Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf is so flavorful and juicy. We’re showing you how to wrap the bacon so it’s not a hassle and it bakes nice and crispy.
This meatloaf takes a little extra work but it’s totally worth the effort. The bacon combined with a touch of sweet and smoky barbecue sauce make it a little change-up to classic meatloaf. In fact, I start with this recipe for the best Classic Meatloaf.
First, you sauté chopped onion until it’s softened, which takes about five minutes. This ensures the onions fully cook and you don’t have crunchy bits in your meatloaf.
After that, combine sautéed onion, ground beef, breadcrumbs, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and egg. Mix all ingredients together with your hands.
If you can’t handle mixing it with your hands, you can use a potato masher or fork to combine the ingredients, but it’s much easier to combine them well without overmixing when you use your hands.
Why not bake it in a loaf pan?
Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and form it into a 10 x 5 loaf. Be sure to choose a baking sheet with low sides (like this) so the air circulates well but the grease doesn’t overflow.
You don’t want to use a bread/loaf pan because the meatloaf won’t brown or crisp properly and can get rubbery from the grease and any excess cooking liquid. Because there is no way for air to circulate in a loaf pan, the bacon grease will seep out of the bacon and “boil” the meat and the bacon won’t crisp.
How do you wrap the meatloaf so the bacon gets crispy?
Glaze the meatloaf with half of the barbecue sauce before putting the bacon slices over the sides and top of the meatloaf. When you wrap the meatloaf, you don’t want to wrap the bacon the whole way underneath the meatloaf, but make sure to tuck the ends in underneath. Otherwise, the bacon shrinks during baking, and it won’t stay on the meat.
While the meatloaf is baking, check it occasionally to be sure the bacon grease isn’t overflowing the pan into the oven because the last thing you want is for that grease to catch fire. If you use a pan that has a larger surface area and sides this shouldn’t be an issue.
About fifteen minutes before the meatloaf is finished baking, spread the remaining barbecue sauce on top and bake an additional 15 minutes, or until internal temperature of the meatloaf is 160F on an instant read thermometer (like this one).
Should you bake it covered or uncovered?
You want the bacon to become crispy and not rubbery so the best way is to bake it uncovered. However, you can bake it covered if you prefer as it does keep the meatloaf a bit more moist. Then, remove the cover for the last 15-20 minutes so the bacon gets crispier.Print
1 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 lightly beaten egg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
8 slices of bacon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (don’t use a bread/loaf pan).
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for meatloaf – sautéed onion, ground beef, breadcrumbs, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, egg, and salt. Mix all ingredients until combined.
- Transfer meat to a baking sheet and form into a 10 x 5 loaf.
- Spread half of the barbecue sauce on top of the meatloaf. Set remaining barbecue sauce to side for near the end of the bake time.
- Put the bacon slices over the sides and top, tucking the ends under the meatloaf. Don’t wrap the bacon underneath the meatloaf because it won’t brown or crisp and will be rubbery, but make sure to tuck in underneath the edges because the bacon will shrink during baking.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Spread remaining barbecue sauce over the bacon and bake an additional 15 minutes, until internal temperature on an instant read thermometer is 160°F.
- Remove the meatloaf from oven and rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.