Bacon Cheeseburger Mini-Meatloaves and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes


Update: The Pick a Giveaway Winner plug-in chose MaryG as the winner. MaryG, congratulations! Please email me with your information so the book can be sent right away.

I love cookbooks. I have a lot of cookbooks. As in AH- LAWT of cookbooks. Shelves and shelves and boxes and boxes of cookbooks are mine. Some of them I like more than others, obviously; some of them speak to me.

Not literally, mind you, that’d be crazy.

What I mean is some of them NAIL my way of eating. The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook: Comfort Food with a Twist by Cynthia Kallile is one of those. I have to admit, the cookbook surprised me a little… I honestly didn’t expect to be blown away by -of all things- a meatloaf cookbook. From the moment I pulled the book from the envelope, though, I was hooked. Hardcore.

The cover has tiny little cupcake meatloaves with beautifully piped mashed potatoes and a dusting of paprika, a meatloaf pot pie, ADORABLE little meatloaf appetizers with stars of mashed potatoes, a meatloaf in pastry and something that I couldn’t identify but still wanted to eat. Desperately. (I later found out it was a baked mac-and-cheese with crispy bits.)

The first test of any cookbook, though, is how hungry it makes you when you eat it. Usually, I find that when I flip through a cookbook, I find a handful of recipes appealing with one or two must-makes in the mix. Not this time. This time, I wanted to make every. single. recipe. from the Chili Chili Bang Bang (a chili flavoured meatloaf with beans ground into it baked with cornbread on top) to the Omega-3 Meatloaf (a fresh salmon meatloaf topped with *GASP* wasabi mashed potatoes.) I mean, really… There was an Herby Turkey Meatloaf that momentarily made me rethink my Thanksgiving plans.

Photo Courtesy of The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook by Cynthia Kallile

Let me tell you, it was HARD to narrow down what the first recipe I’d try would be.

This cookbook actually inspired me to drive to the store to get meat so I could make something from it. “Big deal!”, you say? Oh, it IS a big deal. For me, an impulse trip to the store means a half an hour drive in either direction.

I settled on the recipe called “No Buns About It Burger Loaf”. It was, in essence, a bacon cheeseburger meatloaf (with chopped pickle in it!!!!) topped with creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes. Like a dingbat, I forgot to write down the ingredients I needed before I drove to the store, so I did the best I could from memory. I ended up with the crucial stuff (a big old chuck steak to stick through my meat grinder) but blanked on some of the supporting players. I had many fabulous stand-ins at home (for instance, white cheddar vs. the specified yellow cheddar, yogurt vs. the sour cream, and Romano vs. the asked-for asiago/parmesan combo.) so I went ahead anyway.

I didn’t mess around, people. I was confident enough in the recipe after reading it to jump in with both feet and start off with a double  batch. Half of the batch I cooked as directed in greased large muffin tins, the other half I baked in a loaf pan.

The smell of these cooking was enough to drive me to distraction. They smelled like bacon cheeseburgers. I piped mashed potatoes on the little muffin ones when they were done and served them at the dinner table and awaited the reaction.


Locusts have nothing on my family. Those meatloaves disappeared at light speed. That evening was youth group night for my eldest son, so after clearing the dishes and before driving my boy, I wrapped the leftover loaf version of what we had eaten and said, “Honey, don’t eat this. Okay? Please? Eat anything else in the fridge that you’d like, but please leave this. I want to make meatloaf sandwiches tomorrow.” He responded, “No problem!”

Two hours later, I arrived home to find an empty platter with a wadded up piece of plastic wrap and a penitent husband who greeted me at the door with an earnest, “I couldn’t help it! It was so good!”

I will be cooking my way through this cookbook. I honestly didn’t know I was such a nut over meatloaf until I read it. The two of my friends who have thumbed through the book at my house looked at me and asked boldly, “Will you be doing a giveaway of this or should I just buy it now?”

I’ll tell you this, too… At least one of those friends decided she couldn’t wait to see if she would win and went out immediately to buy her own copy.

The good news is I DO have a copy to give away. The good folks at Cynthia Kallile’s publisher have offered me a copy of this fantastic cookbook to give away to one of you. Details on the giveaway are below the recipe.

