Switch up your usual Taco Tuesday routine with a Taco Meatloaf! Instead of spending time cooking taco meat in a skillet, quickly shape it into a meatloaf and let the oven do the work. This easy meatloaf recipe is packed with flavor thanks to salsa and taco seasoning!
Meatloaf is one of my favorite weeknight dinners! The prep time on meatloaf is usually pretty minimal. This allows for extra time to make some delicious sides or a yummy dessert recipe.
The addition of mild salsa to the meat mixture adds in flavor from tomatoes, peppers and onions. It also keeps the meatloaf moist & juicy. Taco seasoning flavors the meatloaf with paprika, chili powder and cumin.
There are so many reasons why you will love this recipe! It's kid-friendly, perfect for busy weeknights, and it only calls for 6 main ingredients!
If you love meatloaf as much as I do, then you definitely have to check out my Cheeseburger Meatloaf recipe too!
- Ground turkey - I always purchase lean ground turkey, but never fat-free ground turkey meat. Fat adds flavor and moisture to ground turkey. If you don't have ground turkey, then ground chicken or lean ground beef would be excellent substitutions.
- Mild salsa - When adding the salsa, I try to add as much of the chunky tomato mixture as I can and not just the liquid. It helps to spoon the salsa out of the jar and into the measuring cup. If you pour the salsa, most of the chunky vegetables will stay on the bottom of the jar and the liquid will pour out first. I prefer mild salsa but if you like the extra heat, feel free to swap out mild salsa for medium or hot salsa!
- Panko bread crumbs - If you don't have panko bread crumbs you could substitute regular bread crumbs or even make your own bread crumbs from whatever bread you have at home. Just make sure your bread crumbs are not seasoned.
- Taco seasoning - I prefer to stick with low-sodium taco seasoning that doesn't have a bunch of extra fillers or artificial ingredients. Simply Organic, Frontier Co-Op or Badia Spices are all great choices. You can also make your own homemade taco seasoning. As always, choose what your prefer! The 4 tablespoons of taco seasoning called for in this recipe is equal to about a 1 ounce packet taco seasoning.
- Shredded Mexican blend cheese - I prefer to use higher quality cheese brands like Sargento, Cabot or Organic Valley. I really feel that you sacrifice flavor when choosing a cheaper brand of cheese.
- Optional ingredients - guacamole, sour cream, fresh green onion, extra salsa for topping
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Large mixing bowl
- Parchment paper
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
Mix all ingredients together (except for the cheese) in a large mixing bowl.
Transfer the Mexican taco meatloaf mixture to a rimmed baking sheet. Form the meat mixture into a loaf.
Place the meatloaf into the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. After it's done cooking, remove the meatloaf from the oven and top it with the shredded cheese.
Return the meatloaf to the oven and continue cooking it for a few more minutes to melt the cheese. Remove the meatloaf from the oven, let cool before serving and enjoy!Print
This easy Taco Meatloaf would be excellent served with my Taco Seasoned Cauliflower Steak! It would also go well with refried beans, Spanish rice, taco salad topped with crushed tortilla chips or Doritos, Mexican street corn, enchiladas or black bean soup.
- You can make meatloaf on a rimmed baking sheet, like shown above, or you can use a loaf pan. I have used both baking methods successfully many times. If you are using a loaf pan, then I recommend lining the loaf pan with parchment paper that is draped over the edges. Cut your parchment paper down to fit smoothly inside of your loaf pan. This will allow you to easily lift the cooked meatloaf out of the pan. Personally, I prefer using a baking sheet and shaping the meatloaf into the size and thickness that I want.
- When mixing your meatloaf ingredients together, do not over mix the ground meat mixture! Mix the meat until it is just combined. Overmixing can result in a dense and tough texture.
- Let your meatloaf cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. If you slice into it immediately after removing it from the oven, it can fall right apart. Similarly to how baked goods like cookies or brownies need to cool before serving.
- Don't overcook your meatloaf. A meat thermometer is the best way to determine if your meatloaf has cooked through. Overcooked meatloaf will get hard and crusty on the outside, but you don't want it undercooked either! Invest in a high quality meat thermometer. It will pay you back in perfectly cooked food!
- Swap out mild salsa for medium or hot salsa.
- Top the melted cheese with taco sauce or avocado cream sauce.
- Add in fresh cilantro for even more traditional taco flavor in this Mexican meatloaf recipe.
- Swap the shredded Mexican blend cheese for pepper jack cheese.
- Swap out the lean ground turkey for 2 lbs ground beef.
Tips for storing
- Store meatloaf in a sealed, airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Allow meatloaf to fully cool down before freezing.
- Wrap cooked and cooled meatloaf tightly in plastic wrap and then place it into a plastic freezer bag before placing it in the freezer.
- Freeze the meatloaf whole, in one large loaf, or freeze it in individual servings. Freezing meatloaf in single slices allows for quick and easy thawing at lunch and dinner time!
- Microwave - Place single slices in the microwave on a microwave safe plate and reheat for 1 ½ to 3 minutes.
- Stove top - Place the sliced meatloaf in a skillet that is lightly sprayed with oil. Reheat over low heat for a few minutes per side, until heated through.
- Oven - Preheat your oven to 250°F. Place the meatloaf in a small baking dish. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of broth to the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with foil and warm for 20-25 minutes. The broth and foil covering will help prevent the meatloaf from drying out. Do not add to much broth though! You don't want to end up with soggy meatloaf.