This Ultimate Enchilada Meatloaf is packed with tons of Mexican flavor from enchilada sauce, crushed tortilla chips, onions, garlic, green chiles, taco seasoning, and is filled with an entire block of cheddar cheese! It is absolutely amazing!
Is it messy? You bet it is! And most messy food I know of is absolutely delicious!
It might not look pretty, but just wait until you taste this.
Most great meatloaf recipes start with breadcrumbs. Well, since we’re adding a little Mexican twist to this one, we’re going to use crushed tortilla chips instead. Crush about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of tortilla chips using a small food chopper or food processor. Grind them up pretty fine. You’ll need about 1/2 cup of crushed chips for this. And don’t put that food chopper away yet…
In a small bowl, mix those crushed chips with 1/2 cup of your favorite red enchilada sauce. I really like the Hatch Organic Red Enchilada sauce. I’ve tasted lots of them from the grocery store and this is my absolute favorite. Stir all the together and set it aside to allow the chips to absorb all that sauce. This mixture is going to work to keep our meatloaf moist and add some great flavor.
Next, head back to the food chopper and drop in half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Whizz those around until they’re finely minced. Add those to the bowl with the crushed chip and enchilada sauce and stir to combine.
Next, let’s talk about the meat. Lot’s of recipes call for a blend of meats – normally beef and pork. If that’s your thing, you go right ahead. I prefer an all-beef meatloaf because that’s what I grew up eating.
The thing to keep in mind here is that we’re going to need some fat to keep this meatloaf moist and juicy over a relatively long cook time. I like to use ground chuck and find that it works great to keep the dish from drying out. Going for anything leaner than an 80/20 blend will probably yield a dry, tasteless loaf.
In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, the the crushed chip and veggie mixture, the egg, and the taco seasoning packet. Mix well to get it combined, but be cautious about overmixing it. It can make your meatloaf tough.
Also, that taco seasoning packet is important. I use McCormick because I love the flavor but also because I can pronounce all the ingredients on the package. Keep in mind that using a low sodium version might mean you’ll need to add some salt to the meatloaf to get it tasting right. Unfortunately, this isn’t a case where you can taste it to make sure that you’ve got it seasoned properly. You’re making meatloaf, not tartare, right?
Well, if you’re super paranoid about it, simply zap a chunk of it in the microwave or cook it off in a small skillet until it’s cooked through to be able to taste it and adjust the seasoning. It’s the only safe way to do that.
Now, take about 1/3 of the meat mixture and form it into the base of what will be our meatloaf. I do this in the center of a 9×13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Doing it free form in a baking dish like this allows the fat to render away and you get more browned edges than if you were to use a loaf pan.
Next, plop that chunk of cheese right in the middle and press it down slightly.
Add the remaining 2/3 of the meat mixture and form it into the meatloaf. Be sure to work to seal the edges to keep all that cheese inside as it bakes.
Now take the remaining enchilada sauce and whisk it together with 1/3 cup of ketchup in a small bowl. Then pour it over the meatloaf.
Then in the oven it goes! It will take about 1 hour to cook through and hit that target temperature of 160°F.
Remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
This goes great with a heaping helping of mexican rice and black beans or refried beans or just about anything for that matter.
You’re going to love this delicious twist on the classic… I just know it!
Ultimate Enchilada Meatloaf
- 1 1/2 to 2 ounces tortilla chips
- 1 (15-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (I use Hatch brand)
- 1/2 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles (you can use mild or hot)
- 1 large egg
- 1 (1-ounce) packet taco seasoning (I use McCormick)
- 2 to 2 1/4 pound ground chuck (80/20)
- 1 (8-ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Crush the torilla chips using a small food chopper or food processor. You'll need about 1/2 cup of crushed chips. In a medium bowl, stir the crushed chips and 1/2 cup of the enchialda sauce together. Set aside.
- Place the onion, garlic, and green chilies in the food processor and chop until finely minced. Add the vegetable mixture to the crushed corn chip mixture and stir to combine.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, crushed chip and veggie mixture, egg, and taco seasoning. Mix well. Take about 1/3 of the mixture and form the base layer of the meatloaf in the center of the baking dish. Place the entire block of cheddar cheese in the center and press down slightly. Add the remaining meat mixture to form the meatloaf and cover the cheese, being sure to seal the edges all together so the cheese doesn't melt out.
- Make the sauce by combining the remaining enchilada sauce with the ketchup. Pour over the meatloaf. Bake for about 1 hour or until the internal temp of the meatloaf reaches 160°F. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.