American classic gets a delicious pesto twist

April 24, 2013 

Pesto Meat Loaf is an updated version of one of America’s best-loved foods. This meat loaf takes only 15 minutes to bake. The secret is to cook it on a baking sheet, which allows hot air to circulate all around the meat.

While the meat loaf is cooking, you can whip up my tasty potatoes. I cut the potatoes into small pieces for quick cooking and use a waxy potato such as a yellow or red potato. They taste creamy without the need for a lot of cream. Leave skin on for flavor, texture and color. Serve with sliced tomatoes.


Wine suggestion: This herbal meat loaf would go well with an herbal white sauvignon blanc.

Nutrition: 573 calories per serving; 33 percent from fat

Substitutions: If white meat chicken is not available, use ground turkey breast instead. Four tablespoons of dried chives can be used instead of fresh.

Save time: Chop chives by snipping them with scissors.

To buy: 1 package frozen chopped or diced onion, 1 small container prepared reduced-fat pesto sauce, 1 small container plain bread crumbs, 3/4 pound ground white meat chicken, 3/4 pound yellow potatoes, 1 small bunch chives, 1 small carton heavy whipping cream, 1 can olive oil spray

Staples: Egg, salt, black peppercorns


Olive oil spray

1/2 cup frozen chopped or diced onion, defrosted

1/4 cup prepared reduced-fat pesto sauce

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs

3/4 pound ground white meat chicken

1 egg white

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil spray. Mix onion, pesto sauce, bread crumbs, ground chicken and egg white together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide in two, place on baking tray and shape into 2 loaves about 6 inches by 3 inches. Bake 15 minutes. A thermometer should read 165 degrees. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 398 calories (34 percent from fat), 15.1 g fat ( .9 g saturated, 6.9 g monounsaturated), 113 mg cholesterol, 43.7 g protein, 18.0 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g fiber, 578 mg sodium. GOLDEN MASHED POTATOES

3/4 pound yellow potatoes (about 21/2 cups cubed)

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup snipped chives.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash potatoes (do not peel) and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons cooking water and drain potatoes. Pass them through a potato ricer or food mill. Whisk in the reserved water, cream and chives. If using a food processor, process only until just blended, about 5 seconds. Remove from processor to whisk in reserved water, cream and chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 175 calories (30 percent from fat), 5.8 g fat ( 3.5 g saturated, 1.6 g monounsaturated), 20 mg cholesterol, 3.9 g protein, 28.0 g carbohydrates, 3.3 g fiber, 36 mg sodium.

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks, including “The Flavors of the Florida Keys.” Go to

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service