Taco Meatloaf

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This taco meatloaf is full of your favorite taco flavors. Plus, it’s made in the slow cooker!

Raise your hand if you grew up eating meatloaf—and lots of it! 

It was always on the menu at my house, thanks to its ease of preparation and simple ingredients. Ours was never very fancy — a French onion soup packet or new flavor of barbecue sauce was really the only change. 

Meatloaf reminds me of cold nights when I needed a filling meal, and I still turn to it for my own family. Of course, I can’t help but experiment, and really, why don’t we do it more for meatloaf?

red-rimmed white plate with taco meatloaf on a tortilla with salsa and pickled onions

Let’s start throwing stuff into it like we do with burgers. Roasted chiles, shredded cheeses, dried fruits, or plenty of spices. Consider chopped cooked greens like spinach, or sauces that break from the norm.

Many of us turn to meatloaf for the economical aspect, so adding those special ingredients helps change things up from the standard dish. 

Just because you’re saving money your tastebuds shouldn’t have to suffer, right? Essentially, the sky’s the limit when it comes to meatloaf, and everyone’s tastes are different.

Now, the crazy thing about this particular meatloaf is that it’s made in the slow cooker. I know. While this doesn’t necessarily result in the most perfectly glazed and crispy-edged meatloaf, you can’t beat how simple it makes the cooking process.

My slow cooker features a lift-out drip rack, but you can create a rack by rolling up pieces of aluminum foil and crisscrossing them under your loaf. If you let the strips hang out over the edge of the slow cooker, you can just lift them up to remove the finished dish.

Make dinner even easier by forming the meatloaf the night before and letting it hang out in the fridge overnight until you’re ready.

Taco Meatloaf - Meatloaf in a slow cooker is totally possible - mix it up even more by making it full of favorite taco flavors.

This taco meatloaf features favorite taco toppings like roast corn, melty cheese, and green chile peppers. 

This recipe also uses crushed tortilla chips instead of bread crumbs for binding. Crush them as fine as you can to help them soak up the meatloaf’s excess liquid. 

How to serve taco meatloaf

One of the reasons I love this dish is because you can serve it as regular meatloaf, or stuff it into tortillas.

We also like to make meatloaf new again by serving it in different ways, from slicing and adding to sandwiches, to crumbling it for rough meatballs in marinara sauce. The crumbles are great for rice-based dishes as well.

Don’t forget that we’re going all out with the taco flavors, so add your favorite toppings to serve like pickled onions, fresh limes, sour cream, avocado, salsa, and chopped cilantro.

Can I make this in the oven?

Absolutely! If you don’t want to use your slow cooker, you can bake as you would any other meatloaf.

Set the meatloaf in a shallow baking dish, or a meatloaf pan if you have it. Bake in a 350°F oven for 65-75 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf reads 160°F.

Be sure to let it rest for 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.

taco meatloaf on a tortilla with salsa and pickled onions

This recipe is proof positive that meatloaf doesn’t have to be boring.

red-rimmed white plate with taco meatloaf on a tortilla with salsa and pickled onions

Taco Meatloaf

This meatloaf has the flavors of your favorite beef taco mixed right in. It's made in the slow cooker for hands-off dinner.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 15 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 8 servings
Calories 518 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 14.5- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen roasted whole kernel corn
  • 1 4- ounce can chopped green chiles
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Optional for serving: tortillas, avocado, green onion, corn, cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, salsa, pickled onions, jalapeños

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine beef, pork, eggs, tomatoes, corn, chiles, tortilla chips, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well until evenly blended.
  • Form meat mixture into a loaf shape. Make three long strips of foil by folding pieces twice. Lay one strip vertically and two horizontally on top, then place meatloaf on top.
  • Carefully transfer meatloaf on foil strips to your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours or on high for 2 1/2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 160°F.
  • Remove meatloaf from slow cooker. Discard any stuck drippings as well as foil and place meatloaf on serving dish. Sprinkle on cheese, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

Nutrition

Calories: 518 kcalCarbohydrates: 22 gProtein: 38 gFat: 32 gSaturated Fat: 11 gCholesterol: 181 mgSodium: 488 mgFiber: 5 gSugar: 6 g
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