Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bon Roll, turkey meatloaf extraordinaire

When I lived in Italy there was this amazing pre-packaged food, the Bon Roll. It started out as a pretty basic turkey meatloaf with a ham and cheese filling and then, year after year, they started making more exciting, different ones like speck and radicchio or tuna and capers. The original of course remained my favorite -simple, super easy to make and incredibly good to eat for lunch or dinner. You could find the Bon Roll at any grocery store, in the refrigerated section. All you had to do was take it our of its box, put it in a pyrex with a glass of white wine and a little olive oil and bake it in the oven for about an hour. The result was moist and amazing, especially if you took the time to collect the browned wine from the pyrex and use it as gravy.

To make a long story short, I miss my Bon Roll dearly. There is a long list of ingredients and dishes that I miss from my home country and it might sound a little crazy that a pre-packaged meatloaf would make it into the top 5 -but it does. So I looked it up on the Internet and found several forums discussing the ingredients and how to make one at home. Now, I'm not sure why someone who can go to the store and buy it would muse about how to replicate it home, but I'm happy that they are because thanks to their discussion I was able to make mine in my kitchen 5000 miles away from Italy. It turned out amazingly good and, even better, it tasted just like the real deal. I loved it so much that soon I'm going to try and make all the variations!

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast
3 small potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
2 eggs
Bread crumbs (quantity depends on starchiness of the potatoes)
2 tablespoons minced parseley
4 ounces ham, minced
4 ounces grated white cheddar cheese or provolone
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray
A small glass of white wine or broth

In a large bowl mix the grouond turkey breast with two of the mashed potatoes, one egg, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Add enough breadcrumbs so that the mixture is easy to handle and doesn't fall apart. Set aside.

In another bowl mix ham, cheese, one egg, one mashed potato and a little bread crumbs. Mix well and set aside.

Place the turkey mixture on a large piece of parchement paper and cover with plastic wrap. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll out the mixture so it has a shape that resembles a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Remove and discard plastic wrap. Take ham mixture and place it in the middle of the rectangle, shaping it with your hands in a brick shape. Using the parchment paper wrap the turkey mixture around the ham mixture so that the ham filling is completly enclosed and not visible anymore. You should now have something resebling a meatloaf in fron of you.

Spray a Pyrex with cooking spray, pour a glass of white wine in it and gently roll the loaf into the pyrex. Discard parchment paper. Cook at 350F for about an hour or until golden brown.


  1. I am NOT a meatloaf fan, but with ham and cheese in it, it may be edible!

  2. What a gorgeous meal! I love all the flavors going on. I'll be making this soon (probably this weekend) and I hope mine turns out as lovely as yours! ;)

  3. TKW,
    not a mealoaf fan? Wow. Meatloaf is one of my favorite dishes. But then again, I never make a "traditional" one... I always dress it up to be tastier and more interesting.

    I'm sure it will turn out perfect. I'm actually thinking of making it again this weekend, but with a different filling. We'll see!

  4. When I lived in Milan, I prepared a lot of bon rolls, but never just out of the box, I would wrap them in prosciutto and then in foil before I baked them. When I moved to Mexico, I would make them from ground chicken and stuff them with chorizo. I have experimented with lots of flavors, including spinach stuffing. I also like them stuffed with fruits and nuts. It's an amazing food, and a wonderful presentation.



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