Rating: 5 stars
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After seeing various versions of this Halloween-themed meatloaf on social media over the years, I decided it was time to post my very own. I've seen many approaches to this, such as covered in 'blood', or mummified in strips of pastry, but the ones wrapped in bacon always looked the most realistic, and the most appetizing.

Recipe Summary

45 mins
1 hr 5 mins
10 mins
2 hrs
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Blood Sauce:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Melt butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute diced onion, celery, mushrooms, and 1 teaspoon salt until the mixture dries out and starts to turn golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, black pepper, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

  • Combine remaining 2 teaspoons salt, ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, buttermilk, 2 tablespoons ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Add cooled vegetable mixture. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

  • Slice 2 round sides, about 1/2-inch-thick, off the second onion for the zombie eyes. Push 1 clove into the center of each slice. Cut a 1-inch-wide section off the remaining onion and dice into chunks to form zombie teeth.

  • Transfer meatloaf mixture to the prepared baking sheet and use damp hands to shape into a zombie skull shape that is 3 to 4 inches tall. Form indents to represent the eyes, nose, and mouth. Drape bacon over the face, covering most of the meatloaf. Add onion eyes and teeth. Tuck in loose ends of bacon under the sides with a spatula. Cover the onion eyes with aluminum foil to prevent browning.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F (68 degrees C), about 1 hour.

  • Stir barbeque sauce, 1/4 cup ketchup, and hot sauce together in a bowl to make the blood sauce.

Cook's Notes:

For crispier bacon, cover the eyes and teeth with aluminum foil and broil until bacon is brown and crispy.

Milk may be used in place of buttermilk, if preferred.

Nutrition Facts

641 calories; protein 46.1g; carbohydrates 21.5g; fat 40.6g; cholesterol 196mg; sodium 1600mg. Full Nutrition