Weeknight Cooking

Gluten-Free Turkey Meatloaf With Cream & Oats

February  6, 2020
8 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

This is a turkey meatloaf recipe that isn’t trying to be gluten-free—it just happens to be. That’s because in place of the more traditional bread crumbs, I’ve called for a couple tablespoons of rolled oats, which I always have lying around in my pantry.

A few key features ensure that this homemade meatloaf is both moist and markedly flavorsome: First, I use heavy cream instead of milk or water because the extra fat (and lactic acid) helps to tenderize the ground turkey, which, let’s be real, is pretty lean to start with. Second, I lean into the base protein’s leanness (and in fact celebrate its clean, tabula-rasa flavor) by injecting it with an umami bomb: caramelized onions, ketchup, ground cumin, celery seed, and lots of salt and pepper. This aromatic tangle of veg, sauce, and spice means that the meatloaf bakes up gorgeously tender and fully seasoned throughout.

The pièce de résistance is the glaze, which is a simple concoction of ketchup, yellow mustard, and brown sugar—sweet though it is, for me it imparts not only that classic diner-meatloaf look, but also that comforting, familiar taste. Because when I want meatloaf, I want the meatloaf of my childhood. And this is it.

This recipe has been developed for my solo dining column, Table for One, so it makes a single portion. But should you wish to cook this for a larger group, simply multiply the amounts by the number of mouths you need to feed. —Eric Kim

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: A Single's Meatloaf: The Strongest Case for Ground Turkey. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Meatloaf
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 4 ounces ground turkey (about 1/2 cup)
  • Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, stir together the cream and oats and set aside.
  2. Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until softened. Reduce heat to low and add the ketchup, cumin, celery seed, and oat-cream mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, in the smallest container you’ve got (I use a ramekin), stir together the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard.
  4. Once the onion mixture has cooled a bit, add the ground turkey to the bowl and stir gently with your fingers until well combined. Form meat mixture into a loaf with your hands and transfer to a greased foil or parchment-lined quarter sheet pan. Smear top with glaze mixture and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the loaf reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  5. Let the meatloaf sit a couple minutes out of the oven before plating and serving with mashed potatoes, green beans, and/or a side salad.

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Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.

1 Review

Sally P. February 11, 2020
This definitely has an oat presence. I used dark meat turkey. Doubled the recipe and 1/2 of the loaf is too much for me to eat at one sitting. The spices are not overpowering but add an unexpected flavor. Very tasty.