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A Little Bit of Heaven: Mini Meatloaf Wrapped in Bacon

Categories: Cooking, Food



When my eldest son was about 4 years old I made meatloaf. Since it was something I rarely made, he did not remember ever seeing it. He was oddly excited when he saw me take it out of the oven.

“What is that?” he had asked.

“It’s a meat loaf!” I replied.

“Oh, I love that meatloaf.” he had said.

Dinner time came and I sliced a piece off the meatloaf for him and put it on his plate. He excitedly dove his fork into it. Put it into his mouth. And then spit it back out onto the table.

“That is a yucky cake! I do not like that cake!” he yelled.

Poor child, he thought we were having cake for dinner. I could only laugh. To this day whenever I make meatloaf I say, “Oh honey, remember this is not a cake.”

I used to always use the typical onion soup mix recipe, then I read the label.
Then I threw the box away and never looked back.

I think that there are many of us (me) who are intimidated by cooking. It seems so difficult. So time consuming. So many ingredients and spices. Over the past few years I have learned to trust myself and move entirely away from processed foods. And in the process I have discovered that when you use real foods, it is difficult to make something that is truly awful.

I am also not afraid of a little fat in our diet. I know it might seem as though we eat bacon every day, but we don’t. Though I think the buffet table in Heaven is made up of bacon, chocolate, and coffee. The mini size of the meatloaf means that it is much easuer to portion control. None of us ate more than one here.

The ingredients:

It is sort of like a tiny self contained bacon cheeseburger.

1 tablespoon or so of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
*2 eggs- I didn’t use eggs due to allergies instead using 1T cornstarch)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup dry bread crumbs (I use gluten free bread crumbs, you, however, should feel free to bask in the love of gluten)
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
2 pounds ground beef

Doing the garlic is hard work.

Sometimes it requires more than one person.


I ran my onion through our mini food processor. You certainly could just chop the onion up, but I like to fully pulverize it so that it is not at all recognizable to small picky children.


Even though they help cut it up and mix it into the meatloaf, they have not made the connection that they will then eat it. They might not be the brightest bulbs but at least they are cute, right?


Measuring out the salt. As you can tell, neatness does not count.

I like to mix the dry ingredients and spices into the bowl with the onion and then dump the entire thing into the meat.


In lieu of actually measuring, just pour some olive oil on the top. Pour for the length of time it takes to focus the camera and snap a non-blurry photo.


Add your bread crumbs. These are plain, so as not to interfere with the other flavors. Like bacon and ketchup.


Mix the breadcrumbs into the mix. You will need to use your hands and knead it up well. If you are going to use shredded cheese toss it in at this point as well.

I have no photos of this part because my hands were covered in raw meat and I love my camera more than I love you, internet. I am sorry.


Roll the meat into a ball like shape that fits into your muffin tin. Grab a slice of bacon, or half a slice if your bacon is particularly long, and wrap the meatloaf with it. Then put it into the tin.

Bake in a 350 oven for 12 minutes. Then turn your oven up to broil to crisp up the bacon for 2 minutes. Served with steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes.


Those of you who are worried about calories can make this is a mini muffin pan.

Oh I kid. You would just end up popping them in your mouth like Munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts.

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49 comments so far...

  • I’m wondering if your freezer cow is lower in fat than typical beef…? Because although this looks delicious, when I behold the muffin tin with bacon-topped goodness I am picturing a grease fire. Eek.

    (P.S. We had the curried sweet potato chicken for dinner tonight and I would like to buy you a pony. EVERYONE LOVED IT.)

    Chris says: Well I did lose that one oven by setting it on fire ;-) I typically cook my bacon in the oven anyway.

    Honestly it didn’t splash anywhere. I think the bacony goodness is sucked INTO the meat.

    Mir  |  February 27th, 2008 at 12:02 am

  • I love meatloaf i will have to try this one! My husband will most likely eat the whole pan though.

    mandi  |  February 27th, 2008 at 12:14 am

  • Yummmmmmm!

