When only comfort food will do, this Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf recipe with Creamy Baked Bean Gravy is just what the doctor ordered. A one pan meal the whole family will enjoy! Serve it with plenty of mashed potatoes and your favorite vegetable for a comforting and satisfying meal any night of the week.JUMP TO RECIPE
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Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Baked Bean Gravy- a comfort food favorite!
A staple of my childhood dinner table was the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Creamy Baked Bean Gravy. This being a weeknight meal that was in heavy rotation in my formative years, I (sadly) didn’t really appreciate it for the uniquely flavored comfort food it is until adulthood.
If you thought meatloaf was comforting already, picture it nestled in a blanket of smoky bacon, surrounded by a thick and creamy gravy made with milk and baked beans. Stir the bean gravy right into your mashed potatoes, or sop up the gravy with a crusty piece of bread or a fresh baked biscuit and let this ultimate comfort food melt your troubles away.
I typically serve mine with a generous side of mashed potatoes, and some sautéed green beans or carrots.
Making Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Baked Bean Gravy- it's easier than it looks!
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of making a “gravy” on a weeknight. A perk of this recipe is that everything comes together in one baking dish. No babysitting a sauce or dirty frying pans required!
Pro tip: if your bacon is looking a little lackluster after baking, throw the meatloaf under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp it up (more details below).
What goes into the meatloaf?
To make this easy Bacon wrapped meatloaf recipe you will need:
- 5 strips bacon, cut in half. I love center cut bacon, because it crisps up so nicely. Classic bacon is fine too, but I would avoid thick cut bacon, as it will not crisp up as well in the time allotted. Each of the bacon slices will be cut in half into shorter pieces, and layered over the top of the meatloaf. If they overlap a bit, that is OK.
- Ground beef. I like to use an 80/20 mixture for a moist and flavorful meatloaf, but you could use a leaner variety as well.
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs.
- One large egg, to bind everything together.
- Ketchup and yellow mustard, for flavor.
- 2 stalks of celery and leaves, finely chopped, and 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped. To make this step quicker, you can chop these in your food processor!
- Garlic powder, salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
- Cooking spray, to grease your baking dish or skillet.
Making the Baked Bean Gravy
To make the easy gravy for this meatloaf right in the pan, you will need:
- 2 cups milk.
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour.
- A can baked beans, such as Bush’s Country Style Baked Beans.
The gravy comes together all in one pan! After the meatloaf has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven, and add the whole can of baked beans around the meatloaf. Give the milk/flour mixture another quick stir, and add to the pan along with the baked beans.
Note: Do not pour beans or milk mixture directly over the loaf/bacon, but just around the sides. Otherwise, the bacon won’t be crispy.
Once the milk mixture and beans are in the pan, give them a quick stir to combine, and return to oven for another 30 minutes, or until the a thermometer inserted midway into the center of the meatloaf reached 165 degrees.
Tools for a great meatloaf
A food processor, or sharp knife for prepping the veggies nice and small.
A meat thermometer, for temping your meatloaf.
A small or medium mixing bowl, for prepping the meatloaf.
A 12" cast iron skillet, or oven/broiler safe pan (roughly 9"x12").
What to serve with the meatloaf
Can I substitute the ground beef for something else?
Sure! I love ground beef for this Bacon wrapped meatloaf recipe, but you can also use meatloaf mix if you prefer a meat mixture. If you were trying to go a little healthier, you could sub in ground turkey.
Can I make this meatloaf in a loaf pan?
This meatloaf is best made freeform in a baking dish or cast iron skillet, as the meatloaf and sauce both cook in the same pan. The juices from the meatloaf are crucial to the flavor of the gravy. If you choose to skip the gravy, this could be made in a loaf pan.
The loaf shape for this recipe is rustic and hand shaped. It should be roughly 3" high.
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Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Baked Bean Gravy
- 5 strips bacon, cut in half
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 stalks of celery and leaves, finely chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
Baked Bean Gravy
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 16 oz can baked beans, such as Bush’s Country Style Baked Beans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.2. Grease a 9x12 broiler-safe or large cast iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray. 3. Finely chop celery and onions and add to large mixing bowl. (You can use a food processor for this step, if you like). 4. Add ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, ketchup, yellow mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper to mixing bowl with chopped veggies. Mix together with hands until well combined (careful to not over-mix). 5. Form meatloaf in greased baking dish or cast iron skillet with your hands, leaving about 2” of space around the outer edges of the loaf. 6. Cover top of meatloaf evenly with sliced bacon until fully covered, and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. It is ok if some slices overlap a bit. 7. While the meatloaf bakes, add 2 cups of milk to a liquid measuring cup and whisk in 2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour until fully combined. 8. After the meatloaf has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven, and add the whole can of baked beans around the meatloaf. Give the milk/flour mixture another quick stir, and add to the pan along with the baked beans. (Note: Do not pour beans or milk mixture directly over the loaf/bacon, but just around the sides. Otherwise, the bacon won’t be crispy). Once the milk mixture and beans are in the pan, give them a quick stir to combine, and return to oven for another 30 minutes, or until the a thermometer inserted midway into the center of the meatloaf reached 165 degrees. During the final 30 minutes of baking time, check the meatloaf halfway, and stir the gravy so it doesn't clump.9. Once the meatloaf is finished baking, remove the meatloaf from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Optional (but recommended) step: If bacon is not fully crispy after baking,, broil for 3-5 minutes under your oven's broiler to finish it.
Any pork bacon will do, but center cut is leaner, and will crisp up better than a fattier bacon.
Ground beef or ground turkey can be subbed in for the meatloaf mix.
My favorite beans for this are Bush's country style.
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