This 5-ingredient Taco Meatloaf recipe has chipotle peppers and cheddar cheese for a deliciously fun twist on a classic. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner for busy families!
Classic meatloaf is always a hit in my house, but if you’re looking for a way to spice it up, this one’s for you! Taco Meatloaf adds a spicy mexican flare with Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and Cheddar Cheese. It’s incredibly easy, incredibly moist, and incredibly delicious! A true family favorite and so great for dinner meal planning as the ingredients can always be on hand.
This recipe is great because celebrates my journey back to meatloaf! While I grew up with traditional Meatloaf in the midwest, I lost my way when I moved to NYC in my 20’s, thinking it was no longer cool to make meatloaf. But I am so happy to say that I found my way back with my go-to classic 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf, which is my most popular recipe!
Now I’m making not only meatloaf, but making variations on meatloaf, like this Taco Meatloaf and my Ground Chicken Meatloaf. Comfort food is comforting! And you can never go wrong with easy and delicious meatloaf recipes. Did I mention that this Mexican Taco Meatloaf is a great idea for Taco Tuesday?!
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Simple Ingredients for Taco Meatloaf
- Lean Ground Beef – I used 90% lean ground beef, but the more fat, the more flavor. You can also use ground chicken or ground turkey.
- Chipotle Peppers Adobo Sauce – The chipotle peppers bring the Mexican flavor. They are typically sold in a can in the International foods aisle with other Mexican ingredients. I added in 2 peppers for medium heat. Reduce to 1 for mild and up to 3 for hot! You can also substitute in fresh or jarred jalapeno peppers, or green chiles. TIP: a great way to save the remaining chipotle peppers is to store them with the sauce in a freezer bag in the freezer for future recipes!
- Egg, large – The egg helps to hold the meatloaf together. If you need to substitute, you can use another thick substance like mayonnaise, yogurt, or sour cream.
- Ketchup – I used my recipe for Homemade Sugar Free Ketchup with Honey! Of course, you can use any store-bought ketchup you like. You can also substitute in tomato sauce.
- Cheddar Cheese, shredded – Any shredded cheese or mix of cheddar, monterey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, or mozzarella cheese will work in this recipe.
- Salt and Pepper are the only other seasonings that I used, but you can add a teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and/or cumin. You can also add in fresh or dried herbs, such as cilantro or oregano.
Prep-Ahead Steps for Taco Meatloaf
Line a 9-inch loaf pan with aluminum foil to make it easy to remove the meatloaf and for easy clean up.
In a mini food processor, add ¼ cup ketchup and the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Blend until smooth. Then add the egg and pulse until blended/combined.
To a large bowl, add the ground beef, ketchup/chipotle mixture, salt, pepper, and shredded cheese. Mix to combine. Note: it will seem a bit wet, but that is just right.
Transfer the mexican meatloaf mixture to the loaf pan lined with foil. Form it into a loaf shape. Then add the remaining ⅓ cup ketchup on top of the meatloaf.
Cooking the Taco Meatloaf
Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Bake for 45 minutes uncovered.
When you take it out, let it rest for 5-10 minutes until the juices soak back into the meat.
ENJOY! 😍 Carrie
Taco Meatloaf Recipe FAQS
Can I make this Taco Meatloaf ahead?
You can store the uncooked meatloaf in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just be sure to wrap it really well to prevent air from getting in. Or freeze it for up to 5-6 months, again sealed as well as you can. Once cooked, the meatloaf will last 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
Is this Meatloaf Gluten Free?
This Taco Meatloaf Recipe is gluten-free. Just make sure to check all ingredient labels, including the ketchup, to ensure they are also gluten-free.
Can I use ground chicken or turkey instead of beef in this recipe?
You can definitely substitute the ground beef with either ground chicken or ground turkey in this meatloaf recipe. The cooking time will be the same, but check the internal temperature to ensure it has reached 165 F degrees.
What can I use in place of shredded cheddar Cheese?
Cheddar cheese is added to this meatloaf recipe in place of bread crumbs to help bind the meat mixture. If you want to use a substitute, you can of course use breadcrumbs or gluten free breadcrumbs. Or pulse some corn tortilla chips in a food processor and mix the corn chips crumbs into the meatloaf! Other shredded cheeses that work great are monterey jack, pepperjack, gruyere, mozzarella, or any combination. You can also use grated parmesan cheese, manchego, or other hard cheese.
Can I add other ingredients?
Yes, you can add so many different ingredients, spices, and seasonings! I tried to keep this recipe as simple as possible, but there are lots of other ingredients that would be great additions!
- Herbs: dried oregano (1-2 teaspoons) or fresh Chopped cilantro (¼ cup) is great for added flavor.
- Vegetables: A finely diced jalapeno or green chilies would be delicious for a kick. Red or Green pepper, finely sliced scallion or diced onion would also be delicious. Try grating carrots in to sneak in some veggies!
- Seasonings: Chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, or taco seasoning (check out my homemade taco seasoning recipe) are all wonderful additions.
What can I serve with this Taco Meatloaf?
There are many simple and fun side dish options to go with this meatloaf! How about a Mexican Corn Pasta Salad with Tomatoes? Mexican rice or white rice are great too. Refried beans made with black beans, or a cool Avocado Lime Crema with Roasted Cumin Carrot Fries. Roasted Sage Potatoes or Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole are also delicious options.
Taco Meatloaf with Chipotle Peppers and Cheddar Cheese
This 5-Ingredient Taco Meatloaf adds a spicy mexican flare with Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and Cheddar Cheese. It's incredibly easy, incredibly moist, and incredibly delicious! A family dinner favorite! #meatloaf #mexican #easydinner #familydinner #dinner #easyrecipes #beef
- 1 lb Lean Ground Meat Raised without antibiotics preferred
- ¼ cup Ketchup to mix with meatloaf
- ⅓ cup Ketchup For Top of Meatloaf
- 2 Chipotle Peppers Adobo Sauce Note, this will add medium heat. Reduce to 1 for mild and up to 3 for hot!
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Ground Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. Line a loaf pan with foil to make it easy to remove the meatloaf and for easy clean up.
In a mini food processor, add ¼ cup ketchup and the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Blend until smooth.
Next, add the egg to the mini processor and pulse until blended/combined.
To a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, ketchup/chipotle mixture, salt, pepper, and shredded cheese.
Mix to combine. Note: it will seem a bit wet, but that is just right.
Transfer the meatloaf mix to the loaf pan lined with foil. Form it into a loaf shape. Then top with the remaining ⅓ cup ketchup.
Bake for 45 minutes uncovered. That’s it! When you take it out, let it rest for 5-10 minutes until the juices soak back into the meat.
Slice, serve, Enjoy!
For the chipotle peppers, these will definitely add heat! So, be sure to regulate to what you think your family can take. If you are a mixed family with kids wanting mild and adults wanting medium heat, then reduce down to 1 chipotle pepper or even just 1 tbls of the adobo sauce and eliminate the peppers. Then simply make some extra ketchup topping for part of the meatloaf where you add some additional chipotle peppers.