Make Mexican meatloaf, then use the leftovers to create Mexican meatloaf sandwiches that will give you a protein-packed lunch.
There are two kinds of people in the world. Meatloaf haters and meatloaf lovers. I fall into the first category. And thankfully my family does too. If you fall into the second category, my goal is to convince you that you do in fact need meatloaf in your life.
This is not your grandma’s meatloaf (although my grandma’s meatloaf was delicious). It’s a Mexican meatloaf made with lean ground beef, Colby cheese, red onions, green peppers and spicy seasonings.
What is the best meat for meatloaf?
If you’re looking to use beef for meatloaf, use ground chuck (about 85/15). Ground chuck has great flavor and is perfect for meatloaf. Don’t use beef that is too lean (90% or higher) or your meatloaf will be dry.
How do you make Mexican meatloaf?
- This recipe starts just as about any other meatloaf. The difference comes in the spices and veggies that you use. We used paprika, chili powder and cumin to flavor the meatloaf with a little spice, plus the addition of oregano, dry mustard, salt and pepper just to make it extra savory.
- Just a touch of green peppers and onions really adds to the texture of the meatloaf. Dice them very small so they can fully cook and not be “crunchy” in your meatloaf. Plus if they are finely chopped then maybe the kids won’t notice (maybe???).
- Handle the meat as little as possible. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well, but don’t overmix or the meatloaf may be tough.
- We baked our meatloaf in a loaf pan for 55-60 minutes. You can use a baking dish instead if you’d like. Just make sure the meatloaf measures 165º Fahrenheit in the thickest part to be certain it is cooked through.
What to Serve with Meatloaf
Make it into Mexican meatloaf sandwiches.
I mean really, who wouldn’t like to see this in their lunch bag? Thickly sliced rustic bread, topped with a generous portion of meatloaf. I cut our meatloaf into 8 slices to get 8 sandwiches, but you can cut them thicker or thinner depending on the size of bread and appetite you have.
Add a slice of Colby cheese and a sprinkling of fresh salsa, then place the second piece of bread on top for a protein-filled, healthy lunch solution!
Mexican Meatloaf Sandwiches
For the Meatloaf
- 2 pounds ground chuck (85% lean)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 1/3 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 16 slices bread
- 8 slices sliced colby cheese
- 2 cups fresh salsa
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×5" baking pan with parchment paper. (Or spray with cooking spray.)
- Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Press the beef mixture into the loaf pan.
- Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
- To make the sandwiches, place a slice of meatloaf on a piece of bread. Top with cheese and fresh salsa. Place a second piece of bread on the top.
- Serve immediately.
This post was originally published in 2016, then updated in May 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
Meatloaf needs a binder to hold it together. Our recipe calls for oatmeal and eggs which well help it hold and not fall apart. You can also use bread crumbs. If your meatloaf is falling apart, it is a sign there may be too much moisture.
Yes! Mix up the meatloaf mixture the night before and put it in the pan. Cover the pan well and refrigerate it, then bake right before you want to serve it.
Yes! Cook this recipe for about 4 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low.
Meatloaf will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator if sealed in an airtight container.
Other Mexican Recipes
We love serving this Mexican meatloaf with easy cilantro lime rice!
Thanks to the Ohio Beef Council for sponsoring this recipe and reminding us of the health benefits of beef. As always, all opinions are my own.