meatloaf is made with ground turkey instead of beef. Now I don’t claim that this is healthier because ground turkey isn’t any leaner than lean ground beef. In fact, some ground turkey actually has MORE fat than ground beef, depending on the cut you buy.
The reason for ground turkey in this recipe is simply because turkey goes better with the flavor profile I was creating.
It all started with apples. Yes, apples. Apples are all over the food blog scene with recipes ranging from pies to cakes to tarts to muffins to cheesecakes. You name it. Most of these apple recipes are desserts, but I wanted to create something savory.
So why not apples and meatloaf? Bingo!
I’m telling you, the grated apples baked into the meatloaf along with carrots, onions and a whole lot of earthy spices makes this meatloaf the perfect Fall comfort food. Apples and sage were just meant to be together.
This meatloaf almost has the flavor of breakfast sausage. You know what I’m talking about? Those breakfast sausage patties with the yummy spices and maple undertone? Yeah, those. Except without all the grease and fat.
And to really kick up the Fall flavors, I added crushed Harvest Pumpkin Tortilla Chips from Food Should Taste Good. You guys! These chips are addictive! They are downright delicious. I plan my snacks around eating them every single day.
These chips have that traditional pumpkin spice flavor to them with cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. They add an extra depth of flavor to the meatloaf and replace the bread or breadcrumbs that most recipes call for.
Okay, and last wonderful part of this meatloaf is the top. Before baking, you sprinkle the top with dark brown sugar, salt, pepper, and additional rubbed sage. It creates the most heavenly aromatic crust on top. There is enough flavor throughout the meatloaf and in this crust that you don’t even need any kind of sauce or dip. Just whip up some garlic sage mashed potatoes or some maple glazed winter squash to go alongside your meat and you’re good to go.
Really, can you beat this meatloaf? Between the amazing flavors and being able to make this meatloaf up to a day in advance, it’s a winner winner turkey dinner for sure!
Comfort food at its finest. I’m telling you, meatloaf will never seem the same.
What are your favorite make ahead meals?
- 1½ pound lean ground turkey
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon rubbed sage
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 small apple, grated (I used Gala)
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- ½ onion, grated
- 1½ cups crushed Food Should Taste Good brand Harvest Pumpkin Tortilla Chips
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 2 qt. casserole dish with aluminum foil, shiny side down. Lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Grate apple, carrot, and onion. Crush tortilla chips. Lightly beat egg.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the brown sugar and mix with wooden spoon until evenly incorporated. With clean hands, continue to mix all ingredients together to make sure that spices are blended throughout.
- Scoop meat mixture into dish and smooth top. Sprinkle brown sugar on top. Season top with extra salt, pepper, and sage.
- Bake for 1-1¼ hours. Spoon excess drippings off the side. Return to oven for 10 more minutes.*
- Remove meatloaf and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.