You are going to love this homemade bacon weave meatloaf recipe!
This easy dinner favorite begins with a flavorful mix of ground chuck, onions, peppers, and seasonings. Then it’s wrapped in a tasty bacon weave, glazed with barbecue sauce, and oven cooked until the bacon is crispy and the meatloaf is tender and juicy.
The recipe includes our secret to meatloaf perfection. We partially precook the bacon weave first, and this extra step makes a bacon wrapped meatloaf that is perfectly cooked. You’ll love the flavors!
Why This Recipe is Worth Making
- You can add “bacon weaving” to the Special Skills section of your resume.
- Every bite is full of delicious flavor.
- The meatloaf stays moist and tender, thanks to the bacon weave wrapped around it.
- The recipe is super easy.
- Family members of all ages love this meatloaf!
- The leftovers are amazing, too.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Ground Beef – We like to make this bacon bbq meatloaf with ground chuck. You can use regular ground beef, too. We like a mix that’s 90% lean so you get the good balanced flavor from the fat without it being greasy.
Eggs – Regular large eggs are just right for this recipe. Whisk them in a small dish before adding them to the mix.
Bacon – Regular sliced smoked bacon is perfect for this recipe, and makes a nice, evenly cooked weave.
Bell pepper – Feel free to use green, red, orange or yellow bell pepper – or a mix!
Onion – We like to use a sweet onion like Vidalia, but you can use whatever onion you have on hand – yellow, white, even purple. Chop it finely for this recipe so the onion pieces are tender in the cooked meatloaf.
Worcestershire sauce – This classic condiment adds a dash of complex flavor to the mix that your taste buds will love.
Barbecue sauce – Use your favorite sauce to brush on the outside of the meatloaf.
Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs – these are flavorful with herbs, spices and seasonings. Only have plain breadcrumbs on hand? No problem!
How to Make Your Own Italian Breadcrumbs
You can make your own seasoned crumbs by whisking together these ingredients in a small bowl:
- 1 cup plain toasted breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt and
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Store the breadcrumbs tightly wrapped in the freezer, where they’ll stay fresh for up to 6 months.
You don’t need any fancy equipment to make this recipe, and you may have everything on hand already:
- Mixing bowl
- 2 large baking sheets
- Aluminum foil
- Parchment Paper
- Large spatula
- Paper towels
- Sharp carving knife
Step by Step Instructions
Here’s how to make a perfect bacon weave. First, lay out 5 slices of bacon lengthwise on a piece of parchment paper, spacing them so they’re barely touching. Then lay one strip on in a perpendicular angle. “Weave” it, by going over and under the bacon strips, like this:
It’s easier to do this if you fold the alternating bacon strips back as you weave, like this:
When you finish the bacon weave, it will look something like this:
Carefully slide the parchment paper with the bacon weave on a rimmed baking sheet.
Mix the meatloaf ingredients together, using your hands to combine everything.
Pro Cooking Tip: Not overworking the meat mixture will keep the meatloaf from becoming too dense.
Gently shape the meatloaf mixture in an oval shape on the other parchment-lined baking sheet. Eyeball the shape so that it will fit your bacon weave after it cooks and shrinks a bit.
Put the bacon weave pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Blot up as much excess grease as you can with paper towels. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
Gently use a spatula to transfer the bacon weave to the meatloaf, flipping it over so the browned side is nearest the meatloaf. (This will help the bacon cook evenly.) Tuck it under the meatloaf and secure with toothpicks, if needed. (There really is no way to make this photo look pretty.)
Brush with your favorite barbeque sauce.
Put it in the oven and bake for about an hour, or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 160 degrees. If you like, you can baste it with BBQ sauce while it bakes.
After removing it from the oven, tent with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes to let it cool and firm up before slicing. Dab any excess grease with paper towels and serve.
If the bacon isn’t as crispy as you’d like when the meatloaf is finished cooking, you can broil it for a minute or two before serving. Just watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.
For a spicier meatloaf, substitute chopped jalapenos for some or all of the chopped bell peppers. Alternately, you can add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the breadcrumbs before mixing in the meatloaf.
Frequently Asked Questions
We may be slightly biased, but we think the ultimate cooking procedure for the tenderest meatloaf is to wrap it with a partially cooked bacon weave and let the juices meld together.
The egg adds flavor and helps bind everything together, so that your meatloaf doesn’t fall apart when you slice it.
You can substitute Panko crumbs, crushed croutons, crackers, or even corn flakes.
Because this meatloaf is covered with the tasty bacon weave, no foil is needed on top.
Easy Bacon Weave Meatloaf
- Large mixing bowl
- 2 large rimmed baking sheets
- aluminum foil
- parchment paper
- parchment paper
- paper towels
- Wooden toothpicks
- Sharp carving knife
- 11 slices regular cut smoked bacon
- 1.5 pounds ground chuck or ground beef 90% lean
- 1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup barbecue sauce of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, Italian breadcrumbs, and eggs. Gently mix together with your hands. Add the onion, green pepper, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper, and mix just until combined.
- Use the 11 pieces of bacon to create a bacon weave on one of the parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Form the meatloaf mixture into a rounded loaf shape on the other parchment lined baking sheet. (Eyeball the loaf size so that it will fit within the dimensions of the bacon weave.)
- Put the bacon weave pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Blot up the excess grease with paper towels. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Gently use a spatula to transfer the bacon weave to the meatloaf, flipping it over so the browned side is nearest the meatloaf. (This will help the bacon cook evenly.) Tuck it under the meatloaf and secure with toothpicks, if needed.
- Brush the bacon topped meatloaf all over with the barbecue sauce. Put it in the oven and bake for about an hour, or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 160 degrees. (If you like, you can baste it with BBQ sauce while it bakes.)
- After removing it from the oven, tent with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes to let it cool and firm up before slicing. Dab any excess grease with paper towels and serve.
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