Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf – Immaculate Bites


Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf – What could be more comforting than homemade meatloaf beautifully wrapped in savory, meaty bacon strips? Baked to perfection, then generously drizzled with a sweet and tangy glaze gives it the perfect finish: a family-friendly comfort food restaurant meal without the accompanying price tag. Indeed, the best meatloaf you’ll ever have!

Sliced bacon-wrapped meatloaf on a parchment paper lined cutting board

So if you think you already have the best meatloaf recipe, wait until you try this fantabulous Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf. Yes, B-A-C-O-N! And it comes with a glorious glaze, too! If this one doesn’t scream a winner dish to you, I don’t know what will. Aaah! It’s so sinful and irresistibly delicious! 😋

Bacon and meatloaf log on parchment paper over a wooden cutting board.

Traditional Meatloaf Recipe

I think every family has their traditional meatloaf recipe passed down from generation to generation. Although every family has its go-to recipe, essential ingredients include ground meat, bread crumbs, eggs, ketchup, and milk.

But, of course, it doesn’t end there because you know we can’t resist the temptation to improve on a good thing, especially when it comes to cooking. (Oh, how I love experimenting and inventing new recipes!)

And I must say wrapping bacon around the ever-delicious meatloaf is genius. Imagine combining two of the most incredible foods of all time in a single dish. Just wow! Admit it; it’s pretty dope. 😉

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf Recipe Ingredients

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Ingredients

The meatiest and tastiest meatloaf ever doesn’t involve fancy ingredients. Even better!

  • Aromatics – I added an extra step of sauteing the sliced onion, garlic, and bell pepper first instead of adding them straight into the meat mixture. The extra effort adds a more intense garlicky and oniony flavor to our meatloaf, making it more flavorful and savory. Yum!
  • Bacon – It may seem a simple ingredient, yet it makes our meatloaf extraordinarily flavorsome and delicious.
  • Beef – Although lean meat is a healthier choice, it’s still best to add a little fat (at least 15%) to make our homemade meatloaf juicy and moist. Don’t be afraid to indulge sometimes, because we deserve to be happy, ya’ know! And as long as we consume them in moderation, we’re good. 😉
  • Binders – Breadcrumbs, milk, and eggs are essential ingredients to bind our meatloaf, so it’ll stay firm and hold its shape even after slicing. You can also substitute breadcrumbs with all-purpose flour, although you might need to add more liquid with flour.
  • Seasonings – The beef bouillon and Worcestershire sauce add a rich umami flavor to our dish while accentuating the meaty flavor with more wow factor. 👌
  • Glaze – You only need 3 ingredients to make the iconic glaze – ketchup, mustard, and sugar. The glaze adds vibrant color to our dish and compliments the whole dish, too. I swear it makes our meatloaf even better. ❤

How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Sauteing the aromatics in a stainless steel pan

Prep the Bacon, Glaze, and Veggies

  1. Preheat Oven to 350°F/177℃ with the rack in the middle.
  2. Line the Bacon – Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Then place bacon overlapping on the parchment paper. Set aside. (Photo 1)
  3. Make the Glaze – Combine ketchup, Dijon mustard, and sugar in a small bowl, and set it aside. (Photo 2)
  4. Heat the Oil – Pour about a tablespoon of oil into a small-medium saucepan, heat on medium heat.
  5. Saute – Add onions, garlic, thyme, and bell pepper. Saute for a minute or two to let the flavors bloom, being careful not to let it burn. Allow it to cool. (Photos 3-4)
Mixing the seasoning, bread crumbs, veggies, and ground beef in a clear glass bowl

Make the Meatloaf Mixture

  1. Combine – Place the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon powder, milk, and cayenne pepper (if using any) into a medium bowl. Add the cooled onion mixture. Mix gently until everything is thoroughly combined. Do not overmix! (Photos 5-6)
Wrapping the ground beef mixture, forming a log, and baking it.,

Assemble and Bake

  1. Form a Meatloaf Log – Form the meatloaf like a log on waxed or parchment paper, then transfer it to a prepared sheet pan lined with bacon. Glaze with about ⅔ of the ketchup mix. (Photos 7-8)
  2. Wrap the Meatloaf with Bacon – Working along the shorter end of the pan, lift the edge of the meatloaf by the parchment underneath and gently fold it inward until it turns over itself. Brush with remaining ketchup mixture. (Photos 9-11)
  3. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf registers 160℉/72℃. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. (Photo 12)
  4. Serve and Enjoy – Serve with mashed potatoes or desired side dish. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Meat Options – You can replace ground beef with your choice of ground meat (chicken, turkey, etc.) or a combination. I tried it with a mix of ground beef and pork, which turned out amazing. 😉
  • Herbs and Spices – Aside from thyme and pepper, you’ll love our traditional meatloaf recipe with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Or try it with Creole Seasoning, Italian Seasoning, or Taco Seasoning to amp up the flavor and incorporate various flavors from different cuisines. 😉
  • More Veggies – Carrots, celery, potato, and mushroom make a great addition to our meatloaf. Alternatively, you can cut the veggies into “baton” slices and place them in the middle of the meat mixture before rolling and wrapping.

Pro Tip: You can also stuff your Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf in the center with slices of ham, hard-boiled egg, or sausage before forming it into a log to level up our dish.

Tips and Tricks

  • Do not overmix or overbake your meat mixture to avoid a dry and tough meatloaf.
  • Use a grater to prep your veggies if you want to skip on the sauteing part. This technique will maximize the savory flavors of our aromatics.
  • If possible, use a loaf pan to achieve a traditional meatloaf look and ensure juiciness. Oh, and don’t forget to drain the excess oil before serving.
  • Pack the meat mixture as firmly as possible to prevent the meatloaf from falling apart while cutting.
  • You can also use the same mixture to make meatballs for spaghetti and meatballs or meatball soup. Oh yeah!