Bacon Cheeseburger Mini-Meatloaves and Cheesy Mashed Potatoes | {GIVEAWAY]
These mini-meatloaves taste just like a good old-fashioned bacon cheeseburger straight down to the finely diced dill pickle in them! Top them with creamy, Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, a little extra dill pickle and a sprinkling of sesame seeds (instead of a sesame seed bun) and you'll be in seventh meatloaf heaven! Gently adapted from and with thanks to "The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook" by Cynthia Kallile.
For the Bacon Cheeseburger Mini-Meatloaves:
  • ½ pound (8 ounces) bacon, cut crosswise into small slices
  • ¾ cup finely diced cooking onions
  • 1½ pounds ground chuck
  • 1 cup panko or plain white bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • ¼ cup well-drained finely diced dill pickles plus extra for garnish
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup milk, beaten
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ black pepper
  • nonstick cooking spray
For the Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:
  • 8 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • ¼ cup whole milk, warmed in the microwave
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1⅓ cups shredded extra sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded romano cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. Pour off all but about 1 teaspoon of the bacon grease. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until softened. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine the remaining meatloaf ingredients well with your hands in a mixing bowl. Grease 6 large or 12 standard sized non-stick muffin pan. Use your hands to mound the tops of the meatloaves so they're domed.
  4. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes (for the standard sized mini-loaves) to 40 minutes (for the large loaves) or until the middle of the interior of the loaves measures 160°F on an instant read or meat thermometer and the meatloaf tops are browned.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool a couple of minutes before trying to remove the loaves.
  6. When you can handle the pan, unmold the meatloaf cupcakes and set on a cutting board or flat pan to prepare for "frosting" with the mashed potatoes.
To Make the Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:
  1. Cover the peeled and chunked potatoes with cold water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes until they are fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return them to the hot pan. Add the milk, butter, and yogurt to the potatoes and mash until very smooth. Add the shredded cheeses to the hot potatoes and mash that into the potatoes until melted into the potatoes. Taste the potatoes and adjust with salt and pepper. If you're going to pipe the potatoes onto the mini-meatloaves, you want to be sure you don't have chunks as those could block the pastry tip. If you're going to dollop or spread it on top, you don't need to be quite as thorough in eliminating lumps of potato.
To Serve:
  1. Dollop or spread mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf cupcakes ~OR~ insert any large tip into a 12-inch to 14-inch pastry bag. Fill with the hot Cheesy Mashed Potatoes. Be careful as the bag will be hot to the touch! Pipe the potatoes onto the tops of the meatloaf cupcakes. Serve immediately, topped with extra pickles, shredded cheese and a sprinkling of sesame seeds, if desired.
  2. Leftovers, if you have them, can be stored tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and reheated in either the microwave or a moderate oven (350°F.)

Let’s get to some giveaway details, shall we? There are a couple of ways to enter.

Mandatory Entry:

What’s the best meatloaf you’ve ever had? Was it studded with loads of vegetables? Did it use dried onion soup mix? Was it topped with gravy or ketchup? Talk details in a comment below!

Optional Entries (leave a separate comment for each entry to be sure it’s counted!):

A winner will be chosen using the “Pick a Winner” plugin here on Foodie With Family. I will announce our lucky winner on Monday morning. Good luck, folks, this is a serious keeper of a cookbook!!!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the cookbook for review and a copy is being provided by Adams Media for the purposes of the giveaway, but all opinions are my own.


    • says

      My mother-in-law makes a classic meatloaf that’s tender without being bready, and even better cold in sandwiches. I’ve tried to recreate it without success (unlike hers, mine’s always greasy).

  1. Sarah says

    I love meatloaf with veggies! My mother-in-law’s is probably my favorite–she adds grated carrots and green peppers, and it’s so tasty.

  2. CathyO says

    I made my best meatloaf last night. The glaze that I put on top included some confetti jelly that I made with scotch bonnet peppers instead of habaneros. My husband loved it so much he was telling everyone he saw this morning about it.

  3. KG says

    I love my mom’s meatloaf, but my favorite way to eat it is with indecent amounts of ketchup or barbecue sauce on top. :)

    I have to ask – am I missing it, or is there not a meat amount listed in the recipe?

  4. Danielle says

    My family’s favorite meatloaf (so far) is from the America’s Test Kitchen American Classics cookbook. If only they knew that it has oats and yogurt in it . . .

  5. Kelly Losch says

    I love meatloaf of all kinds and never seem to make the same one twice. However, one of my favourites is the Barefoot Contessa Turkey Meatloaf….Yum.

  6. Kristina N. says

    My favorite meatloaf is one my aunt used to make when I was little. I have no idea what was in it, but I remember the top was ketchup based.

  7. Sue Zabritski says

    This is a VERY simple recipe, but also surprisingly good and easy to make with stuff on hand.

    lean ground turkey (i use the 20oz package)
    1 can vegetable soup
    dash worcheshire (or however it’s spelled)
    1 egg
    breadcrumbs…enough to bind
    ketchup for the top

    mix well – don’t dilute the soup. bake 400 degrees
    for about 1 hour.

  8. says

    My favorite meat loaf is any kind that doesn’t taste like meat loaf! Any of the non-traditional types are good, particularly a “Chicken Parm Loaf” I had once. Oh, and the ham loaves of my childhood!

