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Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf in the Air Fryer

Done from start to finish in a half hour, this healthy Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf is warmed by chili and cumin, perfumed with cilantro and zipped up with green chiles and salsa. Bonus: it uses only 1 bowl, too!

This new air fryer has really changed my kitchen life. It’s the little engine that could, from baking stuffed mushrooms to crisping up frozen French fries to making the best chicken fingers a kid ever ate. I’m sure they named it an air fryer because it is supposed to achieve that crispy fried exterior without dipping the food in hot oil. But if you think of it like a powerful little convection oven — perhaps an oven on steroids — you’ll soon see it can conquer almost anything!

Easy Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf in the Air Fryer on a leaf-patterned plate on ShockinglyDelicious.comCase in point, this meat loaf. I had a pound of ground turkey and everyone was going to be home in half an hour. What to do? Sure, burgers would have solved it, but I didn’t have any burger buns. What about meat loaf? That’s fine, but meat loaf can take 45-60 minutes to bake. As I contemplated, I thought of the air fryer as a solution, with its powerful convection aspect. As the food bakes, the hot air swirls, which eliminates a considerable amount of cooking time. In fact, I cut the cooking time in less than half with the air fryer, and I even checked the temperature inside the finished meat loaves to make sure I was correct that they were done. Voila!

Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf part way through cooking in the Gourmia air fryerI took a peek and this is what it looked like a few minutes into the cooking…

Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf finished baking in the Gourmia air fryer…and here’s what the finished loaves looked like. There was hardly any grease on the bottom.

Since we love Mexican food and flavors, I wanted to Mexi-up this loaf. I found a wonderful starting point with an oven-baked recipe on the blog Family Food on the Table, and adapted from there to amp up and add some spices, add cilantro and garlic and adjust the amounts and directions for the air fryer. It has an overall green-ish feel from the green chiles, kale, cilantro and salsa verde. (You don’t haveĀ  to tell anyone there’s kale in it.)

I served the individual loaves over a tossed green salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette. It was utterly delicious.

Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf with salsa on top on a white plate on ShockinglyDelicious.comHere it is with some salsa on top!

Let’s make Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf in the air fryer. Dinner is served!

Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf in the Air Fryer

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4.

Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf in the Air Fryer

MEXICAN TURKEY MEAT LOAF: Done from start to finish in a half hour, this healthy meat loaf is warmed by chili and cumin, perfumed with cilantro and zipped up with green chiles and salsa. Bonus: it uses only 1 bowl, too!


  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs, unseasoned
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated Mexican blend cheese (or use Cheddar or Monterey Jack)
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde (green salsa)
  • 1 cup finely sliced kale leaves
  • 2-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • .
  • Garnish: extra salsa verde (or use a red salsa if you like)


  1. Spray the basket of the air fryer with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, crack the egg and use a fork to beat it lightly. Add the turkey, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, cheese, salsa, kale, cilantro, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Gently mix with your hands.
  3. Using your hands, shape the turkey mixture into 4 loaves; I like to shape them like footballs, but you could make squares or rounds if you like. Place them in the air fryer, turn the heat to 400F degrees, and set the timer for 20 minutes.
  4. As they bake, loaves will brown on the outside and smell great! Remove basket from oven, and place each meat loaf on a dinner plate. Top with additional salsa -- either salsa verde or red salsa, as you like. I like to serve an individual loaf on top of a fresh green salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette.


Recipe source: Adapted from Mexican Meatloaf by Kathryn at Family Food on the Table [2].

OVEN: You may also shape this into a single loaf and bake it in the oven for about 45 minutes.

https://www.shockinglydelicious.com/mexican-turkey-meat-loaf/ [3]

areyoupinningIf you like this recipe and want to save it, pin the image below to your Pinterest board.

Mexican Turkey Meat Loaf in the Air Fryer pinterest image on ShockinglyDelicious.com This is the air fryer I have.

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