Comfort Food Made Healthy - Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

As we quickly transition into the winter months, it’s easy for us to fully embrace the hibernation and holiday mode, leaving our workouts and healthy eating to shambles. However, what if this winter we could have the best of both worlds?

This month’s healthy recipe is where comfort food meets healthy eating with a vegetable meatloaf that’s only 270 calories per serving! It’s a great dish that keeps your stomach full while giving you vital nutrients during the cold season.

The federal dietary guidelines recommends eating 5-7 servings of fresh vegetables daily. With that, it’s important to have variety in the vegetables you eat as different vegetables provide different benefits. For instance, yellow and orange vegetables are a good source of vitamin A while dark green vegetables are high in minerals and anthocyanin antioxidants.

Besides the many beneficial nutrients vegetables provide, did you know that incorporating vegetables into your daily diet is also a great way to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases? This includes lowering the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, stomach cancer and type 2 diabetes.

With that in mind, indulge your comfort food craving this winter season with a yummy vegetable meatloaf topped with balsamic glaze that is sure to give you a boost of nutrients you need! This dish can make a great dinner to keep you on track towards healthy eating this winter.

Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ pounds ground turkey (90 percent lean)
  • 1 cup panko (coarse Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat.

Add the diced zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, garlic paste and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk egg and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Add in the turkey, panko, grated cheese, ½ cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and the cooled vegetables. Mix until just combined.

Gently press the mixture into a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan. Whisk the remaining ¼ cup ketchup, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over the entire loaf and bake 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Let the meatloaf cool off for 10 minutes before slicing.

(Recipe via Food Network)