  9. kate C. says

    Don’t hate me, but my fav meatloaf actually doesn’t have any meat in it… :) I’m not vegetarian, but that’s just my favorite one so far, until I win this book, I’m sure.

  10. says

    My favorite meatloaf so far is David Venable’s from QVC. It has onion soup in it, with a mashed potato top and brown gravy.. Different than my normal red one. A close second is Paula Deen’s which has chopped tomatoes in it, and a glaze of mustard and ketchup…. Thanks for the chance to win. I will try this recipe for sure.

  11. says

    The best meatloaf I’ve had (and it’s probably just because I haven’t had much – YET!) was in my college dorm cafeteria. The cafeteria folks would cut it into squares, add a scoop of mashed potatoes to the top, and stick it under the broiler for a bit. In a professional cooking class, I later learned how to use a piping bag to make those potatoes cool and swirling before broiling – love that technique!

  12. Cindy says

    I LOVE meatloaf. Plain (but with plenty of chopped onion mixed in), topped with something tomatoey, with gravy, served with (of course) mashed potatoes and some fragrant hot bread (for a sly while-it’s-still-hot-and-fresh meatloaf sandwich). This cookbook is very good news for me!

  13. MDWalters says

    A great addition to my cookbook library — The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook. I was so excited when I heard about it got 10 copies for Christmas gifts. I love their store in Chicago, and you’re right, the recipes are easy. My fav is Wing and a Prayer Loaf and a close second is Omega 3 Loaf with the wasabi mashed potatoes.

  14. Patrick says

    I like meatloaf SOOOO much that I can’t point to a ‘best’ time. I hadn’t even thought of playing around with recipes for it. I have just loved it as is. Now you may have started something drastic. I usually eat plain meatloaf with a combination sauce of ketchup, honey, and mustard baked right on top. That will definitely change at least once using this recipe.

  15. Alice E. says

    My favorite meatloaf was my Mom’s from my childhood. Made with ketchup, our own beef and moistened slices of bread and ketchup on top. My husband’s favorite is the one made with cream of mushroom soup.

  16. Rie says

    My husband loves the meatloaf I’ve been making since I was a bride 24 years ago….(Man how time flies) It’s from the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. I love to try new ones. Haven’t come up with a favorite so I’d love to have the book.

  17. Elyse says

    Favorite meatloaf was the one my MIL left in my freezer when I was in the hospital after delivering Baby Boy #1. When I ate it a few weeks later, in my exhaustion-recovering-hysterical-colic-baby-breastfeeding-with-mastitis-haze, it was the best meatloaf EVER. I think it was pretty standard, with onion soup mix and ketchup, but even now, 16 years later, I have yet to replicate the goodness of that meatloaf. Baby #1 is now a strapping 6’2′ athlete, who happens to love bacon cheeseburgers. This recipe is totally happening this weekend!

  18. Carol B says

    I’m slowly growing to like meatloaf. It always seemed like it should taste good, but as soon as I would take a bite… no thanks. Now I’ve started to eat it and I like meatloaf will large chunks of onion in it.

  19. Michelle W says

    My favorite meatloaf is one that my husband actually invented and filled with the sundried tomatoes he made from the plants in our garden this summer. I didn’t know if the flavor of the tomatoes would be enough to stand out in the loaf, but boy, were they ever!

  20. Tonia says

    I love my Mom’s meatloaf – nothing fancy, just sauted onion/garlic,ground beef, catchup, s&p, crushed saltines, a little milk (I think). Love it hot, love it cold, love it for meatloaf sandwiches.

  21. barbara n says

    My moms meatloaf is the best I have ever had…..made with ground beef and ground pork, lots of spices and glazed with a combination of catsup, honey and worcestershire sauce

  22. Karen B says

    This might sound strange but the recipe I make is topped with a small can of tomoato sause…no seasonings. My husband is a picky eater but I’ve been making this for 30+ years and it’s so simple and so good! The cold sandwiches are the best!

  23. Deniz says

    I actually never had meatloaf ever. It’s not that common in Germany I would say, at least not in the area I grew up. So I would be thrilled to get my hand on this cookbook to start makin meatloafs myself for my family and friends.

  24. Pam says

    When I make meatloaf it never turns out the same. I always play around with the ingredients…so they all kind of turn out to be my favorite. The next time I make it, I forget what I did and have to try something new.

  25. says

    My Official meatloaf that we enjoy was a Cooking Light recipe called, Italian Meatloaf with sundries tomatoes, basil and provolone cheese.
    It’s been my winner every time! Try and see if you agree.

