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Sheet Pan Meatloaf
- For the meatloaf: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a half-sheet pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, which will absorb the juices during cooking.
- Pour the milk over the bread in a bowl and allow it to soak up the milk. Place the ground beef, milk-soaked bread, Parmesan, seasoned salt, parsley and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the eggs. With clean hands, mix the ingredients until well combined.
- Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared sheet pan, spreading all the way to the edges and corners.
- Next, make the glaze: Whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl until well combined. Brush the mixture evenly over the top of the meatloaf. Sprinkle with the bacon.
- Bake until the meat is cooked through and slightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, then cut into squares and serve with the mashed potatoes. Garnish with the chopped parsley.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
When done right, meatloaf is absolutely delicious. And you know, I’m not even sure there are many ways to not do meatloaf right. Like, it’s meat. But it certainly can be done better. And wrapping it in bacon and adding a delicious brown sugar ketchup sauce is certainly one way to do that.
The Pioneer Woman figured that one out with her Favorite Meatloaf recipe. Full disclosure… I actually believe my dad figured the whole bacon on meatloaf thing first since he’s been doing it as long as I can remember.
But for the purposes of this post and considering where the recipe is from, I’ll give all the credit to The Pioneer Woman.
This meatloaf has all the typical meatloaf ingredients in it… Plus a couple extras! Here’s what you need:
- Whole milk
- White bread
- Ground beef
- Parmesan cheese
And for the brown sugar ketchup sauce (which you DEFINITELY need to make), you’ll need:
- Brown sugar
- Dry mustard
- Tabasco sauce
What To Serve With Pioneer Woman Meatloaf?
- Popeyes Cajun Fries
- Steamed Broccoli
- Pasta Salad with Broccoli
- Broccoli Tots
- Beef And Broccoli
- Skillet Glazed Carrots
- Broccoli Salad
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Longhorn Broccoli
- Onion Rings
- Roasted Red Potatoes
- Crockpot Cabbage
- Cauliflower Fried Rice
- Vermicelli Rice
- Black Bean Salad
HOW TO MAKE BROWN SUGAR KETCHUP SAUCE
This part is easy – just add ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and tabasco sauce in a mixing bowl and stir.
This is the delicious sauce you’ll use to smother the meatloaf.
Yup, the Pioneer Woman’s meatloaf is good. Really, good. I think it’s a combination of its simplicity, plus the bacon, plus the sauce.
Though it has a couple extra steps when compared to the typical meatloaf, it’s still a really easy process, making this the perfect weeknight dinner.
You basically just put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. You don’t even have to cook the bacon and the sauce also takes less than a minute to make.
And though it definitely doesn’t need anything else, the bacon meatloaf is also kind of a blank slate. You can add whatever you want to it… perhaps some garlic or a little more sweetness. Do you have a favorite meatloaf secret ingredient?
This recipe also makes a lot of meatloaf. Like, you better have some leftovers or else you may have a problem. No judgement, of course. But the only thing better than meatloaf fresh out of the oven on a Sunday evening is a bacon meatloaf sandwich for lunch the next day.
Do You Have To Use A Loaf Pan For Your Pioneer Woman Meatloaf?
Yes, I highly suggest using a loaf pan for the juiciest pioneer woman meatloaf. It cooks more evenly, remains juicier longer since it cooks in its juices, and keeps its form better.
If you are freeform it (i.e. bake it without a loaf pan), the ends and edges will overcook before the center is done. And if it keeps its shape like a block loaf without using a loaf pan, your mixture is much too thick, resulting in a dry pioneer woman meatloaf!
Cooking Times For Pioneer Woman Meatloaf
If you’re preparing half of a Pioneer Woman meatloaf recipe (or more), use the cook times shown below to bake at 350°F. A thermometer is the greatest method to verify that the meatloaf is thoroughly cooked while remaining soft.
- Bake a 1lb pioneer woman meatloaf for about 45 minutes total.
- Bake a 2lb pioneer woman meatloaf for about 55 minutes total.
- Bake a 3 lb pioneer woman meatloaf for about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Can You Make pioneer woman Meatloaf Ahead of Time?
YES ! pioneer woman Meatloaf is an excellent make-ahead meal since it can be prepared and assembled ahead of time. Wrap the prepared bread in foil or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight to bake the following day.
The prepared pioneer woman meatloaf may also be frozen. Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before baking.
How To Reheat Pioneer Woman Meatloaf?
In The Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 250ºF/120ºC.
- On a small shallow plate, place your remaining pioneer woman meatloaf pieces.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon beef broth over each piece.
- Cover the pioneer woman meatloaf dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes in the center of the oven.
In The Microwave:
- Using a microwave-safe dish, place the pioneer woman meatloaf pieces in a single layer.
- A moist kitchen paper/paper towel may be used to cover the plate.
- Reheat the pieces for 1 minute, then gently remove the dish from the microwave and flip the pioneer woman meatloaf over.
- Return the pioneer woman meatloaf dish to the microwave for 1-minute longer, or until it is heated all the way through.
- If it’s not hot enough, return it to the microwave and reheat in 30-second increments at 50% power.
In The Air Fryer:
- Turn the air fryer to 350ºF/175ºC
- Line the air fryer basket with baking paper or parchment paper.
- Spray oil on both sides of your pioneer woman meatloaf pieces.
- Reheat the slices for 4-5 minutes.
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Do Not Overmix: Mix until everything is evenly distributed. A thick loaf will result from over mixing!
- Use Lean Meat: Use just lean beef (but not extra lean). The finest meatloaf combination is 80/20. You want a little fat for taste but not a lot of oil, so lean beef is the best choice.
- Add flavors and moisture: Seasoning the pioneer woman meatloaf and soaking the breadcrumbs in milk ensures that every bite is tasty and juicy.
- Skip the Loaf Pan: Cooking your pioneer woman meatloaf on a baking pan yields the nicest results. If you cook in a loaf pan, you’ll have steam (which no one likes) and no place to put the drippings. On a foil-lined pan, form your loaf.
- Rest the Meatloaf: After removing the pioneer woman meatloaf from the oven, it should be allowed to rest. This helps to disperse the liquids and ensures that it doesn’t fall apart when sliced!
- Brown Sugar Meatloaf Glaze: Combine equal parts brown sugar and ketchup with a sprinkle of cider vinegar instead of chili sauce.
- Brown Gravy: Serve the pioneer woman meatloaf with brown gravy instead of the topping (homemade, leftover, or packaged).