Turkey Meatloaf that makes me wanna HOLLA!

I must confess: I am not a big fan of meatloaf. Done well, it tastes great. Done poorly, it’s a dried out version of a loaf (literally) of meat. However, I recently found a recipe that I have got to share.

After much delay, I used a giftcard for Borders Bookstore to purchase the Down Home with the Neely Cookbook. I was a little hesitant at first, because I have only recently developed a love for BBQ. To complicate that further, I have actually never bbq’ed anything. But after purchasing this book, that all changed. Important note: although the Neely’s specialize in bbq, there are other types of dishes in the cookbook.

For the first time ever, I made bbq sauce. I don’t mean I purchased a bottle of Kraft BBQ sauce, heated it up, added some salt/sugar/whatever. NO! I mean I used a recipe provided in the Neely cookbook for bbq sauce. Although some reviewers complained that the bbq sauce was too sweet, I personally enjoyed it (along with my taste-testers). I recommend that you make the bbq sauce beforehand, because trying to make it while preparing the meatloaf will prove difficult.

I think what sets apart their meatloaf is that you put bbq sauce with the ground turkey, as well as on top of it. The bbq sauce really gave the meatloaf great flavor. Personally, I added a bit of worcestershire sauce because I was concerned about dryness (only about 2 tablespoons worth).

After mixing everything up with my hands, I placed the meatloaf in the oven. Hoping that it would be delicious. About 55 minutes later, I took out the meatloaf, let it rest, and then served it with some homemade mashed potatoes (skin on) and broccoli. I have got to say: I love this turkey meatloaf, and will not make meatloaf any other way after this. It was absolutely delicious, moist, and well-seasoned. Here is the recipe:


  • 1 tablespoon Neelys’ BBQ Seasoning, recipe follows
  • 1 teaspoon crab boil seasoning, (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups Neelys BBQ Sauce, reserving 1/2 cup for the top, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix BBQ seasoning, crab boil seasoning, soy sauce, beaten egg, 1 cup of the BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper and garlic. Saute until tender. Remove from heat and add to wet mix.

Pour mixture into bowl with the ground turkey. Add bread crumbs and mix all together with your hands.

Transfer the meat mixture to a cookie sheet or baking pan. Using your hands, shape the meat into an oblong or rectangular shape. *Cook’s Note: Alternately, you can pat the meat into a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and pour 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce on the top of the loaf.

Bake for 35 minutes. Remove and add the reserved 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce to the top and continue to bake for 20 more minutes.

Neelys BBQ Seasoning:

  • 1 1/2 cups paprika
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 3/4 tablespoons onion powder

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined. Keep in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Neelys BBQ Sauce

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Yield: 3 1/2 cups


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