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Slow Cooker Taco Meat Loaf

Makes: 8 servings
Prep 30 mins Stand 10 mins Slow Cook 5 hrs  (low) or 2-1/2 hours (high)
Slow Cooker Taco Meat Loaf
  • 3  eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 28  ounce can  fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4  cup  crushed tortilla chips
  • 1  medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2  cloves garlic, minced
  • 2  teaspoons  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  smoked paprika or chili powder
  • 1  pound  ground beef
  • 1  pound  ground pork
  • 1  cup  frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1/2  cup  Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, shredded (2 oz.) (optional)
  •  Corn tortillas, warmed (optional)
  • 1  recipe Smoky Tomato Salsa (recipe below)
  •  Sliced avocado, green onions, whole kernel corn, and cilantro (optional)
  •  Lime wedges (optional)

1. In large bowl combine eggs, 1/2 cup of the crushed tomatoes (reserve remaining tomatoes for Smoky Tomato Salsa), and crushed tortilla chips. Stir in onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, 1/2 tsp. each salt and black pepper. Add beef, pork, and corn; mix well. Shape mixture into a round loaf or oblong loaf to fit the slow cooker.

2. Crisscross three 18-inch strips of foil, folded to double thickness. (see Slow Easy, below). Place meat loaf in center of strips. Bring up foil strips to lift and transfer meat and foil to a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. (If needed, push meat away from side of slow cooker to avoid burning).

3. Cover, cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or on high for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of loaf reads 160 degrees F.

4. Using foil strips, carefully lift meat loaf from cooker and place on cutting board. Pull foil from meat; discard. Scrape off any drippings from meat and discard. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve with corn tortillas, Smoky Tomato salsa, avocado, green onion, cilantro, corn, and lime wedges.

From the Test KitchenOven Variation:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place shaped loaf in shallow baking pan. Bake for 1-1/4 hours or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 160 degrees F. Sprinkle with cheese and serve as directed in main recipe. Makes 8 servings.
Slow Easy:
  • To place meat loaf in and lift out of a slow cooker while keeping it in tact, make a foil sling. Tear off three 18-inch strips of foil folded to double thickness. Crisscross the strips in a spoke-like fashion. Place the loaf in the center of the spokes. Lift the ends of the foil strips to transfer the loaf to the cooker, leaving the foil in place during cooking. Use the foil again to lift the loaf from the cooker to a serving platter. Gently pull foil strips away from the loaf and discard.
Smoky Tomato Salsa
  •  Reserved tomatoes
  • 1  green sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1/3  cup  chopped green onions
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2  minced, seeded jalapeno peppers*
  • 1  tablespoon  lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt

1. In a medium bowl combine reserved tomatoes, green sweet pepper, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, lime juice, and salt.

From the Test Kitchen*Note:
  • Hot peppers, such as jalapenos, contain oils that can burn skin and eyes. Avoid direct contact with them and wear plastic or rubber gloves. If bare hand touch the pepper, wash well with soap and water.
Nutrition Facts (Slow Cooker Taco Meat Loaf)
  • Servings Per Recipe 8,
  • cal. (kcal) 405,
  • Fat, total (g) 25,
  • chol. (mg) 159,
  • sat. fat (g) 9,
  • carb. (g) 20,
  • Monounsaturated fat (g) 10,
  • Polyunsaturated fat (g) 3,
  • Trans fatty acid (g) 1,
  • fiber (g) 3,
  • sugar (g) 5,
  • pro. (g) 25,
  • vit. A (IU) 437,
  • vit. C (mg) 28,
  • Thiamin (mg) 0,
  • Riboflavin (mg) 0,
  • Niacin (mg) 6,
  • Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 1,
  • Folate (g) 32,
  • Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 2,
  • sodium (mg) 598,
  • Potassium (mg) 499,
  • calcium (mg) 81,
  • iron (mg) 3,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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