Southwestern Meatloaf

tex-mex meatloaf with southwestern flavor
Diana Rattray
Ratings (5)
  • Total: 90 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 75 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

This Southwestern meatloaf is an excellent example of the versatility of the familiar everyday meatloaf. Southwest flavors and ingredients take this tasty loaf to new levels. Chili peppers, corn, and chopped ripe olives add to the texture, while salsa and complementary seasonings flavor the loaf perfectly. 

For more Tex-Mex flavor, feel free to add two teaspoons of chili powder and about 1/2 teaspoon of cumin to the meatloaf, or add some heat with a minced jalapeno or Fresno chili pepper. Ingredients can be swapped out as well. If you aren't a fan of ripe olives, replace them with some chopped sauteed mushrooms or add about 1/2 cup of canned and drained black beans.

A combination of ground beef and pork makes for a moist and flavorful loaf, but all beef or part veal are good alternatives. The meat mixture should contain a generous amount of fat for the best flavor and moistness, whether from the beef and pork mixture or a fattier—75/25 or 80/20—ground beef ratio.

Serve the meatloaf with a chunky salsa or traditional Mexican toppings, such as guacamole, cilantro, or sour cream. Add potatoes or Mexican style rice and a side of refried beans for a fabulous family meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (or veal)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (or 3/4 cup soft fresh breadcrumbs)
  • 1 (4.25-ounce) can chopped ripe olives
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chili pepper
  • 1 cup corn kernels (cooked, drained)
  • 1 cup salsa (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Optional: 4 slices of cheddar cheese (or pepper jack)

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C/Gas 4). 

  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and pork, the egg, bread crumbs, olives, chili pepper, corn, 1/2 cup of salsa, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix lightly until the mixture is thoroughly blended. A wire potato masher works well for mixing meatloaf or use your hands.

  3. Pack the mixture into a loaf pan or shape it into a loaf and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.

  4. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

  5. Top the meatloaf with the remaining 1/2 cup of salsa. If desired, overlap 3 or 4 thin slices of cheese on the loaf and continue baking for 10 minutes, or until the topping is hot and the cheese has melted. 

Kitchen Notes

The meatloaf will hold together better if you let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

To be sure the meatloaf is thoroughly cooked, check with a reliable instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the loaf. The minimum safe temperature for ground meat is 160 F. If there is ground poultry in the loaf, cook it to 165 F.