As soon as sweater weather arrives I crave turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. There’s no possible way I can hold out until Thanksgiving to satisfy this craving so here’s a recipe for Thanksgiving Mini Meat Loaves with Cranberry Glaze that combines all the key elements of the holiday feast, and without family members opening the oven door umpteen times to check on the bird.
2 tablespoons butter
1 celery stalk, diced small
½ onion, diced small
1 tablespoon minced parsley, divided
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
2 cups of your favorite store-bought stuffing, dry mixture
2 tablespoons dried cranberries, roughly chopped
¾ cup low sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 pound ground dark turkey
1 can cranberry sauce, divided
2 teaspoons water
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and preheat an oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Melt the butter in a medium saute pan over low heat. Sweat the diced celery and onion in the butter for 10 minutes, or until they are soft. Season the vegetable mixture with 1 teaspoon minced parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and half of both the minced thyme and sage leaves. Remove half of this mixture to a large bowl for later.
Add the dry stuffing mixture and chopped cranberries to the pan with the vegetables, then mix thoroughly over medium heat for 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken stock and stir until all bread is moistened but not mushy. Cover the pan with aluminum foil then turn off the heat and set aside for 2 minutes. Transfer ½ cup of the stuffing to a bowl or plate and allow it to cool in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
Add the remaining seasoning to the bowl of vegetables: 2 teaspoons minced parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoons of minced thyme and sage, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the beaten egg and the cooled stuffing mixture, then mix all ingredients together. Add the ground turkey and gently incorporate the seasoned vegetables throughout. Divided this turkey mixture into 4 equal portions and form them into balls. Flatten each ball into a disc then load the middle up with ¼ cup of the stuffing mixture. Encase the stuffing with the ground turkey meat and pinch together all seams. Arrange each of the mini turkey meat loaves, seam-side-down, on the parchment-lined sheet pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together ½ cup cranberry sauce with 2 teaspoons water, and ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Brush half of this glaze over the loaves and reserve the rest for later.
Bake the meat loaves for 20 minutes then remove the pan from the oven and brush on the remainder of glaze. Return the pan to the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pan and use a thermometer to make sure that the turkey and stuffing have both reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the meat loaves and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving with your other favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.