Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf

Jalapeno Cheddar Meatloaf Recipe takes a basic old-fashioned comfort food recipe and adds the slight heat of jalapenos with a touch of sweet. To accent, it is topped with some chopped cilantro, making the perfect final touch. I made this recipe to fit my favorite sweet/heat flavor profile and I’m extremely happy with the results!

Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf

Something about fall makes people want comfort food. Maybe it has something to do with the cooler air and the need for warmth. Whatever it is, I fall into the category and I started craving meatloaf.

This time, I wanted to do something a little different than the norm for us. I wanted cheese and jalapeno in something, so, adding those ingredients to this Meatloaf was a no-brainer for me! I used only one jalapeno for this recipe, but I feel for me, I could have used two. I personally could not taste the jalapeno the way I wanted to.

Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf

When making meatloaf, the recipe itself is pretty basic. It’s what you decide to add to that basic recipe that makes it a little more special. Grumpy loves Dill Pickle Meatloaf. I love it also, but I also love my jalapeno and cheddar. So, this time, my recipe was to please me in particular!

meatloaf mixture packed into meatloaf pan

What is a basic meatloaf recipe?

A basic meatloaf recipe will have ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs of some type, and seasoning. Some people will add a liquid like milk, but I don’t see a real need to do that. My mom would add tomato sauce to the meatloaf mixture itself. I prefer my meatloaf topped with a brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard topping and leave the tomato sauce out of the loaf.

spreading the topping on the meatloaf

Tips for Making the best Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf Recipe!

  1. First and foremost always use the best beef you can buy. For me, that is Certified Angus Beef ® brand. I like to use 80/20 ground chuck, however, if you want less fat ratio that would be fine also.
  2. Use regular breadcrumbs. I take a couple slices of a hearty homestyle bread and break it up into small pieces. Usually, those two slices will equal 2 cups.
  3. Know your heat factor. If you like a lot of heat, definitely add more than 1 jalapeno. If you just like a little flavor of the jalapeno, then don’t go more than the one. Don’t really like jalapeno? Use green bell pepper, or leave the pepper out entirely and have a cheesy meatloaf!
  4. Use freshly grated cheese. You know, cheese you’ve grated yourself. None of that pre-shredded stuff. Just grab a brick, pull out the cheese grater, and have a go at it. It’s only one more dish to wash, and really, what is one more dish?!

unbaked meatloaf with ketchup topping

While the jalapeno wasn’t super prominent the day I made this, the day after, I could certainly get the flavor. Just no heat. Grumpy was not disappointed in it either, other than the initial disappointment of finding out it was not the Dill Pickle Meatloaf recipe he loves so much! We never did make sandwiches with the leftovers this time as it made a few meals for us instead.

Glazing your meatloaf recipe.

I also want to not here for those of you who glaze your meatloaf. I grew up with my mom just spreading a little ketchup on top before baking and topping with a couple of bay leaves. While that was good, I found that I really love it to have a little more flavor. If you’re not into adding sugar or mustard to your glaze, then by all means, just use ketchup! I love the flavor the 3 ingredients add to the meatloaf. It makes it so addicting!

Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf

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Jalapeno Cheddar Meatloaf Recipe

When is the best time to slice your meatloaf?

Usually, when we are ready for dinner, we are too anxious to let anything cool down much. We are just too hungry by that point in time. However, that said, you really should let this set at least 10-15 minutes before slicing into it. You will have firmer slices and it will also be cool enough to drain any fat from the pan before cutting into it. Now, go ahead, print this out below, and let me know how you enjoyed this recipe also!

Other Meatloaf Recipes To Try

Easy Barbecue Cheddar Meatloaves

Vegetarian Meatloaf

Sweet and Sour Meatloaf with Ground Veal

Heart Shaped Veal Meatloaf

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf Muffins

Dill Pickle Meatloaf

*If you made this Jalapeño Cheddar Meatloaf Recipe, please give it a star rating*

Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf

Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf Recipe

Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf Recipe has the slight heat of jalapenos with a touch of sweet in the topping and accented with chopped cilantro. I made this recipe to fit my favorite sweet/heat flavor profile and I'm extremely happy with the results!
3.75 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheddar Jalapeno Meatloaf, Cheddar Meatloaf, Classic Meatloaf, Jalapeno, Meatloaf Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 289kcal


For the Meatloaf Mixture

  • 1-1/2 pounds ground chuck 80/20
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 slices hearty bread torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated mild cheddar
  • 1 jalapeno diced (about 2 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

For the topping

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • Optional - Chopped Fresh Cilantro


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combined ground chuck, eggs, onion, cheddar, jalapeno, oregano, basil, garlic, breadcrumbs, and salt. Mix lightly with hands until combined. Don't overmix.
  • Place meat mixture in 1-1/2 quart glass loaf pan.
  • Combine ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. Spread over top of meatloaf.
  • Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drain fat from loaf.
  • Serve with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.


Nutrition information calculated using myfitnesspal is provided as a courtesy, but will vary depending on the specific brands of ingredients you use. Please consult with your doctor regarding specific health needs.


Serving: 1/8th recipe | Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 493mg | Sugar: 6g

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. Regina November 19, 2018 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    There’s no breadcrumbs in the recipe. I’ve already made it without them, I hope it turns out ok

    • Shelby November 19, 2018 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Regina, it will probably be fine. I don’t always use breadcrumbs when making meatloaf, just to keep carbs down. However, thank you for alerting me that I had forgotten to add it to my recipe card. I have updated it.

  2. […] Jalapeno Cheddar Meatloaf Recipe […]

  3. Anonymous January 5, 2020 at 9:29 am - Reply


  4. […] with roasted acorn squash as a side dish! Or, if you like a little spicy with your sweet, try this Jalapeno Cheddar Meatloaf […]

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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