Kentucky Jack’d Meatloaf

I would have to say that growing up traditional meatloaf was not one of my favorite family dishes. That all changed when I came across this meatloaf recipe that I modified to use Kentucky bourbon as part of the glaze. It is oozing in the middle with pepper jack cheese and who doesn’t love cheese. This recipe is not exactly screaming weight watchers friendly but I will include alternative ingredients that will make this meal healthy and still enjoyable.

Alternatives for Weight Watchers

Finished Smoked Meatloaf
Finished Smoked Meatloaf…..oops a little cheese tried to escape

Recipe Notes

The video and pictures in this post highlight my most recent experience with making this meatloaf where I doubled the recipe. I wanted to be able to feed the family and have some leftovers to enjoy the next day! I also tried it out in the smoker this time around. The flavor from the smoker was very similar to when I cooked it in the oven. So if you don’t have a smoker or want to save time, go for the oven.

If you would like to try it from a smoker, pre-heat your smoker to 225 degrees F. Add in some Hickory or Oak wood for the best flavor and smoke for 4 hours or internal temp has reached 165 degrees F.

Meatloaf in smoker
Meatloaf in smoker
Meatloaf before cooking

Kentucky Jack’d Meatloaf

A twist on the classic meatloaf that is packed with flavor and infused with Kentucky bourbon.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 2 lbs Ground Beef, lean 90/10 preferred
  • 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/2 Medium Red Onion grated
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Kentucky Bourbon
  • 1 tbsp Steak Rub Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 6 oz Pepper Jack Cheese cut into strips

For the Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kentucky Bourbon
  • 1 tbsp Steak Rub Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, red onion, garlic, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Bourbon, and milk. Mix gently with your hands until just combined well. Don't overwork the meat or your meatloaf will be tough and chewy, just gently mix completely.
  • Spread half of your meatloaf mixture on the bottom of a loaf pan. Add slices of Pepper jack cheese to center of loaf. Be sure to leave space on the edges to allow the meat to seal in the cheese. Top with remaining meatloaf mixture and seal all edges.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and pour over the top of the meatloaf.
  • Place the meatloaf in the oven and bake for 1 hour of until the internal meat temperature has reached 165 degrees F. Allow the meatloaf to rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Keyword beef, bourbon, kentucky, meatloaf

For more of my recipes head back to my Cooking page.