Southwest Meatloaf recipe

Southwest Meatloaf

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It seems like meatloaf has been on dinner tables forever. As a comfort food, it’s perfect with mashed potatoes and even better the next day in a sandwich. While our meatloaf is somewhat traditional, we add a little more emphasis to the preparation of the vegetables in our recipe. A roasted poblano pepper adds a distinct, southwest flavor, and we grate the onion and carrot. Along with a fresh tomato, it serves to intensify the flavors and add moisture to the meatloaf.

This is an easy recipe to make. The only thing that takes a little more time is roasting the pepper, but those few extra minutes are worth it. Poblano peppers are a mild to medium type of green pepper. They have a tougher skin than other chile peppers, so they’re usually charred and peeled. If you want to skip this step, you can use a green bell pepper in place of the poblano. No roasting is necessary.

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Southwest Meatloaf


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, preferably 85% lean
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (about 1 1/2 to 2 slices partially frozen bread, grated on a box grater)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/4 onion, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 large plum tomato
  • 1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and diced (directions below)
  • (or substitute 1/3 cup finely diced green bell pepper for the poblano – no roasting needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Topping


Roast the pepper: Put the pepper on a baking sheet and place it on an oven rack about 6-inches below the broiler. Turn the pepper with tongs as it cooks so that all sides are charred and blistering. This can take from 8 to 14 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the pepper to a heat-proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel so the pepper will steam. When cool, remove the skin from the pepper under a slow stream of water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Make a slit down the side of the pepper and remove the stem, seeds, and ribs. Cut into a small dice and set aside.

Make the topping: Combine the topping ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the meatloaf: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, carrot, and onion. Cut the tomato in half and squeeze the juice in with the rest of the ingredients. Finely dice the tomato halves and add them to the bowl, along with the poblano pepper, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Place the mixture in a large baking dish and shape into a loaf. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon off any excess fat, if needed. Spread the topping over the meatloaf. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes until the meat is no longer pink inside, or registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer when inserted into the center. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

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