Chicken Meatloaf – Cheatloaf!

Who doesn’t love meatloaf? Homey, warming, satisfying and reminiscent of a time when all you had to do was eat quickly enough to catch the newest episode of Boy Meets World. I grew up with traditional meatloaf. Breadcrumbs, eggs and beef. Lots of beef. Sometimes I still love that meatloaf. But sometimes, I want something a little lighter. A little less dense. Still comforting but not quite as leaden feeling in the stomach. And it better be easy.

1.5 lbs. Ground chicken (dark or white meat is okay, or any combo thereof)
1 Small dinner roll or bialy (I am specially partial to onion rolls)
1/2 Cup Whole Milk
1 Cup mayonnaise (once again…you use the light stuff, you are dead to me)
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Yellow or vidalia Onion
Liberal Sprinkling of 21 Seasoning Salute or Montreal Steak Seasoning
1.5 Tbls. Tomato paste
1/3 Cup ketchup

 1)Preheat oven to 350 F, line a large loaf pan with foil and put the chicken in a large mixing bowl.

 2)Break the bread up into small, but not tiny pieces and put it in the bowl with the chicken.

 Don’t worry about making the pieces too small – you want them larger.

 3)Add the milk to the bowl

 being sure to submerge the bread in the milk, to begin to break it down and make a sort of paste.

 4)Add the Parmesan

 5)And the Worcestershire

 6)And the tomato paste

 7)And the seasoning

8)And the mayo. The mayo and the healthy amounts of umami from the Worcestershire and the tomato paste are necessary because the chicken is, on its own, quite bland and lean. It needs some sort of fat and seasoning to punch it up. 

9)Mix the ingredients just enough to combine and moisten everything. You don’t want to over-mix it, because then the chicken will get too tough.

 10)Slice your onion into rings, either with a knife or a mandolin.

 My new mandolin rocks my world.

 11)Layer the onions in the bottom of the foiled pan (ignore the potatoes, failed experiment forever preserved in photographs).

12)Smooth the meat mixture evenly in the pan

 13)Top with ketchup.

 I mean really, LIBERALLY top it with ketchup. You kinda can’t have too much ketchup here.

 14)Bake for 35 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink and is firm when you go to cut it.

 15)Enjoy! This is light and incredibly delicate – almost fluffy. It is spicy with the red pepper and black pepper in the spice mix, salty with the Worcestershire and the bread melts into soft globs of starch – like the way the bread bowl tastes when filled with rich stew. The sugars in the ketchup caramelize to a gooey, sugary finish on top of the chicken, and the onions underneath steam to sweet, oniony perfection.

Equally as delicious hot on top of mashed potatoes, room temperature on a sandwich with mayonnaise or eaten out of the Tupperware straight from the fridge, this is one meatloaf that is only cheating on how easy it is and how low fat it is. Cause it surely doesn’t cheat you on the flavor.


  1. My mom made meatloaf once when I was a kid and I thought it was amazing. I think I ate two pounds of it. Of course, I was only about 11, so I threw it all back up. And I haven't had it again. The wild boar meatloaf I had on Liz's birthday in May was the first meatloaf of any kind that I have had in twenty years.

    This looks really interesting but I know I won't make the effort. Now, if you want to make it for me some day…


  1. […] 1. Scoop the top of your bun, so there is a well in the center. This is so you can really load up the toppings. Save the breadcrumbs for some fabulous meatloaf! […]

  2. […] 6. Put the loaf into the pan and top it with additional ketchup. Really lay it on thick, a la cheatloaf. […]