Oh. Yes! You read the title correctly. This is hands down one of the BEST tasting meatloaf recipes I have ever come up with. Even the “I hate meatloaf” people love it.
It starts with Bacon.. already you are scoring points.. after you crisp the bacon, then you sauté the onions in some of the bacon fat. Double score!! Add cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, egg & breadcrumb & that’s it. Simple, yet DELICIOUS.
Before I became a vegetarian, my absolutely favorite burger was at a restaurant that topped this mouthwatering burger with bacon, carmelized onion, a generous handful of cheddar cheese and tangy BBQ sauce.. YUM! So I decided to use all those flavors and put them in a meatloaf. This was such a popular dish at TaylorMade Market that I decided it was worthy of becoming a sandwich. My version: A thick slice of BBQ Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf on a soft bakery roll, topped with cheddar cheese & BBQ Sauce and then toasted on the panini press. It may sound like a heart attack sandwich. But we made the meatloaf with lean ground turkey. If you want to cut the fat & calories, I suggest you use the ground turkey. But we have made this with Beef and even Venison. It always turns out great.
So now you have Two COMPLETELY different takes on a meatloaf sandwich. While I would have loved to try Tom’s version, I won’t be making this one at home as it looks way to labor intensive, especially for a vegetarian who isn’t going to reap the rewards and I guarantee my children won’t appreciate the homemade tomato relish or pickled mustard seeds that accompanies this particular version.
So with that said.. Serve it as a traditional meatloaf or turn it into a BBQ Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf Sandwich.
OR…… Drum Roll, PLEASE……
Yes, I said Cupcakes.. Not the dessert kind.. More like the April Fool’s kind, the creative get your kid to eat kind. Ever noticed kids will eat things they normal wouldn’t if you change the way it looks? (Cutting sandwich into shapes) Children eat with their eyes first, just like adults. Making food kid-friendly is a great way to encourage picky eaters to try new foods. So it just LOOKS like a cupcake. BBQ Bacon Cheddar Meatloaf Cupcake with Mashed Potato Frosting.
Remember the “I hate meatloaf” people? A.K.A – My nephew – Well, he was staying at my house all weekend. The little Hunter tracks the smell of bacon like a hound dog on a deer trail. As soon as it sizzled in the pan he was there.
Nephew: “Whatcha making, Aunt Andrea?”
Nephew: I don’t like meatloaf
Me: You’ve never had this kind. It’s made with BBQ, Bacon, Cheddar…
Nephew: I still don’t like meatloaf
at this point, I wanted to say. YES YOU DO! and you are going to eat it! But the sneaky chef in me just stopped debating and trying to convince him he would like it. I simple replied “OK” and let him walk away.
Now, If I served a slice of meatloaf he would hate it before taking the first bite, so I didn’t tell my children what I was doing when I was making these. My daughter walked in the kitchen and saw me putting mashed potatoes into a piping bag. I could see the curiosity in her eyes, but she didn’t say anything.. Until I starting piping the potatoes onto what looked like a cupcake. At this point she said “Why are you putting mashed potatoes on a cupcake? Are you pregnant or something?” After pulling myself back together from the laughter, because 6 children and 4 dogs is not enough, I explained it was meatloaf SHAPED like a cupcake. It was actually dinner, not a dessert.
Long story short, Dinner was a smashing success. My nephew says he LOVES meatloaf…but only Aunt Andrea’s way. I’ll take that.
No leftovers tonight….
Here is a photo of just the meatloaf made into meatloaf form.. Either way, it is delicious and always a crowd favorite…