Make-Ahead Instructions

This Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf is perfect for big crowds, such as potlucks and family get-togethers, because it makes a great make-ahead dish. Prep and bake as instructed, pop it in the freezer, and reheat when ready to serve. Boom! Instant crowd-winner dish without breaking a sweat. Easy peasy!

You can also store your raw meatloaf in the fridge and then bake it fresh the day you want to serve it. Since meatloaf contains raw eggs, it’s best not to wait longer than two days. On the other hand, you can freeze it for up to four months for a quick delicious dinner.

Freeze your meatloaf in the loaf pan. When it’s frozen solid, pop it out of the mold, wrap it with plastic wrap, wrap it again with foil, then put it back in the freezer. When ready to finish it, take it out of the freezer, unwrap it, and put it back in the loaf pan overnight in the fridge to thaw. Yes, you do need to let it thaw before baking it. And then carry on!

Serving and Storage Instructions

Our Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf makes a delicious centerpiece perfect for weekend get-togethers or potlucks. Don’t forget to brush it with our homemade glaze. It adds sensational flavors and makes our meatloaf look fancier. To complete your mouthwatering potluck feast, serve it with your favorite side dishes, such as Roast Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Parmesan Crusted-Baked Asparagus.

  • Store You can store the leftover meatloaf in an airtight container or wrap it tightly with a cling wrap, removing as much air as possible to keep it moist. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week and three months in the freezer.
  • Reheat – Bake leftovers in a preheated 250℉/120℃ oven for 25-30 minutes or four minutes in an air fryer at 320℉/160℃. You can also place meatloaf slices on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer and reheat them in the microwave.

Pro Tip: Splash about a tablespoon (or more if needed) of beef broth to keep our meatloaf moist while reheating.

FAQs

Should you cook the bacon before wrapping the meatloaf?

Technically, you don’t need to, as it will cook while baking. Or you may opt to partially cook the bacon to remove excess fat so our meatloaf will be less greasy. Thoroughly cooking the bacon makes it too crisp to wrap the meatloaf.

Should you cook meatloaf covered or uncovered?

That’s a personal preference. I adore that deliciously crunch crust on my meatloaf, so it goes in the oven uncovered. Plus, it’s more attractive when it’s beautifully browned. However, if you’re concerned it will brown too quickly, you can cover it with foil and remove it for the last 15 minutes.

How long does a 2-pound meatloaf take to bake at 350℉/177℃?

My meatloaf took about an hour to bake, but the actual time depends on the size of your meatloaf. Don’t rely on appearance to verify doneness. The most reliable way is to check the meatloaf’s internal temp, which should be 160℉/72℃.

Sliced meatloaf with mashed potatoes, gravy, and parsley garnish

What to Serve with Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

Besides its classic pairing, Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes, why not expand your meatloaf side dish horizon with any of these fantastic recipes below?

More Meaty Main Dishes to Try

Conclusion

Ground beef has never been so elegant and delicious. And bacon takes this classic meatloaf over the top. When do you usually serve this incredible comfort food? Please comment below. Thank you!

Homemade bacon-wrapped meatloaf garnished with fresh chopped parsley

Watch How to Make It

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

What could be more comforting than homemade meatloaf beautifully wrapped in savory, meaty bacon strips? Baked to perfection, then generously drizzled with a sweet and tangy glaze gives it the perfect finish: a family-friendly comfort food restaurant meal without the accompanying price tag. Indeed, the best meatloaf you’ll ever have!

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/177℃ with the rack in the middle.

  • Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Then place bacon overlapping on the parchment paper. Set aside.

  • Combine ketchup, Dijon mustard, and sugar in a small bowl, and set it aside.

  • Pour about a tablespoon of oil into a small-medium saucepan, heat on medium heat.

  • Add onions, garlic, thyme, and bell pepper. Saute for a minute or two to let the flavors bloom, being careful not to let it burn. Allow it to cool. 

  • Place the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, beef bouillon powder, milk, and cayenne pepper (if using any) into a medium bowl. Add the cooled onion mixture. Mix gently until everything is thoroughly combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. 

  • Form the meatloaf like a log on waxed or parchment paper, then transfer it to a prepared sheet pan lined with bacon. Glaze with about ⅔ of the ketchup mix.

  • Working along the shorter end of the pan, lift the edge of the meatloaf by the parchment underneath and gently fold it inward until it turns over itself. Brush with the remaining ketchup mixture.

  • Bake for 45-60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf registers 160℉/72℃. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. 

  • Serve with mashed potatoes or desired side dish. Enjoy!

Tips & Notes:

  • Do not overmix or overbake your meat mixture to avoid a dry and tough meatloaf.
  • Use a grater to prep your veggies if you want to skip on the sauteing part. This technique will maximize the savory flavors of our aromatics.
  • If possible, use a loaf pan to achieve a traditional meatloaf look and ensure juiciness. Oh, and don’t forget to drain the excess oil before serving.
  • Pack the meat mixture as firmly as possible to prevent the meatloaf from falling apart while cutting.
  • You can also use the same mixture to make meatballs for spaghetti and meatballs or meatball soup. Oh yeah!
  • Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 115g| Calories: 240kcal (12%)| Carbohydrates: 7g (2%)| Protein: 16g (32%)| Fat: 16g (25%)| Cholesterol: 76mg (25%)| Sodium: 432mg (19%)| Fiber: 0.5g (2%)| Sugar: 3g (3%)| Vitamin A: 41IU (1%)| Calcium: 39mg (4%)| Iron: 2mg (11%)





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