This homemade meatloaf is stuffed with mozzarella cheese and wrapped in bacon! It’s made without ketchup and smothered in BBQ sauce instead. Adapted from The Pioneer Woman.
Ok, I’m just going to come out and say this: I don’t usually post things when I decide they don’t look super appealing (unless they’re Sticky BBQ Slow Cooker Meatballs of course). But this right here, it was taste over matter. And besides, how would you make meatloaf look pretty? It’s next to impossible. I’m amazed it’s not too much of a mess because usually when I make meatloaf it’s just a huge meat-mash-gravy battlefield. So please, please, please excuse the not-so-gorgeous look of this and just trust me that it tastes absolutely divine!
This is the first time I dared to make meatloaf in about nine months. Because the last time I had it I was just 15 weeks pregnant and still slightly sick. And still majorly grossed out by all things meat, fish and eggs (greek yogurt as a protein source for the win!). We were at ski camp where we cook for 50 people (going again in February, it’s going to be a blast blogging from an industrial sized kitchen!) and meatloaf with mashed potatoes was on the plan.
Branimir made the meatloaf (wanna ask him how much fun it is to stick your hands and half your arms into pounds of just-thawed minced beef? By the look on his face – not fun at all!) and I was in charge of the mash. Lucky me! Because I could hardly even stand the smell of the meatloaf, let alone make or taste it.
But it is something I really like otherwise, just not while pregnant. So now I decided to get over my fear of having lost my meatloaf-appetite forever and try out something a bit different. I might be the only one, but I never wrapped my meatloaf in bacon (really, never). And also I never stuffed it with cheese before, even though I put the exact same flavors into my Slow Cooker BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Dip.
I know, I know. I must live on a different planet and I get it now. It’s SO good! The crispy bacon and the gooey melty mozzarella cheese – it’s pretty close to perfect. But then again I adapted this Mozzarella Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf from a recipe I found on The Pioneer Woman so it couldn’t be anything short of amazing.
Oh and on a completely unrelated side note: My baby is sleeping right now! In her playpen! On her own! Woohoo! Because last night she somehow found her way into our bed (a.k.a. my husband fetched her when she was crying around 2am and mommy didn’t even notice) and I woke up around 6am with a tiny face smiling at me (OK, I’m lying, she was crying). And then she nursed and went back to sleep in my arms until I decided I wanted to get up. That’s how she rolls.
So, people. If you’re not sure what main dish to make for Sunday. Or Monday. Or any day. Make this meatloaf. But make it when there’s nobody but you and your family around – because we all know meatloaf = messy. Oh, my baby girl just woke up. Byebye, have a blessed Sunday everyone!
EDITED TO ADD:
A few people have mentioned that their meatloaf never cooked through. A few tips on troubleshooting:
- The recipe was written for a convection oven. If you’re using a conventional oven make sure to set it to 350°F.
- Make sure you’re using a metal pan like these for example, not a ceramic one.
- Don’t use the cheapest cheese there is or else it will leak a lot of water, leading to either an undercooked meatloaf or one that doesn’t properly hold together.
- I really recommend checking your oven’s temperature with a thermometer. Especially if it’s an older model – you never know what’s really going on! My oven for example takes about 45 minutes to get to 350°F even though it says to be hot enough after 10.
- If this all doesn’t work out – then I’m genuinely sorry it didn’t work out for you. Always take into account that differences in ingredients really affect cooking.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup breadcrumbs
- Salt, pepper and smoked paprika, to taste
- 9 ounces thin-cut bacon
- 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, chopped
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- Preheat a convection oven to 320° Fahrenheit (conventional ovens to 350°F).
- Mix ground beef, eggs, breadcrumbs and spices in a large bowl.
- Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan first with parchment paper and then with ⅔ of the bacon, leaving an overhang.
- Shape a long log with ⅔ of the meat mixture and fit it inside the loaf pan. Make a groove in the middle and add the mozzarella cheese to it. Cover with the remaining meat mixture. Fold the bacon overhang on top and cover entirely with the remaining ⅓ of bacon. Spread with ⅓ of the barbecue sauce.
- Bake in the middle of the preheated for 40 minutes. Spread with another ⅓ of the barbecue sauce. Continue baking for another 20 minutes, spread with the remaining sauce and serve hot.