This BBQ meatloaf recipe is so easy and so good. For this meatloaf with BBQ sauce, we use a simple, classic BBQ meatloaf recipe, and we keep things even simpler by simply topping the meatloaf with store bought sauce. There's no extra pan or extra cooking required!
Originally, I learned to make meatloaf from my grandmother and over the years her recipe has become the one I will be sharing with you today. She never measured anything so this BBQ meatloaf recipe is as close as I can get to recreating her magic.
My grandmother lived on a farm and had lots of fresh ground beef that needed using. This was one of her favorite ways to use ground beef! She started making her meatloaf with ketchup and later ketchup and mustard.
A while later she started using barbecue sauce and it was a game-changer as far as she was concerned. And of course she was right. As always. No surprises there.
She taught me her BBQ meatloaf recipe and I even remember getting my hands dirty, standing on a chair to reach the counter, mixing the ground beef to make this meatloaf BBQ recipe.
We have been making this exact meatloaf recipe with BBQ sauce for years. I always figured everyone already had their own easy BBQ meatloaf recipe so I figured why bother sharing this one. Until recently, that is.
I was asked for the best meatloaf recipe with BBQ sauce and I happily passed it along. After hearing rave reviews I was scolded for not publishing it sooner. So here it is!
Hopefully, you enjoy it as much as we all do.
BBQ Meatloaf Recipe
Sometimes we use a ground beef and pork blend but more often than not just plain old ground beef. We rarely have leftovers from this easy ground beef dinner and it seems to disappear lightning fast.
You'll understand once you try it. All it takes is just one bite and you'll be hooked.
Sounds funny being excited about meatloaf but this simple recipe is just that good. The right amount of barbecue flavor and the correct (perfect) amount of cheese.
What could be better than that? I can't wait to hear what you think in the comment section below.
History of Meatloaf
Meatloaf has a pretty interesting history. This history is also a bit contested because depending on what you consider meatloaf to be derived from, it could either have fifth-century origins, or it could be only a couple hundred years old.
At any rate, meatloaf is definitely an American standard dish, but like many so-called American dishes, it may have originated in Europe as far back as medieval times.
The medieval precursor to meatloaf had its roots in ancient Rome, where a recipe for a meatloaf of minced meat was mentioned in the fifth century. Later, "medieval meatloaf," a traditional German, Scandinavian, and Belgian dish and cousin to Dutch meatballs, was eaten while spectators watched jousts and ate soup from a bowl with a handle. They were also scooping up handfuls of meat and nuts, and whatever else was lying around.
The North American version of meatloaf that we know today is a variation of scrapple, a mixture of ground pork and cornmeal brought to Pennsylvania by German immigrants, during colonial times. Scrapple is a derivative of the medieval meatloaf. Over time, scrapple spread and evolved to become the meatloaf that we know today.
Centuries of casserole dishes later, meatloaf eventually evolved into what we recognize today. It’s always been a great way to reuse leftovers, so the spirit of its medieval origins is valid, whether that original scrap heap is a clear meatloaf prototype or not.
Of course, feeding your family scraps is economical, which is why it probably rose in popularity during the depression, but the recipe had since been fine-tuned. It was developed as a way to further stretch out the uses of meat and take advantage of cheaper cuts. However, the first use of starch and beef together in a meatloaf-like dish came from the colonial period in US History.
This BBQ meatloaf recipe is the perfect combination of delicious flavor and simple instructions. Ground beef is combined with common ingredients like onions, garlic, cheese, and bread crumbs to create a classic meatloaf base that's tender, juicy, and oh so good.
This most humble of recipes is a classic for a reason, and every bite taken shows you exactly why. Once you learn how to make BBQ meatloaf, you're empowered to start making a feast for the family that sticks to the bones but doesn't have you stuck in the kitchen for hours on end. It's a total win win!
BBQ Meatloaf Ingredients
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this delicious BBQ meatloaf recipe. Like almost all of the recipes I showcase here, you'll probably find almost everything you need to make this meatloaf with BBQ sauce in your kitchen right now. In fact, you'll probably only have to buy ground beef. Everything else on the list is stocked in almost everyone's kitchen. Here's what you'll need.
