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Classic comfort food gets a major flavor upgrade! Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf starts with a blend of ground beef, breadcrumbs and seasonings that’s covered with bacon, brushed with a sweet ketchup glaze, and baked until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Serve the mini meatloaf with a side of mashed potatoes and green beans for an easy and cozy dinner any night of the week!

Close up shot of mini bacon wrapped meatloaf in a baking dish

Meatloaf has stood the test of time! It’s a classic family dinner that everyone at the table can agree on, made with affordable, hearty ingredients, and ready with minimal effort. My kids have come to love this meal just as much as I do, so imagine their delight when I served mini bacon wrapped meatloaf! The bacon drippings infuse the ground beef with smoky flavor and moisture as it bakes, creating the best meatloaf recipe you’ve ever tasted. This is elevated comfort food that’s easy enough for weeknight dinners, and special enough for entertaining!

The Secret to Moist Meatloaf

There are a few key ways to keep this mini meatloaf perfectly moist. First, use ground beef with some fat in it. I like 85% lean, but 90% lean is also fine. Any less fat and the meat will dry out. The onion, bacon, and olive oil all contribute additional moisture and flavor. Next, the milk-soaked breadcrumbs absorb and retain the juices so you have a moister loaf. In preparation, it’s important that you don’t over-mix the meat or you’ll end up with a tough, dry texture. Finally, use a thermometer to know when your meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 155-160° F, since over-cooking the meatloaf can yield a dry finished product.

Overhead shot of tasty bacon wrapped meatloaf in a cast iron pan

Ingredients for Easy Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a bacon wrapped mini meatloaf recipe. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Olive oil: to sauté the onion and add moisture to the meat.
  • Onion: I like yellow onion here, but you can use sweet onion or white onion instead.
  • Garlic: for added flavor.
  • Parsley and thyme: fresh herbs are best, but you can substitute with dried herbs when necessary.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the meatloaf.
  • Worcestershire sauce: adds a salty, umami flavor that pairs really well with the beef.
  • Ground beef: I use 85% lean.
  • Breadcrumbs: just plain, dry bread crumbs. You don’t need the texture of panko here.
  • Milk: to moisten the breadcrumbs.
  • Eggs: give the meatloaf structure and act as a binding agent.
  • Ketchup, brown sugar and cider vinegar: the three simple ingredients that make up the meatloaf sauce.
  • Center cut bacon strips: the center cut bacon is thinner and leaner than thick-cut bacon, so it gets crispy in the oven sooner, and isn’t as greasy.

Why do you put milk in meatloaf?

Add milk to the meatloaf to soak the breadcrumbs. Soaking the breadcrumbs in milk creates a “panade,” which acts as a binding agent and (more importantly) prevents the meatloaf from drying out. The milk activates the starch in the breadcrumbs to form a gel. This behaves similarly to a fat by lubricating the meat’s protein fibers and preventing them from becoming tough.

How to Keep Meatloaf from Falling Apart

This bacon-wrapped meatloaf holds its shape nicely thanks to a handful of basic ingredients. The eggs and the starches in the breadcrumbs act as binding agents to hold the meat mixture together, while the bacon offers extra insurance to preserve that tight, neat little package!

Side shot of sliced bacon wrapped meatloaf on a plate with mashed potatoes and veggies

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

This easy recipe is a great option for cozy family suppers, but it’s also special enough for entertaining guests. Everyone loves comfort food!

  1. Sauté onion, garlic and herbs in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and add Worcestershire sauce at the end.
  2. Combine the cooked onion mixture with the beef, breadcrumbs, milk and eggs.
  3. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape into round loaves.
  4. Wrap each loaf with one strip of bacon.
  5. Brush with ketchup sauce.
  6. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.
  7. Baste with additional sauce, increase the oven temperature to 425°F, and continue baking for about 15 more minutes.
Sauteed onions and herbs in a skillet
Ground beef mixture in a bowl
Assembly process shot showing how to make bacon wrapped meatloaf
Brushing the top of mini meatloaf with ketchup glaze

How to Know When the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf is Done Cooking

You’ll know the bacon wrapped meatloaf is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 155-160°F and the juices run clear. The bacon should be nice and crispy on top!

