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For a great meatloaf, the secret is in the sauce

By Angelia Hensley • Updated Jun 13, 2018 at 10:14 AM

We have all heard the phrase, “The secret is in the sauce,” whether it was said by Sipsey in the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes” or just in reference to the Big Mac sandwich.

Sauces add flavor, moisture and visual appeal to a dish. Many times, the sauce is the most important part of the dish — even more important than the main component. The sauce is very important to this foodie when it comes to meatloaf.

When I go to a restaurant, I feel safe ordering a cheeseburger, fried catfish or an omelet. Those tend to be safe choices with little room for too much disappointment. However, ordering meatloaf at a restaurant can get a little scary. You may find yourself with a dry meatloaf with a congealed tomato substance firmly planted on top. You may be served a meatloaf with a runny, cheesy mixture on the top and sides. I have even seen meatloaf with a mixture of canned vegetables served on top — you know, the ones where the carrots are perfect little squares! 

For a great meatloaf, I say the secret is in the sauce. I love the sauce on this meatloaf so much that I make extra to serve on the side and to have plenty left over for that tasty meatloaf sandwich. The sauce makes it, but I failed to tell you the best part of this meatloaf. It’s wrapped in bacon! Enjoy!


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


1/2 pound bacon

1 small onion

1/2 green bell pepper

1/2 red bell pepper

1 clove minced garlic

2 pounds hamburger

1½ cups Panko bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon ketchup

1 tablespoon Lawry’s seasoned salt

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

Salt and pepper


1½ cups ketchup

2/3 cup brown sugar

1½ teaspoons dry mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon hot sauce


Saute the onion and peppers until translucent in a little olive oil with salt and pepper.

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl except for the bacon. Shape the mixed ingredients into a loaf. Wrap the entire loaf in slices of bacon until none of the meat mixture is showing, tucking the bacon under the loaf. I prefer to place the entire loaf on a broiler pan to allow for drippings to drain.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a separate bowl and spread a generous amount on top of the bacon. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Remove and again apply some of the sauce mixture, reserving any remaining sauce for serving. Bake for at least another half hour, depending on the thickness of your loaf and the desired doneness of the bacon. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Mount Carmel’s Angelia Hensley is a community contributor for the Kingsport Times News.

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