American Comfort Food With A Mexican Twist

I think that there nothing more comforting on chilly night than a meatloaf in the oven filling the kitchen with wonderful aromas. Ok, don’t make a face. Meatloaf is like Rodney Dangerfield…it gets no respect. While most people love a good meatloaf, there are those of you that grew up hating the unappealing, blah, loaf that was grossly overcooked and dry.

Maybe we should give meatloaf another name and people might try it. Take a slice of cold meatloaf and serve it on a plate garnished with grainy mustard and cornichons (the French word for a crisp, tart gherkin pickle) and you would have a rustic country pate.

When I first started my blog, I did a post called Simple Comfort Food. It was about my recipe for Crusty Meatloaf. My husband and I like meatloaf because it is a recipe that can be changed to suit your mood. I make my meatloaf into two smaller loaves for two reasons. One is that it gives you lots of crispy edges and the second is that you will have another loaf for cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day or served like a pate with some toast points.

Mexican Meatloaf with Pan Sauteed Corn

The recipes I have created are for traditional comfort food with a Mexican twist. The Mexican Meatloaf is loaded with flavor but not too hot. I like to serve it with pan sauteed corn and an avocado and tomato salad.

Mexican Meatloaf

  • 1 1/4 lb. ground beef, more or less (I use 85% lean)
  • 1/2 c. corn tortilla chips, ground
  • 1/2 c. fresh breadcrumbs, torn small (use more if you use more beef)
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 diced jalapeno, more if you like
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro*
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. chipotle tabasco
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

*Many people do not care for cilantro. You can substitute parsley, if you wish, or omit it  all together.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.  Add all ingredients to a large bowl. With a fork mix all the ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix the ingredients as that will make the meatloaf tough. Place the meat on the baking sheet and form into a loaf (or two smaller loaves).  Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the meatloaf registers 135 to 140 on a meat thermometer. Let cool for a few minutes to make slicing easier. Top with the warm tomato salsa and serve.

Fresh Ingredients

Warm Tomato Salsa 

  • 1 c.  chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro*
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • 1/3 c. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. chipotle tabasco

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and saute until it just starts to turn slightly golden. Add the white wine and let reduce to one half. Add the chopped tomatoes, ketchup, chipotle tabasco, and spices. Cook to the desired consistency and then add the fresh cilantro.

Avocado and Tomato Salad

Avocado and Tomato Salad

This is a simple and delicious salad. No recipe is needed but I will tell you how I prepare it. I make a bed of shredded romaine lettuce on a platter. Next, I slice avocados and place on top. Cut tomatoes and place on top of the avocado. At this point, if I have a sweet red onion, I slice it very thin and then place on top of the tomatoes. I then add some chopped fresh cilantro. I make a light and tasty dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, green jalapeno tabasco (which I think makes this salad), salt and pepper. I slowly drizzle the dressing over the salad. Just don’t drown the salad in dressing.

Pan Sauteed Corn

This is also a dish that doesn’t need an exact recipe. Just saute some corn, onion, and peppers (regular or hot) in butter, add garlic if you would like. Season with cumin, salt and pepper and continue until the corn has some brown edges and starts to have a smell like popcorn.

I do hope you will try either my regular Crusty Meatloaf or my Mexican Meatloaf. I think you will enjoy either one as they are very moist, have loads of delicious flavor and have a lovely crust on the outside. If you are a meatloaf hater and you try one of my recipes and like it, I would love to know that I have converted you to a meatloaf lover.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

74 thoughts on “American Comfort Food With A Mexican Twist

  1. Karen, I was literally JUST talking about meatloaf with a coworker! We were saying how much we love cold meatloaf sandwiches!! And I said I’ve not made it in awhile, which is mostly due to the summer months. But you bet I will be very soon! I love the crusy exterior too, great idea to make smaller loaves. This is very interesting in a Mexican style; definitely have to make this one cool weekend!!

  2. I love meatloaf. This looks so fresh and delicious! The only side dish I ever think to make with meatloaf is mashed potatoes, but this is way healthier AND more colorful!

    1. Hi Amy, I’m happy that you are a meatloaf lover as well. If I make my other meatloaf with the caramelized onion brown gravy then I too love mashed potatoes as a side.

  3. I’ve been meaning to give meatloaf a try for a while. I just got a lovely new loaf tin, so I may do. It looks absolutely fabulous. I love that you’ve given a slightly tired classic a new lease of life by making it mexican. Great blog and a great recipe, lovely use of flavours.

    1. Thank you for your very nice compliment. I used to use a loaf pan for meatloaf but now I bake it on a lined baking sheet. That way I get a crispy crust on the outside which I really like.

  4. Mexican meatloaf is such a great idea! I would have never though of it!! I love the side dishes you used to serve with it! I am definitely going to try it. PS: I have always been a meatloaf lover!!

  5. I love your idea for this Mexican version. I do have to say, I grew up on some pretty darn good meatloaf,m so you’ll never find me turning my nose up. Last year I did three meatloaf posts in a row, with three different flavor versions. And, how about a cold meatloaf sandwich with the leftovers … slathered in mustard … ohmygosh yum.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, Thank you for your nice comment. Meatloaf just wants you to put your own stamp on it…there are so many possibilities. My husband loves his sandwich with ketchup and I like mine with dijon mustard.

  6. My mother was not the greatest cook in the world, but she made a mean meatloaf… Along with a big side of Mac and Cheese (never the boxed stuff), that was a meal to warm us to our toes.
    Love the idea of two smaller ones. We like the crispy edges, too…

    1. It sounds like your mother had her specialties and meatloaf and mac and cheese are good ones. I started making the two loves because when you get the inner slices on a large loaf you don’t get those crispy edges which we both love.

