Bobby’s Lighter Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

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By Bobby Deen

277 Fewer Calories
27 g Less Fat


3 slices whole-wheat bread, torn
1/4 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 (20.8-ounce) package ground turkey or chicken
1/2 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese
4 slices reduced-fat center-cut bacon
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
2 tablespoons French fried onions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a broiler pan with foil and lightly spray the foil with nonstick spray.

Combine the bread and milk in a large bowl; let stand 10 minutes to soften. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, 5 – 7 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat; let cool slightly.

Add the mushroom mixture, turkey, cheese, bacon, bread crumbs, egg, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt to the bread mixture. Toss gently to combine. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup and mustard. Stir 1/4 cup ketchup mixture into meat mixture. Shape into a loaf and place on the pan. Spread the remaining ketchup mixture over the loaf. Bake 40 minutes. Top with French fried onions. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 160°F, 10 – 15 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Cut into 12 slices.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 6 servings

Per Serving (2 slices) 245 Cal (21% from Fat, 46% from Protein, 32% from Carb); 29 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 2 g Mono Fat; 20 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 7 g Sugar; 163 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 806 mg Sodium; 93 mg Cholesterol

Original recipe courtesy Paula Deen: Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf
Lightened Up recipe courtesy of Bobby Deen and the Paula Deen Test Kitchen

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Reader Comments:


This recipe is definately a keeper!! We saw Bobby make this on his show a few weeks ago and hubby wanted to try it. (You know this means-Hey why don't YOU make it!) Anyway-I was a bit apprehensive because of the veggies and the turkey. But the texture and taste was perfect! Much better than the one I made a few weeks ago using the red-headed pioneer woman! You will not be disappointed!!!

By donna on January 16, 2013


This is a great recipe!!! I have been searching for a great meatloaf recipe and I have found it. We saw Bobby prepare it a few weeks ago on his show-my hubby suggested we try it. I was a bit apprehensive bc of the turkey and veggies, but it comes together perfectly and is DELISH!! I cooked it last night,trying to get a head start on supper tonight. I had to run the hubby out of the kitchen so he would not devour it on the spot!! Much better than the recipe I tried last week from the "red-head on the cattle ranch!" You will not be disappointed!!

By donna on January 16, 2013


Do you cook the bacon before adding it to the mixture or do you add it raw? Do you slice it or add it whole? Thanks smile

By Anonymous on June 24, 2012


i love,love love you paula.. iwatch you on tv every chance i network,rachel ray, your sons too..their good looks dont hurt married 24 of 26yr.old daughter,22 yr,old son ,17 yr.old son grandma of aiden[my 1st so far]heathers son..21/2]. i also found granted wishes on your page n got rply letter.have to send it back yet..i have stage 4 cancer n have had 2 major surgeries..2nd one i almost didnt live through..i also shattered my hip 4 yrs ago at work..i have always worked in bakeries,,so did my dad..miss him.. love your page n get recipes often. im going to try this bacon n cheese meatloaf..maybe the boys will like it...ill let ya know<3

By cindy olson on August 13, 2011


My son always raves about my daughter-in-laws meatloaf. We call her "our little Paula Deen". She made this recipe for us one night and believe is to die for...It tastes great. It is the best Meatloaf I have ever had. I give it 100 stars...Dorothy Lindsay

By Anonymous on November 10, 2010


By Anonymous on April 06, 2010

Hi Bobby,

I think your version is much healthier than your mom’s.  However, as I do my best to cook gluten free, with little cow’s dairy, no refined sugar.

The bread I typically use is a sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel bread.  I’d use this over the wheat.  Replace the low-fat milk with light coconut milk, and instead of the Canola oil, replace with coconut oil.  Coconut oil heats well as well as has a lot of medicinal uses.

Use sea salt instead of salt.  The poultry would be organic, free-range poultry.  I’d use fat-free feta for a different taste and is tastier than mozzarella. 

Pork bacon has a lot of nitrites, which aren’t good for you.  Applegate Farms make a good turkey bacon that is nitrite free and is delicious. 

Use gluten free ketchup & corn free ketchup and mustard.  For the fried onions, I’d probably bake thinly sliced onions that have been sprayed with olive oil or brushed with coconut oil.  Then, I’d sprinkle with psyllium husk, which gives it plenty of fiber.

By Doris W on December 05, 2010

I love turkey meatloaf.  this recipe sounds delish!  I’ll bet it will be good with venison too!  Healthy!

By Susan Ayers on March 11, 2010

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Paula, I love watching you and your family. I miss seeing your show, I watched you everyday. My son lives in Charleston S.C. He took me to the Lady & Sons to eat. Oh my goodness! People are always telling me that I look just like the cooking lady Paula Deen. I always tell them that you are my hero. May God Bless You Mary Ann
Mary Ann Tharp in A Summer of Burgers on August 15, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Add a few spoonfuls of parmesan cheese to the flour and cornmeal breading and it kicks the tomatoes up another notch. Bev
in Crispy Fried Green Tomatoes on August 15, 2014 at 10:33 am

I just bought Paula's Peach Salad Dressing and wondered if anyone has a good recipe that they use it in?
Melissa in Taste Testing 101 on August 13, 2014 at 8:36 am

Congrats Bobby. Loved the family picture miss you Paula on TV will be watching online. Jack is getting big. Looks like his mom but Matt aka moose has your face. Your eyes cheeks hair even falls to his face like yours except to the left. Good luck on your next venture. You give us other 60+ yr women strength to move on. Keep up the good work.
Carol Bryant in Love at Last on August 11, 2014 at 6:12 pm