Spicy Grilled Meatloaf Recipe

Ask any meatloaf lover, and they'll likely tell you that few things are as welcoming as the aroma of meatloaf as it develops its tender interior and caramelized crust in the oven. If only there were a summertime equivalent, right? Well, now there is, thanks to recipe developer and food photographer Stephanie Rapone of Pantry to Plate Meals, who has brought us this wonderfully spicy version that has everything you love about meatloaf and then some, but is designed to be cooked on your outdoor grill. A Southwestern-inspired mixture of ground beef, pork, and seasonings, laden with cheddar cheese-stuffed jalapeños and a chipotle brown sugar glaze, Rapone's spicy grilled meatloaf recipe also happens to take a mere 15 minutes to prepare before it's ready to pop onto the grill.

"My husband and I make a smoked chicken breast dish with these cheesy stuffed jalapeños in the middle that we love," Rapone says in regards to how she came up with the idea for this recipe. "I thought putting the same filling in a smoky meatloaf mix would have to be delicious — and it totally works!"

Gather the ingredients to prepare this spicy grilled meatloaf recipe

For this spicy grilled meatloaf recipe, you'll need a pound of 85% lean ground beef and ½ pound of ground pork, a can of chipotles in adobo sauce from which you'll need two peppers, chopped (three or four for extra heat) and 2 tablespoons of the sauce, ½ of a small white onion, 2 ½ cups of the breadcrumbs of your choice, 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and one large egg. You'll also need four medium-sized jalapeños, 4 ounces of cream cheese, ½ teaspoon of chili powder, and 4 ounces of shredded cheddar cheese for the cheese-stuffed jalapeños (i.e. the hidden treasure in this spicy grilled meatloaf). For the glaze, you'll need ¼ cup of the sauce from the can of chipotles in adobo sauce and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.

For cooking this on the grill, you'll need an oven-proof pan, which you'll spray with non-stick cooking spray, and Rapone "definitely" recommends using "a thermometer to monitor the temperature on the grill ... [because] while this recipe is pretty forgiving, the bottom will definitely burn before the inside is cooked if the grill is running too hot the whole time." In addition, Rapone recommends using a meat thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of the meatloaf and make sure it's cooked all the way through.

Carefully prep the jalapeño peppers

Jalapeño peppers have a wonderfully deep, smoky heat to them, but you definitely do not want to let them get anywhere near your face. For that reason, Rapone always wears gloves to prep jalapeños. "Simply wearing gloves helps avoid so many potential hazards with their spiciness," she says. So, grab your gloves, wash the jalapeños, cut off the stem end, and slice them in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and ribs, and you're ready for the next step, which you'll want to keep your gloves on for (here is more info on "jalapeno hands" and how to prevent them).

With your gloves still on, it's time to stuff the jalapeño peppers

To make the spicy, cheesy mixture that will serve as stuffing for the jalapeños, take out a medium-sized bowl, and use it to combine the cream cheese, chili powder, and shredded cheddar until well-mixed. Then, simply spoon that stuffing inside each of the jalapeño halves, and then match up the halves to form whole cheese-stuffed jalapeños, as shown above. Set these aside, along with your gloves, while you move onto the next step.

Make the chipotle brown sugar glaze

To make the sweet and spicy glaze for Rapone's spicy grilled meatloaf recipe, you will need a small bowl and a spoon, along with the can of chipotles in adobo sauce and the brown sugar. Simply open the can, pour off ¼ cup of the chipotle sauce (just the sauce) into the bowl, and stir in the brown sugar — that's literally it! You can set the bowl aside for now until the glaze comes into play later on.

Prepare the spicy seasoning

To give this spicy grilled meatloaf a spicy, Southwestern flavor throughout, start by grating the onion on the large holes of a box grater. Alternately, you can use a food processor to finely chop them, but whichever way you decide to go, place the prepped onions in a medium to large-sized mixing bowl. If your chipotle peppers are not chopped, do so now, and combine them with the onions. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and egg, and combine well with a fork.

Here's where we answer the question, "Where is the beef?"

