Gina: This recipe came from my fabulous “girlfriend” D’Won (every girl needs a D’Won in her circle). D’Won is a huge turkey-lover, an amateur chef, and the best personal shopper around. When I was visiting him in Atlanta, we cooked up this recipe and it was spot-on. It’s essentially a red dress for the meatloaf (and y’all know everything looks and tastes better in a red dress!).
Pat: This is one of those dishes where we splash on barbecue sauce without firing up the grill. During the early days of our post-reunion courtship, Gina would prepare this delicious meatloaf for me. She replaced ketchup, traditionally used in meatloaf recipes, with Neely’s Barbecue Sauce and Seasoning. Looking back on it, I think that just might have sealed the deal. I remember thinking at the time that any woman who can light a fire under a red-meat man with a turkey loaf–well, that woman is special.
Gina: This meatloaf is so full of flavor that I promise it will knock the socks off a 300-pound, steak-loving football player. What’s more, you can prepare this after work and have it ready by suppertime. For the best results, don’t use extra-lean ground turkey, or the meatloaf will be dry.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool completely.
In a large bowl, combine the Neely’s Barbecue Seasoning, Old Bay, mustard, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, salt, pepper, egg, 1 cup of the barbecue sauce, the bread crumbs, and the cooled vegetable mixture. Fold in the ground turkey (do not overmix).
Transfer the meat mixture to a 9 × 13-inch baking dish. Shape the meat into an oblong or rectangular shape (alternatively, you can pat the meat into a buttered 9 × 5-inch loaf pan), gently pressing down on the mixture to eliminate any air pockets. Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, and paint the remaining ½ cup Neely’s Barbecue Sauce on top of the loaf. Bake in the oven for 20 more minutes.