Southwestern-style Meat Loaf

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

This is more a meat and vegetable loaf than a meat loaf. It is adapted from a recipe from our friend Anne Riives, who used two pounds ground pork and beef in hers. In this recipe we use less meat, part of it ground turkey, which is lower in fat. The mixture has cornmeal and corn kernels plus lots of spices.


  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup tomato juice, vegetable juice, or cold water
  • 1 large red onion, chopped (about cups)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned and drained corn kernels
  • ¼ cup (packed) chopped cilantro
  • teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (see Note)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ pound ground pork shoulder or beef chuck
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 hot red and green pickled cherry peppers, drained, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 pickled jalapeño peppers, drained, seeded, and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt


    • Stir the cornmeal and tomato juice together in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside.
    • Cook the onion and garlic in olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Process the corn kernels in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer the corn to the skillet, add the cilantro, chili powder, and cumin and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add to the cornmeal mixture.
    • Heat the oven to 375°F.
    • Add the meats, egg white, chopped cherry and jalapeño peppers, and salt to the cornmeal and onion mixture. Blend with a spoon or fingertips, using a light touch to avoid compacting, until thoroughly blended. Spoon mixture into a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Tap the pan on a work surface to eliminate air bubbles. With fingertips moistened in cold water, smooth the surface of the meat.
    • Cover the loaf with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and raise the heat to 400°F. Continue to bake until loaf is golden brown and cooked through, about 45 minutes longer.
    • Remove from the oven; let meat loaf stand about 20 minutes before serving. Cut into thick slices and serve. The meat loaf may also be served cold.