Crispy bacon. Pockets of gooey cheddar. Yellow onions cooked in bacon grease. This Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf has ALL the good stuff.
I created this recipe after being disappointed by so many meatloaf recipes. Too boring, too soft, too flavorless—there are a lot of recipes out there. While the texture on some of them is good, many lack anything interesting about them.
So what better way to add flavor than to add bacon? I crumbled 4 strips of cooked bacon into the meatloaf mixture, and add 4 ounces of cubed cheddar. I wanted to mimic a classic bacon cheeseburger flavor, but pepperjack would be good here, too!
The recipe starts by gently mixing the bacon, yellow onion (cooked in the leftover bacon grease), ground pork, ground round, breadcrumbs, eggs, worcestershire sauce, parsley, cheddar, and salt. Combining pork and beef is true to many meatloaf recipes. Ground round is roughly 85% lean, and ground pork is about 70% lean. I found that the ground pork really helps to keep it tender and juicy.
You’ll mix the ingredients and form it into a meatloaf shape. Mine was roughly 12 inches long by 5 inches wide.
It’s important to place it on a baking sheet with a rim to catch any juices that run from the meatloaf (and also to catch the drippy cheese!). I always use a silicone baking mat to make clean-up easier.
The meatloaf will bake for 45 minutes, and then you’ll spoon on a mixture of ketchup and ranch dressing. Trust me on this one—the ranch adds a tasty zip to it!
It’ll go back in the oven, where the ketchup will set and the meatloaf will finish cooking.
The Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf is one of those comfort food dinners that hits the spot. It’s easy enough to feed your family on a weeknight, but it can pull double duty and impress guests at a casual get-together for dinner.
I serve it with my Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes and Crispy Bacon Brussels Sprouts (recipe coming soon!). For a lower-carb option, Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic would be delicious. If I’m short on time, frozen sweet potato fries and a salad are great accompaniments. We’ve been loving the sweet potato puffs from Alexia!
Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- ½ lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground round
- ⅔ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until crisp. Place the bacon on a paper towel lined plate to drain (keep the bacon grease in the pan), then chop into fine pieces.
- Add the onion to the bacon grease. Cook until soft, about 3–4 minutes. Remove the onions but leave the bacon grease (which you can save for another use or discard).
- In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, ground round, breadcrumbs, eggs, worcestershire sauce, parsley, cubed cheddar, salt, chopped bacon, and cooked onions. Mix very gently with your hands to combine.
- Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet with a rimmed edge. Form it into a loaf with your hands, packing it gently so it stays together.
- Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the ketchup and ranch dressing in a small bowl. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and pour the ketchup mixture on top. Return to the oven for 8–10 more minutes, or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
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