Horizontal shot of a pan of mini bacon wrapped meatloaf

What to Serve with Mini Meatloaf

This classic comfort food deserves equally delicious, cozy companions! Here are a few sides that go well with mini meatloaf:

Side shot of mini bacon wrapped meatloaf on a white dinner plate

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Prep Ahead! You can assemble the mini meatloaf in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator overnight. When ready to bake, allow the meatloaf to come to room temperature on the counter for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
  • Have leftovers? You can freeze the bacon wrapped meatloaf before or after cooking! Wrap cooked meatloaf tightly and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Wrapped properly, the cooked meatloaf will stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 days. The leftovers are great on a meatloaf sandwich!
  • How to Reheat Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf: Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place the meatloaf in an oven-safe baking dish and add 1 tablespoon of beef broth or water. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until meatloaf is warmed through. You might like to remove the cover during the final part of reheating to help the bacon crisp up again.
Overhead shot of bacon wrapped meatloaf on a brown and white vintage serving tray

Recipe Variations

  • Use ground turkey or ground chicken instead of the ground beef. I recommend using ground turkey or chicken that has some fat in it (rather than just ground chicken breast or turkey breast) so that the meatloaf isn’t too dry.
  • Add a handful of grated cheddar (or other good melting cheese) to the meatloaf mixture.
  • Try other herbs that you enjoy, such as rosemary, basil or oregano.

Tips for the Best Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Recipe

  • I prefer 85% or 90% lean ground beef for this recipe, since the meat stays moist and juicy (thanks to some fat), but isn’t too greasy.
  • Use your hands or a fork to gently combine the meatloaf mixture. Be careful not to over-mix the meat, or it will become tough and dry.
  • Do not use thick-cut bacon, because it takes much longer to get crispy in the oven. Center-cut bacon is my preference here, because it has slightly less fat and therefore prevents a greasy meatloaf.
  • To wrap the mini meatloaf with bacon, drape one slice of bacon over the top of each individual loaf. Tuck the loose ends under the loaf. There’s no need to cover the entire surface of the meat with bacon — a single slice will add plenty of moisture and flavor!
  • You do not need to cover the meatloaf while it’s baking. You want that bacon on top to get nice and crispy!
Side shot of mini meatloaf wrapped in bacon on a brown and white serving tray

More Meatloaf Recipes to Try

Close up shot of mini bacon wrapped meatloaf in a baking dish

Mini Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 475 kcal
Classic comfort food gets a major flavor upgrade! Bacon-wrapped meatloaf starts with a blend of ground beef, breadcrumbs and seasonings that are covered with bacon, brushed with a sweet ketchup glaze, and baked until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes)
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 lbs. ground beef (I use 85% lean)
  • ½ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • cup milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 6 slices center-cut bacon (not thick-cut)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl, use a fork to gently combine the ground beef, onion mixture, breadcrumbs, milk and eggs.
  • Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and shape into oval balls. Wrap each ball with one strip of bacon.
  • Arrange bacon-wrapped meatloaves on a parchment-lined or foil-lined rimmed baking sheet that has been lightly coated with nonstick spray.
  • In a small bowl, stir together ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar. Brush a light coating of the ketchup mixture on top of each meatloaf, reserving extra glaze for later.
  • Bake until the fat from the bacon has rendered, about 20 minutes.
  • Increase the oven temperature to 425°F. Brush meatloaves with remaining ketchup mixture. Continue to bake until the meatloaves are cooked through and the bacon is crisp, about 15 more minutes. If using an instant-read thermometer, the meatloaves should reach an internal temperature of 155-160°F. Serve hot.

Notes

  • I prefer 85% or 90% lean ground beef for this recipe, since the meat stays moist and juicy (thanks to some fat), but isn’t too greasy.
  • Use your hands or a fork to gently combine the meatloaf mixture. Be careful not to over-mix the meat, or it will become tough and dry.
  • Do not use thick-cut bacon, because it takes much longer to get crispy in the oven. Center-cut bacon is my preference here, because it has slightly less fat and therefore prevents a greasy meatloaf.
  • To wrap the mini meatloaf with bacon, drape one slice of bacon over the top of each individual loaf. Tuck the loose ends under the loaf. You do not need to cover the entire surface of the meat with bacon — a single slice will add plenty of moisture and flavor!
  • You do not need to cover the meatloaf while it’s baking. You want that bacon on top to get nice and crispy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1meatloafCalories: 475kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 37gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 1235mgPotassium: 694mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 276IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 5mg
Keyword: bacon wrapped meatloaf, mini meatloaf
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My wife loves meatloaf, but the kids and I are not the biggest fans. Well, forget the overbearing meat logs with burnt on ketchup of our youth, this recipe has changed all of our opinions of meatloaf. Well this recipe steps up the game big time, not only was the flavor delicious and the meatloaf moist, but simply that it was a small and managable bacon wrapped loaf of goodness. It was easy for the kids to handle, and looked nothing of the meatloaf they thought they hated. Everyone of them ate and enjoyed it! One even asked , “was that meatloaf?” once his plate was clean.

    Thank you for sharing this great recipe .

    1. That’s amazing, Ryan! Such a huge compliment. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to come back here and let me know!