Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf with Vegetables


“Ma, the meatloaf!”

Quick, name that movie. If you can, you’ll be my hero. I have to say, one of the funniest movies ever. But what does this have to do with me and my quinoa meatloaf recipe? Let’s rewind quickly.

These words were never shouted in my house growing up. My mom did not make meatloaf. Even a healthy quinoa meatloaf like this. She made plenty of meatballs, but meatloaf was a different story. I’ll have to ask her why, because for my entire childhood, the sound of meatloaf repulsed me. But then I tried it.

Did you know, meatloaf is basically like eating a huge slice of meatball?! Umm…hello! That sounds delicious, does it not? In my mind, it would be crazy not to coax your little one into eating dinner by serving meatball cake. Okay, that might not sound quite as appealing, but you get the idea.

A giant meatball, shaped into a loaf, smothered in homemade barbecue sauce. I’m licking my lips just thinking about it.


But what makes this recipe shine? It’s the delicate blend of rainbow quinoa, sautéed vegetables and all-natural ground turkey. A healthy, low-fat, low-calorie meal that certainly does not disappoint in the flavor department. This quinoa meatloaf is a great alternative to the classic recipe and would be a perfect addition to your holiday meal. It’s certainly a new favorite in our house!

Quinoa Meatloaf with Vegetables

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6 servings


  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 6 - 7 button mushrooms, stems removed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey (preferably organic, all-natural)
  • 2 cups cooked rainbow quinoa
  • 1 large egg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Chop the vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Add them to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and pulse until finely chopped, about 10 1-second pulses.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the vegetables and garlic, until the vegetables have softened, about 2 - 3 minutes. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the turkey, vegetables, quinoa, egg and a bit more salt and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Stir until fully combined.
  5. Transfer the meat mixture to the loaf pan, smoothing the top over with a wooden spoon. Smother in barbecue sauce and bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes, slice and serve.

Baking with Quinoa by Alyssa Rimmer | Queen of Quinoa

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  • Samantha

    Do you think you could substitute tofu for the turkey in this?

    Thanks! Love your site :)

    • http://www.simplyquinoa.com Queen of Quinoa

      Hi Samantha! I had another reader ask the same thing, and to be honest, I don’t eat soy so don’t cook with tofu. I think you probably could, but I can’t say if the proportions would be the same. I think you could also do something similar with lentils. I’ve seen recipes for lentil loafs which are similar to this: http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/04/dreenas-no-fu-love-loaf.html

      I think I might have to work on a quinoa version of this :)

      Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by! xo Alyssa

      • Samantha

        Thanks so much!! Appreciate the help, lentils would be a great idea!

  • http://www.tasty-yummies.com Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    YUM this looks so amazing. I’ll have to try the quinoa when I make meatloaf next, we have a ton of our grass-fed ground beef in the freezer still from our farmer and I have been dreaming of meatloaf.

  • http://acedarspoon.com Julia

    Wow. I never thought of putting quinoa in meatloaf…sounds really good! Meatloaf isn’t the prettiest meat out there but the quinoa makes it look better!!!

    • http://www.simplyquinoa.com Queen of Quinoa

      Thanks Julia! I’ve found that pretty much everything with quinoa is better 😉

  • jessica

    Wedding Crashers! :)

    • http://www.simplyquinoa.com Queen of Quinoa

      Woo hoo!! You’re the only one that actually answered the question :) xo!

  • http://QueenofQuinoa Clinton Davis

    I have read that most soy is GMO therefore the tofu falls prey to the status of anti-healthy.

  • http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/ Carole

    Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole’s Chatter is all about meatloaf. I do hope you link this nice one in. This is the link . Please do pop back to check out some of the other links. Have a great week.

  • http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/ Carole

    Alyssa, thank you for linking this in to Food on Friday. We are now getting a great collection of meatloaves together. I hope you have stopped by some of the other links to check them out!

    Ps I have just signed up to follow your blog. A follow back to Carole’s Chatter would be wonderful – or have you already followed? Cheers

    Ps If you would like email reminders of future Food on Fridays, just pop by and comment and include your email – I won’t publish it – and the reminder will be by bcc so it will remain private

  • Lynn

    The meatloaf was a hit. My husband loved it, even if he is not a fan of quinoa. He even went for a second serving. Thank you!

  • http://kidsrecipesandorganisedchaos.wordpress.com kids recipes and organised chaos

    Step brothers!!! LOVE that movie!! Also, I am the same as you. My mum cooked plenty of meatballs growing up (like, seriously a LOT), but not once did she cook meat loaf. I cooked it for my kids years ago, but have to say, I wasn’t sure what the point was. I just kept telling them, it’s a giant rectangle meatball kids, now eat up!! Lol! But, I love the idea of quinoa mixed with turkey for this recipe and will definitely be trying this out! Thanks for the recipe :)

  • http://kidsrecipesandorganisedchaos.wordpress.com kids recipes and organised chaos

    Gah, not step brothers, wedding crashers!! I meant wedding crashers!!