Photo by Hispanic Kitchen

Pastel de Carne Navideño (Christmas Meatloaf)

Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 servings

Pastel de Carne Navideño, or Christmas Meatloaf, has become a popular dish to prepare in recent years. This is not a typical or traditional dish like tamales, mole, or pozole that you would find in Mexico during the holidays.


Christmas Meatloaf is one of those recipes that has been adapted in various ways depending on differences in region or taste. Adding the hard-boiled eggs in the center makes for an excellent presentation and adds that special touch to this recipe. If hard-boiled eggs are not your favorite, you could stuff the meatloaf with spinach, ham, cheese, or roasted asparagus spears.


The vegetables we added could be raw, but we love the flavor a lot more once they have been sauteed. One of our favorite things about any meatloaf is the tangy glaze on top. The glaze can be as simple as ketchup with salt and pepper or your favorite tomato-based salsa. And if you think this meatloaf is good warm, wait until you try it cold and sliced thin on a sandwich.


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  1. Bring four eggs to a boil for 10 minutes, reserving the other two eggs. After 10 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool in the pot with water.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the diced bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain onto a plate lined with paper towels, set aside. In that same skillet with bacon drippings, heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, poblano pepper, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, carrots, and celery. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, and set aside. Crack and peel the four hard-boiled eggs and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add the beef. Season with one teaspoon salt, one teaspoon pepper, one teaspoon crushed oregano, and two tablespoons of Maggi or Worcestershire sauce. Add in the cooled vegetables, bacon, olives, and cilantro. Gently fold in until combined. Mix in the reserved two eggs, breadcrumbs, and milk until well incorporated.
  5. Take half of the mixture and form a loaf in the bottom of the lined pan. Make a well going down the center and add the hard-boiled eggs down the center. Take the remaining beef and cover the eggs and form the meatloaf, pressing down gently. Cover tightly with foil paper and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes. Mix all the ingredients for the glaze and cover the top of the meatloaf. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until internal temperature reads 160ºF. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with your favorite rice and vegetables.
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