The best ever BBQ Meatloaf is here to add variety to your dinner table! Take an easy meatloaf recipe and make it even better with the addition of tangy barbecue sauce and bacon.
Meatloaf with Bacon
We all know the saying, right? Does bacon make everything better in your world too? While you can certainly make this without the bacon, and it’s admittedly tasty that way too, we love it in this bacon meatloaf.
I love the comforting familiarity of meatloaf. That said, it doesn’t have a reputation for being the most exciting of dinners. This meatloaf with bbq sauce is anything but boring.
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this bacon meatloaf and the result is every bit as delicious as the more complicated traditional recipes.
Oh! And guess what? I have also made this with pre-cooked and crumbled bacon and it works beautifully that way.
Once you assemble the ingredients, this BBQ meatloaf recipe takes hardly any time to prepare and most of the cooking time is hands-off. The barbecue sauce provides terrific flavor for the glaze and it is something I always have on hand – making it a very simple meal to pull together.
We are big fans of meatloaf here and this barbecue sauce glazed meatloaf is a new favorite. I first tried a bbq sauce glaze on meatloaf with this very simple five ingredient meatloaf recipe.
That recipe quickly became a go-to super fast meal to pull together, but I’ll tell you now that adding just a few more spices and seasonings takes it to a whole new level. And bacon, let’s not forget the smoky awesomeness that a handful (or three) of chopped bacon delivers.
Serve slices of BBQ meatloaf with mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetable sides, like grilled corn, sauteed Brussels sprouts, or asparagus. Get juicy, flavorful, tender meatloaf on the table tonight with this easy bbq bacon meatloaf dinner!
Leftover meatloaf can be wrapped up and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Leftover meatloaf is wonderful served on bread or rolls the next day for BBQ meatloaf sandwiches.
My kids have even been known to sneak a slice of leftover meatloaf straight out of the fridge. That’s how much we all enjoy this.
Meatloaf with BBQ Sauce
You’ll want to use your family’s favorite barbecue sauce for this recipe, as it will stand alone as the glaze for the meatloaf. I often choose a bbq sauce depending on what I’m craving or the ingredients on hand at the time.
You can mix up the taste profile by using different kinds of BBQ sauce too. That all depends on your preference. Use a homemade barbecue sauce or keep it simple with a bottle of store-bought sauce.
We love a sweet and spicy sauce here. The balance of sweetness with a little kick from the spice is divine. This tangy Memphis-style sauce is a long-time favorite or a Honey BBQ sauce would be delicious for a sweeter version.
However, there are a multitude of delicious store-bought and gourmet sauces available and there’s definitely no requirement to make your own for this meatloaf. Do whatever works best for you.
My go-to grocery store buy is Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce. (Amazon link added here for the visual, but I don’t recommend buying it online. Just grab it at the store, friends.) FYI – this sweet and spicy bbq sauce is a darn near perfect copycat recipe btw. We LOVE it.
BBQ Bacon Meatloaf
You’ll need the following ingredients for this recipe:
- thick-cut bacon
- ground beef
- quick cooking oats
- Worcestershire sauce
- garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt
- barbecue sauce
Meatloaf with Barbecue Sauce
Combine the ground beef, cooked bacon, oats, milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon.
Shape into a loaf form on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce with 1 tablespoon of warm bacon grease.
Pour the sauce over the meatloaf and brush lightly to coat. Bake for 65-70 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
As it bakes, the meatloaf will absorb all the flavors of the sauce. It comes out juicy, flavorful, and irresistibly good. The sauce will caramelize just a bit on the top of the loaf to complement the tender savory meat.
Allow the meatloaf to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional barbecue sauce, if desired.
I always recommend using a thermometer to determine the cooking time the first time you make this recipe. The cooking time for meatloaf is determined by its shape and size.
I use this handheld digital thermometer for most of my cooking needs. It registers temps fast and is very easy to use. For an internal thermometer that can be left in the meat throughout the cooking process, this is a great thermometer and I’ve been using mine for over ten years. Both are fairly inexpensive options for high-quality digital thermometers.
I typically shape meatloaves relatively flat and oblong and they cook in about 65-70 minutes. A more traditional 4x4x8 meatloaf in a loaf pan will require about 90 minutes.
This recipe doubles nicely and I almost always double it, as leftovers make me very happy! Form two loaves on a large sheet pan or in separate 9×13 pans and bake them side by side. The cooking time may need to be increased slightly, depending on your oven, but other than that the directions remain the same.
Easy Meatloaf Recipes
This awesome meatloaf changed the meatloaf game in our home over 20 years ago now. Rich and flavorful, soft and moist without being the least bit mushy, this meatloaf recipe (and the best ever balsamic meatloaf glaze on that one) was a dinnertime game changer in my family shortly after Sean and I were first married.
This Honey Chipotle Meatloaf with an irresistible sweet and spicy glaze remains a favorite from my first cookbook, The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook.
The Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf is a tender chicken meatloaf packed with all of the garlic kicked-up tomato sauce, herbs, and melty cheese of the original namesake dish. This recipe is another keeper from that cookbook.
Old-fashioned meatloaf topped with a creamy mushroom stroganoff sauce is a hearty dinner favorite. If you’re a fan of stroganoff, you are going to fall in love with this Meatloaf Stroganoff.
BBQ Bacon Meatloaf
- 12-16 ounces thick-cut bacon (reserve the bacon grease after cooking)
- 2 pounds ground beef my preference is 80/20
- ⅔ cup quick cook oats
- ½ cup milk
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup sweet and spicy barbecue sauce plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon reserved bacon grease
Bacon Instructions *
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Spread the bacon evenly across the baking sheet and place it in the oven. Set a timer for 18 minutes and check the bacon when it beeps.
- Cook for an additional 2-4 minutes, checking frequently towards the end of the cooking time to avoid burning the bacon. Remove from the oven and use tongs to transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Set aside 1 tablespoon of bacon grease for the sauce. When the bacon is cool enough to touch, chop it into very small ¼-inch pieces.
- Adjust the oven temperature to 350°F. Combine the ground beef, cooked bacon, oats, milk, egg, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon.
- Shape into a loaf form on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the barbecue sauce with 1 tablespoon of warm bacon grease. Pour the sauce over the meatloaf and brush lightly to coat. Bake for 65-70 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Allow the meatloaf to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with additional barbecue sauce, if desired.