Cheeseburger meatloaf is the perfect family dinner that oozes with flavor from a juicy meat mixture, melted cheddar cheese, and smothered with BBQ sauce. This is one dinner you will make again and again.
It's so tasty, you'll want to eat weekly, and the prep work is that easy - you can even prepare the meatloaf in advance.
⭐ Why this recipe works
This cheeseburger meatloaf recipe is one of my favorite family dinners to make because it easily caters to large families, the kids love it(extra bonus), and It's easy to prepare.
It's the best meatloaf I have ever tried! The meatloaf is perfectly balanced to keep it nice and moist while still holding firm without falling apart.
Not only is this BBQ bacon cheeseburger meatloaf the juiciest meatloaf on the planet, but it also looks fantastic and tastes precisely like a bacon cheeseburger!
It has an abundance of flavor from the juicy meat mixture made from ground beef, bacon, garlic, onions, and my secret ingredient, Worcestershire sauce, combined with the gooey sharp cheddar cheese center the BBQ glaze on top with crispy onions.
It's so easy to put together that any home chef can make this delicious cheeseburger meatloaf without a fuss. And it pairs well with other recipes like mashed potatoes or mac and cheese.
🍽 Key Ingredients
The key to making an excellent cheeseburger meatloaf comes from the binding part. You need the right ingredients and quantity to get a firm but juicy meatloaf.
- Ground Beef – Make sure it's fresh from the butchers and lean (80% or more). You want the beef to be lean with less fat like beef chuck. It's perfect for this recipe and has an 80/20 ratio.
- Bread Crumbs – The bread crumbs are super important because they bind the meatloaf together.
- Cheddar Cheese – For best results, it's best to buy the block of cheese and grate it yourself. Regular or sharp cheddar cheese melts well, but don't get the extra mature variety.
- BBQ sauce – Half the BBQ sauce is added to the meat mixture for flavor and to keep it moist, and half is used for the glaze.
If you don't have any breadcrumbs to bind the meatloaf mixture, you make some with a food processor and sliced bread. Tear the bread into the food processor and make several pulses until it's fine and resembles bread crumbs.
An alternative if you don't have a food processor is to fill a cup with small pieces of bread and cover it with milk for 5 minutes. The bread will soak the milk. Then add it to the meatloaf mixture.
🔪 How to make
This cheeseburger meatloaf recipe is easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and you can learn how to make it with my easy-to-follow instructions and helpful top tips.
All you need to do is make the meat mixture, form it in the pan, fill it with cheese, and bake topped with BBQ sauce.
- Finely dice the onion and garlic.
- Cut the bacon slices into small pieces.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
Sauté the bacon bits in a skillet until almost crispy, then remove to a plate leaving the bacon grease in the skillet.
Add the onions and garlic until softened, then transfer to a plate to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, bread crumbs, bacon, onions, garlic, half a cup of BBQ sauce, salt, and pepper.
Once the mixture is combined, spread half of it into a 9x5 greased loaf pan.
Make an indentation in the middle to fill with cheddar cheese.
Pack the remaining mixture over the top, pushing down lightly to seal it, and bake for 35-40.
Take it out of the oven, brush the remaining BBQ sauce over and sprinkle with crispy onions.
Return it to the oven for another 15-20 minutes. The internal temperature should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit to be perfectly cooked.
Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
💭 Cooking tips
The cheeseburger meatloaf needs to rest for 15 minutes after cooking to allow the juices to settle. It also makes it easier to carve a slice without it falling apart because meatloaf starts to firm as it cools.
Combine the mixture with your hands until it comes together in a ball, then stop mixing. If you mix it too much, it will become too dense.
Check the internal temperature.
Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatloaf after 45 minutes of cooking. You don't want the temperature to go above 160 degrees Fahrenheit, or it will become dry.
Baking the cheeseburger meatloaf
If you don't have a loaf pan to form the meatloaf, you can use a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to lay the meatloaf mixture on, then form it into a boat shape, place the cheese in the middle, and encase it with the remaining meatloaf mixture.
📖 Recipe Variations
Try these three delicious variations using the same recipe.
