Bobby’s Lighter Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

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Bobby’s Lighter Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

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

Bobby Deen is the younger son of celebrity chef Paula Deen. Like older brother Jamie, the Savannah resident has helped shape the Deen media empire with a series of highly successful commercial collaborations, ranging from three best selling cookbooks to the series Road Tasted on the Food Network, and the award winning Lady and Sons Restaurant in Savannah. On a personal side, he was also named one of People Magazine’s Most Eligible Bachelors in 2007.

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Reader Comments:


Thank you Bobby, your mom uses a lot of butter and fats in her dishes because it is hers; however you are making adjustments for healthier living which is for today. Thank you for making lighter dishbes. I was especially interested in the lighter blue berry muffins as they are usually filled with fat. I suggest on your site that you enable printing of the recipes onto 4x6 receipe cards to fit my recipe file. Thank you. Congratulations to your mom for being Grand Marshall of the Rose Bowl Parade she looked beautiful in the pink warm up like shawl. An elegant Southern Lady. God bless, Mary Anne Maxwell

By Mary Anne Maxwell on January 12, 2011


By Mary Anne Maxwell on January 12, 2011

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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