Spicy Cajun Meatloaf with a Kickin’ Glaze

Let me just say right off that my husband is crazy about this meatloaf. And I love it too! Been making it for years.

Yes, it’s a cajun-spicy kind of dish, but not so overwhelming that you can’t taste the rest of the flavors.

Of course it calls for the holy trinity of cajun and creole cuisine – onion, celery and green bell pepper. Then we add some ingredients that are typical of meatloaf, and some that aren’t. I base my recipe on Chef Paul Prudhomme‘s, but I’ve changed it up a few ways over the years – one of them is ditching the salt and replacing it with beef base (Minor’s or Better Than Bouillon, making it even richer and beefier…a little lagniappe!

This meatloaf is fool-proof moist and chock full of flavor. Not difficult, just a bit of extra time needed to cook the sauce that’s going to be incorporated with the meat (about 15 minutes tops).

Top it off with my spicy meatloaf glaze, give it a minute under the broiler, and you’ll think you’re dining down on the bayou.

Spicy Cajun Meatloaf

5 from 2 votes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Cajun-Creole
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

Spice Mix

  • 2 whole dried bay leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

Meat Loaf

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup diced onion ¼ inch
  • ½ cup diced celery ¼ inch
  • ½ cup diced green bell pepper ¼ inch
  • ½ cup thinly sliced green onions (shallots)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Minor's Beef Base or Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
  • 1 Tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • pound ground beef no more than 85% lean
  • 2 eggs beaten lightly
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs run through a blender briefly before measuring OR 1 cup unseasoned very fine dry bread crumbs

Meatloaf Glaze

  • 1 tsp mustard yellow or dijon
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish (not horseradish sauce)
  • ½ tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar and ¼ tsp molasses OR 1 Tbsp brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Combine all the ingredients of the Spice Mix and set aside. Prep all the veggies and measure out the beef base, tabasco, Worchestershire, evaporated milk and catsup and have them ready to go.
    Meatloaf ingredients ready to go
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, then add the Spice Mix and all the ingredients as listed from the onion through the beef base. Saute this mixture about 8 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up any bits that stick to the bottom of the pan.
    Meatloaf veggies with Minors
  • Stir in the milk and ketchup and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take it off the heat and let it cool just enough so that it can be handled.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet or 9 x 13 baking pan with foil (for easy cleanup). Place the pork and beef in the sheet/pan and add the veggie mixture (remove the bay leaves and discard), the eggs and the bread crumbs.
  • Mix thoroughly by hand, then shape the mixture into a loaf that's about 12 inches long, 6 inches wide and 1½-2 inches high. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
    Meatloaf ready for oven
  • Now raise the oven temperature to 400° and bake until the internal temperature is 160° – depending on your oven and how high you shaped your loaf, this will be 20-35 minutes. Use an instant-read meat thermometer (this one is my absolute favorite) to check the internal temperature in the middle of the loaf. Remove from the oven once it's reach 160°.
  • While the meatloaf is baking, in a small non-stick saucepan, combine all the glaze ingredients and on medium-low heat, cook for about 8 minutes (so the sugar is melted thoroughly), and set aside until you remove the meatloaf from the oven.
  • Set your oven to broil. Using a rubber spatula or large spoon, spread the glaze over the top of the meatloaf. Depending on the height of your top rack, broil just long enough to get a few spots of char on the glaze. Watch it closely, remember there's sugar in the glaze.
  • Remove the meatloaf from the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes, and serve.

Notes

Your baking time will really depend a lot on your oven. My old oven used the entire 75 minutes, but my new oven, which uses propane gas (not set to convection bake, just regular bake), had the internal temperature to 160 degrees in 45 minutes. The instant-read meat thermometer is so helpful! The Thermapen ONE is my favorite, but the ThermoPop by ThermoWorks is also a very highly-rated budget-friendly thermometer.
Brown sugar vs. white sugar with molasses – In Costa Rica, I cannot find brown sugar, so instead I make my own using white sugar and molasses, which is all brown sugar is made of. And what I like about this method is, since I don’t use brown sugar a whole lot, it’s not sitting in the pantry morphing into a brick!
Keyword beef, cajun cuisine, meat loaf
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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