The answer to that question is, of course, that it's right here, with the pork, waiting patiently to be infused with the wonderful flavors of the seasoning you just created. So, go ahead and don another pair of gloves if you wish, because you're about to get your hands dirty in a good way. Add the ground beef and pork to the bowl containing the seasoning, and use your hands to gently mix it all together until well-combined.

Prep the grill, and assemble the meatloaf

It's now time to turn on your grill. Set it to medium-low heat, and place an oven thermometer in the center. It will take about five to 10 minutes for the temperature to reach 325 to 350 F. While that's getting going, spray your pan with nonstick spray. (As you can see, Rapone uses a disposable foil pan, but you can also get the same result with a double-thick piece of aluminum foil with the sides bent upward.) 

Now, take about ⅓ of the meat mixture, and gently press it into a 4"x10" rectangle on the bottom of the pan (it should be about ¾" thick). Layer the cheese-stuffed jalapenos in the middle, leaving a 1" border all around. Then, take the remainder of the meat mixture and form it over the top of the jalapenos and around the sides, pinching with the bottom meat layer to seal.

Glaze, grill, and enjoy

Spread the glaze you made a few minutes ago over the top of the meatloaf. Reduce the grill temperature to low, and place the pan on the grill. If desired, poke holes around the border of the pan to encourage more of the grilled flavor to come up and to give juices a place to drip. The meatloaf will take about 45 to 55 minutes to cook through to a temperature of between 155 to 160 F. (And hopefully, you're using a meat thermometer so that you can be precise about that.) Set a timer, but please do bear in mind that Rapone advises that you monitor the grill at 10-minute intervals to make sure that it stays in the 325 to 350 F range to avoid burning the bottom of the meatloaf. 

When the meatloaf has reached at least 155 F, remove the pan from the grill, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Spicy Grilled Meatloaf Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
This wonderfully spicy meatloaf has everything you love about classic meatloaf and then some, but is designed to be cooked on your outdoor grill.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
meatloaf slices plated with fork
Total time: 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 medium jalapeño peppers
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from canned chipotles in adobo), divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ small white onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 chipotles (from canned chipotles in adobo), chopped
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
  • ½ pound ground pork
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 to 2 additional chipotles from can of chipotles in adobo
Directions
  1. Wash the jalapeños. Cut off the stem end, and slice it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and ribs from the inside.
  2. Combine the cream cheese, chili powder, and shredded cheddar until well-mixed.
  3. Stuff the cheese mixture inside the jalapeño halves, match up the halves, and set aside.
  4. Combine ¼ cup of adobo sauce and brown sugar for the glaze, and set aside.
  5. Grate the onion on the large holes of a box grater or finely chop in a food processor.
  6. In a medium- to large-sized mixing bowl, combine the onions, chopped chipotles, the remaining 2 tablespoons of adobo, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper, and egg, and mix well with a fork.
  7. Add the ground beef and ground pork. Gently mix with your hands until combined.
  8. Heat the grill over medium-low for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 325 to 350 F.
  9. While preheating, spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  10. Take about ⅓ of the meat mixture, and gently press it into a 4x10-inch rectangle on the bottom of the pan. Layer the jalapeños in the middle, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Then, take the remainder of the meat mixture, and form it over the top of the jalapeños and around the sides, pinching with the bottom meat layer to seal.
  11. Spread the adobo-brown sugar glaze on the top of the meatloaf.
  12. Reduce the grill to low, and place the pan on the grill.
  13. If desired, poke holes around the border of the pan to encourage more of the grilled flavor to come up and to give juices a place to drip.
  14. Cook the meatloaf for 45 to 55 minutes, until a meat thermometer in the middle registers between 155 to 160 F. (Monitor the grill temperature every 10 minutes to make sure it stays in the 325 to 350 F range.)
  15. Remove the meatloaf from the grill, and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 775
Total Fat 57.4 g
Saturated Fat 25.4 g
Trans Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 231.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.9 g
Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
Total Sugars 7.2 g
Sodium 1,247.1 mg
Protein 43.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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