With it's irresistible combination of juice ground meat and fiery Mexican seasonings, Mexican meatloaf is a tried and true recipe that will have your tastebuds begging for more.
Mexican Meatloaf is a delightful fusion of traditional comfort food and vibrant Mexican flavors.
This recipe takes the familiar, homey meatloaf that we all know and love, and infuses it with the zesty, robust flavors of Mexican cuisine.
The result is a dish that's both comforting and exciting, making it a perfect centerpiece for family dinners, potlucks, or any meal where you want to impress.
The secret to this meatloaf's irresistible appeal lies in its unique combination of ingredients.
Ground chuck forms the hearty base of the loaf, while crushed tortilla chips, salsa, and green chilies add a spicy kick. A generous helping of Colby-Jack cheese brings a creamy, melty element that beautifully complements the spiciness.
The loaf is then baked to perfection, resulting in a meatloaf that's tender on the inside, slightly crunchy on the outside, and bursting with flavor in every bite.
Whether you're a meatloaf enthusiast or a fan of Mexican cuisine, this Mexican Meatloaf is sure to become a new favorite.
Mexican Meatloaf is a recipe that we adore for its ability to take a classic comfort food and infuse it with a vibrant, zesty twist.
Here's why we love this recipe so much:
- Flavorful Twist: This recipe takes the traditional meatloaf and gives it a Mexican-inspired makeover. The addition of salsa, green chilies, and taco seasoning infuses the meatloaf with a robust, spicy flavor that's a delightful change from the norm.
- Cheesy Goodness: With a generous amount of Colby-Jack cheese both inside and on top of the meatloaf, this recipe delivers a gooey, melty delight that cheese lovers will appreciate. The cheese also adds a rich, creamy element that complements the spicy flavors.
- Easy to Make: You'll love how easy this Mexican Meatloaf is to make. The ingredients are simply mixed together and shaped into a loaf, making it a great recipe for weeknight dinners.
- Versatile: This meatloaf can be served with a variety of sides to complete the meal. Whether it's a simple salad, roasted vegetables, or a helping of refried beans, you'll find it's a great meal.
Ingredients in Mexican Meatloaf
Ground Chuck: This is the main protein source in the meatloaf. Ground chuck is often used for its higher fat content, which results in a juicier and more flavorful meatloaf. You can also substitute regular ground beef if you prefer.
Crushed Tortilla Chips: These add a unique texture and flavor to the meatloaf, enhancing the Mexican theme of the dish. They also act as a binder, helping to hold the meatloaf together.
Salsa: This ingredient adds a burst of flavor to the meatloaf, infusing it with a tangy and spicy taste. It also contributes to the moisture content of the meatloaf, making sure it doesn't dry out during baking.
Milk: Milk is used to moisten and bind the ingredients together. It also helps to tenderize the meat, resulting in a softer, more succulent meatloaf.
Chopped Green Chilies: These add a spicy kick to the meatloaf, enhancing its flavor profile. They also contribute to the Mexican-inspired theme of the dish.
Taco Seasoning: This is a key ingredient for infusing the meatloaf with Mexican flavors. It typically contains a blend of spices such as chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
Onion: This adds a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the meatloaf. You can use dried onion instead if you need to.
Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent in the meatloaf, helping to hold all the ingredients together. They also contribute to the overall richness of the dish.
Shredded Colby-Jack Cheese: This cheese is known for its mild flavor and smooth, creamy texture. It adds a delicious cheesy element to the meatloaf and creates a beautiful, melty topping.
How to Make Mexican Meatloaf
Start the process of making your Mexican Meatloaf by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and preparing your 9x13 baking dish with a coating of non-stick cooking spray.
Next, you'll want to create the meatloaf mixture. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, crushed tortilla chips, half of the salsa, milk, green chilies, taco seasoning, minced onion, eggs, and most of the cheese. You can mix these together with wet hands or use an electric stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
Once your mixture is well combined, shape it into a loaf and place it in your prepared baking dish. This will then need to bake in your preheated oven for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. You'll know it's done when an instant thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf reads 160 degrees.
After your meatloaf has baked, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place it back into the oven until the cheese has melted. Once the cheese is melted and bubbly, remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour the remaining salsa over the top.
Before slicing and serving, let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meatloaf, making it more flavorful and easier to slice. Now, your delicious Mexican Meatloaf is ready to be enjoyed!
Tips for Making the Best Mexican Meatloaf
- Use Fresh Ingredients: For the best flavor, use fresh salsa and high-quality ground chuck. The freshness of the ingredients can significantly impact the taste of your meatloaf.
