Barbecue bacon meatloaf is one of the best meatloaf recipes you will ever try. Ground bacon and spices are blended to form a paste that’s mixed right into ground beef. Top with your fave BBQ sauce.
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Meatloaf has gotten a bad rap. I admit, as a kid, I refused to touch the stuff. It always makes the think of the kid brother Randy from the movie The Christmas Story.
“Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf.”
Now that I am an adult responsible for feeding a grown man and two small men-children whose appetites grow more voracious every day, I’ve come around to the idea of meals like meatloaf.
As a side note – you moms of teenage boys, I welcome any tips you can provide because I am terrified what the next 10 years is gonna do to my grocery budget!
This past summer, I tried this recipe for Bacon Bourbon BBQ Chicken Kebabs from Host the Toast. One of the ingredients is homemade bacon paste. Bacon paste, y’all. If that alone doesn’t sell you, you have no soul.
How to Make Bacon Paste
The salty bacon paste provides not only delicious flavor, but prevents the meat from drying out (because no one wants to eat dried out meatloaf). I feel like I put this to the true test because the meatloaf you see above was made before lunch so I could photograph it. I reheated it later that evening for dinner and it was still moist and delicious.
In a food processor, combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar, and five slices of the bacon. You may have to pulse the food processor at first just until everything breaks up. Then process until the mixture is smooth and forms a thick paste. Scrape the paste into a large mixing bowl along with 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
How to Assemble Barbecue Bacon Meatloaf
Add one pound of ground beef to the bowl with the bacon paste, along with 3/4 cup of milk, one large lightly beaten egg, one tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and ground dry mustard. Mix until everything is evenly combined. I like to use my hands for this job, just to ensure everything is uniformly mixed without overmixing. Overmixing the meatloaf can result in a tough texture.
Instead of baking the bacon meatloaf in a bread pan, I formed it into a loaf on a foiled lined baking sheet. This allowed for even cooking and transformed the homemade Bourbon Peach Barbecue Sauce I slathered all over the top into a gooey sweet crust.
I baked the meatloaf for 1 hour and 15 minutes until a meat thermometer reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. While the meatloaf is cooking, up one more piece of bacon until crisp. Once it’s cooled, chop the bacon up into small pieces.
Allow the meatloaf to rest for five minutes before slicing it. Sprinkle the top with the chopped bacon before serving.
How to Store Barbecue Bacon Meatloaf
Cooked meatloaf can be store in the refrigerator for four days. Cooked meatloaf can be frozen for up to one year.
Rather than cooking the loaf in a bread pan or on a sheet pan, consider making individual servings by cooking it in an oversized muffin pan. Freeze the individual portions by wrapping them in plastic wrap before placing them in the freezer.
I can honestly say, this is my go-to meatloaf recipe from now on. The only thing I would change? Next time, I’ll double the recipe!
Perfect Sides to Pair with Meatloaf:
- Southern Skillet Fried Corn
- Cheesy Mashed Potato Casserole
- Southern Skillet Cornbread
- Creamy Mac and Cheese
Barbecue Bacon Meatloaf
- 3 slices of bread torn up into small pieces
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 6 slices raw bacon
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon dry ground mustard
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Process bread in a food processor until it becomes course crumbs. Pour bread crumbs into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, brown sugar, and FIVE slices of the bacon in the food processor. Combine until the mixture forms a thick paste.
- Scrape the paste out into the mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the ground beef, milk, egg, Worcestershire, and mustard. Mix until ingredients are evenly combined.
- Form beef mixture into a loaf on a greased cookie sheet. Spread the barbecue sauce over the top. Bake for I hour and 15 minutes or the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- In the meantime, chop the remaining strip of bacon and fry it until it is crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest for five minutes before serving. Top with the crispy bacon bits.