Turkey and Beef Meatloaf with Cranberry Glaze and Classic Cornbread Dressing

It’s never too early to start being thankful. This week, it’s two dishes that are guaranteed to put you in a festive mood and help you get a little ahead of that turkey day prep, too. There’s no need to wait for the big day to get your turkey-cranberry fix. Turn on your oven and make a delicious homemade dinner that will warm your heart and home as well.

Turkey and cranberry are a classic pairing and this Turkey and Beef Meatloaf with Cranberry Glaze is an easy, healthier holiday way to enjoy them. Use a light and dark mix of ground turkey for the best flavor and a lean ground beef with 7 to 15% fat. I am saving my digits for pie making, so I used a food processor instead of the box grater. It did a fine job mincing the carrot and onion minus the finger shredding drama.

If you don’t care for spicy, omit the sriracha. You’ll still get plenty of flavor and have a nice balance of sweet and savory. Feel free to use instant oats in place of the instant barley. You can make instant oats by using regular rolled oats and pulsing them briefly in your blender or food processor. Mix all the other ingredients first to ensure that everything distributes evenly, then add the ground meat and barley so your meatloaf will get seasoned throughout. The original recipe called for 8 ounces of lean ground turkey, but I decided to use the entire pound. Why not make a larger meatloaf that will be enough for tonight’s dinner and give you some slices to tuck into the freezer for a night when you have your hands full making side dishes? 

Next, make this Classic Cornbread Dressing. With very few ingredients and a small bit of time, even non-cooks can pull this delicious and very inexpensive side dish together. Use store-bought, homemade, or a boxed mix to make the cornbread. I cut the butter back a bit, using only 5 tablespoons, already concerned about the total turkey day butter load that would end up on everyone’s plate. Go ahead and scoop out a small portion to bake and serve tonight with your meatloaf. Transfer the rest to a freezer-to-oven safe baking dish to freeze uncooked. Press a layer of plastic wrap onto the surface. Use a Sharpie to write the cooking temp (375º) and time (30 minutes), along with the name of the dish and the finished cooking temperature for stuffing (165º) onto the aluminum foil, then cover your dish and wrap tightly.

Turkey and Beef Meatloaf with Cranberry Glaze

cranberry glaze

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha  
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped (2 Tablespoons)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 


  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 pound 85 percent lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup instant barley
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt  
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish

Position an oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 375º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine cranberries, ketchup, honey, sriracha, Dijon mustard and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until bubbling, then reduce heat to simmer; continue to cook and stir until cranberries soften and mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Use a potato masher to crush cranberries until mostly smooth. Stir in rosemary and kosher salt then set aside to cool slightly. 

Grate carrot and onion on the small shredding side of a box grater set inside a large mixing bowl. Add egg, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard, then mix together. Add beef, turkey, barley, salt and several grinds of pepper. Use clean hands to mix everything together until well combined.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet and shape into 9-by-4-inch loaf. Wash hands thoroughly.  Brush meatloaf on all sides with half of the cranberry glaze. Bake 15 minutes, then brush meatloaf on all sides again with remaining glaze. Bake until a thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf measures 155º F, about 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with rosemary sprigs before serving. 

Classic Cornbread Dressing

  • 8 Tablespoons butter, divided 
  • 1 cup Vidalia or Spanish onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 6 cups cornbread, about 1 pound
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage leaves, about 12, stems removed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 375º F. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until light golden, about 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a small plate. Add water to skillet, raise heat to medium-high and let simmer a few minutes, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the skillet; remove from heat.

Using clean hands and working over a large bowl, break cornbread into 1-inch chunks. Melt remaining butter in a small skillet over medium heat until butter bubbles and starts to turn golden. Add sage leaves and fry until beginning to crisp, about 30 seconds. Remove sage with a slotted spoon and add to bowl with cornbread; remove butter from heat. Add eggs and onions to cornbread, then pour browned butter over, season with salt and pepper and stir. Add onion infused water, a little at a time, folding gently until cornbread is evenly moistened but not soggy. 

Spoon dressing into a 9 by 11-inch baking dish and bake until top is golden brown and dressing is set in the middle and measures an internal temperature of 165º F, about 30 minutes.


Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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