Our sixth stop in our journey through A Meatloaf in Every Oven is the Taco Meatloaf. The recipe inspired a super easy knock-off, so I made them both and did a side by side comparison!
Crushed tortilla chips. Crushed taco shells and tortilla chips
Ground beef Ground beef
Mixed cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese Mexican style blend cheese
Sour Cream Sour cream
Fresh hot salsa Jar salsa (drained a little to thicken)
Eggs (beaten slightly) Eggs (beaten slightly)
Chili powder Commercial taco seasoning
Red pepper flakes
Ground Black Pepper
Sliced sharp cheddar cheese Sliced Pepper Jack Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil.
Place the crushed tortilla chips into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, except the cheese slices. Mix with your clean hands until thoroughly blended and shape into a loaf on the baking sheet.
Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 F for medium rare. Drape the cheese slices over the loaf and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Shown here served with guacamole and fresh salsa (or pico de gallo) in a lettuce cup with sliced avacado on the side.
Both of the loaves were hits! The knock-off was actually a little better than the original! The taco shells mixed in with the tortilla chips added a little extra corn flavor.
I might choose shredded cheddar cheese over the Mexican blend or Tach blend, just because there is a little stronger flavor. I find that that cheese incorporated into a meatloaf tends to add to the overall flavor, but often loses it’s identity.
Pepper Jack vs. Cheddar for topping, I again pick the Cheddar. The Pepper Jack was a little light on flavor and the pepper was masked by the seasoning in the loaf.
I thought the jarred salsa in the knock-off recipe added a little more flavor. The loaf with the jarred salsa was also a little more moist, which I attributed to the salsa.
We garnished each with the type of salsa used in the seasoning along with a dollop of sour cream.
I don’t think anyone would have been able to tell the difference between the two loaves except for the salsa used as topping when serving and the cheese used to top each loaf.
The leftover loaf was one of the more successful transformations to meatloaf sandwiches the next day!