Feta-Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf with Tzatziki Sauce (Low Carb)

When I think of comfort food, I don’t necessarily think of meatloaf. The first thing that comes to mind is soup (or stew, or chili – anything of the broth-based variety). Next come casseroles and lasagnes. Meatloaf probably rates a distant third in my comfort food line-up. And yet, I love meatloaf and every time I have it, I wonder why I don’t have it more often. It’s an easy meal to throw together, and it’s wonderfully versatile. You can spice it up with any number of flavourings, you can dress it up with toppings and sauces. It gets a bit of a bad rap because everyone has had bad, dry, flavourless meatloaf at some point, but it shouldn’t be relegated to “only choke down under grandma’s watchful gaze” pile. It’s easy to make good meatloaf, and good meatloaf is delicious.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were kicking around ideas for dinner. As he had just come home from our local wholesale club with a large tub of feta cheese and a big package of ground turkey, I was focussing on those two ingredients. We wanted something easy to put together, and the idea of a greek-inspired meatloaf just came to me. My husband is a true lover of feta cheese, and his biggest concern was that the flavour of the cheese not get lost in the rest of the meatloaf. So I decided to pack it into the middle of the loaf, so as to get a concentrated area of feta-ness. Spinach and feta go so well together, I thought I might mix frozen spinach right into the meatloaf base. And to top it all off, a wonderful garlicky tzatziki yogurt sauce.

To keep it low carb, I skipped the bread crumbs and used coconut flour to help bind the meatloaf and keep it moist. I loosely (very loosely) followed a recipe for turkey meatloaf from Ina Garten just to get my proportions right. Other than that, this meatloaf was purely my invention.

The Results: This was a really good, interesting take on meatloaf. The flavours of the feta and tzatziki were a wonderful addition to this comfort-food dish and I would happily make it again. I would make one change, though, and that would be to add some gyro spices or seasoning to the basic mix. The meatloaf derived most of its flavour from the feta and tzatziki sauce, and I think some seasoning that was reminiscent of gyros would enhance the dish even more.

I didn’t label this recipe gluten free because I am not certain if Worcestershire sauce has any gluten. If you want to make it gluten free, skip the sauce or find a brand of steak sauce that contains no gluten.

Feta-Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf with Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 medium cucumber, cut in half longwise and thinly sliced
1 tsp chopped, fresh dill
1/4 tsp salt

Meatloaf:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup coconut flour (or 1/2 cup bread crumbs)
1/2 cup chicken stock (reduce to 1/4 cup if using bread crumbs)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

For the sauce, mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and chill until serving.

For the meatloaf, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 325F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, salt and pepper and saute until onions are translucent but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add in spinach and stir until heated through.

In a large mixing bowl, combine onion mixture, turkey, coconut flour, chicken stock, egg and worcestershire sauce. Mix until very well combined.

Place half of the turkey mixture on prepared baking sheet and shape into a flat rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Cover with feta cheese, pressing on feta to adhere to meatloaf. Place remaining turkey mixture overtop of feta and shape the whole thing into a rough loaf.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until internatl temperature reaches 160F on an instant read thermometer.

Cut into slices and drizzle with tzatziki sauce, passing remaining sauce at the table.

Serves 6.

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Comments

  1. This looks fantastic!

  2. You done it again! Lovely post, photos, meatloaf..just wonderful Carolyn!

  3. Lisa, motyok says:

    I use coconut flour to help bind meatloaves and meatballs too. I also like to use chia seeds. They make a very moist loaf–add two tablespoons per pound of meat.

  4. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels says:

    Wow wow and wow! What an incredibly creative combination of flavors. I would have never of thought of doing something like this, you're so creative. I love that you made a tzatziki sauce too. Oh this just sounds so delicious. Thank you so much for such an amazing recipe! :)

  5. Emily @ For Sweets Sake says:

    yum! any recipe with tzatziki in it, you can count me in! ;)

  6. ravienomnoms says:

    What a great spin on meatloaf, I love meatloaf anyways…but I really like the creativity of this. Not to mention all the ingredients are just delish! I especially like the feta!

  7. You know, I've never made a meatloaf of any kind before, but this looks so great I decided I have to give it a shot. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. This is gorgeous. I can't wait to make this for my best friend and her husband.

  9. The Small Boston Kitchen says:

    This looks really good! I love cooking with feta because when it gets heated, it becomes all salty, soft and warm. Great idea.

  10. you won my giveaway! check out my blog for more details!

