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Taco Meatloaf Recipe

This taco meatloaf is an easy recipe packed with the unmistakable taco flavors of ground beef, tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream. Close your eyes, and you might think you’re eating a taco.

This taco meatloaf has even made meatloaf lovers out of people who think they don’t like meatloaf. I promise you. This taco meatloaf recipe is about to change your life.

The story

I have a bit of a cookbook collection. It may not be as large as my shoe collection, but it’s pretty close. This, if you knew me, would tell you how much of a problem it is.

two slices of salsa-glazed taco meatloaf with guacamole and sour cream.

So for the last few years, I have forced myself to borrow cookbooks from the library and cook from them before I buy. Library browsing means that I get to take home more cookbooks.

On one such occasion I picked up A Meatloaf in Every Oven. I tried a few recipes and mostly came out disappointed. If you know of the perfect Peking Duck Meatloaf, please share.

(6/27/2021: Edit to add. I’ve finally perfected the Peking duck-inspired meatloaf!)

But one of them, the taco meatloaf, has been on regular repeat any time there is a bag of leftover tortilla chips in the house. It’s a great recipe for someone learning to cook.

Tips and tricks for this recipe

This recipe was minimally adapted at first, to reduce the level of spiciness for my household. In subsequent versions of this recipe, I’ve made additional changes, though never straying far from the original.

The recipe follows the standard formula for meatloaves of one pound of meat to one egg and one half cup of breadcrumbs as binder. Tortilla chips take the place of breadcrumbs in this taco meatloaf recipe. Other things, like crackers or rice or quinoa, can also serve this function.

Meatloaves make for easy meals because you form the mixture, pack it into a meatloaf pan, and bake. I like making a one pound meatloaf in a meatloaf pan because it allows the fat to drain on all sides, but you can also double the recipe to fill the pan. Or shape the mixture into a loaf in the center of a cast iron skillet.

taco meatloaf mixture packed into a meatloaf pan.

Bake until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. And then glaze the meatloaf with some salsa, or top with slices of cheese. Just know that the cheese on top doesn’t freeze well if you are hoping to freeze leftover meatloaf.

Variations

Make the meatloaf in a muffin tin for taco meatloaf muffins.

a muffin tin partially filled with taco meatloaf muffins.

Use ground turkey instead of ground beef for a slightly healthier version. Note that I said “slightly.”

two slices of turkey taco meatloaf with cavatappi mac and cheese.

FAQs about this taco meatloaf recipe

What would you serve with this taco meatloaf?

Serve with a corn salad and side of guacamole, mango pico de gallo, these spicy pickled onions and extra sour cream and salsa. Or turn it into a taco meatloaf bowl with baked mac and cheese and some fresh vegetables.

What would you drink with this meatloaf?

There’s no question. Taco meatloaf calls for a cold beer or a spicy margarita with jalapeño simple syrup.

Can you freeze this meatloaf?

Yes, this meatloaf freezes very well. Just slice and wrap and put it in to a freezer bag. Defrost in a pan in the oven.

Related recipes

Check out other recipes for burgers, meatloaves, and meatballs like this Thanksgiving-inspired turkey meatloaf.

Taco Meatloaf

5 from 1 vote
Category: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 338kcal
This taco meatloaf is an easy recipe packed with the unmistakable taco flavors of ground beef, tortilla chips, salsa, and sour cream. Close your eyes, and you might think you're eating a taco.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (2.5 ounces) tortilla chips, crushed
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup salsa mild to hot based on your preference
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano Mexican oregano, if available
  • ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound lean ground beef

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Mix all of the ingredients together with a spoon except for the ground beef. Then gently mix in the beef by hand.
    ½ cup (2.5 ounces) tortilla chips, crushed, ½ cup (2 ounces) cheddar cheese, grated, ½ cup salsa, ¼ cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 1 pound lean ground beef
  • Pack the meatloaf mixture into a meatloaf pan or shape it into a loaf in a cast iron skillet.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 160°F.

Notes

Variations
  • You can increase the heat in this recipe by using a hot salsa, adding more chili powder, or adding some minced hot pepper to the mixture.
  • Once the internal temperature of the taco meatloaf has reached 165 degrees, top the meatloaf with thin slices of cheddar cheese or glaze with additional salsa and cook for another few minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 1033mg | Potassium: 569mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 622IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 4mg
Love this recipe?Mention @Uglyducklingbakery or tag #uglyducklingbakery!

This taco meatloaf recipe was originally published on January 8, 2021. It was last updated on May 3, 2022.

What’s next?

If you make this taco meatloaf, please comment here, particularly if it changes your life too!

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2 Comments

  1. Well, to be fair, no one could make this meatloaf pretty! But it is beyond delicious. Thank you forever for sharing this recipe with me.

    1. 5 stars
      Thanks, Hillary! You are welcome. Always happy to share the goodness.
      I *am* still trying to figure out how to take prettier pictures of my ugly food and do it quickly. I get about a minute before the “I’m hunnnnnnggggry!” starts.

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