- Ground beef
- Barbecue sauce
- Plain bread crumbs
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Ground Pepper Black
How to Make BBQ Meatloaf
Making this meatloaf with BBQ sauce is even easier than gathering the ingredients. It's simply a matter of mixing and baking. That's all there is to it!
You'll find the complete recipe along with amounts in the recipe card below, but the overview below will show you exactly how easy it is to make. In fact, it's almost the entire recipe!
- Mix ground beef, cheese, bread crumbs, onion, egg, bbq sauce, and seasonings in a large bowl until combined
- Shape into a loaf on a shallow baking pan and pour BBQ sauce over the top
- Bake until cooked through
- Let stand for five minutes
One of the great things about meatloaf is that you can switch it up by changing just a couple of ingredients. See, a simple recipe like this is perfect for experimentation because of its basic ingredients. It's easy to change a few things and see what happens!
Also take a moment and check out our favorite meatloaf pan. I think you'll be glad you did. Makes serving so much easier.
Change the Meat
Meatloaf is literally a loaf of meat, so you can feel free to try different kinds of pork and beef in this recipe.
Consider a combination of ground pork and beef. Try adding Italian sausage. You could even add something like chicken liver and heart to the mixture to add even more depth of flavor.
The point is that with a recipe like this, the sky's the limit. For a healthier option, you can even use ground chicken or turkey.
Change the Sauce
This BBQ meatloaf recipe uses barbecue sauce in the loaf and as the topping, but you can change the sauce to be anything you like. There are tons of options out there. Of course, BBQ is the simplest choice, but you can also make a simple sauce on the stovetop that only takes a few minutes.
For example, I like to take ketchup, blackstrap molasses, brown sugar, and a little minced onion and garlic, heat it up to bubbling on the stove, and add that to my meatloaf. There are so many kinds of sauces you can use out there!
If you've never tried adding vegetables to your meatloaf, give it a whirl! Finely diced vegetables are a great addition to any meatloaf recipe.
Try adding things like diced bell peppers, carrots, and celery. You can also add spinach to your meatloaf, too. It's delicious, and it's a super healthy addition to your meatloaf.
Serving BBQ Meatloaf
BBQ cheddar meatloaf is easy to serve. Just slice it up and serve it on a plate! That's all there is to it. It's delicious and super easy to make. It's the perfect weeknight dish. It also travels well, so is great to bring to a potluck or to serve on the table for special get-togethers.
Meatloaf with BBQ sauce instead of ketchup (or with, if you prefer) is simple but welcome at any table, which is the perfect combination.
This is a classic recipe, and it's best served with traditional sides. Some of my favorites for this delicious meatloaf with BBQ sauce include:
Pretty much ANY vegetable you like!
How to Store BBQ Meatloaf
This BBQ meatloaf recipe is easy to make and delicious. You know what else it is? Easy to store. Honestly, meatloaf is one of the easiest things in the world to store. You can keep it in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator.
For longer storage, you can freeze BBQ pork meatloaf or beef meatloaf for up to four months. To freeze, simply chill it in the refrigerator, then wrap it in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. To defrost the meatloaf, place the container in water and let it sit for an hour. Then, slice the semi-frozen meatloaf and heat it up in a microwave oven.
BBQ Meatloaf Video
Best Meatloaf Recipe with BBQ Sauce
This meatloaf with BBQ sauce is a super simple, extra delicious recipe that everyone loves. This classic family dinner comes together in no time, making it ideal for even the busiest weeknights. It's a great weekend meal too.
With classic flavors and easy prep, it's a definite winner that I know you and your family will love. Give this BBQ meatloaf recipe a try and get ready to see everyone coming back for seconds.
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- Get out and measure all of your ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place your ground beef and shredded cheese in a large bowl.
- Add bread crumbs, onion, egg, sauce and seasonings too.
- Stir until combined. Do not over mix.
- Shape into a loaf on shallow baking pan.
- Pour barbecue sauce over top.
- Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with Potatoes or rice and a vegetable.
- Enjoy every bite!