How To Substitute Turkey For Beef In Meatloaf

When it comes to comfort foods, it doesn't get much more classic — or more beloved — than good old-fashioned meatloaf that's just like Mama used to make it. Hearty and stick-to-your-ribs delicious, the meaty dish is traditionally baked in a loaf pan and smothered in a tangy tomato glaze (via The Daily Meal). But for as tasty as it is (and for as nostalgic it may be), meatloaf isn't exactly the healthiest of dinners. While it's packed with protein, it's often packed with fat, too, thanks to the richer types of meat it's made with, most often ground beef.

But if you're someone who's watching their fat intake or their calories, fear not — you don't have to give up meatloaf entirely. You simply have to make a few substitutions. One of the easiest ways to "healthify" the dish (or at least reduce the fat content and calories) is by swapping out the fatty ground beef for ground turkey. Here's how to substitute the leaner protein without sacrificing the texture or taste of your favorite comfort food.

Use two different types of turkey

Ground turkey gets a reputation for being leaner than ground beef but what most people don't realize is that regular ground turkey has about the same amount of fat as regular ground beef (via UnityPoint Health). That's why the blogger behind Taste Love and Nourish strongly recommends using half regular ground turkey and half all-breast meat. The breast meat is all white meat so it's significantly leaner while the regular ground turkey has some dark meat so it still contains some fat. For instance, if your recipe calls for two pounds of ground beef, you can substitute one pound of regular ground turkey and one pound of ground breast meat.

Why can't you just use all ground breast meat for an even lower fat dish? While you certainly can, beware that your finished product might not be as tasty, as flavorful, or as moist as you want. Taste Love and Nourish warns that using all breast meat (instead of half and half) will result in a meatloaf that's too dry and crumbly.