Hey taco lovers! Are you in the mood for some serious flavor fusion? Then you have got to try this delicious Taco Meatloaf. This recipe takes all the traditional elements of a classic meatloaf but kicks things up a notch with some Mexican-inspired flair. Picture tender ground beef, loaded with vibrant spices, and then topped with a zesty tomato sauce and gooey melted cheese—it’s basically a taco in meatloaf form.
Taco meatloaf also known as Mexican meatloaf is an easy weeknight dinner idea. This is a ground beef meatloaf filled with garlic, onion, corn, Rotel, cheddar cheese, and crushed Doritos. A fun twist to a classic meatloaf.
This is an easy dinner idea that the whole family can enjoy. Skip the classic taco for Taco Tuesday, and try this twist to a taco meatloaf. Here are a few more easy Mexican dishes to try out. Serve up these Birria tacos, taco pinwheels, or even this cheesy taco shells.
Reasons You Will Love This Taco Meatloaf Recipe
- Easy everyday ingredients that you should have on hand and that are budget-friendly.
- Kid-friendly flavors and ingredients, which is good for picky eaters.
- A ground beef dinner idea, that is a twist on a classic meatloaf.
- Made from scratch.
- Cheesy meatloaf that melts in your mouth.
Ingredients And Variation Options
Ground beef: Lean ground beef forms the base of this meatloaf. You can also use lean ground turkey, ground chicken, or a mixture of ground meats.
Onion: You can substitute onion with green onion, shallots, or leeks. If you are not a fan of onions you can leave it out of the recipe. I find the onion really elevates the flavor but is not a must-have ingredient.
Minced garlic: Garlic enhances the taste of the meatloaf and can be replaced with garlic powder or roasted garlic.
Corn: Corn gives the meatloaf a sweet and crunchy texture. Fresh corn or frozen corn (thawed) can be used as well.
Nacho cheese Doritos: Crushed Doritos add a cheesy and slightly spicy flavor to the meatloaf. Feel free to use regular tortilla chips, crushed corn chips, pork rinds or bread crumbs.
Rotel: Rotel adds a tangy and slightly spicy kick to the meatloaf and can be substituted with pico de gallo, or diced tomatoes with a pinch of chili flakes for that extra kick.
Cheddar cheese: Mexican cheese blend, pepper jack cheese, or Monterey Jack cheese can be used instead.
Eggs: Eggs act as a binder, holding the ingredients together. Flax eggs or 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce can be used instead of room-temperature eggs. I will say swapping out the egg you will find that it does affect the texture.
Taco seasoning: This spice blend adds traditional taco flavors like cumin, chili powder, and paprika to the meatloaf. Feel free to make your own taco seasoning instead of buying a packet of store-bought taco seasoning.
Enchilada sauce: The sauce adds moisture and a tangy flavor to the meatloaf. Salsa, ketchup, or tomato sauce mixed with a pinch of chili powder or hot sauce can be used instead. You can also make your own zesty taco sauce for this recipe.
Tips For Success
To ensure your meat is fully cooked, I recommend buying a meat thermometer. I like to use a meat thermometer to make sure that its internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C). I recommend sticking in the center of the meatloaf and make sure to not touch the bottom of the pan.
When you are working the ingredients together, do not overmix, or it can make the meatloaf dense and heavy. Also, don’t pack the meat into the pan too tightly as it will make it very dense.
Mix By Hands
I find that mixing meatloaf is best when you roll up your sleeves and use your hands to mix up the meat. It works great at ensuring all the spices and ingredients get well mixed.
If you want you can change up the form of the meatloaf by making mini meatloaves. Grab a rimmed baking sheet that is prepared. Divide the mixture into individual portions, and also be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
What To Pair With Taco Meatloaf
Taco meatloaf pairs really well with Mexican rice, refried beans, or a fresh salad. Or pick any of your family’s favorite side dishes. This is such a versatile meal.
Preparing Mexican Meatloaf and Storing
Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, you can use gluten-free Doritos or substitute them with crushed gluten-free tortilla chips. I will also recommend you can use another type of chip to create a gluten free base. Consider even a classic tortilla chip.
Can I prepare the meatloaf in advance?
Yes, you can prepare the meat mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it. It’s best to bake the meatloaf when you’re about ready to serve.
Serve this tasty taco twist as a hearty main dish alongside some rice and beans or slice it up for deliciously satisfying taco meatloaf sandwiches. Either way, it’s an absolute hit with friends and family. So, what are you waiting for? Get cooking and enjoy this scrumptious meal that combines two all-time favorites: tacos and meatloaf!
How to store leftover meatloaf?
Your meatloaf can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days. You can then warm it up in the microwave, oven, or even a toaster oven.
Can I freeze the cooked meatloaf?
Absolutely! Wait for the meatloaf to cool then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil or place it in an airtight container before freezing. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat it in the oven. I like to cover the meatloaf with foil if I heat in the oven to prevent the meat from drying out.
What kind of toppings can I add to taco meatloaf?
Any toppings work for this Mexican meatloaf recipe. I love adding black olives, sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, and more. I like to place out a mixture of items and then let each person dress their own food.
How can I prevent meatloaf from drying out?
Do not overmix the meat mixture, and also make sure to watch how long you are baking the meatloaf. If you overcook the mixture it can become extremely dried out.
More Meatloaf Recipes
- 2 pounds lean ground beef 93% lean 7% fat
- 1 small onion finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tsp)
- 1 cup canned corn drained (or fresh corn)
- 1 cup crushed nacho cheese Doritos
- 1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
- 1 cup cheddar cheese blend shredded and divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
- 1/2 cup enchilada sauce
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a loaf pan with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray or line it with aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, diced onion, minced garlic, canned corn, crushed Doritos, drained Rotel, about ½ a cup shredded cheddar cheese, room temperature eggs, and taco seasoning. Mix well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Transfer the ground beef mixture into the lined loaf pan, pressing it down to form a loaf shape.
- Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the meatloaf mixture, spreading it evenly.
- Place the loaf pan in the preheated oven and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the center of the loaf reaches 160°F (71°C). I like to use an instant-read thermometer to do this.
- Remove the cheesy taco meatloaf from the oven and top it with enchilada sauce and the remaining cheese. Return it back into the oven for 3-5 minutes or until the cheesemelts. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
- Serve your moist meatloaf warm, garnished with diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, or any desired toppings. Enjoy your flavorful Mexican taco meatloaf!