‘The Pioneer Woman’ Meatloaf Recipe: Ree Drummond Tops Favorite Comfort Food With Bacon and a Unique Sauce

You can’t beat the classic comfort foods and Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman meatloaf recipe delivers. Her homey traditional meatloaf is wrapped in bacon and adds a tasty twist to the usual ketchup topping. Find out how Drummond spices up her meatloaf recipe in the most delicious way.

'The Pioneer Woman' Ree Drummond on Today show
‘The Pioneer Woman’ star Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/Getty Images

The Ree Drummond ‘Pioneer Woman’ meatloaf recipe is a classic

Like most meatloaf recipes, the prep for the Pioneer Woman meatloaf is fairly easy, although a bit messy because you need to combine the ingredients with your hands. (The recipe can be found on The Food Network website.)

Meatloaf ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 white bread slices
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt, such as Lawry’s
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 8 to 12 thin bacon slices

Sauce ingredients

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Dash or 2 hot sauce (more if you like)
  • Dash or 2 Worcestershire sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

On her Pioneer Woman cooking show, Drummond explained that she skips crusty Italian bread in favor of plain old white sandwich bread. “This is going to give the meatloaf a wonderful texture and a fabulous taste,” she shared.

While the bread soaks, season the ground beef with salt, pepper, seasoned salt, parmesan cheese, eggs, and parsley. Add the soaked bread to the bowl and use your hands to combine all of the ingredients.

Take the meat mixture and form it into a loaf shape on a broiler pan with the bottom section lined with foil. Drummond explained why she uses a broiler pan to cook her meatloaf. “That way, as the meatloaf cooks, it won’t sit in grease,” the Food Network star noted.

Drummond recommended using “really thin-sliced bacon” that is placed over the top of the meatloaf and tucked underneath it. “And when I tuck them, I use that as an opportunity to pull it a little bit taut to plump the meatloaf a little bit and then the bacon will sort of keep the meatloaf in shape and prevent it from spreading too far,” Drummond explained.

Stir the sauce ingredients together (ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce) until combined and pour a third of the sauce on top of the meatloaf. Bake the meatloaf for 45 minutes, then add another third of the sauce on top and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s no longer pink in the middle.

Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes before serving. The remaining sauce can be used for dipping.

RELATED: ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond’s Easy Fudge Recipe Is Foolproof and Only Has 2 Ingredients

Drummond’s meatloaf recipe gets high marks as 1 of the best

Drummond’s bacon meatloaf recipe got plenty of praise from The Kitchn editors, who weren’t initially impressed by the idea of adding bacon but found it to be the perfect addition.

“The bacon not only imparted some signature smoky flavor, but it also prevented the meatloaf from drying out, resulting in the moistest meatloaf of all the recipes I tested,” the writer explained in a 2019 post.

The writer rated the meatloaf a 10/10 “on flavor alone” but deducted a couple of points only because it “didn’t hit that nostalgic note I crave in a meatloaf.”