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Switch up your usual Taco Tuesday routine with a Turkey 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 simple meatloaf is bursting with the taco flavors you love.

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.

Turkey 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.

Try out some of my other recipes that use ground turkey! My popular ground turkey recipes include Cheeseburger Meatloaf with Pickles, Pesto Turkey Meatballs with Ricotta Cheese, and Healthy Turkey Burgers with Spinach.

Ingredients

Ingredients needed for Turkey Taco Meatloaf. Starting at the top of the image, shown is shredded Mexican style cheese, taco seasoning blend, salt, garlic powder, eggs, panko bread crumbs, mild salsa and ground turkey.
  • Ground turkey – I always purchase lean ground turkey that is about 85-93% lean. Not fat-free or 98-99% fat free lean ground turkey. Fat adds flavor and moisture to ground turkey. When you remove too much of the fat you risk having dry and bland meat.
  • 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.
  • Eggs
  • Salt & garlic powder
  • 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 Siete are all great choices. You can also make your own homemade taco seasoning. As always, choose what your prefer!
  • 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. However, use whatever brand your prefer!
  • Optional ingredients – guacamole, sour cream, fresh green onion

Equipment Needed

  • 2 loaf pans – I use these loaf pans that I purchased from Amazon. They are very inexpensive and work well! My food is always cooked evenly, they are non-stick and easy to wash.
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Parchment paper
  • Measuring cups and measuring spoons

How to make

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper. Leave some parchment paper overhanging on both sides of the loaf pans so that the turkey taco meatloaf can easily be lifted out of the pan after cooking.

***Tip – Crinkle your sheet of parchment paper into a loose ball before using. This will help the parchment paper flatten out instead of continuing to roll up.

Image shows two loaf pans lined with parchment paper.

Step 2:

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, panko bread crumbs, mild salsa, eggs, salt, garlic powder and taco seasoning.

All meatloaf ingredients (except for the cheese topping) mixed in a large mixing bowl.

Step 3:

Divide the ground turkey mixture evenly between the two loaf pans. Press the meatloaf mixture into each pan. Place the meatloaves into the oven and cook for 50 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of each meatloaf reads 165° or greater.

Meatloaf mixture is now full mixed together. It is divided into two equal portions and is pressed into each loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Step 4:

Remove the meatloaves from the oven and top each meatloaf with 1/2 cup each shredded Mexican blend cheese. Place the meatloaves back into the oven and cook for 2-4 more minutes to melt the cheese.

Fully cooked meatloaves topped with cold Mexican blend cheese and ready to go back into the oven to let the cheese melt.

Step 5:

Remove from the oven and let cool before serving. Slice each meatloaf into 8 equal slices. Serve with guacamole, sour cream and sliced fresh green onions. Enjoy!

Image for pinterest. Image shows the main photo of the turkey meatloaf and also has text labeling the name of the recipe.
Print
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Turkey Taco Meatloaf is displayed on a grey oval serving dish. The meatloaf is cut into 8 equal sized slices. The meatloaf is garnished with sliced green onion. Also pictured is a red cloth napkin, a bowl of salsa and a small bowl of guacamole.

Turkey Taco Meatloaf with Salsa


  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 cup mild salsa
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese – divided in half
  • Optional: guacamole, sour cream & fresh green onions

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit.  Line two loaf pans with parchment paper. Leave some parchment paper overhanging on both sides of the loaf pans so that the turkey taco meatloaf can easily be lifted out of the pan after cooking.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, salsa, panko bread crumbs, eggs, salt, garlic powder and taco seasoning.  Mix until combined.
  3. Evenly divide the meatloaf mixture into the two loaf pans.  Evenly press the ground turkey mixture into the loaf pans.
  4. Bake each meatloaf for 50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center of each meatloaf registers 165° F.
  5. After the meatloaves have finished cooking, top each meat loaf with 1/2 cup each shredded Mexican blend cheese.  Place each meatloaf back into the oven for about 2-4 minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.  Serve with guacamole, sour cream and fresh green onions.  Enjoy!

Notes

  • This recipe make 16 single slice servings.
  • Make this recipe gluten free by swapping out the panko bread crumbs for gluten free bread crumbs.  Double check that your salsa and seasonings are also gluten free.
  • Make this recipe dairy free by swapping out the cheese for a dairy free cheese.
  • Ground turkey should be cooked to 165° Fahrenheit. The best way to check the internal temperature is to use a meat thermometer.
  • Crinkle your sheet of parchment paper into a loose ball before using. This will help the parchment paper flatten out instead of continuing to roll up.
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: taco meatloaf, turkey taco meatloaf

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I serve with this taco meatloaf recipe?

I listed off a few serving suggestions at the beginning of this article. My favorite sides would be refried beans, Mexican corn salad and Spanish rice.

How can I use up Mexican meatloaf leftovers?

I would repurpose the leftovers into sandwiches! Thinly slice the meatloaf, place it between two pieces of bread along with some avocado, romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes. An avocado cilantro lime sauce would also be delicious on the sandwich.

Can I freeze the Mexican taco meatloaf?

Yes! Meatloaf freezes very well. I would cook the meatloaf until fully-cooked. Let cool and DO NOT top it with the cheese. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a zip top freezer bag. Defrost fully in the refrigerator before reheating. Top it with cheese while it is reheating.

Is this recipe low carb and gluten free?

This recipe is easily adapted to be gluten free as long as you are using gluten free salsa, gluten free bread crumbs and gluten free seasonings. Since the main ingredient in this recipe is lean ground turkey and only 1 cup of bread crumbs are dispersed throughout two pounds of meat, I would say this is also a low-carb, high protein main dish.

Is this recipe dairy-free?

This recipe can easily be adapted to be dairy-free if you swap out the dairy-based cheese with your favorite dairy-free cheese. Some dairy-free Mexican blend shredded cheese options would be Go Veggie Dairy Free Mexican Style Shreds, So Delicious Dairy Free Mexican Style Shreds and Follow your Heart Dairy-Free Fiesta Blend.

Recipe Variations

  • 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.
  • For an extra boost of fiber, make your own bread crumbs using ground oats.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a review below!