Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatloaf

Could that name BE more irresistible?

I think not.

This meatloaf came from my adventures in Redeeming Comfort Food.  Meatloaf is one of those comfort foods that are just down right satisfying.  I think at times it gets a bad rap as though it were something mundane; but if you’ve ever known a really GOOD meatloaf, you’ll know that it’s much more.

Growing up, my mom’s meatloaf was a standard around our house and loved by all.  It was her mom’s recipe and it was fabulous.  But I have long sought after a meatloaf recipe that was “real food” approved that had the same satisfaction power as Mom’s.  Even Mom herself had tried different recipes but alas, none could compare.  It just couldn’t be beat.

However, a change needed to be made because we have discovered that my 5 year old daughter has an allergy to dairy and I have… not quite an allergy… but a negative response (with my thyroid condition) to wheat.  Because of this, our style of eating (with the exception of special occasions–or when the hubby is craving something) is becoming not quite paleo… but largely dairy and wheat free.  Up this point, any attempt at a Paleo style meatloaf had been seriously disappointing in comparison to the old family recipe.  But after much experimentation and many failed attempts…

TA DA!  This recipe is fantastic.

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatloaf

Note: I typically double this recipe and put half in the freezer for another day, but for the sake of clarity and form, I will give amounts for a single recipe of this meatloaf.  (This recipe feeds our family of two adults and two young children with  plenty of leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches.)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Finely dice 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 small onion and 1 Tbl of minced garlic.  (The garlic was late to arrive and missed the photo op here.) 


Saute in a cast iron skillet for 5-7 minutes; to the skillet, add 1 Tbl of dried thyme and 1 tsp of salt, cooking another 30 seconds until fragrant.

Note: if you have fresh thyme, make a well in your vegetable mixture and add your thyme and salt, directly to the pan.  When cooking with dried thyme (powder) I just stir it right in to the veggies.


Meanwhile, back at the counter top, Mix 1 lb of ground red meat (beef, elk, venison etc.–we use elk in this recipe and it is fantastic) with 1 Tbl of Worchestershire sauce & 1/2 cup ground almonds (almond meal or almond flour is fine.)

When the veggies are done cooking, add them to your ground meat mixture and roll up your sleeves.

Meatloaf MUST be mixed by hand, if you are squeamish… (as my mother would say) “Oh well!” (translation, get over it, you will live.)  🙂

At this point, if I have doubled the batch, I separate my meat mixture in half and put half in a gallon sized zip top bag (with as much air expressed as possible) and press it flat (for easy stacking in the freezer.)


Form the other half of your meat into a loaf, and put it into your choice of pan.

Criss-cross (lattice style) your bacon strips across the top of your meatloaf, and it’s ready to pop into the oven.

After baking for 45 minutes, remove the meatloaf from the oven.


Now is the time for the crowning glory (as if bacon alone wasn’t enough.)  Baste with your choice of BBQ sauce.  For this meatloaf recipe I prefer my own Raspberry Chipotle BBQ sauce (something smoky, sweet & slightly fruity.)

Bake for approximately 15 minutes longer and it should look something like this.


Serve with additional BBQ Sauce on the side if needed.



Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatloaf

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Print

  • 1 lb ground beef, elk or venison
  • 1 each, carrot, celery stalk & small onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tbl Oil (for vegetable saute)
  • 2 Tbl minced garlic
  • 1 Tbl fresh Thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup almond meal

Top with:

  • 6-8 strips of nitrate free bacon
    • Home cured bacon puts this recipe OVER THE TOP!
  • 1/2 cup (or so) BBQ Sauce (if you are going for a healthy version please use homemade or find a brand with NO High Fructose Corn Syrup.)
    • If you cannot, or choose not to use BBQ Sauce in this recipe you can brush the bacon with real maple syrup before baking instead.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Saute diced vegetables in oil for 5-7 minutes, add in thyme and salt and cook for another 30 seconds.  Remove vegetable mixture from heat and cool slightly.  Mix vegetables, Worchestershire sauce and almond meal with ground meat (by hand) until well mixed.

Form meat into a loaf and criss-cross the bacon in a lattice pattern across the top of your meatloaf.

Bake for 45 minutes, remove from oven and baste with BBQ sauce.

Bake an additional 15 minutes.

My family LOVES this recipe and I hope yours does to!


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10 thoughts on “Bacon Wrapped BBQ Meatloaf

  1. Mixing stuff by hand when cooking is the best part!!! 🙂 Of course, I am a notoriously messy cook… I wonder if those are related. 😉

    1. I would suggest brown rice flour if you are not entirely grain free. But haven’t tested that out at all. I’d be very interested to hear what you chose to use instead and how it turned out!

  2. I’ll add here. less is more with the thyme. I added extra meat so added extra thyme and basically doubled the recipe. Did NOT hold together well and might not want to double the thyme. LOL

  3. oops, I forgot. Hubby wanted the bacon mixed in so I made bacon bits and mixed them in, which did contribute to the problem of the loaf not holding together well. LOL

    1. It is true that this recipe does not hold together as tight as a traditional meatloaf, but we still love the flavor! I am thinking of trying brown rice flour as a binder instead to see if that works better.

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