Cheeseburger meatloaf with oatmeal
Switch up the breadcrumbs for oatmeal (1:1 ratio). Oats are a binder in many meatball and burger recipes and provide the right texture and moisture for a juicy meatloaf.
Turkey cheeseburger meatloaf
Not a fan of beef? Use Turkey! Using ground turkey instead of beef tastes just as delicious and juicer. Cook the turkey meatloaf to 167 degrees Celsius for best results.
Bacon-wrapped BBQ meatloaf
This variation is full of deliciously crispy bacon slices covering the juicy meatloaf. The only difference is that bacon-wrapped meatloaf doesn't have cheese in the center, but you can add it if you want.
🥗 What to serve with
Cheeseburger meatloaf is the best comfort food served with crispy roast potatoes or mashed potatoes. It even goes well with cheesy pasta dishes and veggies. Here are some of my favs to serve with a juicy slice of meatloaf.
Mac N cheese
When it comes to pasta and cheese recipes, the only recipe I'm choosing is the best mac and cheese. This recipe is oozing with melted sharp cheddar cheese and a creamy béchamel sauce that pairs well with a slice of cheeseburger meatloaf.
Crispy bacon & cabbage
This light side dish always makes an appearance at my dinner table with meat dishes. Southern-style fried cabbage is an easy side dish cooked in one skillet, and it's got tons of flavor from the secret spices.
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best hamburger for meatloaf?
Ground chuck beef is the best meat for meatloaf. It's lean with just the right fat content to keep it moist and slightly firm.
What causes meatloaf to fall apart?
If your meatloaf is falling apart, it could be caused by the ratio of breadcrumbs, eggs, and meat. Make sure to follow the recipe quantities for a firm and moist meatloaf. Other reasons can be because the meatloaf mixture wasn't mixed enough, or it is overcooked.
What is the best binder for meatloaf?
Breadcrumbs are the best binding agent for meatloaf, although you can use oatmeal or soak bread pieces in a cup with milk to use for binding.
🍳 Related recipes
If you love my bacon cheeseburger meatloaf recipe. Try one of these fantastic ground beef recipes for your next lunch or dinner.
🧊Storing and ♨️Reheating
This bacon cheeseburger meatloaf recipe is perfect for storing and reheating leftovers.
Fridge - Transfer any leftover cheeseburger meatloaf to an airtight container and place it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezer - You can freeze leftover meatloaf in freezer bags or an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheating - Usually, I never like to use the microwave for reheating foods, as they become soggy. However, with meatloaf, it's best to reheat it in the microwave for 1 minute, or you can reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes, but it becomes slightly dryer.
👪 Serving Size
You can easily get 6 or more servings with this cheeseburger meatloaf recipe, or you can scale it and make 2 of them for larger families. I usually make two and freeze one for the next meatloaf night.
The jury is out on whether ketchup and mustard glaze is better than BBQ, but I will let you decide after trying this irresistible BBQ bacon cheeseburger meatloaf.
🎥 Watch how to make it
When it comes to bacon, cooking it can be messy. Learn how to bake bacon perfectly every time without making a mess. Just pop it in the oven and walk away, super easy!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.
Try one of my comfort dinner recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf
- ½ pound bacon - chopped
- 1 small onion - chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 lb ground beef - lean
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper - to taste
- 1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup BBQ sauce - divided
- 2 cups cheddar cheese - shredded
- Preheat oven to 350° F, spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium pan, cook the bacon until almost crispy, then remove to drain on a plate.
- Cook the onion and garlic in the bacon grease until softened, then also remove to a plate to cool.
- Put the ground beef in a large mixing bowl, add the eggs, salt and pepper, worchestershire, dijon, bread crumbs, the bacon, onions, garlic and about ⅔ of the bbq sauce. Mix together well until completely combined, then spread about ½ of the mixture into the bottom of the loaf pan. Make an indentation in the middle of the beef leaving a 1 inch rim of meat all around. Fill it with the cheddar, then pack the remaining meat over the top, pushing down lightly to seal.
- Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes, then remove and brush on the remaining bbq sauce. Return to the oven for another 15 - 20 minutes, or until no longer pink - an instant read thermometer should read 160° F.
- Let it rest for about 10 - 15 minutes, then slice and serve.