A few nights ago, I decided to make something we hadn’t had in a while — Spanish Meatloaf. My inspiration comes from a recipe in one of my Betty Crocker cookbooks. Betty’s version uses tomato sauce and adds in sliced green olives (often sold in jars as manzanilla olives), hence the “Spanish” moniker.
Somehow or other, I don’t think this is a dish they serve in Spain. 😉
As I’ve often said, though, authenticity is over-rated — this may not be authentic, but it is yummy.
This recipe works equally well with either extra-lean ground turkey or ground beef. I had ground turkey that I’d bought on sale, so that’s what I used. I also like to season the meat mixture with salsa or picante sauce, as that saves me another step: no need to dice up onion and/or peppers! However, you can also use a plain or seasoned (such as El Pato) tomato sauce, or even some enchilada sauce.
Season to taste with chili powder and cumin, and you have an easy, spicy take on meatloaf. And by shaping them into mini loaves, they bake up a bit more quickly. You could even cook them in the microwave if you were truly pressed for time.
NOTE: For an added twist, you can also either mix in some shredded cheese and/or top the meatloaves with some cheese, or you can shape each loaf around a piece of cheese (cheddar, Colby, Monterrey Jack, whatever makes you happy) for a cheesy-centered loaf.
So the next time you’re craving the comfort of meatloaf, but are looking for a twist, give Spanish Meatloaf a try. It smells — and tastes! — so yummy, you’re liable to find yourself dancing the flamenco. 🙂
Spanish Meatloaf (Serves 4)
- 1 to 1.25 pounds extra-lean (90/10, 93/7, or greater) ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 egg
- Approximately 3/4 to 1 cup of your favorite salsa or tomato sauce (seasoned or unseasoned)
- 1 – 2 slices bread, crumbed (I whiz it through my little food processor) or cracker crumbs
- Seasonings to taste: Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic or garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and coarse ground black pepper or cayenne pepper
- Sliced green olives to taste (I typically slice anywhere from 12 to 16 olives)
- In a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat egg. Add in bread or cracker crumbs. Stir in seasonings to taste. Stir in 1/3 to 1/2 cup or so of tomato sauce or salsa — remember, you can add in more, but you can’t take it back out! (NOTE: If using tomato sauce instead of salsa, you may also want to add in some diced onion and/or some diced bell pepper.)
- Mix in meat. Add additional salsa/sauce as necessary (you want it moist, but still able to hold together). Add additional seasonings if need be (I judge this by how the mixture smells).
- Gently mix in sliced olives.
- Divide mixture into fourths. Shape each fourth into an oval mini loaf. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon some additional salsa or tomato sauce on top of each loaf.
- Bake at 350F until done (1 hour if oven isn’t preheated; approximately 45 to 50 minutes if oven is preheated). Let rest for 10 minutes or so before serving.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.