smoked BBQ meatloaf covered with tomato sauce in a white dish

Smoked BBQ Meatloaf

Smoked BBQ Meatloaf has a secret ingredient that makes you think it was smoked over a fire for hours!

What’s Special About This Dish?

Ah, meatloaf. It just happens to be my hubby’s favorite meal. In fact, he’s in a food coma right now after eating a big old plate of the magical stuff. It’s definitely the way to his heart.

The first time I ever tasted BBQ meatloaf was at a southern restaurant. They had one of those giant smokers for their pulled pork, ribs…and you guessed it, meatloaf.

It’s not enough to enjoy meatloaf the good-old fashioned way. In the south, we simply have to smoke everything…and for good reason.

Ingredients You’ll Need

I don’t have a smoker, or 8 hours to smoke anything in it, but I do have a bottle of liquid smoke, which is the secret ingredient in this dish. So, today, I set out to make the best BBQ Meatloaf ever…and I’m pretty sure I came really close.

For this recipe, you’ll need ground turkey, ground beef, minced garlic, onion, red pepper, barbecue seasoning, liquid smoke, barbecue sauce, bread crumbs, and one egg. (Quantities listed in recipe card below.)

How To Make It

There’s no magic in this recipe. You simply substitute your favorite BBQ sauce for ketchup in the traditional dish. The magic comes when you serve it alongside hand-whipped Garlic Mashed Potatoes and sweet tiny peas. Oh yeah. There’s nothing better!

I like to lighten it up by using a combo of ground turkey and ground beef. Of course, you can only use beef if you like, or just turkey. But, the combo of the two works best. Some people like ground sausage in their meatloaf. Use whatever floats your boat!

I added Trader Joe’s BBQ Rub seasoning (ad) and one tablespoon of liquid smoke (ad) to the meat before adding the BBQ sauce. The sauce I used in this dish is Sweet Baby Ray’s. (ad) The sweet, tangy taste blends nicely with turkey and beef.

The rest of this dish is nothing fancy….seasonings, bread crumbs, a beaten egg, peppers and onions round out the loaf. Just pop it into a greased loaf pan and 45 minutes later, the aroma will slap you silly!

More Beef Recipes to Love

If you like meatloaf as much as we do at our house, you’ll love my other beef recipes…

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smoked BBQ meatloaf covered with tomato sauce in a white dish

Smoked BBQ Meatloaf

  • Author: Debi ~ QuicheMyGrits
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 1x


Smoked BBQ Meatloaf will wake up your taste buds and slap you silly! It has a secret ingredient that will make you think it was smoked over a fire for hours. 




  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. barbecue rub seasoning 
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke 
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce 
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten


  • 1 cup barbecue sauce 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix turkey and ground beef with a fork.  
  3. Add rest of loaf ingredients and mix together.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan and press down firmly.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  6. Take out of oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Using a knife, loosen edges of loaf pan.
  8. Invert loaf pan onto a serving plate. Meatloaf should slide out easily.
  9. Cover meatloaf with 1 cup of BBQ sauce.
  10. Cut loaf into 8 slices and serve immediately.


Any brand of barbecue sauce and seasoning will work in this dish, but I used Trader Joe’s BBQ rub, Stubbs Liquid Smoke and Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (ads) if you want to create the exact recipe.

Leftover meatloaf makes great sandwiches the next day!

Smoked BBQ Meatloaf tastes great with The Best Squash Casserole

  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Mix by Hand
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: meatloaf, barbecue, BBQ meatloaf, main dishes, barbecue meatloaf

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Check out my best dishes each week on Meal Plan Monday and The Weekend Potluck.

Sharing is Caring! Thanks for sharing this recipe and telling me what you think in the comment section below…


  1. I gotta try this….sounds wonderful!

  2. Meatloaf is one of our standby favorites. I’ll have to try your version- it sounds yummy!

  3. Dorris Sherman

    SOUNDS GREAT. It’s hard to cook for one. This recipe is ideal for me since there are built-in left overs. Thanks Debi.

  4. The flavors in this meatloaf are outstanding! Soooo good! Thanks Debi!

  5. I love this recipe. Never thought of using liquid smoke in meatloaf, but I have to say it turned out amazing.

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