Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tofu-Turkey Meatloaf

No, I don't have a picture of it. Why? Because we dug into it before I could snap a picture, and we devoured it like we always do. I found a recipe on the internet a couple years ago that featured tofu in meatloaf, and jotted down my own adaptation of it in my notebook, so I'm not sure where the original idea came from. I do remember that it was bland when I first made it, and it included ground beef, so mine is lighter and tastier.

99.99999% of you see "tofu-turkey meatloaf" and think, "ewww." I agree, it's three completely unappetizing words, especially strung together like that. But trust me - it's the bomb diggity. It's healthy, it's filling, it's comforting, and you would never in a million years guess that it has tofu in it. And it's gluten-free, too, if that's your thing.

When you buy the tofu for this, stick it in the freezer. Then a few hours later, once it's frozen solid, move it to the fridge for a day or two to thaw out. Freezing like this changes the texture of the tofu and makes it meaty and chewy, kind of like ground chicken.


1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp ketchup
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey

1 (14 oz) pkg firm or extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 onion, finely chopped*
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped*
1 or 2 stalks celery, finely chopped*
1 carrot, finely chopped*
2 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 good squirt of sriracha (very optional - it's spicy!)

* I throw the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot in the food processor together and give them all a communal whiz-up to save time.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C).

First off, use a great trick I learned from Anne over at FabFrugalFood - she's the official tofu expert, having written the fantastic cookbook 101 Things To Do With Tofu. Drain the water out of your tofu, put it in a clean dishtowel, and give it a good hard squeeze over the sink. Wring all the liquid out of it that you can, then open up the towel; you now have drained, reasonably dry, well-crumbled tofu. Dump that into a large bowl.

Add the rest of the meatloaf ingredients to the tofu and mix it all up. Transfer to a loaf pan and pat it out smooth. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.

While it bakes, mix up all the sauce ingredients in a bowl until well-blended. When the timer goes off, take out the meatloaf and brush half the sauce on top. Put it back in the oven, uncovered, for another 15 minutes. Let it stand a minute or two and then serve with the rest of the sauce on the side.


  1. That sounds super-great. I am thinking of vegetarian mods for myself.

    Reading every entry and excited to hear what you're up to!

  2. Try it with cooked lentils in place of the turkey. I've had lentil loaf before and it was great! It would probably work in this recipe. You probably wouldn't need to bake it the full hour, either.

    Glad you enjoy reading! We miss you!