8 oz. bacon, cut into small pieces
¾ c. yellow onion, finely diced
1½ lb. ground chuck beef
1 c. dry white bread crumbs
1 c. shredded yellow cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
¼ c. dill pickles, drained and finely diced, plus extra for topping
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ c. 2% milk
¼ c. ketchup
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
¾ tsp. coarse sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper
Canola or vegetable oil spray, for greasing
Mashed potatoes or another topping as “frosting”


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cook the bacon in a frying pan until crisp. Remove with a spatula and set aside. Pour off most of the bacon grease, leaving just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. This step ensures the onions will absorb just a little of the flavorful bacon grease. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until softened. Set aside and cool. In a bowl, combine the cooled bacon and onion with all the remaining meatloaf ingredients. Mix well with your hands, being sure to blend everything together and scraping the side of the bowl with a cake spatula to capture every bit of goodness. Divide the meatloaf mixture into 6 portions and place in a lightly greased, large nonstick 6-cup cupcake/muffin pan. Round the top of each meatloaf cupcake with your hands to form a dome. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F and the cupcake tops are browned. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

When cool enough to handle, unmold the meatloaf cupcakes carefully and set on a flat surface in preparation for “frosting,” such as with mashed potatoes. No time for artistry? Just spread potatoes on the top. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, pickles, and sesame seeds for the real burger experience, then serve with preferred sauce.


Serves 6