BBQ Meatloaf. Different than the traditional ketchup glazed version. Using from scratch ingredients. This is a quick, easy and delicious recipe that relies on freshly grated onion, flavored breadcrumbs and BBQ sauce to make it ‘next level.’ Eat as part of a weeknight meal and be sure to save some of it for sliders the next day! This is comfort food at its best!
This BBQ Meatloaf recipe has all the flavor of one made with Lipton onion soup mix. What it does not have is the presence of Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate or other additives. Using BBQ sauce and not ketchup is a welcome alternative.
Straightforward pantry ingredients:
- Fresh ground beef. I used grass fed, 93% lean ground beef.
- Large onion.
- Flavored breadcrumbs.
- BBQ sauce, I used an organic, low sugar brand.
- Whole egg.
- Salt and pepper.
Peel and grate the onion, using a hand grater or food processor.
Add the breadcrumbs to the ingredients and mix.
Add the beef, cracked egg, grated onion, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix together.
Form the meatloaf into a rectangle, using a spatula to create smooth sides and top. Finally, brush with BBQ sauce.
Once glazed with BBQ sauce, cover loosely with foil and put the Meatloaf into a 350 degree F oven for about an hour or until a thermometer reaches 160 degrees F.
Flexibility with Ingredients
- Tomato ketchup can of course be used instead of BBQ sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce can also be added for additional flavor, about 1 tsp.
- Crackers, cooked rice and oatmeal can be a substitute for the breadcrumbs. However, I like using flavored breadcrumbs.
- Dried minced onions can be used in a pinch, but nothing beats the flavor of fresh onion, especially when grated. Grated onion makes it undetectable for picky eaters. Grating it rather than chopping, is faster and easier. Smaller pieces of onion (think flavor) are produced which spread more evenly throughout the meatloaf mixture.
- Other meats can be used such as pork, chicken or turkey. This will of course change the flavor profile and nutritional value of the meatloaf.
Uses for BBQ Meatloaf
BBQ Meatloaf can be used any day of the week for lunch or dinner. Typically served with a potato dish (mashed, fried or roasted) and green beans, this dish has become an American classic. You can of course serve it with whatever side dish you choose. I recommend serving it with Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish, this recipe pairs well with any beef dish.
Reserve some for Meatloaf sliders. These are a great way to use BBQ Meatloaf and sure to satisfy anyone’s appetite.
A Silpat mat and digital thermometer make this recipe easier, but they are not necessary. Using a baking tray lined with parchment paper will work instead.
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Meatloaf stores well in a well sealed container for 3-5 days. This enables it to be made ahead of time. Microwave individual slices or reheat the entire loaf in a 350 Degree F oven for about 20 minutes. Test the temperature by using a thin bladed knife and placing it into the center of the loaf. If the blade is hot to the touch, the meatloaf is ready. Cover the meatloaf with foil. This will prevent it from drying out.
Freeze cooked or raw meatloaf in a well sealed container for up to 3-4 months. Defrost in the refrigerator. If raw, cook the BBQ Meatloaf as specified in the recipe. If cooked then follow the reheating directions above.
A Tip From Me
Cook meatloaf in an open sheet pan as opposed to a loaf pan. The benefit of this is that surplus fat drains away from the meat, making it less greasy. If using a really lean ground beef, the goal is to maintain as much of the fat (fat = moisture) as possible. The breadcrumbs help catch the fat.
Double the recipe and make one meatloaf for dinner and freeze the other one for sliders for another time.
I’ve got answers – hopefully!
- Why is my BBQ meatloaf dry? Having the right balance of lean meat and breadcrumbs is important. If you decide to omit the breadcrumbs, the fat will be released and the meatloaf will end up being dry. Follow this recipe and the meatloaf will not be dry. Covering the meatloaf with foil when it cooks also helps.
- Is the egg necessary? The egg is needed to help bind the meat, seasonings, onion and breadcrumbs together.
- Is this gluten free? With the presence of regular breadcrumbs – no, it is not gluten free. Substitute these breadcrumbs with GF ones or GF oatmeal instead.
- If I want to add bacon, where would it go? Bacon is usually draped over the top of the meatloaf. Adding it provides more flavor (and fat.) Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking to crisp the bacon.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 onion large
- 1 egg
- 5 oz breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Peel the onion, then grate it using a hand grater or food processor.
- Add the ground beef, cracked egg, grated onion, salt and pepper to a bowl and mix together.
- Add the breadcrumbs to the ingredients and mix.
- Transfer the meatloaf mixture onto a sheet pan lined with a silpat mat. Form the meatloaf into a rectangle, using a spatula to form straight sides and top. Finally, brush with BBQ sauce.
- Once glazed with BBQ sauce, cover with foil and put the meatloaf into a 350 degree F oven for about an hour or until a thermometer reaches 160 degrees F.