After my last two posts, I had some delicious Chunky Roasted Tomatillo Salsa and Quick and Easy Guacamole for Two hanging around. I would normally use them up in some Turkey tacos, but…I had run out of tortillas… So, I decided to combine the fresh tomatillo salsa and turkey meat into these extremely moist and flavorful Turkey Taco Meatloaf Muffins and top them off with a little guacamole “frosting”.
I always used to think meatloaf was kind of gross until I had really good meatloaf. Big logs of meat run the risk of over cooking, cooking unevenly, drying out, etc. Individual Turkey Taco Meatloaf Muffins solve all those problems. The smaller size means shorter and even cooking, keeping the meat juicy and locking in the flavor. It’s still gross to squish meat in your hands, but with results this good, I can get over it.
Now, you’re not going to fool your kids into thinking it’s a cupcake. But, the individual portions and guacamole topping add a little whimsy to your table. And, they help to pre-portion if you’re cooking these ahead of time. I make a big batch at the start of the week and reheat while I get the guac together – dinner in 5 minutes!
Other than the individual size, the chunky roasted tomatillo salsa also adds a ton of moisture and freshness to these Turkey Taco Meatloaf Muffins. I also cook down some tiny chopped onions and red pepper for extra flavor and texture. The final tip is to make sure you mix until everything comes together. You don’t have to pulverize it (that’s why your hands are the best mixing tool). Over mixing meatloaf can leave you with something more like a meatrock.
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh tomatillo salsa* (plus 4 tablespoons for topping)
- 1/2 cup red onion (minced**)
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper (minced**)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced**)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup guacamole
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take the ground meat out of the fridge while you start to prepare your other components - that way it won't be as cold when you go to mix with your hands. Otherwise, brrrrrrr.
Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring regularly, until softened (about 5 – 8 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, add turkey meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, 1/2 cup of salsa, spices and softened veggies. Mix with your hands until all components are just combined, without over mixing.
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and evenly divide the meat mixture among the spaces. Top each with about 1 teaspoon of the remaining tomatillo salsa.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the meatloaf muffins are cooked through. Let cool for a few minutes*** Top each meatloaf muffin with 1 tablespoon of guacamole and serve!
*Here's a quick and delicious recipe for Chunky Roasted Tomatillo Salsa.
**You can always mince up the veggies in a food processor to cut down on time.
***If you are making these ahead of time, you could store them without the guacamole topping, because that will turn brown quickly. When ready to eat, you can prepare the guacamole while the meatloaf reheats.
For 1 Meatloaf Muffin (2-3 is a perfect dinner serving): Calories 141 ~ Total Fat 7 g ~ Saturated Fat 2 ~ Trans Fat 0 g ~ Cholesterol 71 mg ~ Sodium 255 mg ~ Potassium 158 mg ~ Total Carbohydrate 7 g ~ Dietary Fiber 2 g ~ Sugars 3 g ~ Protein 13 g