Cajun Meatloaf takes traditional meatloaf up to a whole new level with the addition of ground pork, jalapeño pepper, and numerous spices including paprika, cayenne, cumin and white pepper. Moist and juicy with just the right balance of spiciness, this easy to prepare meatloaf will be your new go-to favorite!

cutting board with sliced Cajun Meatloaf
(Photo by Rick Souders)

Next level Well Seasoned Meatloaf Recipe

This fabulous Cajun Meatloaf recipe comes from chef, author, columnist and lifestyle blogger Sally Schneider. Her work focus is on improvising, being resourceful and thinking outside the box (you can find her blog at improvisedlife.com). To me, this dish illustrates of all those concepts.

What is meatloaf seasoning made of?

In a basic meatloaf, ground beef is typically seasoned with onions, celery, garlic and tomato (usually sauce, sometimes ketchup or diced tomatoes). In this recipe, the author Sally amps up the flavor even more by adding jalapeño peppers, paprika, cumin, cayenne and white pepper.

Cajun Meatloaf Recipe Ingredients

It starts with a basic meatloaf recipe (ground beef, onions, celery, garlic, tomato sauce, breadcrumbs and egg) and builds from there. Ground pork adds extra moisture and tenderness to the ground beef. Jalapeño pepper and several spices including paprika, cayenne, cumin and white pepper add both Louisiana-style flavor and a nice kick. The result is a juicy, flavorful and colorful meatloaf that’s comfort food at its best!

How to make Cajun Meatloaf Recipe with Ground Pork

Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps involved in making this meatloaf. It’s actually quite easy! And, as mentioned later in this post, you can do all the prep up to 2 days ahead, then just bake it when ready to serve.

  1. Prep the oven and baking pan.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil.
  2. Mix spices.
    In a small bowl, combine the salt, thyme, black pepper, paprika, cumin, nutmeg, cayenne, and white pepper.
  3. Sauté vegetables.
    In a large heavy skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, red pepper, jalapeño, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
  4. Add spices.
    Stir in the reserved spice mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add liquids.
    Stir in the milk, tomato purée and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes or until the mixture is thick (reduce the heat if needed to prevent burning).
  6. Let cool.
    Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  7. Add ground meat, crumbs and egg.
    Add the beef, pork, breadcrumbs and egg whites to the cooled vegetable mixture; mix until well combined (I like to use my hands, which is why you need to cool the vegetable mixture).
  8. Form mixture into loaf.
    Scoop the mixture into the center of the prepared pan and shape into a loaf about 10- by 5-inches.
  9. Bake.
    Bake uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  10. Increase temperature, finish baking.
    Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 150 degrees.
  11. Let rest; serve.
    Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

How do you know when pork meatloaf is done?

Meatloaf containing ground pork is done when an instant read thermometer inserted in the middle reaches 150 degrees.

Can I make meatloaf without a loaf pan?

You, can definitely make meatloaf without a loaf pan. In fact, that’s how you make this Cajun Meatloaf! Simply scoop the ground meat mixture into the center of a rimmed baking pan that’s lined with foil and shape into a loaf – for this recipe, the loaf should be about 5 by 10-inches.

How to serve Cajun Meatloaf

I like to serve this meatloaf with one side from Group 1 and one from Group 2:

Group 1

Group 2

How to Store, Freeze and Reheat Meatloaf with Ground Pork and Beef

Because there are several steps to preparing this meatloaf, you might want to make it ahead and either refrigerate or freeze it. Here are the various options:

  1. Make ahead but don’t bake; refrigerate or freeze. Prepare the meatloaf through step 7; place mixture in a zip top baggie or other sealed container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Can also be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and finish the recipe.
  2. Make and bake ahead. Cool meatloaf, wrap well and refrigerate. It will last for 3 to 4 days. Bring to room temperature and warm in a 300 degree oven.
  3. Make, bake and freeze. Cool meatloaf, wrap well and refrigerate; once chilled, freeze. It will last for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature and warm in a 300 degree oven.

FAQ for Meatloaf Recipe with Ground Pork and Beef

What is the secret to moist meatloaf?

The first, and most important, secret to moist meatloaf is ensuring there is enough fat in the ground meat. And, this recipe does that my adding in ground pork.

Why do you put egg in meatloaf?

Egg is one of the two key “binders” in a meatloaf – that is, the ingredients that keep it from falling apart. (The other binder is breadcrumbs.) Eggs – or egg whites – also add moisture to the meatloaf.

Should I soak breadcrumbs for meatloaf?

Whether or not you need to soak breadcrumbs in milk when making meatloaf depends entirely on the recipe. Soaking dry breadcrumbs before adding increases the amount of moisture in the meatloaf, keeping it from drying out. For this recipe, I don’t think it’s necessary, because one of the key ingredients is ground pork, which, together with the other wet ingredients (milk, tomato purée, egg), adds more than enough moisture.

Is it better to use milk or water in meatloaf?

Milk adds not only moisture but also fat, which layers even more flavor into the meatloaf. Water will only add moisture, so I recommend using milk. If you are cooking for someone who can’t eat dairy, then substitute chicken or vegetable broth.

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Cutting board with slices of Cajun Meatloaf
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Cajun Meatloaf

  • Author: (From “Fresh Tastes” by Lee Clayton Roper)
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 70 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: main dish, meats, comfort food, make ahead
  • Method: stovetop, bake
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Description

Cajun Meatloaf takes traditional meatloaf up to a whole new level with the addition of ground pork, jalapeño pepper, and numerous spices. Moist and juicy with just the right balance of spiciness, this easy to prepare meatloaf will be your new go-to favorite!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 to 2 onions) chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/4 cups (3 to 4 ribs) chopped celery
  • 1 cup (1 to 2 peppers) chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3/4 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 cup fresh or Panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 egg whites

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the salt, thyme, black pepper, paprika, cumin, nutmeg, cayenne, and white pepper.
  4. In a large heavy skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, red pepper, jalapeño, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.
  5. Stir in the reserved spice mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes or until the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  6. Stir in the milk, tomato purée and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes or until the mixture is thick (reduce the heat if needed to prevent burning). Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  7. Add the beef, pork, breadcrumbs and egg whites to the cooled vegetable mixture; mix until well combined (I like to use my hands, which is why you need to cool the vegetable mixture).
  8. Scoop the mixture into the center of the prepared pan and shape into a loaf about 10- by 5-inches.
  9. Bake uncovered, for 25 minutes.
  10. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 150 degrees.
  11. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

Make ahead: Meatloaf can be prepared but not baked earlier in the day, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking. Can also be wrapped and frozen (baked or unbaked) for up to 1 month.

Gluten free: Use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce. Use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Lee Clayton Roper

Welcome!

I’m Lee Clayton Roper, and I’m passionate about making cooking and entertaining easy, elegant and fun. Here you’ll find scrumptious recipes, helpful tips and seasonal menus that will spark inspiration in your kitchen!
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