Mini Mediterranean Chicken Meatloaf with Chimichurri

When it's brisk outside and only a hefty meal will warm me, meatloaf is one of the first dishes I...
Contributor

When it's brisk outside and only a hefty meal will warm me, meatloaf is one of the first dishes I crave. Now that it's warm out, the demand for meatloaf has waned, and meals are replaced with salads, sandwiches, and light pastas. A shame, if you ask me.

Must we toss the glorious soul-nurturing dish aside until next snowfall, like a piece of… uh, meat? Absolutely not. That is why there are these mini Mediterranean chicken meatloaves.

This recipe transforms traditional meatloaf into a healthier and lighter dish, all the while keeping it satisfying and absolutely delicious. Ground chicken is a nutritious alternative to beef, and the fresh vegetables, herbs, and mozzarella just add flavor.

A trick I learned in the test kitchen at Fine Cooking is to replace breadcrumbs with quick oats. Beyond helping to maintain the loaf's shape, the oats actually moisten the meat, even when using lean ground chicken.

And chimichurri is a fantastic accompaniment. Yes, I know that chimichurri originated in Argentina, which is not the Mediterranean. But after trying countless variations when I lived in Buenos Aires, I couldn't ignore that the bright flavor of my chimichurri — which calls for basil instead of oregano — is the perfect match regardless of its origin. 

For more recipes from Danielle Padula and her website GreenMitts, click here.

3
Servings
644
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

Note: These loaves go great with mashed potatoes and a simple tomato salad!

Ingredients

For the meatloaf:

  • 1 Pound lean ground chicken (can substitute lean ground turkey)
  • 1 Cup baby spinach, medium chopped
  • 1/2 Cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 Cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 Ounce fresh mozzarella, medium chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 Cup quick oats
  • 1 Tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder

For the chimichurri:

  • 1 Cup fresh basil, packed
  • 1/2 Cup fresh Italian parsley, packed
  • 1/2 garlic clove, germ removed
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions

For the meatloaf:

Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, gently combine all the meatloaf ingredients. The less you handle the mixture, the more tender the loaf — so try using a folding motion. If using mini loaf pans, split the mixture in half and form to each pan. Otherwise, form all of the mixture into an average-sized loaf pan. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until the top and sides are golden.

For the chimichurri:

Make the chimichurri by combining all ingredients in a food processor and blending until smooth.

Spread the chimichurri over the loaves while they rest in the pan until cool enough to transfer to a plate. Enjoy!

*Feel free to double the chimichurri recipe to have leftovers throughout the week to add onto grilled beef, as the base for dressing or marinade, or simply to spread over artisanal bread.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
33g
47%
Sugar
9g
10%
Saturated Fat
14g
58%
Cholesterol
162mg
54%
Carbohydrate, by difference
40g
31%
Protein
51g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
677µg
97%
Vitamin B-12
3µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
23mg
31%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
717µg
100%
Calcium, Ca
344mg
34%
Choline, total
158mg
37%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
9g
36%
Fluoride, F
3µg
0%
Folate, total
166µg
42%
Iron, Fe
9mg
50%
Magnesium, Mg
195mg
61%
Manganese, Mn
3mg
100%
Niacin
11mg
79%
Pantothenic acid
3mg
60%
Phosphorus, P
550mg
79%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
55µg
100%
Sodium, Na
652mg
43%
Water
306g
11%
Zinc, Zn
8mg
100%

Mediterranean Shopping Tip

As an alternative to sugary, salty, processed foods, try shopping for fruits and vegetables that are in season.

Mediterranean Cooking Tip

For a healthier alternative, substitute honey or molasses for sugar in baking recipes, and use a 3:1 blend of canola oil to olive oil instead of butter when cooking over the flame.