In a medium sauté pan, on medium-low heat, cook the onions, olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme until the onions are translucent but not browned, approximately 15 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste and mix well. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Combine the ground turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, and onion mixture in a large bowl. Mix well and shape into a rectangular loaf on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread the ketchup evenly on top.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the internal temperature is 165 degrees and the meat loaf is cooked through. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold in a sandwich.
(A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meat loaf, will keep the top from cracking.)
Ground turkey: A reminder that this recipe uses 5 pounds of ground turkey, but don’t worry! The leftovers are delicious.
Bread crumbs: It's easy to make your own bread crumbs and for the tastiest results, I highly recommend it. Or, substitute store-bought.
Ketchup: Using a sauce like ketchup keeps the meatloaf moist. But, you could use a different sauce such as your favorite BBQ sauce, or bake the meatloaf plain and make a gravy or marinara sauce for serving.
Cracked meatloaf: Place a pan of hot water in the oven under the loaf as it bakes to keep the top from cracking.
Meatloaf muffins: Cute, quick, and single-serve meatloaf muffins are a hit for parties and potlucks. Plus they bake up in half the time. Drop scoops of the turkey mixture into a standard muffin tin using a large ice cream scoop. Brush on ketchup topping. Bake in the preheated oven at 325 degrees until golden brown and 165 degrees when a food thermometer is inserted in the center, about 45 minutes.
Freezing raw meatloaf: Form the ground turkey mixture into a loaf, then wrap thoroughly with plastic wrap and place in an airtight freezer bag. Raw meatloaf should last up to six months in the freezer. Thaw before baking according to the recipe instructions.
Freezing cooked meatloaf: Cool to room temperature before wrapping well in foil; then place in a sealed plastic freezer bag, and store in the freezer up to six months. To reheat, remove the wrapping and place in the oven without thawing. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees. When cooking or reheating frozen meatloaf, always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. It should read 165 degrees.
Bacon-wrapped: Skip the ketchup and cover the meatloaf with slices of your favorite bacon, which cooks along with the loaf.
Oats inside: Some cooks (my mom) swear by using old-fashioned rolled oats in their meatloaf. If you’re one of them, just omit the breadcrumbs and add an equal amount of rolled oats.
Dried mushrooms: Got some dried mushrooms in the pantry? Rehydrate them and add them to the raw meat mix.
Spicy: Add diced green chilies or pickled jalapeños to the meat. Then a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce into the ketchup topping.