I’ll admit meatloaf night was not one of my favorite growing up. After years of avoiding and never really making it, AJ has come to request it quite often.Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind making things he requests, I love it in fact. However meatloaf has never been something I want to improve upon. Looking back, I think it all comes down to one thing…. ketchup. Every time we had meatloaf there was a thick layer of ketchup on top, not tomato sauce or paste, ketchup. I know sometimes a cheap quick fix is needed. But ketchup on meatloaf with a bunch of onions (I did NOT like onions as a kid) was not my idea of a good meal.

Back to the present… Tonight I suggested I was going to make a casserole with the ground beef we have in the fridge, he kept saying, “Oh you’re making meatloaf, great idea!” I took his oh so subtle hints and decided to make meatloaf.

Once I opened the fridge I found all these tasty ingredients: ground beef, onion, some mozzarella, an Italian cheese mix, salsa, hot sauce, eggs, ooo and bacon as well as some panko crumbs. I also noticed a partially used zucchini/green squash (hidden vegetables!). (Not pictured onion and panko crumbs). Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Begin the mixing process (I tend not to measure things when making things up but I tried to do that today for you).20140929_165336[1]20140929_165342[1]

AJ is more of a spicy, hot, white cheese, bacon and jalapeno on my burger type person, okay so am I normally, but since I’m pregnant I’ve had to take my spicy down a few notches. If you like spice add some chopped jalapenos or your own hot sauce. You can also use whatever bbq sauce you have around the house for your own tastes.

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf
1 pkg (mine was 1.4lbs) ground beef (or turkey)
2 Tbsp Torchbearer Sauces Honey BBQ Sauce*
1 Tbsp Torchbearer Sauces Chipotle BBQ Sauce *
1/4 c Aunt Jan’s garlic salsa*
1/4 zucchini shredded (about 1/2 c)
2 eggs
1/4-1/2 c panko or bread crumbs (start on the light side and add more as you mix if you feel you need it, I only used 1/4 c)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c 1/2 c shredded 5 cheese Italian cheese blend
1/2 c 3/4 – 1 c shredded mozzarella
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
8 pieces bacon
additional cheese for topping if desired

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, except the bacon. I add a few ingredients to the meat at a time to make it easier to mix and completely combine. When the mixture is ready to form, top it with bacon. I put my bacon on the top in a lattice to keep it tucked in and make it pretty 🙂  (forgive the blurry phone photo and poor lighting in my kitchen)
You can also just cut it and put it inside your meatloaf, but come on bacon goes on top of the burger! Okay so does the cheese, now as I’m writing this I know I need to put a topping of cheese on 5 minutes before it is done cooking. (Yes it is cooking as I write this.) So since I am putting bacon all over and around this bad boy I put it on a rack inside of a jelly roll pan covered in foil to keep the grease/fat off of the loaf as it cooks. The foil will help protect my pan as well as make it easier to clean up. Make sure to tuck the bacon around and under the loaf.

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes. Don’t forget to add a sprinkle of cheese the last 5 minutes to give it that real cheeseburger look.

I served this up with some homemade french fries. We have some left for lunch leftovers tomorrow. The kids really liked it. The little picky one even ate and liked it. AJ said the only thing he would change would be to put some bbq sauce on top when I added the cheese.  I could taste the spicy and know if I wasn’t pregnant I would add more heat. It may also need more cheese inside (or just a different kind of cheese), so I updated the recipe to show what I would do next time with the same cheeses. It was still very good. TIP: If you like your bacon crispy cook it longer.

Note the black is on the foil
Hot sliced meatloaf

*Torchbearer Sauces and Aunt Jan’s did not provide free product nor endorse this recipe. We purchased their products at the Pocono Garlic festival.