This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
Oozing with gooey mozzarella cheese and rich caramelized onions, this easy Stuffed Meatloaf combines your favorite comfort foods into one amazing dinner. It’s topped with even more cheese and a sumptuous red wine meatloaf sauce!
Cheesy French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf with Red Wine Sauce
French onion soup is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Put a steaming bowl of it in front of me along with a grilled cheese sandwich for dipping, and I’m happy as can be. My mouth waters just thinking about the cozy beef broth and the sweet, buttery caramelized onions mingling with the gooey mozzarella cheese.
This easy recipe takes all of that French-style goodness and stuffs it into a tender homemade meatloaf! It’s a comfort food mash-up that will have everyone sprinting toward the kitchen to claim their slice. With a soup-inspired gravy sauce drizzled on top in company with more caramelized onions and golden-brown cheese, I dare you not to drool over this meatloaf.
What You’ll Need
There are three main components that make up this dish – the caramelized onions, the meatloaf itself, and the red wine gravy sauce. Let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need for each one.
For the Caramelized Onions
- Olive Oil: For sautéing.
- Onions: Halved and thinly sliced. I prefer using the sweeter varieties like Vidalia or Maui, but any white or yellow onions will do.
- Thyme: Either fresh or dried will work.
- Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
- Beef Broth: Not to be confused with beef stock, which is made with bones and cartilage in addition to the meat.
- Dry Red Wine I use Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’d prefer to leave out the alcohol, you can substitute it for additional beef broth, balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce.
For the Meatloaf
- Ground Beef: Go for 85-90% lean.
- Breadcrumbs: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed. Alternatively, place certified gluten-free oats into a blender (or food processor) and pulse a few times to form crumbs.
- Fresh Parsley
- Salt & Pepper
- Eggs: Lightly beaten. These help hold the meatloaf together so it doesn’t crumble when you try to cut it.
- Shredded Mozzarella Cheese: You’ll need some for the filling and some for the topping.
For the Red Wine Sauce
- Beef Broth
- Dry Red Wine
- Cornstarch: To thicken the gravy.
- Salt & Pepper
How to Make French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf
Even though this recipe involves multiple components coming together, it’s really not complicated at all. Just follow along with these instructions and you’ll do great!
Make the Onions
Heat Oil: Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Sauté Onions with Salt & Pepper: Add in the onions, salt & pepper. Cook 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions have caramelized.
Add Thyme & Continue Cooking: Add the thyme and continue to sauté for another minute or two.
Add Wine & Broth: Pour in the wine and beef broth.
Reduce, then Set Aside: Leave the skillet on the stove and continue to stir until very little liquid remains. Set the caramelized onions aside.
Make the Meatloaf & the Sauce
Heat Oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Make Meat Mixture: Combine the ground beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and eggs in a bowl. Gently use your hands to combine the ingredients until they’re blended, trying not to overwork the meat.
Form Rectangle: Place the meat mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper and form it into a 10×12-inch rectangle.
Add Fillings & Transfer to Pan: Set aside half a cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese and half a cup of the caramelized onions. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and onions evenly over the meat mixture. Roll the meat up like a jelly roll, starting from the short end and lifting the wax paper as you roll. Seal the end completely, then place the loaf seam-side down into a 9×13-inch baking pan.
Bake: Transfer your meatloaf to the preheated oven and bake it for 45 minutes.
Make Sauce: While the meatloaf is baking, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
Top Meatloaf: Remove your meatloaf from the oven and pour the sauce over it evenly. Sprinkle it with the reserved onions and cheese.
Bake Again: Return the meatloaf to the oven for 15-20 minutes, until no more pink remains and it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
Broil: Place your cooked meatloaf under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
Let Rest: Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow it to stand for 10 minutes before cutting into it.
Garnish & Serve: Garnish your stuffed meatloaf with a sprinkle of fresh parsley if desired, then slice and serve it.
Can I Prep This in Advance?
Yes – feel free to caramelize the onions up to 24 hours before you continue working on the meatloaf. Once they cool, place them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge.
If you’d like to make the entire meatloaf ahead of time, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap after rolling it up and sealing it well. Refrigerate it until you’re ready to bake it (up to 24 hours).
Tips for Success
Still not feeling confident in your meatloaf-making skills? I’ve got some helpful tips that’ll make the process go as smoothly as possible.
- Don’t Overwork the Meat: Only combine your meat mixture until all of the ingredients are blended. Overworking it will make the meatloaf come out tough rather than tender.