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  12. Evan @swEEts says:

    Carolyn I think I just fell in love with this meatloaf.. this sounds heavenly. I have bookmarked it and am coming back to it after the holidays! Thanks for sharing :)

  13. Torviewtoronto says:

    this goes well looks delicious

  14. BakingWithoutaBox says:

    Oh wow. I love you doing savoury. This looks fabulous. And with the cheese oozing. That's not like momma's meatloaf. It's way better.

  15. this sounds SO yummy. I am definitely going to give this one a try. I'm a feta junkie too.

  16. Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) says:

    Carolyn, you are so creative! This turkey meatloaf looks absolutely delicious and healthy (a nice change from most heavy, hearty meals of winter). Thanks for sharing, and happy holidays to you!

  17. Looks SOOOO good Carolyn!!! Fresh & Flavorful!

  18. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having says:

    I love how much feta there is in this recipe! Combined with the tzatziki I'm sure it was delicious.

  19. That's a great use for feta. I have some in the fridge that may just end up in a similar dish. Thank you for the idea!

  20. Lena @ Miss Lucky Piggy says:

    looks yummyyyy…. i am a fan of minced turkey, must try your recipe, thanks for sharing :-)

  21. Great recipe, looks so delicious!

  22. Those pictures make me so hungry. Your meatloaf just look super yummy. I love the idea of adding feta in it. It sounds really good :)

  23. You've got me craving gryros now. I love that tzatziki sauce…so good! An interesting idea, too, to mix in the feta cheese and give same 'ol – same 'ol meatloaf a different spin. I love turning old classics into new and creative dishes. So fun.

  24. What a creative & inspired take on meatloaf! I love the flavors and ingredients you used to put a Greek spin on an old classic.

  25. What a creative & inspired take on meatloaf! I love the flavors and ingredients you used to put a Greek spin on an old classic.

  26. I Love Low carb – this looks amazing!

    Susan http://www.ugogrrl.com

  27. Amy at TheSceneFromMe says:

    Now that is one meatloaf that I would love to eat! The feta cheese just puts it over the top, yeah for feta!!!

  28. Ooh this is definitely up my street. I'm curious as to how much flavour the coconut gives. I might try making something similar using ground mutton and serve it with my Fetziki. I'd keep the spinach in too – nice touch!

  29. Sprinkled with Flour says:

    Such a unique recipe that I'm sure is delicious! I haven't had meatloaf in so long, I'll have to try this one:)

  30. Kim - Liv Life says:

    Ah… what a perfect meal for our rainy days! I love the feta layer. I've used it before but always mixed it in, and yes, I think it did get a bit lost. I'm going to remember this for next time.

  31. Sprinkles of Parsley says:

    wow that looks AMAZING!! So flavorful… I am really looking forward to these savory meals after the holidays! I'm sick of sweets right now… didn't know that was even possible! I'll have to try this next week- thanks for the recipe!

  32. Low carb meatloaf with feta cheese? I'm totally in! I love this fresh take on what is a traditionally high carb dish, you're a genius, Carolyn!

  33. I read the title on Twitter and knew this would be good. Hot #### this looks sooooooooo delicious!! VERY creative Carolyn and Mr. Dreamer! It's amazing when you're partner helps inspire you!!! OMG I am not a ground turkey gal, but this looks goooooood.

  34. Angie's Recipes says:

    Excellent meatloaf! I love how juicy it looks. And tzatziki sauce sounds really great too.

  35. This looks really delicious, Carolyn. I might actually make it for my Mom when I go to Atlanta. Turkey is her preferred meat lately, since she used to be a vegetarian. After scanning the spices though, I would have to agree with you that this would be even better taken up a notch-maybe some cumin, smoked paprika, and a pinch of hot red pepper and cinnamon. Maybe (smile)?!
    Either way, it's a beautiful loaf!

  36. Cake Duchess says:

    Tzatziki is my favorite sauce. I go to a Middle Eastern market by my house to buy this every other week. I love your healthy recipes. So inspiring and flavorful. :)

  37. Table Talk says:

    This is a good one to balance out all of the Christmas cookies I have eaten this week. Love the Tzatziki sauce!

  38. So you know, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce is gluten free. And I am TOTALLY making this.

  39. You know, I am totally not a huge meatloaf fan at all. I can't even remember the last time I've had it. BUT your take on it might just convince me to think otherwise!

  40. A Little Yumminess says:

    ANd this looks sooo Good! LOVE that is low carb. Never thought of meatloaf for a low carb diet

  41. Anonymous says:

    We made this last night and it was nothing short of AMAZING….