    Nicole  |  February 27th, 2008 at 2:21 am

  • LOVED the curry chicken - even Mr. I don’t like chicken loved it.

    Thanks for the cornstarch in lieu of eggs tip. I’m allergic to eggs .

    I am going to make these tomorrow - usually I top my meatloaf with mashed potatoes the last few minutes and bake it til they are slightly browned. I can do this and my bacon and mashed potatoes are infused with bacon.

    Mary  |  February 27th, 2008 at 2:23 am

  • I love a good meatloaf-and-mashed-potatoes dinner, but there are only 3 in my family, which means there’s always a lot of leftover loaf cake. This may be a good option for my smaller family. Thanks.

    kalisah  |  February 27th, 2008 at 2:25 am

  • Little bit of heaven is right. Wow, does that ever look divine. Definitely need to try this one!

    Stephanie  |  February 27th, 2008 at 2:50 am

  • This looks like a great recipe!

    Deputy's Wife  |  February 27th, 2008 at 3:15 am

  • I think Mir had a good point/question. Whenever I make one big meat loaf (without bacon) I always seem to end up with a TON of grease in the bottom of the pan. Do you not have grease? Or where does it go? (I hate cooking, and don’t claim to be any good, so I could be missing some important secret or something).

    Chris says: Do y’all use lean hamburger meat? Because really I have no secrets. There was a teeny tiny bit of grease in the bottom of the tin. But, uh, I just left it there.
    Also, I never use the word y’all in real life. I am channeling my inner southern debutante.

    Crystal  |  February 27th, 2008 at 4:09 am

  • Holy guacamole, those look scrumptious. I guess I know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow night.

    Liz  |  February 27th, 2008 at 4:49 am

  • You’ve done it again, woman. Your meatloaf recipe looks better than mine. Though I like the idea of the mini-muffin pans if I’m doing the home version of “Tapis” night!

    Brigitte  |  February 27th, 2008 at 12:35 pm

  • I just had to tell you..Soulemama had a post a couple days ago about a Baconbar…. Bacon in chocolate! It screamed your name…

    Dawn  |  February 27th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

  • You need a cooking show stat!

    As for the grease, you all need to bite the “expensive meat is better for you” bullet and switch to 93/7. I HATE that it’s like $5-7 a pound compared to the sale price of $1.99 80/20 (at least in MD) but the lack of grease is amazing. And that would balance out the bacon “healthiness”. lol

    Katie  |  February 27th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

  • Pretty, pretty please could you do a printable version of your recipes in the future? They look wonderful, but are hard to print. Can’t wait to try this one!

    Jo  |  February 27th, 2008 at 2:44 pm

  • The meat-grease issue is probably due to the leanness of the beef. I always use 93/7 beef for my meatloaf and have very little grease in the pan.

    These do look yummy, I may have to give this a try! And if you make them in the mini-muffin pan they could be served as bacon-y appetizers at a party! :)

    Jenni  |  February 27th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

  • that looks and sounds really good…any thoughts and how that might turn out with ground turkey or chicken breast instead of beef?
    I’ll probably give it a shot anyway, just wondering if anyone had already tried that…

    Nadia  |  February 27th, 2008 at 3:36 pm

  • We usually get some grease in the bottom of the pan when we make meatloaf, but we use fairly lean beef (we buy it in bulk at Costco), so it’s not swimming in it. I don’t worry about it and just leave it there. We also top ours with ketchup and bacon.

    We’re having mini-meatloaves tonight. I’m sure my boys are going to love them.

    Jamie AZ  |  February 27th, 2008 at 5:13 pm

  • And wine! There is wine on the Heaven buffet table!

    AmyG  |  February 27th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

  • Chris, I don’t know what my family ate before you started this blog.
    I’ve made three batches of the granola already - my husband eats it every day. We all loved your curried chicken and the corn chowder was a hit too. I just took out some ground beef to thaw for this one.
    Thank you!!