  26. Jen L says

    I love my mom’s meatloaf. A little onion, ketchup, breadcrumbs, and a little green pepper. It has even my hubby like meatloaf. BUT I recently had a turkey and wild rice meatloaf from a local meat market chain, Von Hanson’s, and that was outstanding!!! I will totally buy that one again!

  27. Sandy Kempton says

    My grandmother’s meatloaf. I’m not sure that she put any extra-ordinary ingredients in her recipe, but she always used the same pan and all of her food were served with a smile and lots of love. my favorite!

  28. Sheryl says

    My family will only eat meatloaf if I make it into little loaves with a chunk of cheese in the middle. My favorite is the next day making meatloaf sandwiches!

  29. says

    I am partial to the turkey meat loaf my mother in-law makes. I generally make mine with ground beef but I’m seriously rethinking that. I actually made a meatloaf for dinner this week and you should have seen my husbands face (fear stricken) when I poured milk over top of it before baking. Which was followed with a “what are you doing???”. As I explained, my mom always did that when she made hers, and the milk will evaporate and help keep the meatloaf moist while baking. He didn’t even remember the milk by the second helping – lol.

  30. Jan says

    The best meatloaf I ever had was pretty plain. A mix of ground beef and pork, some garlic and onion,a little Worchesteshire sauce an egg and bread crumbs with just a touch of milk.

  31. Anne Weber-Falk says

    My sister makes the best meatloaf in the world. My cousin Candice is a close second, but she makes the best mashed potatoes to go with sister’s fabulous meatloaf.

  32. Amanda L says

    I love meatloaf cooked in the oven with onions, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, and ketchup/tomato paste on top, the simple the better.

    p.s. i love your blog

  33. martha says

    I make my mother’s meatloaf with oatmeal chopped up fine, onion, beef bouillon granules, a little tomato sauce and seasonings.

  34. Debbie says

    Have not made a meatloaf in quite a while but am totally inspired now by the rave review, recipe and of course the picture!

    Meatloaf recipe here I come!

  35. RaDonna Lanterman says

    I hide vegetables in my children’s food! I put finely shredded zucchini or squash or carrots etc with onions, ketchup,a little bbq sauce, worchestershire sauce and diced bread crumbs. then I place a slice of meatloaf on our plate add a heaping spoonful of string greenbeans then a pile of mashed potatoes and add gravy on top. It’s very very good.

  36. Sue says

    I love my Mom’s meatloaf adapted from the red and white cookbook. Just hamburger, onions, celery, worchester sauce, eggs, bread, plenty of milk, ketchup, and salt and pepper. And I love making meatloaf in a meatloaf pan that is a double pan with holes in the top pan so the grease drips through. You still get a nice moist meatloaf but it’s not greasy.

  37. Elin says

    I’m a newbie to the meatloaf world. I recently had some at a brewery while on vacation that had a stout flavoring to it. It was pretty good. My mission is to make a meatloaf that I enjoy and can share with others.

  38. Maren Z says

    So the most popular meatloaf in my house is to put half the meat mixture down, put cheese, pickles and mushrooms on top of it and then top it with the rest of the meat. Close up the sides and top with ketchup and mustard. It is like a gigantic stuffed burger!

  39. katey says

    we love meatloaf in our house. we mix beef and pork, diced onions, herbs, salt and pepper, and a ketchup glaze. good stuff. muffin sized loaves, though, i’d never thought of. we’re having meatloaf this weekend!

  40. Anna Kim says

    I love Giada de laurentiis’ old fashioned italian meatloaf: filled with fresh herbs, soaked bread and topped with simple ketchup based sauce. finger lickin’ delicious. and with that, my very own special mashed potatoes.

  41. says

    The best meatloaf I have ever had is one that we fire roasted on the grill. It has the typical cast of characters but the tomato glaze is a bit more “bbq” flavored. The loaf was cooked without a bread pan so it wouldn’t sit in grease while cooking. The best part is meat loaf sammies the next day.

    Your mini loafs look stupendous. What an inspired idea!

  42. Lisa says

    I love meatloaf. Seems like it never turns out the same way twice at our house. We put in whatever we have on hand. Usually onions, sometimes garlic, after that it could be anything…carrots, oatmeal, ketsup or chopped tomatoes, etc. Need to go make meatloaf now. :o)


  43. Lisa says

    My mother-in-law had that special “golden touch” with food. Watching her prepare food was a joy, eating it was pure bliss. She introduced me to meatloaf with the surprise hidden hard boiled eggs inside that made such pretty, and I thought, unusual slices! She so graciously mentored me into cooking, since I had near to zero cooking experience when I married her son!

  44. Diane says

    My favorite meatloaf was full of bacon and other goodies. I think it was a Paula Deen recipe – or maybe Ree Drummond.


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