Ina Garten’s Turkey Meatloaf and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes: The ultimate level of comfort food with a tender and moist meatloaf and the best mashed potatoes ever!

Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf

I know it’s still summer. I know that meat is still being grilled and pool parties are still occurring. 

But frankly, I’m ready for fall! 

I’m ready for cool, crisp weather. And for the leaves to start changing. And of course for all of the comfort foods associated with the fall and winter. 

That’s why I chose, in the middle of August, to make Ina Garten’s turkey meatloaf and parmesan smashed potatoes as part of my Week with the Barefoot Contessa.

Comfort food enthusiasts, don’t even think about turning your nose up at the fact that this is a turkey meatloaf. 

If my beef-loving husband didn’t know I was making a turkey meatloaf in advance, I could have totally passed this off as a meatloaf mixture recipe! I totally expected him to balk at this recipe and turn up his nose.

But being that just about every single Ina recipe that I’ve made has been a complete success, I think he’s learning to trust the recipes as much as I am. And that’s a success story in and of itself!

Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf

My friend Jen was actually the one who encouraged me to make this recipe as we were pouring over some of Ina’s cookbooks a few weeks ago, all giddy about sharing recipes we’ve already made and getting excited to try out new ones. 

Once I heard that her husband loved this recipe, I knew that Kyle would too. 

In my eyes, if you’re going to make Ina’s turkey meatloaf in the middle of the summer, you have to go all out and make mashed potatoes on the side. 

Ina’s parmesan mashed potatoes was another recipe that Jen highly recommended so this side was a no-brainer for this meal. Thanks Jen!!

And we weren’t let down! Both of these recipes were fantastic!  The meatloaf was moist and so incredibly flavorful that you cannot tell it’s turkey meat. Amazing.  This was seriously the best meatloaf I’ve ever made and I even got “2 thumbs up” from Kyle, the meatloaf critic.

Meatloaf for a Crowd

The meatloaf recipe makes a TON of meatloaf. OK, maybe not a literal TON, but it will certain feed a large crowd. I cut the meatloaf recipe down by two-thirds (5lbs of ground turkey? Really??) and there was plenty of meatloaf for the 2 of us and a fair amount of leftovers too.

It’s an easy recipe to scale down, especially most of the ingredient amounts can quickly be divided by 3.

The full recipe will easily serve 8 to 10 people. The scaled down version will serve 4 to 6 people.

The Perfect Side to Serve with Meatloaf

The parmesan mashed potatoes were delish and perfectly buttery! Just the way mashed potatoes should be! The Parmesan cheese flavor really comes through since there aren’t many other flavors competing with it.

I also cut this recipe half since we surely don’t need 3 pounds of mashed potatoes in my house.

[Side note about the potatoes: As I was reading this recipe, the blurb that precedes the ingredient list mentions that Ina got this recipe from a woman named Antonia Bellanca.  My eyes just about popped out of my head.  My grandmother’s late dear friend was Ann Bellanca who lived in East Hampton, NY.  Coincidence?? I think not.  After discussing this with my mom, it turns out that Antonia is Ann’s daughter!  What a small world! Six degrees of separation working again! How cool is that?]

Seriously, is there no better answer to the question of what to serve with meatloaf than these parmesan smashed potatoes?

BUT! If you’re looking for a little freshening up of your side dishes, let me suggest my creamy fresh herb mashed potatoes, steakhouse creamed spinach with crispy shallots, my insanely easy and delicious from scratch creamed corn recipe, or these cheesy hasselback potatoes.

And for rolls, which in my book are a requisite for meatloaf, these crescent rolls are exactly what meatloaf needs on the side!

Any of those recipes would also be perfect served with this meatloaf!

Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf

Ina Garten's Meatloaf

Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes

Ina Garten's meatloaf is a delicious and cozy meal that's so great, you'll forget you're eating ground turkey! The recipe below makes A LOT of meatloaf but it can be easily scaled down by two-thirds. Bake the smaller meatloaf for 1 hour and check the internal temperature - it will read 160° F when finished.


  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 large onions)
  • 2 tbsp good olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or ½ tsp dried thyme)
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tsp tomato paste
  • 5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 ½ cups plain dry bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup ketchup


  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. In a medium saute pan, over medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until translucent, but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased sheet pan. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 ½ hours until the internal temperature is 160° F and the meatloaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven under the meatloaf will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold on a sandwich.


adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

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Ina Garten's Turkey Meatloaf

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

Yield: 8 servings
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Parmesan smashed potatoes are the best side dish for turkey meatloaf! No gravy is needed for these potatoes since they're full of cheesy flavor, butter, and sour cream.


  • 3 lbs baby red new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt, plus 2 tsp
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ¼ lb unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper


  1. Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan and add cold water to cover (water should be about 1-inch above the top of the potatoes). Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer partially covered for about 20 minutes, until completely tender. Drain.
  2. In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, mix the potatoes for a few seconds to break them up. In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half and butter. Add them slowly to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed. The last quarter of the cream should be folded in by hand. Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper and serve immediately.


adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

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Leave a Comment

  • Annie
    August 19, 2008 at 9:32 AM

    I am totally ready for fall too! My hubby loves meatloaf so I’ll be interested to see what he thinks of this version. It’s Ina’s so I know it has to be good! Thanks for posting.

  • August 19, 2008 at 10:52 PM

    Thatboy was a little hesitant of turkey meatloaf, until he tried it. Now when his parents snub their nose he gets insistent that it’s better than beef.

  • smellslikehome
    August 20, 2008 at 6:40 AM

    Kate – I’m beginning to believe that it’s a “male thing” to think that turkey is no substitute for beef. It’s great to hear how persuasive we can be to get them to try it! lol

  • […] Turkey Meatloaf and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes with a gThankYou! to Smells Like Home. […]

  • August 26, 2008 at 3:40 PM

    Well, if you can pass this off on your hubby then I have to be able to as well. I’ve snuck tofu under his nose and he never knew the difference.
    This meatloaf looks so tasty.

  • Antonia Bellanca
    January 27, 2009 at 9:44 PM

    Who was your grandmother ???
    While the Barefoot Contessa was opened all those glorious years I would treat myself to Ina’s turkey meatloaf as a summer meal and I would stock up on her cold pesto and pea bow tie pasta to eat with it-
    pure heaven ! Just thinking of her store and cases filled to the brim with truly, all cooked on premises luscious comfort food -well it makes my mouth water!!!

  • September 22, 2009 at 2:59 PM

    […] One year ago: Turkey Meatloaf and Parmesan Smashed Potatoes […]

  • November 11, 2009 at 9:04 AM

    Oh that is my FAVE meatloaf recipe ever!!! I always serve it with mashed potatoes. The meatloaf is awesome the next day – cold, in meatloaf sandwiches. So good.

  • March 30, 2010 at 6:03 AM

    […] since I made Ina’s Turkey Meatloaf a while back, I’ve never had the inkling to try another meatloaf recipe.  Why mess with a […]

  • Tiffany
    December 6, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Did you only cut the meat by 2/3’s or the entire recipe?

    • December 6, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      Tiffany: No, I cut the whole recipe by 2/3s.