Meatloaf is a huge fave at our house, especially with the folks (my fave octogenarians, I call them) and especially when fall rolls around. But it always seems like there are two issues with meatloaf. It takes a long time to cook and, frankly, although we love it, we need a change-up now and then form our standard meatloaf, this Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf. Enter Mexican Meatloaf!
I just love fall; it’s one of my fave times of the year. I kind of come alive after the heat of the summer and look forward to eating all my favorite comfort meals. Including meatloaf! But it’s such a busy time of the year for so many people, especially if you’ve got kids going back to school. Who’s got time to wait around for a big meatloaf to cook?
About Mexican Meatloaf:
This Mexican Meatloaf, though? It’s made into little football shapes; into small individual meatloaves. So they’re not only fun and so tasty with their little bit of Mexican flair, they’re super fast to bake. And even better, because they’re individual and baked on a sheet tray, each little meatloaf has a good amount of crusty, browned exterior and that’s always the best, most flavorful part. And I don’t want to forget to mention the easy Salsa Glaze that goes on top!
That’s part of what takes this Mexican Meatloaf South of the Border; there’s a def Mexican flair in the meatloaf, too. Ground beef, of course, but that’s mixed with some punchy chorizo and there’s a poblano pepper, too, which is mild but flavorful. A little sour cream (you could use yogurt) keeps the meatloaf moist but also mellows the spiciness out. So the meatloaf is perfect for a family. My Dad, of course, had to have his Sriracha. (Yeah, I introduced it to him and he loves it! Go Dad!) I second-guessed him and had it at the table before we even started to eat. 🙂
Me? I just enjoyed the flavors as is and spooned a lot of the salsa based sauce over mine. It’s the saucy topping that really makes the whole meatloaf, and that sauce IS tangy, hot and spicy deliciousness. Part of that heat is the salsa I used (and you can use mild, medium or hot) but the rest of the heat comes from the chipotle peppers. You might want to hold back on that for the kiddos.
This is a pretty low carb meatloaf as far as meatloaves go; usually there has to be a little something in the meatloaf to keep it from forming a hard mass as it bakes, but in this case, that’s just a scant 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs. My folks, though, have to have their carbs, so my favorite Mexican Rice, corn and rice for them, and black beans for me. This meatloaf would be great with mashed potatoes if you want to go there or a salad, instead.
Making Mexican Meatloaf:
Mexican Meatloaf is an easy one, especially if you have a food processor for the veggies. Since the poblano isn’t roasted and skinned, it needs to be diced up small or you could use a small can of green chilis, drained well. You’ll need to saute the veggies until they’re nice and soft, then just mix everything together. Use a light hand in the mixing and your meatloaves will always turn out to be tender.
These are baked on a sheet tray. Line your sheet tray for easy cleanup. I like this method of baking straight on a sheet tray whether I’m making a large meatloaf or individual ones. Most of the excess fat drains out and the amount of crusty browned outside edge is maximized. Turn up the edges on the foil to catch any drippings. If you’re making one large meatloaf you can always put it into a loaf pan if you want.
You can mix these up little meatloaves up the day before and refrigerate so they’re ready to go the next day. Because they’re small there’s no concern about them taking longer to cook from cold. This is one of my favorite recipes to double and freeze half for a quick meal down the road.
Saving Money on Mexican Meatloaf:
Shop for sales priced ground beef for a recipe like this. I buy the larger family packs and break them down and freeze in portions. Ground beef goes on sale so often, there’s really no need to pay full price. I look for a rock bottom price about once a quarter.
Generally, the best bet for great pricing for any Mexican or Latin American items is to shop at a market; although many are available in stores these days the prices are generally higher. The pantry items like Chipotle peppers in a can or canned green chili or salsas are usually at a low around Cinco de Mayo. Stock up your pantry if you see a great price then. There will be great prices on salsa throughout the summer and many times Mexican foods are on sale around the Superbowl, too. Ketchup, too, will be on sale during the Superbowl, but just like any condiment, the summer sales are the best time to pick up and stock up for the year.
Sour cream or crema can be pricey; watch for sales around holidays. Once open, store upside down in the fridge (make sure the seal is tight!) and it will keep longer. When using, use clean utensils and don’t set it out unlidded; at the very least, get in the habit of placing the lid on if you’ve left out to serve from.Print
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Beef Main Dish
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 1 rib celery, finely chopped
- 1 poblano chile, finely diced (or a small can of green chilis, drained)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 eggs, well beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican sour cream
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
- 1 pound ground beef
- 6 ounces soft Mexican chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups of salsa, drained
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a heavy skillet, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, poblano, and garlic. Cook, stirring often until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Set aside until vegetables are cool enough to handle.
In a large bowl, add the eggs. Beat lightly. Add in the salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, ketchup, and sour cream and mix together. Add in the bread crumbs, sautéed vegetables, ground beef, and chorizo, and mix together lightly, but thoroughly.
Portion out into six servings. Form into oval egg-shaped loaves about 3 inches tall with curved tops (dividing is easiest done by estimating half of the mixture, then thirds.) Place on a foil-lined rimmed sheet tray (foil is optional, for easy clean up) an inch or so between each loaf.
Bake at 350 degrees to desired doneness, about 25 to 35 minutes to reach 160 degrees F, depending on oven. Do not over bake.
Meanwhile, heat a small heavy skillet over high heat. and cook salsa, turning frequently, until slightly charred. Stir in the sugar, chipotle chile and mustard. Cook until slightly thickened, about a minute or two. Season with salt, to taste.
Slice the meatloaf and arrange on a platter or plates. Spoon the salsa-glaze over the meatloaf and serve.
Loaf Pan Option: Put the mixture into loaf-pan and bake until the meatloaf registers 160 degrees F, about an hour to an hour & 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully pour off any accumulated pan juices.
To Freeze: Lay each loaf on a piece of plastic on a flat surface. Freeze until hard, then use the plastic wrap to wrap each individual loaf. Add to a Ziploc and label. Thaw overnight in the fridge to bake the next day.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Chipotle, Ground Beef, Hot Peppers, Marcella Veladolid, Meatloaf, Mexican or Southwestern, Poblano Peppers, Salsa
|Amount Per Serving|
|% Daily Value *|
|Total Fat 24 g||37 %|
|Saturated Fat 8 g||40 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 5 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g|
|Trans Fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 131 mg||44 %|
|Sodium 1138 mg||47 %|
|Potassium 396 mg||11 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 26 g||9 %|
|Dietary Fiber 3 g||12 %|
|Sugars 14 g|
|Protein 25 g||49 %|
|Vitamin A||48 %|
|Vitamin C||36 %|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|