There's already something retro and charming about a meatloaf. Under usual circumstances, this loaf-shaped supper doesn't care whether it's a looker or not, because everyone knows it's going to fill you up with classic comfort food. But that doesn't mean we can't change up the presentation.
In this recipe for meatloaf, we take a break from the loaf pan and bake it up in a Bundt instead. But a quirky, charmingly retro presentation isn't the only benefit of this swap. Baking the meatloaf in a Bundt pan means more surface area for the glaze of your choice and even easier portioning (this recipe delivers 10 generous servings). All you're missing is the mashed potatoes and green beans to make it a meal.
Speed Things Up with a Food Processor
As counterintuitive as it seems, I like using a food processor when making meatloaf because I find that it speeds things up. Yes, I have to lug out my machine and wash it after, but it does an amazing job of really blitzing onion and garlic into tiny pieces. These tiny pieces cook directly in the meatloaf and don't have to be precooked separately, which is what a lot of other recipes that use diced onion have you do. You don't have to spend a lot of time chopping, nor do you have to spend time precooking, so it's a win-win in my book.
The food processor also helps finely chop the key ingredient in this recipe: bacon. Bacon adds fat, flavor, and moisture to the meatloaf so you don't end up with dry meatloaf, but it really needs to be finely chopped so you end up with chewy, fatty bites.
Baking Meatloaf in a Bundt
When baking meatloaf in a Bundt pan, there are a few things you have to do differently. Halfway through cooking, drain off the excess juices and then flip the meatloaf out. It finishes cooking without the pan on a baking sheet. The high sides of a Bundt cake pan means the meatloaf will never brown properly and will just steam, so flipping it out before it's cooked through is necessary, as is draining out the juices. Once it's flipped out, though, you can now glaze the meatloaf with BBQ sauce or ketchup so it develops a crispy crust, leaving you with a savory cake worthy of a photo.
Classic Bundt Meatloaf
dry or panko breadcrumbs
whole or 2% milk
medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
garlic, coarsely chopped
bacon, coarsely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
ground beef, veal, pork, or blend
BBQ sauce or ketchup, plus more for serving
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Spray the inside and tube of a 10-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; set aside. Mix the breadcrumbs and milk together in a small bowl; set aside.
Place the onion and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until finely chopped, about 10 (1-second) pulses, stopping and scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed. Scatter the bacon over the onions, separating any pieces that are stuck together, then pulse until the bacon is very finely chopped and the mixture becomes sticky, about 10 (1-second) pulses more; set aside.
Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk with a fork to break up. Add the bacon mixture, breadcrumb mixture, Worcestershire, salt, oregano, and pepper, and stir to combine.
Working quickly to keep the meat cold, add the meat and mix with your hands until combined (don't squeeze or overwork the mixture). Transfer the mixture to the bundt pan and gently press into an even layer.
Bake until the meatloaf is just starting to set, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.
Remove the pan from the oven and pour off as much of the accumulated liquid in the pan as possible into a heatproof bowl. Invert the foil-lined baking sheet over the bundt pan. Holding onto the baking sheet and the pan at the same time (use oven mitts or a towel, it's hot!), flip it over. Remove the bundt pan (you may need to use a fork or knife to pry the pan up to lift it off).
Brush the BBQ sauce or ketchup over the meatloaf and bake until the glaze darkens slightly and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 165°F, about 30 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with more BBQ sauce or ketchup if desired.
Storage: Leftover meatloaf can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.