Forget the dry meatloaf of childhood. This Barbecue Turkey Bacon Meatloaf is filled with big, bold flavors — and a delight to eat.
The meatloaf of my childhood was plain, dry, shaped like a loaf and bathed in something red — tomato paste? Ketchup? Both? I can’t recall. But I can recall how much I dreaded meatloaf night.
It was many, many years before I gave meatloaf another shot. In fact, it wasn’t until I was working on a photography project for a client that I made it myself.
Why did I wait so long? Seriously. Why?
As it was cooking, I salivated. And when it was done, I surprised myself by how much I wanted to try it.
It was good. So good.
Since then, I have reconsidered meatloaf.
Meatloaf doesn’t have to be plain or dry. It doesn’t have to be basic or boring. In fact, it can be absolutely amazing.
File this version under: absolutely amazing.
Made with ground turkey, turkey bacon, onion, red pepper and seasonings, this ramped up modern version is beloved by my children and myself. It’s dotted with onions, red pepper and bacon, and flavored with barbecue.
But, perhaps even better, Barbecue Turkey Bacon Meatloaf is also richly flavored and easy to make.
Score one for modern meatloaf.
If you’ve been avoiding meatloaf for similar reasons as I did, I don’t blame you. Not one bit. But I urge you to give it another try. While you might not have loved it as a kid, you might find that with a different mix of ingredients and prep, it can actually be delightful.
Or you might just discover that Barbecue Turkey Bacon Meatloaf is delightful. Really, this isn’t that different than veggies. If all you had was boiled or canned veggies as a kid, you might have not loved them. But finding other ways of preparing them — such as roasting Brussels sprouts or sauteing asparagus — might just have changed your mind.
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 6 slices turkey bacon, chopped
- ¾ cup diced onions
- ¾ cup diced red bell pepper
- ¾ cup oats
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp barbecue sauce, plus ¼ cup, divided
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil spray or line with nonstick aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, stir together the ground turkey, turkey bacon, onions, red bell pepper, oats, Worcestershire sauce, 3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce, salt and pepper until well combined. Turn the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and form a loaf, about 1-inch thick.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until well browned on the outside. Brush the meatloaf with the remaining ¼ cup of barbecue sauce. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
- Let cool slightly before slicing and serving.