This is a Paleo friendly version of meatloaf, omitting the use of breadcrumbs, milk, sugar, and ketchup. I know it sounds crazy! This recipe, instead, pumps up the flavor with fresh pepper heat! I will admit, this great tasting spicy meatloaf takes some time, but it’s totally worth it. Feel free to creative with different types of chiles to make your loaf even spicier! 

The seasoning mix is a combination of bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, white pepper, ground cumin and ground nutmeg. Add them all to a small bowl and stir to combine.

Next step is to sauté the veggies, aka the holy trinity of Cajun cooking. The holy trinity consists of onions, bell peppers and celery, the base for much of the cooking in the regional cuisines of Louisiana. This term, popularized in the late 1970s, early 1980s by chef Paul Prudhomme

Melt the butter or heat olive oil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat.

Add the diced onions, celery, bell peppers, jalapeños, green onions & garlic. Bring the mixture to a good sweat, just to the point where the veggies are fragrant and the onions are translucent.

Add the Tabasco, Worcestershire and 2/3 of seasoning mix. Stir for a couple minutes longer and then remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. 

Place the ground meat in a bowl. Add the egg and the cooled vegetable mixture. Be sure to remove the bay leaves. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.

Line a 13 x 9 inch baking sheet with foil (for less mess) and then spray with cooking spray, or brush with olive oil. In the center of the pan, shape the mixture into a loaf that is about 1-1/2 inches high, 6 inches wide and 12 inches long. Bake uncovered at 350F for 25 minutes, then raise heat to 400F. Continue cooking until done, about 30 minutes longer.

While the loaf is baking, prepare the Spicy Tomato Topping. Combine 1 can of Rotel (any heat level you prefer) and the remainder of the seasoning mix. Add the Spicy Tomato Topping on top of the loaf during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve immediately with your favorite sides.

 

Spicy Cajun Meatloaf

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

SEASONING MIX

  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

MAIN INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 3/4 cup onion diced
  • 1 scallion green onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup celery diced
  • Half a bell pepper any color, I like red, diced
  • 1 or 2 jalapenos diced (Serrano peppers would work well for more heat!)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce the smokey chipotle Tabasco works here as well
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 lb ground beef pork, chicken or turkey (you decide!)

SPICY TOMATO TOPPING

  • 1 can of Rotel
  • Add 1/3 of the seasoning mix. I tend to spice it up with more cayenne pepper.
  • Add the Spicy Tomato Topping on top of the loaf during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Instructions

  1. Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter or heat olive oil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, jalapenos, green onions & garlic. Bring the mixture to a good sweat, just to the point where the veggies are fragrant and the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the Tabasco, Worcestershire and 2/3 of seasoning mix. Stir for a couple minutes longer and then remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  5. Place the ground beef/pork/turkey/chicken in a bowl. Add the egg and the cooked vegetable mixture, remove the bay leaves. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
  6. Line a 13 x 9 inch baking sheet with foil (for less mess) and then spray with cooking spray, or brush with olive oil. In the center of the pan, shape the mixture into a loaf that is about 1-1/2 inches high, 6 inches wide and 12 inches long. Bake uncovered at 350F for 25 minutes, then raise heat to 400F. Continue cooking until done, about 30 minutes longer.

  7. Add the tomato topping during the last 5 minutes just enough to heat the topping. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Adjust the number and/or type of chiles to suit your desired level of heat.

 

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