Wrapping meatloaf in bacon is a game-changer. The bacon imparts a wonderful smoky flavor and helps keep the meat extra juicy.
And even though it looks quite impressive, it's a truly easy recipe - my kids often help me make it!
This meatloaf is incredible. It requires just a bit more effort than making a regular meatloaf, but I think the extra effort is well worth the flavorful result.
Indeed - bacon makes everything better, and meatloaf is no exception. The bacon obviously adds great flavor, but it also keeps the meat from drying out. This is definitely a bonus, especially if you're on a low-carb diet so you don't use milk-soaked bread in the mixture.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty meatloaf. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
For the glaze: It's a very simple yet tasty glaze made with Dijon mustard and maple syrup. You can use sugar-free syrup instead if you'd like.
Ground beef: I use lean ground beef, 85% lean and 15% fat. I don't recommend going any lower-fat than this or the meatloaf would be too dry.
To season: I use Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme. You can definitely vary the spices you use - see the discussion below.
Grated Parmesan: It helps flavor the meat and - just as importantly - it absorbs juices so that they stay inside the loaf rather than seeping out. Make sure you use finely grated parmesan and not coarsely shredded cheese.
Bacon: It's best to use medium-thickness slices in this recipe.
Making bacon-wrapped meatloaf is surprisingly easy. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Mix and shape the meatloaf. To make the meatloaf, you mix the ground beef with salt, pepper, and spices, and shape the mixture into a loaf. When shaping it, it's helpful to use a loaf pan, as shown in the video below.
Wrap it in bacon. Next, you wrap the meatloaf in bacon slices.
Bake. Bake for 30 minutes, brush with half the Dijon-maple sauce, then bake for 30 more minutes.
Glaze. When the meatloaf is done, brush it with the remaining sauce, allow it to rest, then slice and serve.
To ensure that the meatloaf is not dense and heavy, try to work the meat as lightly and minimally as you can, both when mixing the ingredients and when shaping the meatloaf.
Frequently asked questions
The Dijon-maple glaze is optional, but it's wonderful and highly recommended. It adds a great flavor, and the sweet-salty combination is really good.
I don't add eggs to the mixture because I think they are unnecessary. I do add Parmesan cheese. Apart from flavoring the meatloaf it also helps to absorb the cooking juices, keeping them inside the loaf.
A 2-pound meatloaf will usually require about an hour in a 350°F oven. The best way to find out if it's done is to use an instant-read thermometer. You should aim for an internal temperature of 160°F.
The best way to vary this recipe is to use different spices. Good options include paprika or smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin. You can also add a small amount of cayenne pepper (try ¼ teaspoon) for a gentle kick.
Since this is such a rich main course, I like to serve it with a simple side of vegetables. I often serve it with one of the following side dishes:
Leftovers keep quite well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days, but the bacon does lose its crispiness when refrigerated. Reheat the leftovers in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
They are also good cold! I like to have a slice with Dijon mustard and quick pickles for my lunch the next day.
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- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 8 slices bacon
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit it with a wire rack. Lightly grease the rack.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard and maple syrup to make the glaze. Divide the glaze into two equal portions. Set it aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, and Parmesan.
- Shape the mixture into a loaf (using a standard loaf pan as shown in the video helps shape the meatloaf). Wrap the meatloaf with the bacon slices, tucking their edges under, as shown in the video.
- Place the wrapped meatloaf on the prepared rack. Brush it with half the glaze. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the meatloaf from the oven. Using a clean pastry brush, brush it with the remaining glaze. Return to the oven and bake until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf's internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F, about 30 more minutes.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before slicing it into eight thick slices and serving.