An image of the Polpettone (Italian White Bean and Turkey Meatloaf featuring Braised Swiss Chard) recipe

Polpettone (Italian White Bean and Turkey Meatloaf with Braised Swiss Chard)

While you might think of meatloaf as an all-American food, the Italians have a tasty version called Polpettone. CIA Chef Scott Samuel makes this produce-packed polpettone with a blend of ground turkey and white beans and serves it with a Swiss chard marinara sauce.  
To download a Spanish translation of this recipe click here.
Course: Entrée
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Bean type: White bean
Collection: Chef Creation, Video
Servings: 10
Calories: 400kcal
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For the Polpettone

  • 1 carrot medium, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 15-ounce can white beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup whole grain bread cubes
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • pounds turkey ground, 93% lean
  • 5 scallions roots removed, minced
  • ½ cup pecorino cheese grated
  • ½ cup fire-roasted tomatoes drained, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons Italian parsley stemmed and minced
  • ¼ cup oregano minced
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Swiss Chard Marinara

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 red pepper cored, seeded, diced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard stemmed, chopped
  • 1 cup marinara or tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons marjoram minced
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste


  • For the base of the meatloaf: Place the carrot, onion, celery, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until chopped very fine. In a large sauté pan, add olive oil and scrape the vegetables into the pan. Cook over medium-high heat stirring to cook evenly, about 5 minutes or until the vegetables just start to brown. Add 1 cup of the white beans and mash with the back of a wooden spoon; reserve the remaining 1 cup of beans. Remove from the heat and add to a large bowl to cool completely. Soak the bread cubes with the bread for about 15 minutes; add to the large bowl of cooled vegetables.
  • To complete the meatloaf: Preheat the oven to 375°F. To the large bowl with the cooked vegetable mixture, add the ground turkey, scallions, grated cheese, tomatoes, parsley, oregano, salt, and olive oil. Mix evenly with your hands until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Add the reserved 1 cup of white beans and stir gently to combine.
  • To cook the meatloaf: Form into a loaf about 5 inches in diameter, and place onto an oiled baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the center temperature reads 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  • For the Swiss chard marinara: Add the olive oil to a sauté pan and sauté the onions on medium-high heat until they start to become limp and soft. Add the garlic and red peppers and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the chopped Swiss chard and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the marinara sauce and marjoram and simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavors. Reduce the heat to medium or low and continue to cook slowly for 30 minutes until they are caramelized all the way through. Set aside warm for serving with meatloaf.
  • To serve the dish: Once the meatloaf is cooked, cool for 15 minutes. Serve with the braised greens.


Recipes developed by The Culinary Institute of America as an industry service to the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.


Serving: 5.5g | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 1210mg | Potassium: 730mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 4.1mg