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turkey meatloaf

Santa Fe Style Turkey Meatloaf With Roasted Poblanos

  • Author: Joan Feldman
  • Total Time: 2 ½ to 3 hours, including chilling time
  • Yield: 2 medium meatloafs 1x


Roasted poblano peppers elevate the standard turkey meatloaf recipe from blah to brilliant, packed with juicy vegetables and topped with red chile enchilada sauce. The recipe makes two loaves, so you can freeze one for later!



1 Yellow onion, medium, diced

1 Carrot, peeled and diced

1 Leek, white and light green part only, chopped

2 Celery sticks, diced

1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

3 Poblano Peppers, roasted and peeled and seeded*

3 T. Olive oil

3 lb. Ground turkey meat (preferably half thigh meat and half breast meat; all breast will be too dry)

1/3 c. Half and Half or Whole Milk

½ t. Cumin

½ t. Garlic Salt

1/4 t. Aleppo pepper (may substitute cayenne pepper)

½ t. Ground pepper

1 t. Kosher salt

1 egg

1 c. Panko Bread crumbs

1 c. Red enchilada sauce, divided (Frontera brand recommended)

* Place peppers under a broiler or on the grill until blackened on all sides. Place inside a damp towel or paper bag for 10 to 20 minutes. This will help steam off the skins. Peel the skin off each pepper, remove the seeds and dice. Reserve 4 thin strips of pepper to garnish the top of the meatloaf.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a large rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.

  1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Add onion, leek, celery, carrot. Saute, stirring often, for about 10 minutes until vegetables are soft but not brown. Set aside to cool, then add the diced Poblano peppers. Refrigerate for about one hour.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spices and salt and pepper, then add the egg and half-and-half and 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce. Mix well.
  3. Add the ground turkey and Panko bread crumbs to the egg mixture. Mix lightly. Then add the cooled vegetables. Mix thoroughly, preferably with your hands.
  4. On the prepared rimmed baking sheet, divide the meatloaf mixture in half and shape it into two loaves approximately 8 x 4 inches.
  5. Top each loaf with the remaining red sauce and garnish with two strips each of Poblano pepper.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, checking that the temperature reaches 165 degrees until done. Do not overcook.


If the meatloaf mixture seems too wet to shape, add additional Panko 1/4 c. at a time. If it seems to dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk. The mixture should be easy to shape, though it will be a bit sticky.

  • Prep Time: 1 ½ hours (including chilling time)
  • Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Southwestern