Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

This bacon-wrapped meatloaf, made with ground beef and pork, has all the rustic comfort food qualities that we’re craving. And it comes together easily enough to make whenever said craving arises.

A partially sliced bacon-wrapped meatloaf on a rimmed baking sheet with a knife beside it and bay leaves scattered around it.

A free-form meatloaf has a few advantages. There’s more browned surface on the top, which is the part I like the most, and it looks nicer. This American classic simply must be served with mashed potatoes and gravy and leftovers make the perfect sandwich filling.–Laura Washburn

How do I make my meatloaf moist?

A lot of this depends on the recipes and its various ingredients. But a lot of the moisture depends on the percentage fat in the meat. For the moistest meatloaf, use the fattiest ground beef and pork you can find at your butcher or meat case.

Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
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Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C).

In a food processor, combine the onion, garlic, celery, and parsley, and pulse until finely chopped, about 30 seconds.

Transfer the mixture to a skillet along with the oil and cook over low heat until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked onion mixture, beef, pork, eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika, and chili sauce or ketchup. Mix with your hands until well blended.

Form the mixture into an oval loaf shape approximately 10 by 7 by 2 inches (25 by 18 by 5 cm).

Place the bay leaves in the middle of a heavy rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan and place the meatloaf on top. Arrange the bacon slices lengthwise on top, at equal intervals, to cover the meatloaf.

Tester tip: The bacon may not completely cover the surface of the meatloaf. That’s perfectly fine. Just space the strips evenly.

Bake until the meatloaf is browned and the internal temperature is 160°F (71°C), 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the exact shape and size. Do check the meatloaf regularly and, if there are pan juices, you can use them to baste the meatloaf to help keep it moist.

Let the meatloaf rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving, if desired, alongside mashed potatoes and gravy.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I love meatloaf and when it's wrapped in bacon you just can't go wrong.

This is a very moist meatloaf and I was concerned I wouldn't be able to transfer it to the baking sheet without falling apart but it held together. It does tend to fall apart when you’re eating it. However, it doesn't matter if it falls apart because the flavor is so good. You get a hint of the bay leaves but without overpowering and the chili sauce adds that little extra zip.

I love having the celery and onion added and next time I’ll finely shred some carrots and add to the mix. I used smoked sweet Spanish paprika.

I shaped my meatloaf into an 8-by-11-by1 1/2-inch oval. I checked the time after 1 hour and it was already up to 177°F. Although it was overcooked, the meatloaf was still moist. I didn’t baste the meatloaf and the bacon turned out perfect without drying out.

Update: Today I was trying to decide what to have for lunch and saw leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes. I got creative and diced up the meatloaf, made a roux with beef stock, and added some cooked peas and carrots. I thinned down the mashed potatoes and made Shepherd’s Pie. I was so good and turned leftovers into a whole new meal.

This is a good meatloaf. And it’s elegant looking. The bacon adds a nice "crust" to it, not to mention the added flavor. It’s not unusual, but who’s looking for creative or unusual meatloaf? When you want meatloaf, you want that comfort food that’s moist, smells delicious as it cooks, and reminds you of a pleasant family meal. This meatloaf does all that and more.

I cut it right from the oven and it held together pretty well. After it cooled a bit, it held together even better.


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