  42. This just came out of my oven right now, and I could barely contain my excitement!! This is so unbelievably good. It's definitely going to be a keeper in my kitchen! Thanks for a great recipe!

  43. Just made this for the second time this month!!!! My picky husband requested it:-) I did add a tbsp of cumin and coriander to the mix and used fresh spinach. We put leftovers on pita bread with the sauce…so yummy!

  44. Mmmmm I love meatloaf. Definitely going to make this!

  45. I made this a few weeks ago and am STILL thinking about (drooling over) how wonderful it was! … I was soooo super impressed with the dish that I had to let you know. I have a house full of boys (3 kids + hubby) and going “low carb” /grain-free has sometimes been a struggle for family dinners. This dish was a hit all around even with our additional male dinner guest. I will double the recipe next time for sure, only because the kids asked for leftovers for lunch, and were (not being sarcastic) *devastated* that there was none left :) . One thing I changed (or added) was a homemade gyro seasoning that made and everything else followed to a “t”. thanks for a great recipe. It’s is a keeper for this lowcarb friend.

    • Wonderful! What’s in your homemade gyro seasoning???

      • I’ll give credit where credit is due. .. I found my “go to greek seasoning mix”recipe from food.com, it is wonderful!!! and very perfect with the greek meatloaf. Again, the kids were in love with it- so that makes me double-in love :)
        2 tablespoons chili powder
        1 tablespoon ground coriander
        1 tablespoon ground cumin
        1/2 tablespoon paprika, hot or sweet
        1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
        1 tablespoon dried parsley
        2 teaspoons dried oregano
        2 teaspoons dried thyme
        1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

        Read more at: http://greek.food.com/recipe/gyros-spice-mix-with-a-kick-58843?oc=linkback

  46. I’ll give credit where credit is due. .. I found my “go to greek seasoning mix”recipe from food.com, it is wonderful!!! and very perfect with the greek meatloaf. Again, the kids were in love with it- so that makes me double-in love :)
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    1 tablespoon ground coriander
    1 tablespoon ground cumin
    1/2 tablespoon paprika, hot or sweet
    1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon dried parsley
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    2 teaspoons dried thyme
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Read more at: http://greek.food.com/recipe/gyros-spice-mix-with-a-kick-58843?oc=linkback

  47. Whoa. This just looks and sounds AMAZING!!! I’m not a huge meatloaf fan (except cold on sandwiches)….I think because I’ve never had THIS meatloaf! Cannot wait to try it!

  48. valerie says:

    I know what’s for dinner tonight! This looks great, love Greek food!

  49. Carolyn, thank you for creating such an amazing blog! I’ve gotten so many ideas already! As for the meatloaf…do you think that mozzarella cheese would work similarly? Thank you! Ana

  50. Cindy White says:

    Doubled this for my whole crew for Sunday dinner, adding Greek seasoning as per your suggestion. I used half ground turkey and half ground pork loin. Oh. My. Gosh. Served it with cauliflower mash for us low carbers, mashed potatoes for the rest.

  51. I made this tonight! I added more seasonings (cumin,parsley and thyme…its what I had on hand!) and honestly I could’ve used a lot more…I was just worried it would be too much. The texture is a lot like a crab cake vs a meatloaf. Not really a bad thing but something that my husband pointed out. The sauce was AWESOME….and I used sour cream instead of yogurt. That and the feta are my favorite parts! Have you ever tried using ground beef? I think next time I might!

    • Carolyn says:

      Ground beef would be great. Turkey has very little fat so keeping it moist is tougher than beef or pork.

  52. A tip for gluten-free: Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, according to their website and bottles, is indeed gluten free. I think they just didn’t used to bother labeling it thus, before heightened gluten awareness meant bigger business in that area.

  53. Hi there,
    I absolutely LOVE this recipe! My Only tweak on it is that I add some garlic to the onion and spinach mixture. I was wondering if you had a ballpark as to the nutritional content in this recipe? I tried guessing but I think I am WAY off! Thank you!

    • Here we go: Carbohydrate: 13.71g
      Total dietary fiber: 4.13g
      Food energy: 399kcal
      Saturated fatty acids: 8.49g
      Protein: 38.00g

      You can get more than 6 servings out of it to make it less carby, or cut back on the onion and spinach a bit.

  54. I made the meatloaf for dinner last night. It did not look as pretty as the one in the photo but it tasted really yummy. Oh yeah, I didn’t make the Greek sauce either.

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