Meatloaf doesn't get a lot of love. But The Pioneer Woman's meatloaf will certainly change that. This meatloaf is covered in bacon and a delicious brown sugar ketchup sauce.
Why does it seem like everyone is always hating on meatloaf? It just doesn't seem fair. On the one hand, I kind of get why a "loaf of meat" seems a bit strange. But hold please... Why then, are meatballs perfectly acceptable, no questions asked?
I just can't get behind that logic and think meatloaf needs a few more people in its corner fighting for it.
I don't know how long this meatloaf hatred has been going on, but at least since 1983 when A Christmas Story came out. Remember when Randy is sitting at the table saying, "Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf!"? That's all I think about when I'm making meatloaf.... W
ell, that and "Ma! The meatloaf!" from Wedding Crashers. Clearly, I know my meatloaf pop culture. Didn't even realize meatloaf pop culture was a thing, did you?
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
When done right, meatloaf is absolutely delicious. And you know, I'm not even sure there are many ways to not do meatloaf right. Like, it's meat. But it certainly can be done better. And wrapping it in bacon and adding a delicious brown sugar ketchup sauce is certainly one way to do that.
The Pioneer Woman figured that one out with her Favorite Meatloaf recipe. Full disclosure... I actually believe my dad figured the whole bacon on meatloaf thing first since he's been doing it as long as I can remember.
But for the purposes of this post and considering where the recipe is from, I'll give all the credit to The Pioneer Woman.
If you're looking for more ways to make a delicious meatloaf, check out this Air Fryer Meatloaf Recipe!
This meatloaf has all the typical meatloaf ingredients in it... Plus a couple extras! Here's what you need (be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions):
- Whole milk
- White bread
- Ground beef
- Parmesan cheese
And for the brown sugar ketchup sauce (which you DEFINITELY need to make), you'll need:
- Brown sugar
- Dry mustard
- Tabasco sauce
👩🍳 How to make The Pioneer Woman's meatloaf
Luckily, this meatloaf is super easy. It may be a step or two longer than the typical meatloaf you're used to making, but I promise that each additional step is so worth it!
I'm very excited that my local grocery store now has a pretty good selection of grass-fed beef. Here's what I used for the Pioneer Woman's meatloaf.
If you've ever made meatloaf before, this one is made in a pretty typical way. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together with your hands. And then form into a loaf.
OK but really, to start, you'll put bread slices in a large bowl and pour milk over them. Allow them to soak for 2-3 minutes.
Then add ground beef, eggs Parmesan, salt, black pepper, and parsley to the bowl with the bread.
And mix everything together (I use my hands) until well combined.
Form the well-combined mixture into a loaf and place on a broiler pan (to allow the fat to drain a bit while it bakes).
The big difference with Ree Drummond's meatloaf is that this is bacon meatloaf and so, there's bacon wrapped around it!
So, neatly arrange the slices of bacon over the top of the formed loaf, making sure to tuck the pieces under the meatloaf.
After the bacon wrapping, you'll smother it in sauce and then bake for 45 long excruciating minutes. Then you'll pour even more sauce over it and bake it some more. And don't forget to save some sauce for dipping!
🥣 How to make brown sugar ketchup sauce
This part is easy – just add ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and tabasco sauce in a mixing bowl and stir.
This is the delicious sauce you'll use to smother the meatloaf.
Yup, the Pioneer Woman's meatloaf is good. Really, good. I think it's a combination of its simplicity, plus the bacon, plus the sauce.
Though it has a couple extra steps when compared to the typical meatloaf, it's still a really easy process, making this the perfect weeknight dinner.
You basically just put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. You don't even have to cook the bacon and the sauce also takes less than a minute to make.
And though it definitely doesn't need anything else, the bacon meatloaf is also kind of a blank slate. You can add whatever you want to it... perhaps some garlic or a little more sweetness. Do you have a favorite meatloaf secret ingredient?
This recipe also makes a lot of meatloaf. Like, you better have some leftovers or else you may have a problem. No judgement, of course. But the only thing better than meatloaf fresh out of the oven on a Sunday evening is a bacon meatloaf sandwich for lunch the next day.
🍽️ More easy dinner recipes
If you're looking for some more dinner recipes to make your weeknights easier, check out some of my other favorites:
- Thai Beef Basil with Coconut Rice
- Greek Skillet Lasagna
- Chicken Avocado Burritos with Corn and Feta Sauce
- Chicken Parmesan Risotto
- Mini Crispy Lamb Tacos
- Pasta Puttanesca with Sausage
- Shrimp and Feta Orzo Salad
- Greek Stuffed Chicken
- Cheese Tortellini in Creamy Marinara (from A Couple Cooks)
- Broiled Salmon (from The Kitchen Girl)
If you're one of those people who's been a meatloaf hater, I'm going to have to insist you try the Pioneer Woman's meatloaf and then come back and talk to me. I think you're going to start singing, "meatloaf, beatloaf, I love meatloaf!" Or maybe it will be "Bacon meatloaf, bacon beatloaf, I love bacon meatloaf!"
Are you a meatloaf fan or do you have your doubts? Have you ever had bacon meatloaf?
Pioneer Woman's Favorite Meatloaf
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 slices white bread
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup freshly grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup minced parsley
- 10 slices bacon
- Sauce (recipe below)
Brown Sugar Ketchup Sauce
- 1 ½ cups ketchup
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- Tabasco sauce, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, pour milk over bread slices and allow to soak for 2-3 minutes.
- Add ground beef, egg, parmesan, salt, black pepper, and parsley to the bread in the bowl.
- Using clean hands, mix the ingredients together. Form the well-combined mixture into a loaf and place on a broiler pan with foil-lined on the bottom (to allow the fat to drain a bit).
- Neatly arrange the slices of bacon over the top, making sure to tuck the pieces under the meatloaf.
- Pour and spread about ⅓ of the sauce over the meatloaf.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until the edges of the meatloaf are nice and browned. Pour another ⅓ of the sauce over the top of the meatloaf, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Slice and serve with more sauce on the side.
Brown Sugar Ketchup Sauce
- Add ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and tabasco sauce in a mixing bowl and stir.
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