- Roll the Loaf Slowly with the Wax Paper: Use the wax paper/plastic wrap to your advantage when you’re rolling up the meat mixture – it prevents the beef from sticking to your hands. Roll slowly while applying even pressure and lifting the paper as you go, then seal the seam well.
- Check the Internal Temperature: Checking the internal temperature of the meatloaf with an instant read thermometer is the best way to determine whether or not it’s done. This is the thermometer I use.
- Be Sure to Broil: Don’t forget to place your meatloaf under the broiler for a couple of minutes after it’s done baking. This is what makes the cheese all golden brown and delicious!
There’s nothing wrong with adapting this recipe to suit your personal tastes. Just do you!
- Use Another Kind of Cheese: I love the way that mozzarella melts in the middle of this meatloaf and browns on the top, but any cheese you like can be used in its place. Try provolone, Swiss or cheddar!
- Switch Up the Seasonings: You can’t go wrong with salt, pepper and fresh parsley, but there are plenty of other seasonings that would make this meatloaf just as tasty. Whether you use a different herb or add some smoked paprika, go ahead and make it your own.
- Use A Different Red Wine: Any dry red wine that you wouldn’t mind sipping on can be used to make the onions and the sauce. Pinot Noir and Merlot are both great options – just stay away from cooking wines that aren’t meant for drinking.
- Pair the Beef with Another Meat: If you’d like, you can use half ground beef and half ground pork in your meat mixture. Using equal parts ground beef and ground veal works well too!
Make it a Meal
There are so many different sides that would make wonderful companions for this meatloaf. I recommend whipping up one of the fool-proof dishes below!
- Pair with Roasted Vegetables: If you’re looking for something fresh and healthy, serve your stuffed meatloaf with a side of Balsamic Roasted Vegetables. They couldn’t be easier to make!
- Serve with Smashed Potatoes: Want to stick with the French onion soup theme? These Parmesan Smashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions won’t let you down. They complement this meatloaf like a dream!
- Pair with Cauliflower Breadsticks: Fans of spinach artichoke dip will go crazy for these Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Cauliflower Breadsticks. They’re so darn delicious, nobody will believe that they’re actually healthy.
- Enjoy with Bread: If you want to sop up that delectable sauce, make a batch of Gluten Free Soft Breadsticks.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
Leftover meatloaf should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge after it has cooled completely. It will stay good for 3-4 days if you store it properly.
Cover it with aluminum foil and reheat it in a 250°F oven for about 25 minutes, or until it’s hot throughout, pouring a little bit of beef broth over the meatloaf to prevent it from drying out. Individual slices can be warmed up in the microwave.
Can I Freeze Stuffed Meatloaf?
I don’t recommend freezing this meatloaf after it has been cooked, but unless the beef was previously frozen, you can freeze it before you bake it. Wrap the rolled and sealed meatloaf in two layers of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Store it in the freezer for up to 1 month and thaw it out in the fridge before baking it.
French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf
For the Caramelized Onions
For the Meatloaf
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or instant or slightly ground oats gluten free, if needed
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese shredded, divided
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish optional
For the Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup red wine I used Gallo Family Cabernet Sauvignon, but Pinot Noir or Merlot would also be good
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- salt & pepper to taste
Make the Onions
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium, add onions, salt & pepper, cook 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently or until caramelized.
- Add thyme, sauté for minute or two, then add the wine and beef broth.
- Reduce until very little liquid remains.
- Set aside.
Make the Meatloaf
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs or oats, parsley, pepper, salt, and eggs. Gently combine with your hands until blended, but try not to overwork the meat.
- On a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper, press the meat mixture into a 10×12-inch rectangle.
- Set aside 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the caramelized onions. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese and the caramelized onions evenly over ground beef. Roll up like a jelly roll, starting from the short end, lifting the wax paper or plastic wrap as you roll. Seal the end completely, and place seam-side down into a 9×13-inch baking pan.
- Place pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
- While the meatloaf is baking, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce to a simmer until reduced and thickened.
- Remove pan from oven, pour the sauce over the meatloaf, and sprinkle with the reserved onions and cheese.
- Return meatloaf to oven 15-20 minutes, or until no pink remains and it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Remove from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
- To Store: Store cooled meatloaf in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- To Reheat: Cover with aluminum foil and reheat in a 250°F oven for about 25 minutes, until hot throughout, pouring some beef broth over the meatloaf to prevent it from drying out. Individual slices can be warmed in the microwave.
More Hearty Beef Dinners to Try
Want more beefy meals to make for your family? I have the perfect recipes:
- Shepherd’s Pie Loaded Baked Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast with Mushrooms
- Bacon Cheeseburger Crustless Quiche
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.
Originally published November 9, 2014.