    EZibbets  |  February 27th, 2008 at 6:44 pm

  • Chris, have you tried using turkey bacon?

    Amy  |  February 27th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

  • I was just coming to leave a comment asking for printable recipes, and I see that Jo has already asked for that. It would be a great addition to an already wonderful blog! I just discovered you over here (I read notesfromthetrenches) and can’t wait to try some of these recipes.

    Kate  |  February 27th, 2008 at 9:49 pm

  • Chris, you should TOTALLY use the word y’all in real life. It’s so useful!

    Anna  |  February 27th, 2008 at 9:52 pm

  • Fabulous recipe…..wonderful pictures.
    Thank you!

    Heather J.  |  February 27th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

  • Would it be sacriligious to ask or suggest that those worried about fat try ground turkey? My mouth is watering at the sight of this - but the only thing I use hamburger for is well - hamburgers on the grill.

    Chris - love the pictures - but is there any way to make such yummy looking recipes more printer friendly - I just did a bunch of cut and pastes - but I’m lazy.

    maria  |  February 28th, 2008 at 4:26 pm

  • Funny thing, when you start cooking from scratch like you do and I started a year ago, you can’t go back. It tastes better, my kids eat it and like it and it’s cheaper than buying the prepared junk. If only someone could come over and do all the dishes.

    Sharon  |  February 28th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

  • Looks like we’ll be having meatloaf this weekend! I am adding my vote to request printable versions of your recipes. We had the chicken curry last night and it was delicious. I am thinking rice should always be made with coconut milk. Mmm.

    Katie  |  February 28th, 2008 at 10:02 pm

  • Also, where do the eggs, ketchup and water come into the recipe? At our house ketchup was always applied like meatloaf icing but it seems a promising sign that your pics don’t show it!

    Chris says: Just mix it in with the meat. Mmmmm, ketchup icing ;-) My daughter did that with the mashed potatoes at dinner. They weren’t potatoes, they were frosting.

    Katie  |  February 28th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

  • LOL I use my mashed potatoes as frosting. I shape the loaf into a mound and then bake, 10 minutes out I cover it in mashed potatoes and bake for the last 10-15 minutes until the mashed potatoes are browned a wee bit. My kids think I’m a genius for combining it all into one.

    Mary  |  February 29th, 2008 at 3:37 am

  • This is an awesome idea! I never thought to completely pulverize the onions before putting them in. My oldest will sit at the table and practically cry if he sees an onion!

    Michelle  |  February 29th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

  • Ah, thank you thank you for a potential way to get my kids to eat meatloaf! They are bacon freaks, so this should do the trick.

    reen  |  February 29th, 2008 at 6:32 pm

  • These were delicious! OMgoodness! I can’t wait to have them again! I am making granola bars and corn chowder tomorrow!

    Chris says: Glad you enjoyed them!

    mandi  |  March 1st, 2008 at 1:23 am

  • I made meatloaf last night (I won’t tell you how big it was and the cow AND pig (I use sausage too) ain’t talkin’ anymore either) and one trick my dad taught me. I throw some quartered onions into my blender with maybe 1/2 cup of water. Pulverize then send thru a strainer (the mesh kind) to get the water back out. I do the same with a couple handfuls of baby carrots. So great for getting the pieces small enough to prevent kiddies from picking out but still imparting the flavor.

    We had friends over for it last night…she said…”it’s like a party in your mouth”.

    Carolyn  |  March 3rd, 2008 at 2:27 am

  • I made these over the weekend and they are absolutely delicious…i have tried several meatloaf recipes and they just never seem to taste great..this was! thanks!
    by the way…i tried ground turkey breast and the only modification i did was use only one egg and no water and no cheese…they came out surprisingly moist (maybe b/c of the ketchup in it?).
    This will definitely become a regular in my home!

    Nadia  |  March 4th, 2008 at 5:58 pm

  • You had me clear up until the GREEN STUFF!!!! Everything else in the photo looks yummy….

