Spinach and Ricotta Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

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This meatloaf muffin is the perfect spin-off of a culinary classic, which many children despised during the early twentieth century.

The muffin is densely packed with wholesome protein and vegetable, but it does not feel or taste heavy. The filling makes it moist, with creamy ricotta cheese in every bite. The confetti-looking pieces of speckled spinach add pizazz.

The ricotta/spinach combination works perfectly. Consider the two an inspired duo, helped along by the saltiness of Parmesan and good old-fashioned salt and pepper. The muffins stand alone beautifully and can be served with salad or a side of baked fries. The topping is optional for those who like marinara.

If meatloaf is on your menu this week, try this lighter version. If you intend to serve leftovers, omit the mozzarella on top because it does not reheat as well as the rest of the ingredients.

This recipe is great to make with beef or a mix of turkey and beef.

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Spinach and Ricotta Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (makes 12)

1 Lb ground turkey
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, beaten
½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs (or 14 Ritz crackers, crushed)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

Topping (optional)

1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine and mix thoroughly with hands the turkey, spinach, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.
3. Distribute turkey mixture into the muffin-pan cups and press with back of spoon.
4. Spoon the marinara evenly over muffin cups. (optional)
5. Sprinkle mozzarella over marinara (optional).
6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

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Thai Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

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My husband requested a more adult muffin for a sophisticated evening with friends (sans kids). Not that there’s anything unsophisticated about peanut butter and jelly muffins…

Here is something else to do with ground turkey that is oh so flavorful! These healthy muffins are super moist and have a special Thai kick. TheThai flavors are delicious and the muffins are perfect for reheating at lunchtime.

Although my kids were doubtful at first, after the first bites, they approved. My husband had seconds and asked for a “doggy bag” to bring to work the next day.
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Thai Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (makes 12)
1.25 Lb ground turkey (preferably  a mix of half dark meat and half light meat)
3/4 cup rice, cooked
1/4 tsp cilantro
1/4 tsp lemon grass
1/4 tsp scallions
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (or peanut oil)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 muffin-pan cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Combine turkey, rice, seasoning, coconut milk, peanut sauce, and sesame oil, and mix thoroughly with hands.
3. Distribute turkey mixture into the muffin-pan cups and press into mixture with back of spoon.
4. Bake for 30 minutes.
5. Serve with peanut sauce.