This easy to make Cajun meatloaf is a great way to spice up classic meatloaf. Easy to make and full of flavor, you're sure to make this again and again.
For a meatloaf that's full of Southern flair, try this Cajun-inspired version.
Chopped andouille sausage adds that NOLA flavor and flair with its smoky, seasoned meat. The "holy trinity" of onion, celery and bell pepper are infused in the meatloaf for unmistakable Louisiana essance.
Bring it all together with a simple meatloaf base of ground beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, and milk. It gets a delicious glaze over the top.
This meatloaf is perfect for laid back gatherings with friends and family. Busy weeknights when you are looking for something with easy prep and a bit of spice is also a great time to make and serve this delicious dinner.
This is a favorite recipe that has so much flavor. My family loves spicy meals and this recipe is perfect for that.
Ingredients for Cajun Meatloaf
Butter: You can use unsalted or salted based on your preference.
Onion, Celery, Green bell pepper, and Green onions: Always use fresh vegetables for the best taste.
Garlic: Adjust the amount based on your love for garlic.
Ketchup and Yellow Mustard
Ground beef: Use lean ground beef to avoid excess fat.
Andouille sausage: A spicy Cajun sausage, you can use other spicy sausages is you can't find Andouille.
Bread crumbs: Fresh or dried breadcrumbs work.
Eggs: Act as a binder.
Evaporated milk: Adds moisture to the meatloaf. Regular milk can be used, but evaporated milk gives a richer flavor.
Hot pepper sauce & Worcestershire sauce: Adds a spicy kick and depth of flavor. Adjust the amount based on your heat preference.
Seasonings: This includes dried thyme, dried oregano, and ground cayenne pepper. These seasonings give the meatloaf its characteristic Cajun flavor. Adjust the cayenne based on your heat tolerance.
Salt and black pepper: Adjust to taste.
How to Make Cajun Meatloaf
Start by preheating your oven and getting your baking dish ready.
In a skillet, melt the butter and sauté the combination of onion, celery, bell pepper, and green onions until they soften.
Add in the garlic for a brief sauté, followed by ketchup and mustard, blending them well with the vegetables. Once done, set it aside to cool.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the beef and finely chopped andouille sausage.
Add the bread crumbs, eggs, evaporated milk, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and the seasonings.
Mix in the cooled vegetable mixture and combine everything thoroughly by hand.
Once your meat mixture is well-blended, transfer it to your baking dish, shaping it into a loaf. Bake this until it's nearly done.
While it's in the oven, prepare a glaze from the remaining ketchup, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
Once the meatloaf is almost ready, glaze it with this mixture and give it a few more minutes in the oven.
After baking, let your Cajun meatloaf rest a bit before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute.
Serve and enjoy the spicy, flavorful twist on a classic dish!
Tips for Making the Best Cajun Meatloaf
Here are some tips for making the best Cajun meatloaf:
- Use fresh veggies like onion, celery, and bell pepper for the best flavor in the trinity base.
- Andouille sausage provides authentic spice and seasoning. Substitute with spicy chorizo if needed.
- Use dried breadcrumbs versus fresh for a lighter texture and to better absorb flavors.
- Mix the meatloaf gently but thoroughly to evenly incorporate ingredients without overworking.
- Use a casserole dish to contain the sauce.
- Glaze the meatloaf in the last 5-10 minutes only to avoid burning the sugars.
- Let the meatloaf rest at least 5-10 minutes before slicing for easier cutting and juicier meat.
- Pair with traditional Cajun sides like dirty rice, collard greens, or corn muffins.
- Garnish with green onions, Creole seasoning, or hot sauce for more NOLA flavor.
- Leftovers hold up great! Use the glaze and pan drippings for reheating.
If you have leftover Cajun meatloaf, not problem. It stores great in the fridge.
Just make sure to cover it with some plastic wrap or move it to an airtight container. It will keep up to 5 days stored in the fridge.
When you're ready to eat the leftover, you can transfer the portion you want into an oven-safe dish and heat at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until it's heated through.
If you want to mix up your meatloaf leftovers, here are some delicious ways to use them:
- Meatloaf sandwiches - Slice the cold meatloaf and serve on toasted bread or buns with spicy mayo or Creole mustard. Add cheese, lettuce, and tomato for a hearty sandwich.
- Meatloaf hash - Dice and pan fry the meatloaf with potatoes, onion, bell pepper and spices for a flavorful meatloaf hash. Top with a fried egg for breakfast.
- Meatloaf pasta sauce - Crumble leftover meatloaf into a pan with tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and red wine. Toss with hot cooked pasta for a quick pasta dish.
- Meatloaf omelet or quiche - Dice or shred the meatloaf and add to an egg-based omelet or quiche for a savory, protein-packed brunch.
- Meatloaf soup - Simmer diced meatloaf in chicken or vegetable broth with veggies, beans, and seasonings for a hearty and comforting soup.
- Meatloaf tacos - Warm diced or shredded meatloaf and serve in warmed corn tortillas topped with shredded lettuce, salsa, cheese, and more.
- Meatloaf muffin tin pizzas - Press meatloaf slices into muffin tins, top with sauce and cheese, and bake for personalized meatloaf pizzas.
With the dynamic spices and textures, leftovers easily transform into enticing new dishes. Get creative with this Cajun meatloaf!
What to Pair with Cajun Meatloaf
Here are some classic side dishes that pair wonderfully with Cajun meatloaf:
- Dirty Rice - The New Orleans staple of rice cooked with spices, veggies, and meat is the perfect accompaniment. The savory rice soaks up the meatloaf juices.
- Collard Greens - Slow-cooked collards seasoned with ham hocks or bacon are an ideal Southern side. The bitter greens balance the rich meatloaf.
- Cornbread - A wedge of moist cornbread makes a hearty addition for soaking up the meatloaf glaze. Bake it with creamed corn for extra flavor.
- Creamed Corn - Sweet creamed corn is a nice contrast to the spicy meatloaf. The cool, creamy corn complements the texture.
- Corn Maque Choux - This Louisiana corn, tomato, and pepper sauté adds more regional flair next to the meatloaf.
- Green Beans - Simply roasted or garlicky green beans give a light, green veggie option. Green beans pair well with the meaty flavors.
- Mac and Cheese - Ooey, cheesy mac and cheese is a beloved and indulgent side. The creaminess balances the meatloaf's texture.
- Mashed Potatoes - Classic mashed potatoes - plain or loaded - makes a supremely comforting pairing. Great for soaking up extra sauce.
Any vegetable heavy sides would work well. Avoid heavy starches or competing sauced dishes. Focus on lighter fare to let the meatloaf shine.
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- ½ cup onion chopped
- ½ cup celery diced
- ½ cup green bell pepper diced
- ¼ cup green onions including white parts chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup ketchup divided
- 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 pounds ground beef
- ½ pound andouille sausage finely chopped
- 1 cup bread crumbs dried
- 2 eggs beaten
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce divided
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce divided
- ½ teaspoon thyme dried
- ½ teaspoon oregano dried
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ground
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, and green onions. Saute until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- To the vegetables, add ½ cup of ketchup and mustard, stirring until blended. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, sausage, bread crumbs, eggs, evaporated milk, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and vegetable mixture. Mix well by hand until evenly combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared 9x13 baking dish. Shape into a loaf.
- Bake the meatloaf, uncovered, for 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Meanwhile, mix the remaining ketchup, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce until blended.
- Glaze the meatloaf with the ketchup mixture and bake for 5 additional minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing and serving.