- Don't Overmix: When combining your ingredients, be careful not to overmix. Overmixing can result in a dense and tough meatloaf. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
- Let It Rest: After baking, let your meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meatloaf, resulting in a moister and more flavorful dish.
- Add Some Heat: If you like your food spicy, consider adding some chopped jalapenos or using a spicy salsa to give your meatloaf an extra kick.
- Check for Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to check if your meatloaf is done. The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make It Ahead: You can prep the meatloaf mixture a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator. This not only saves time but also allows the flavors to meld together.
- Freeze for Later: This meatloaf freezes well. You can make a double batch and freeze one for a future meal. Just make sure to wrap it well to prevent freezer burn.
- Change It Up: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese or add other Mexican-inspired ingredients like black beans or corn to the meatloaf mixture.
The best part about cooking is making it your own. Don't be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you.
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Perfect Sides for Mexican Meatloaf
Here are some sides that pair well with this Mexican meatloaf:
- Mexican Rice: This flavorful rice dish, often made with tomatoes and a variety of spices, compliments the meatloaf well.
- Refried Beans: A classic Mexican side, refried beans provides a creamy contrast to the meaty loaf. They are even better when served with the Mexican rice as well.
- Grilled Corn on the Cob: Add a touch of sweetness and a bit of char flavor with some grilled corn. You could sprinkle it with some chili powder and cotija cheese for a Mexican street corn twist.
- Guacamole and Chips: A side of guacamole and tortilla chips would keep with the Mexican theme and add a fresh, creamy element to the meal.
- Pico de Gallo: This fresh tomato salsa would provide a refreshing contrast to the rich meatloaf.
- Mexican Coleslaw: Made with lime juice and cilantro, this isn't your average coleslaw. It's a fresh and tangy side that would balance out the richness of the meatloaf.
- Chiles Rellenos: These stuffed and fried peppers would make a decadent side dish for a special occasion.
- Mexican Street Style Grilled Vegetables: Grilled vegetables, seasoned with chili and lime, would add a healthy and flavorful component to the meal.
If you manage to have any of this meatloaf leftover, storing it for later is easy.
Allow the meatloaf to cool completely. Then, wrap the cooled meatloaf with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
It should keep for 3-4 days. We've had it in our fridge for up to 6 days with no problem, but make sure to check it before consuming.
You can also freeze your meatloaf for longer storage. Wrap the meatloaf in a double layer of plastic wrap, put in a freezer bag, or a freezer-safe container. Make sure to label it with the date and what it is.
You can store it frozen for up to 2 months.
For reheating your meatloaf you can do so in a microwave or in the oven. If you are using a microwave, heat it on low in 2 minute increments until warm.
For reheating in the oven, I normally put it in an oven safe container and put it in a preheated oven at 350F. I leave it in for about 15-20 minutes and check if it's warm at that time. If it needs more time, then I check again in 5-10 minutes.
Alternatives and Substitutions
Here are some alternatives and substitutions you can consider when making Mexican Meatloaf:
- Ground Meat: While the recipe calls for ground chuck, you can substitute it with other types of ground meat depending on your preference. Ground turkey or chicken would make for a leaner meatloaf, while ground pork would add a bit more fat and flavor.
- Tortilla Chips: If you don't have tortilla chips on hand, you can use breadcrumbs or crushed crackers as a binder. For a gluten-free option, consider using crushed cornflakes or gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Salsa: Feel free to use your favorite type of salsa in this recipe. Whether it's chunky, smooth, mild, or spicy, the choice is up to you. You could also use a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies for a similar flavor.
- Green Chilies: You can use a can of diced jalapenos for a spicier kick.
- Taco Seasoning: If you don't have taco seasoning, you can make your own taco seasoning.
- Cheese: While the recipe calls for Colby-Jack cheese, you can use any type of cheese that melts well. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Mexican blend cheese would all work well in this recipe.
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- 1 ½ cups tortilla chips crushed
- 1 cup salsa divided
- ½ cup milk
- 7 ounces green chilies 1 can chopped
- ¼ cup taco seasoning
- 1 onion minced
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cups shredded colby-jack cheese divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Mix together the ground chuck, tortilla chips, ½ cup salsa, milk, green chilies, taco seasoning, minced onion, eggs, and 1 ½ cups cheese with wet hands or with an electric stand mixer using the dough hook.
- Shape the meat mixture into a loaf, placing it on the prepared baking dish.
- Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or an instant thermometer inserted into the middle of the loaf reads 160 degrees.
- Top the meatloaf with the cheese and place back into the oven until melted.
- Pour the remaining salsa over the top of the melted cheese.
- Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing and serving.