Here is an outstanding Turkey Meatloaf recipe from Sicily! Ground turkey is mixed with mashed potatoes instead of bread crumbs, formed into a loaf, and simmered in wine-scented tomato sauce.
Meatloaf may be one of the most iconic American dishes, yet it’s also a popular dish across the globe. Dozens of countries have their own version. South Africans call theirs Boboti. In Italy meatloaf is called polpettone, which means ‘Big Meatball’ – an exciting and comforting concept!
Lately I’ve been cooking my way through one of my old cookbooks, Foods of Sicily and Sardinia. When I came across a recipe for Sicilian style turkey meatloaf, it called out to me.
I love the use of cooked potatoes to soften and bind the turkey. I adore the lively fresh flavors of garlic, parsley and capers. It’s an elegant departure from the typical ketchup and breadcrumb meatloaf (not that I don’t love that one too!).
Let’s make Sicilian Turkey Meatloaf!
Who needs bread crumbs when you have potatoes? The use of mashed or grated boiled potatoes in this recipe is pure genius. The meatloaf is melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious!
- Boil The Potatoes: Boil potatoes in their skins. When they’re cool, peel and grate or mash them.
- Make the Meatloaf Mixture: Combine the potatoes with the ground turkey, garlic, parsley, capers, salt, pepper and chopped anchovies. Anchovies are optional here but highly recommended. I know not everyone loves them but they add a lot of great umami flavor to the meatloaf.
- Shape: Form the mixture into a loaf, working on a well-floured surface to keep the meat from sticking. Make sure you have a good coating of flour, which will help hold the delicate loaf together when it’s sautéed. For gluten-free, use white rice flour or your favorite gluten-free flour mix.
- Simmer: Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven and sauté the meatloaf on both sides, until lightly browned. Pour in white wine and tomato puree. Cover the pot and let the meatloaf simmer gently in wine-scented tomato sauce, for 45 minutes, basting from time to time.
Encased in a heavy pot with wine and pureed tomatoes, this turkey meatloaf simmers slowly to tender perfection!
What to serve with this turkey meatloaf
- First and foremost Mashed Potatoes! Meatloaf and mashed potatoes are meant for one another. For something healthy and tasty, try my Olive Oil and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
- For a delicious healthy Sicilian veggie side dish, try these Carrots cooked in wine, Sicilian-style
- Here’s my favorite salad for any Italian meal, classic Insalata Tricolori.
Here’s the recipe for Sicilian Turkey Meatloaf. If you make this, I hope you’ll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I’d love to know what you think!Print
Sicilian Turkey Meatloaf with Potatoes Capers and Wine
Tender tasty Italian Turkey meatloaf, simmered in wine-scented tomato sauce. Adapted from a recipe in the cookbook “Foods of Sicily and Sardinia“
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 35 mins
- Yield: 6-8 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop simmering
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 pound all purpose potatoes (White, yellow, or Yukon golds)
- kosher salt
- 1 pound ground white or dark meat turkey
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced (1 ½ tablespoons)
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
- 3 heaping tablespoons capers, drained and finely chopped
- 4 oil packed anchovy fillets finely chopped (optional, but highly recommended)
- Salt & fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring your work surface (for gluten-free use gluten-free flour)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 cup dry white wine (Vermouth is a good choice)
- 1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes* drained and pureed in a blender or food processor (I recommend San Marzano or Organic tomatoes)
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper
- To Prepare the Meatloaf: Boil potatoes in salted water for 30-35 minutes, until very soft. Drain potatoes, set in a large bowl, and cool for 30 minutes. When cool, peel and grate potatoes, using the large holes on a hand cheese grater or in your food processor with the shredding blade attachment. (You can boil the potatoes up to a day ahead and store them in the fridge)
- In a large bowl combine grated potatoes, ground turkey, garlic, parsley, capers, anchovies, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons flour. Use your hands to fully combine everything.
- Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of flour on a cutting board or work surface. Pat the meat mixture together and set it on the floured surface. Roll it, coating it completely with flour, and shape it into a loaf that’s about 3 inches high (make sure it’s a good size to fit into your pot)
- To Cook The Meatloaf: Heat ⅓ cup olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven with a lid. When oil is hot but not smoking, carefully transfer the meatloaf (I suggest using two spatulas) to the pot. Sauté for 2 minutes and then gently and carefully turn the meatloaf over and sauté for 2 minutes on the other side. Pour in the wine. Lift the loaf up a bit with the spatulas to let some of the wine slip underneath. Cover the pot. Lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, shifting the loaf once or twice to allow the wine to get under it. Pour the pureed tomatoes over and around the meatloaf. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes more, basting the loaf, from time to time, with the sauce. Remove the pot from the heat and let the meatloaf rest, covered for a ½ hour.
- Carefully transfer the meatloaf to a platter. Just before serving, heat the sauce and pour it over the meatloaf. Slice meatloaf. Serve with sauce spooned on top. Garnish with parsley and capers.
Make This Gluten Free: There’s only a small amount of flour in this recipe. It’s used to coat the meatloaf before sautéing. In place of wheat flour, you can easily substitute white rice flour or your favorite gluten-free flour mix.
Note On Canned Tomatoes: Canned pureed or crushed tomatoes can be used in this recipe but I have found that the quality is much better if you buy canned whole tomatoes and crush or puree them yourself.
Nutrition Information: The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for a the advice of a professional nutritionist.
Keywords: Turkey meatloaf, stovetop meatloaf, Italian meatloaf
There are affiliate links in this post