    AnnOhio  |  April 1st, 2008 at 9:39 pm

  • Yum! I’m all over this one. (With some casein-free goat cheddar, that is.)

    Sally Parrott Ashbrook  |  April 2nd, 2008 at 10:04 pm

  • We enjoyed these, though I’d use an even leaner cut of meat next time (Ground Round wasn’t lean enough, but all I had in the freezer) and probably less salt. And no cheese.

    Tina  |  April 3rd, 2008 at 9:59 pm

  • THis is the first recipe my husband has EVER requested we eat again. In 10 years. So thank you.

    Abbey  |  April 14th, 2008 at 7:24 pm

  • These were yummy, yummy, yummy! Quite a bit of grease in the bottom of the muffin cups, so I will use extra lean next time and cut the bacon strips in half. I LOVED the cheese in these, oh, such tasty morsels :-) We served with the mashed taters and broccoli as well, both which are well loved around here. Since there are only four of us, we have many left over and I actually couldn’t fit all the meat into one pan, so I will try cooking the leftover as one big meatloaf and see how that tastes :-) Thanks again!

    Tracey in Calgary  |  April 30th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

  • These sound delicious and we will be trying them soon! I love “portion” meals AND I would bet being smaller they cook all the way through, I hate to THINK meat is done and it not QUITE be.

    Jan Tallent  |  August 2nd, 2008 at 10:27 pm

  • [...] Mini Meatloaf Wrapped in Bacon: I think that there are many of us (me) who are intimidated by cooking. It seems so difficult. So time consuming. So many ingredients and spices. Over the past few years I have learned to trust myself and move entirely away from processed foods. And in the process I have discovered that when you use real foods, it is difficult to make something that is truly awful. Recipe found at Ordering Disorder. [...]

    Recipe Hit List: 25 Tempting Meatloaf Recipes »  |  October 30th, 2008 at 7:01 pm

  • hahah if any of you know my mom(somehow) on this stuff its her son…and this stuff was good for the first bite but then i killed me after!!!!!!!!do not feed to kids, lol.

    kchak  |  November 13th, 2008 at 4:29 am

  • Great recipe! I will definitely make it again. However, it did take me about 20 minutes to get them fully cooked. Also, for all of those worried about grease, just put a little bit of bread at the bottom of the muffin tin and it will soak up the grease, then you just throw it away! Thanks again for the delicious recipe!

    Amy W.  |  January 17th, 2009 at 1:18 am

  • I made mine with blue cheese crumbles and it was divine! It did take about 20 minutes to cook. Next time I will use just half a slice of bacon per loaf. Thanks!

    robyn  |  February 23rd, 2009 at 4:20 am

  • found this website and recipe yesterday and decided to make these “muffin” meatloaves…..and they were awesome! however i did omit the ketchup and the olive oil and added one shredded zucchini! the meatloaves were very tasty and moist!
    i think your website is fantastic and commend you in involving your kids in your cooking!

    martha  |  April 16th, 2009 at 12:24 pm

  • I made these for supper, and they went fast.
    Very delicious. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Percola Analoak  |  June 20th, 2009 at 1:37 am

  • I just made it tonight and it’s veryyyyyy good! I’m just teenager and love to cooks for my family! I feel like I want to eat all of them! Yummy!!

    Brianna  |  July 27th, 2010 at 12:09 am

  • these look delicious - going to try them this weekend :)

    lucybell  |  December 10th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

  • I enjoyed the way you so cleverly presented this recipe. The photo’s are clear and the recipe is easy to follow. I heard from a friend that this is orgasmic. I plan to make this for my family soon. Thanks!!!!!!

    Kelly Perfit  |  December 10th, 2011 at 9:54 am

  • If you use the eggs instead of the cornstarch, do you still need the olive oil?

    Melissa  |  March 19th, 2012 at 1:04 pm

  • Will try this using the muffin tins. I think my grandchildren might enjoy the meat preparing it in the muffin tins.. love your cute jokes!

    DELORES COMOLLI  |  August 13th, 2012 at 11:16 am