Ok, let me level with you: December was rough. I ate my way through the entire month, eating Christmas cookies like it was my job, and downing bottles of good red wine to wash down all the sugar. But…I loved EVERY MINUTE OF IT. How can you not? It’s the one month where everyone is eating and drinking and being merry! Then, we enter January. Cold, bleak, grey January. Where everyone posts about “New Year, New Me” and how to “re-start, re-charge, re-ignite your soul”. January is the perfect month to get back into routine because everyone else around you is having the same mindset, so we might as well go with the flow and start our new diet fads and do Sober January (let me take a moment of silence for the participants of such a saddening event).
To kick off the new year I wanted to share the coziest, best comfort meal: Bacon Wrapped MINI Meatloaf. Look, if you grew up having a bad experience with meatloaf I am 100% with you…something about the word “loaf” and “meat” in one word, paired with baking a loaf of meat sounds unappetizing to say the least. However, having a smaller option that’s wrapped with bacon makes these little guys juicy, flavorful, and delicious.
P R E P
My favorite kind of meals are the ones that require little to no prep. Once you cook the onion and garlic, it’s pretty much a done deal after creating little loaves. The longest part of this entire process is the cooking time: give yourself an hour at least because we will be cooking these at a slow pace to keep from burning and drying out. It’s ALL worth the wait!
What you’ll need
- A cookie sheet, lined with foil.
- 1 medium-sized saute pan.
- 1 large bowl.
- 1 small bowl.
- Toothpicks (optional).
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil OR butter. If you want a healthier route, use olive oil.
- 1 medium sized yellow onion, diced.
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped.
- 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef.
- 1 egg.
- 1 cup of breadcrumbs.
- 1 cup of milk. I used 2%, I’d recommend this over skim milk since it’ll make the consistency more thick and hold the meat better.
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced.
- 6 slices of bacon. Get thick, big pieces–you’ll want this to wrap ALL the way around your little loaves.
- 1/2 cup of ketchup.
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
- 1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard.
- 1/2 cup of fried onion pieces.
Total Prep Time: 10 minutes.
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Servings: 6 mini loaves.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and place out your cookie sheet w/ foil.
- Either melt butter or add olive oil to your saute pan. Add onions and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and saute until fragrant (1-2 minutes max). Remove from heat.
- In your large bowl, combine the onion/garlic mixture, the meat, the egg, breadcrumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and jalapeno. I’d recommend combining this with your hands so that you don’t over-work the meat–gently mix until the ingredients are combined.
- Using your hands, create 6 disc-like, mini portions and place onto cookie sheet.
- Take each slice of bacon, and wrap tightly around each disc. If you want to use toothpicks, you can place them at the ends to hold them tighter (the bacon will start to shrink and sometimes will pull away from the meat while cooking).
- Take your small bowl and combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard. Using a spoon, spread mixture evenly on all 6 portions.
- Sprinkle tops generously with fried onions.
- Place in oven and bake for 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. The bacon should be crispy–don’t be alarmed if the foil gets a little burnt at the bottom, the juices from the bacon will make it look burnt.
- Serve warm and with your favorite side!
POST COOKING NOTES
- I was very hesitant when I made these because I’ve never been a huge meatloaf fan. You couldn’t pay me to order it at a restaurant, and the idea of making it for dinner wasn’t ideal, nor was it on my priority list. BUT tell me there’s bacon and that peaks my interest! These were so easy and the flavor was a pleasant surprise. What’s better? These are great as leftovers and can easily be re-heated.
- To reheat: I’ve never been a fan of microwaving leftovers, so I’d recommend putting your oven to 250 degrees and placing your mini guys for 15-20 minutes until it’s warmed through. Be sure not to overcook!
- To store: airtight container, for up to 3 days.
Can’t wait to hear what you think! Follow me @basickneadss (TWO s’) for more fun and easy recipes!