Meatloaf is an all-American classic that’s been around for generations. We’ve decided to transform the classic and combine it with all the flavors we love in a traditional burger. Crisp bacon, tangy melted cheddar, and a delicious blend of seasonings combine with lean ground beef to make the base of this savory bacon cheeseburger meatloaf. With it’s creamy mustard & ketchup sauce, and a crunchy French fried onion finish- it’s destined to be a new family favorite.
I grew up eating my Mom and Grandma’s meatloaf, and it was one of my absolute favorite dinners.
All these years it’s remained one of my favorite ‘comfort foods’.
When I began cooking for my own family, it took me 3 years of watching my Grandma lovingly prepare my favorite dish before I was able to properly ‘eyeball’ the ingredients to replicate that same great taste.
Now, every single one of my kids looks forward to that one night a month when meatloaf’s on the menu.
However, recently I’ve really been trying to experiment with new twists on some of our old favorites, just to keep things interesting.
A good friend swore by this bacon cheeseburger flavored version, so I decided to swap it with my traditional meatloaf in our monthly menu.
I’m pretty much a sucker for every bacon cheeseburger and willing to give anything with that flavor profile a try. So it wasn’t at all surprising, and 100 % meant to happen.
Making Meatloaf Taste Like A Bacon Cheeseburger
A good meatloaf is all the ingredients that go into it. The better the thought on what & why, the better the outcome.
The same can be said for making a great (not just good) burger. So when making this bacon cheeseburger meatloaf, I knew we needed to include all those same tasty elements that create the classic.
Just ditching the bun, and instead of shaping it into patties- we were loafing it.
Ground beef, bacon, and cheddar cheese all seem like obvious choices. Along with the traditional filler and binding ingredients every meatloaf needs- eggs & breadcrumbs.
You may be surprised at some of the ingredients needed, but I do recommend including them all as instructed. It really is a spot on flavor profile.
Mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, salt & pepper round out the mixture. Everything’s added into a large mixing bowl and kneaded together until evenly combined.
How To Keep Meatloaf From Sitting In Grease
The next step is a little trick I’ve picked up over the years.
There’s always excess grease when cooking with ground beef, and I am firmly in the camp of it should be strained or drained away at all times if remotely possible.
Well I always bake my meatloaves in my Grandmother’s tried & trusted metal loaf pan. Meaning the grease pools in the bottom, and when I try to pour it out I have to hold the burning hot meatloaf in the pan so it doesn’t come tumbling out. Which is still a 50/50 chance.
Or I use spatulas to remove the meatloaf to a waiting cutting board, but and still left with a nasty greasy fat ring I can never quite scrape completely off.
It’s not the end of the world, but it’s certainly not ideal. Luckily, there’s a super simple trick to skip the whole mess.
Place two slices of bread, just regular sandwich bread, side by side in the bottom of your loaf pan. Then add the uncooked prepared loaf of seasoned beef to the pan.
Sit it down right on top of the sliced bread.
When baked the bread will soak up all of the excess grease. You can scoop your meatloaf out, neatly slicing and serving, and just toss the soggy bread.
What Sauce Do You Put On Meatloaf?
Our family’s classic meatloaf is always topped with plain old ketchup. It’s what my Grandma and my Mama did growing up. It was always good, and why fix it if it ain’t broke?
My Italian FIL always bakes his with a homemade tomato sauce spooned over top.
In both versions the tomatoes and sugar caramelize during baking creating a delicious crust that is the perfect finishing touch.
I’ve even had meatloaf served with brown gravy on top. Delicious! But you won’t catch any brown gravy anywhere near my classic burger.
Instead I kept things more traditional- still opting for a ketchup based sauce on top, but this one’s a blend of ketchup and yellow mustard.
Once whisked together, the sauce is spread evenly out over top of the prepared meatloaf.
The meat loaf is then baked for 30 minutes. At that mark it’s sprinkled with crispy French fried onions for both taste & texture, and baked a final 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Once the meatloaf’s done cooking, remove it from the oven and let it rest 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips & Tricks For Making The Best Cheeseburger Meatloaf
- Use leaner ground beef. This will mean less grease run off, and ensure the bread can soak it all up successfully.
- Is a dill pickle essential with your burgers? You can add one tablespoon of dill pickle relish to the meatloaf mixture to infuse it with that flavor.
- Do not be tempted to mix raw bacon into the meatloaf mix. This will just add excess grease to the whole thing.
- Use a quality cheddar, whether it’s pre-shredded or your shred it yourself from a block doesn’t matter.
Warning: This is not your Grandma’s meatloaf!
This cheesy little monster of a meatloaf will leave you wanting to lick every last drop off your plate.
While I still love, and will continue to make my more traditional version, this bacon cheeseburger meatloaf recipe is a new family favorite that has already been added to our regular rotation of recipes.
Other Variations On A Traditional Meatloaf
- Smoked Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
- Stove Top Stuffing Mix Meatloaf
- Mac & Cheese Stuffed Honey Barbecue Meatloaf
Other than the typical meatloaf sandwiches we tend to brown bag for lunch the following day, any leftovers you do have goes great in this leftover meatloaf chili recipe.
If you’ve tried this BACON CHEESEBURGER MEATLOAF, or any other recipe on my site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 lb bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
- 2 cups sharp cheddar shredded
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup- 3/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs toasted
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 1/3 cup French fried onions
- 2 slices of sandwich bread*
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef and the next 8 ingredients, mixing well. Don’t be afraid to get your hands ‘dirty’ and give everything a good squishing until evenly combined and a uniform consistency is reached.
- Place both pieces of bread into a meatloaf pan so that they evenly cover the bottom.
- Form meat mixture into a loaf shape and transfer to the meatloaf pan. You want it sitting directly on top of the bread.
- In a small bowl, combine mustard and ketchup.
- Evenly spread the ketchup mixture onto the top of the meatloaf.
- Bake 40 minutes. Top with the French fried onions and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until the inside is no longer pink.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the pan and discard the grease ‘toast’. Slice the meatloaf and serve.
pictured & post updated 5/18/20