  7. Hi Karen! I just made the German equivalent of meatloaf for dinner tonight! Frikadellen are larger than meatballs and are shaped like smaller sized meatloaf like patties that you fry in a pan. They are made with half ground beef and half ground pork or what’s known here as “Halb und Halb”. They are very tasty, you might like to give them a try. Your avocado and tomato salad looks delightful and I can’t get over how beautiful your tomatoes look! Great looking dinner! I hope you enjoyed it.
    Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

  8. Karen-you just gave me my “duh” moment. I LOVE crispy edges—I usually cut off the ends for myself and slice up the rest for hubby. I never thought to make small loaves. Thank you!

    And being in and from the Midwest–there is nothing BLAH about meatloaf. That is standard fare on a cold winters day. We love it.

    1. Hi Sue, You gave me a good laugh. My husband and i both love the ends. That is why I started making them small and just dividing them in half. Now we are both happy. I’m glad you don’t think meatloaf is BLAH. Actually, it sounds like there are a lot of us out there that like meatloaf. Of course, the meatloaf haters probably won’t comment on this recipe.

  9. I am loving this version of your meatloaf. We give most things a Mexican twist around here; however, we haven’t done meatloaf like that. It looks and sounds delicious!

  10. Well being a Texan I love Mexican food as we have an abundance of it. This meatloaf recipe intrigues me but my favorite part of this post is the avocado and tomato salad – sounds right up my alley.

  11. Delicious! What a delightful twist on an old favorite! I completely agree – it doesn’t get enough respect! I’ve been blogging 5 days a week since April and I’ve tried SO many new dishes. Do you know the dish he asks for the most is the meat loaf I made? Every chance he gets….

    ….I completely agree that it’s comfort food at it’s finest!

  12. I felt like you were talking directly to me in that first paragraph. I am one of those that grew up with a definite dislike of meatloaf. That said, yours does look good to me. Maybe I should give it a go now that I’m all grown-up. 😉

    1. Hi Kristy, So you are one of those people growing up not liking meatlloaf.I think it was probably overcooked and under seasoned. Being all grown up…do give it a try.

  13. I love meat loaf! Makes me wish more people in Europe made it – it’s really not a common thing over here unfortunately. That warm tomato salsa as well – so good – what a great meal!

    1. Hi Charles, Thank you for your nice compliment. Meatloaf isn’t prepared as often in Europe but it sure fits in with your cooking within a certain budget. Meatloaf is a very economical dish to prepare.

  14. There’s nothing like a well-prepared meatloaf and sandwiches the next day are the best, much like turkey sandwiches on the weekend following Thanksgiving. I like that you’ve given your meatloaf a south-of-the-border twist. These sandwiches would be even better!

  15. I love meatloaf and your mexican twist sounds awesome. I clicked over to your crusty meatloaf and not quite sure which one I would try first – they both sound great and completely different. Which, like you said is the nice thing about meatloaf! Your corn sounds wonderful as well. I don’t dress us corn enough and you have given me some inspiration to do so!

    1. Hi Becky, Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m happy that you checked out my other recipe. Both different and I think both are good. Corn is one of my husbands favor vegetables. I try fixing it different ways for him.

    1. Hi Carol, I’m glad to hear we have another meatloaf lover in the crowd. I think genius may be a little too much but I do thank you for thinking so. Besides the corn chips there is a half cup of fresh breadcrumbs. That insures that it will be tender.

      1. Thanks – I realize now that not only can I not spell (bead crumbs) but I can’t read!
        I am always looking for ways to cut down on wheat content as I have an allergy (not celiac thank god!)

    1. Hi Sam, Thank you for the nice comment. I’m glad to hear you like Mexican food. I think you will like this meatloaf. Another person in favor of meatloaf samdwiches. That’s great.

  16. I am a meatloaf lover. Grew up on the basic loaf but have tried to create different versions using chicken or turkey – but this looks like a great reason to make beef again. Corn and salad also look amazing.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  17. Amazing and tasty looking. One of these days I should really stop being lazy and make meatloaf. It’s just the idea of firing up the oven seems so onerous, especially when you are cooking for one. Happy Autumn! 🙂

    1. Hi Koritt, Thank you for your nice comment. I think meatloaf might be a good dish to prepare for one. You could form two loaves, put one in the freezer and cook the other.

  18. What a lovely dinner! I love your approach with a Mexican theme! This will definitely be something I will try – although I will leave out the cilantro – Ritchey is one of those who don’t like it! Your tomato and avocado salad looks lovely! Thank you for a wonderful post!

    1. Hi Phyllis, Thank you for your nice compliment. You will still enjoy the the recipe without the cilantro. I know that there are a lot of people that don’t like it…say it tastes soapy. I have friends that don’t care for it so when I cooked that recipe for them I would just put a small bowl of chopped cilantro on the table for those of us that do like it…we can sprinkle as much as we want to our dishes and everyone is happy.

    1. Thank you for mentioning me and my meatloaf recipe in your blog. I am happy that I inspired you to make a meatloaf like your Abuela’s.

  19. This is such a spicy twist to meatloaf; love it!! Wow, chipotle tabasco!! The avocado and tomato salad looks delicious too : )

    1. Hi Judy, Thank you for your nice compliment. I like taking a recipe that I enjoy and giving it a new twist…it keeps meals interesting. Chipotle tabasco is delicious and adds lots of flavor to so many dishes.

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