Meatloaf takes a mouthwatering spin South of the border. This spicy meatloaf recipe combines all of your favorite Southwestern flavors along with chopped Hatch Green Chiles. Fun to make and a fun twist on classic comfort food.
Meatloaf and Its Bad Rap
Unfortunate cafeteria appearances with instant mashed potatoes. Greasy soirees with an 80/20 burger blend. Mingling with too many bread crumbs and meatloaf has a tainted reputation to mend.
It seems we’ve all had a bad experience with meatloaf, but if flavored just right, blended correctly with binders and treated with care, it can live up to being a classic comfort food.
Let’s talk about that blend. Meatloaf seems to be finicky. I blame that on the generic description “bread crumbs.” What exactly does 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs mean?
- Fresh bread?
- Stale dry bread?
- Do you smash bread into the measuring cup to get 1 1/2 cups or is a loose measurement?
- How big do you tear the pieces of bread?
- Does that mean you can use those fine canned crumbs from the supermarket?
Even following directions from some of our beloved experts, I find myself tweaking the recipe to get the perfect “feel” before I form that loaf.
And with that said, my mom always used crushed Saltines and it turned out beautifully every time.
If the recipe is vague in its description of “bread crumbs”, I’m of the opinion that panko bread crumbs are the best. Here’s how to get that consistency just righrt.
How Do You Tell If Meat To Bread crumb Ratio is Just Right?
Getting the consistency of meat to bread crumbs to binder (eggs) is really quite simple. Just treat it like a meatball recipe.
Once you’ve got everything mixed together, just scoop up a little ball of the raw meatloaf mixture and roll it around in your palms – like you’re forming a meatball. If it forms a good round meatball, without falling apart, it’s perfect. It should sound a little sticky when you’re forming that meatball.
If the consistency is too loose, add more breadcrumbs, a little at a time. If you feel it’s too dry, just add a drizzle of milk.
How To Make The Best Spicy Meatloaf
I’ve made this recipe many times. This is a meatloaf recipe that will feed a crowd. It makes two 9′ x 5′ loafs. Or you can make eight individual loafs.
Being empty nesters, I like to make this recipe in individual loafs so I can freeze them for future meals. You can either freeze them raw wrapped in plastic wrap, then wrapped in foil. Or you can freeze them after they’re baked.
Sofrito For Meatloaf
This meatloaf starts with a beautifully flavored Sofrito. Sofrito simply means “sauce”. The Spanish use sofrito as an important base for Paella, consisting of tomato, onion, garlic and bell pepper – for starters.
And I’m using sofrito as a base to flavor this spicy meatloaf:
- Red bell pepper
- Chili powder
- Mexican oregano
- and chopped Hatch Green Chile Peppers
It’s all sauteed and blended together stovetop before adding to the ground beef and ground pork for this recipe. It’s beautifully earthy and complex and adds wonderful flavor.
How To Make Individual Meatloaf
If you have a kitchen scale, it’s easy to make this spicy meatloaf recipe into individual servings.
Just place a small sheet of parchment paper on a kitchen scale and measure out portions of of the meat mixture to weigh somewhere around 10 1/2 ounces. It doesn’t have to be exact.
Then using the palms of your hands, roll the meat into a big meatball and then slightly flatten to make a small loaf. Easy!
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the individual meatloafs and they’re ready to bake.
Once the meatloaf is out of the oven, top with 1/8 cup grated cheddar cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted.
How Do You Know When Meatloaf is Done?
Use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the loaf, without touching the bottom of the pan. When the thermometer reaches 160 degrees, your meatloaf is ready.
As with any meat, tent the meatloaf with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. It will slice much cleaner this way.
Recipe For Spicy Meatloaf, Southwestern Style
Here’s a different and spicy version of our American classic. Rich with chili powder, sassy with cumin, sweet with creamed corn, this is a dinner suitable for our Southwestern lovin’ palates.
This spicy meatloaf recipe feeds a crowd. Makes two loaves, cook one and freeze the other. Or make individual meatloafs.
And, of course, left overs make wonderful cold sandwiches.
More Meatloaf Recipes
If you’re a fan of meatloaf like us, don’t miss my recipe for Classic Meatloaf, Just like mom made it.
Ideas For What To Serve With Spicy Meatloaf
Mashed potatoes always come to mind, but here are some more ideas:
- Old Fashioned Green Beans with Bacon
- Instant Pot Scalloped Potatoes with Green Chile
- Crispy Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Chimichurri
- Roasted Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Spicy Mashed Potatoes
Southwestern Spicy Meatloaf Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion peeled and fine chopped
- 1 red bell pepper cored, seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 green chiles roasted, skin removed, seeded and rough chopped. Hatch, Pueblo or Anaheim peppers.
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons oregano Mexican Oregano preferred.
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 28 ounces tomatoes canned, drained, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground sausage
- 3 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1-15 ounce can creamed corn
- 8 Tablespoons catsup
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese grated
- In a large hot skillet heat olive oil over high heat.
- Add onions, bell pepper and cook until onions start to turn translucent.
- Add chile peppers, chili powder, salt, oregano and cumin. Turn down heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally until flavors blend, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add tomatoes and cook stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine beef and sausage. Add cooked tomato mixture, bread crumbs, eggs, corn and mix well. Divide mixture into 10 1/2 ounce portions and shape into loaves. Or will make two 9 x 5 loafs.
- Add 1 tablespoon of catsup to each loaf and spread around on the top.
- Bake 40 minutes or until meat thermometer into center registers 160 degrees. Pour off any pan juices. Sprinkle cheese evenly over meat loaf and return to oven until cheese melts.
- Tent the meatloaf with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve.
Spicy Meatloaf Recipe … It’s Whats for dinner.
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.