French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf

4.66 from 23 votes
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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.

A serving of meatloaf on a plate beside a glass of red wine and a pair of salt & pepper shakers

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.
Three onions, olive oil and the remaining caramelized onion ingredients arranged on top of a white surface

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.
Ground beef, shredded mozzarella, eggs and the rest of the meatloaf ingredients on a countertop

For the Red Wine Sauce

  • Beef Broth
  • Dry Red Wine
  • Cornstarch: To thicken the gravy.
  • Salt & Pepper
Salt, pepper, cornstarch and the remaining sauce ingredients on a countertop

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.

Thinly sliced onions inside of a skillet with salt, pepper and olive oil

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.

Caramelized onions inside of a large skillet with a wooden spoon resting on the rim

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.

The meatloaf "dough" inside of a large glass mixing bowl

Form Rectangle: Place the meat mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper and form it into a 10×12-inch rectangle.

The meatloaf mixture in the shape of a rectangle on top of a cutting board lined with plastic wrap

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.

Red wine sauce inside of a saucepan beside a bunch of fresh parsley

Top Meatloaf: Remove your meatloaf from the oven and pour the sauce over it evenly. Sprinkle it with the reserved onions and cheese.

Partially baked meatloaf inside of a baking dish with sauce, caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese on top

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.

A serving platter holding a meatloaf with a striped kitchen towel and utensils beside 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).

A close-up shot of a loaf of meat with two slices cut off and a fork pulling out some mozzarella cheese

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!
A fork holding a bite of meatloaf over a plate holding a slice of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans

Variation Ideas

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!
Meatloaf on a large serving platter with a glass of red wine behind it

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!

A serving of French onion stuffed meatloaf on a plate with veggies and potatoes beside a knife and fork

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.

Mozzarella stuffed meatloaf on a serving platter with two slices cut off and a glass of wine in the background
4.7 from 23 votes

French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf

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!
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hr 20 mins
Total: 1 hr 40 mins

Equipment

  • Oven

Ingredients

For the Caramelized Onions

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 onions halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ Tablespoon fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup red wine I used Gallo Family Cabernet Sauvignon, but Pinot Noir or Merlot would also work nicely

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

Instructions

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.

Notes

  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf
Amount Per Serving
Calories 588 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 15g75%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 187mg62%
Sodium 1613mg67%
Potassium 708mg20%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 42g84%
Vitamin A 479IU10%
Vitamin C 7mg8%
Calcium 267mg27%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More Hearty Beef Dinners to Try

Want more beefy meals to make for your family? I have the perfect recipes:

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.

84 Comments
  1. Ronda

    5 stars
    Oh. My. Goodness. My family loves this recipe! My children and their families request this recipe when they come to visit. Who requests meatloaf!? Seriously, this is just the best recipe. Tasty and delicious.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Cindy,
      There isn’t actual French onion soup in the meatballs. I mention in the post that the recipe is inspired by the flavors of the soup, with caramelized onions and cheese. 🙂

    2. Ronda

      It’s the flavor from the carmelized onions, broth and red wine that you cook first. And the mozzarella cheese you layer on. You truly must take the time to cook the onions slowly and let them cook before you layer them on the meatloaf.

  2. Andrea Llewellyn

    I’m on an aip-paleo diet. I can substitute yellow onions for the onions and paleo oats or bread crumbs for the bread. What has me stumped is the corn starch. I can use tapioca starch; what consistency am I aiming for so I know how much starch to use?

    1. I typically find that tapioca starch gets thicker than cornstarch, so I’d recommend starting with about half the amount. You aren’t looking for a super thick sauce. Just thickened enough to coat and moisten the meatloaf and not be super watery.

  3. misty

    Great recipe!!! Did you create this?
    I agree with the other commenters on the name of the wine and being better later (froze and re-heated-was even better than before).
    I made changes (do you cringe when people say that)? but I was not a fan of the wine sauce with the venison substitute, so I used my fav homemade BBQ sauce and it was incredible.
    Thanks so much for sharing. You’re an awesome cook!

  4. Ruth Justice

    I want to thank you for adding the name of the wine you use in your recipes. I don’t drink wine and when some one says use your favorite wine I’m at a lost! With your recipes I will now know what to look for when I go to the store. THANK YOU!!!!!!

  5. Laronda

    Made this tonight – absolutely amazing!!!! There WILL be a battle over who gets the last couple pieces tomorrow…Might have to make 3 or 4 next time!!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed the meatloaf recipe, Laronda. Incidentally, we usually battle over the last piece at our house, too! 😉

  6. Lynn Hayes

    I was on Pinterest earlier today. I found one of your pins for French onion Au Gratin Stuff Meatballs. I’m unable to find the recipe for it, or for the French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf. I’ve done a search on your website, and still nothing. The pictures on Pinterest look amazing. I really want to make one or both of these. Can you help me?

  7. Bobi Pixiley

    Thank you for telling us what TYPE of red wine you are using!! I’m not a wine expert. It drives me nuts when a recipe simply says Red Wine or White Wine. Then, I go to the store and see Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Rhine, Chardonnay, Pinot grigio and I think, Great, I could ruin this whole recipe because I don’t know what I’m doing!

    This looks delicious and company worthy.

  8. Laurie

    This was a bit of work, but oh.so.yummy! Got rave reviews from the family. Served it with mashed potatoes (the sauce from the meatloaf was fabulous drizzled over the potatoes). Really enjoyed this twist on an old family fav.

  9. Linnea

    This is THE best meatloaf I’ve ever made!! I made mine with Mondavi merlot and ground venison (thanks to the hubs awesome hunting skillz, lol) Mashed potatoes made better with the pan drippings/gravy and the rest of the bottle of wine with dinner…delish!! Looking forward to meatloaf sandwiches tomorrow! 🙂 Thank you for such a great recipe!

  10. Helen Blank

    This was amazing! I suggest making extra onions to snack on while you finish the recipe. I had never cooked with this type of wine before. I’m hooked. Now I’m looking up other recipes with it in. I just had some leftovers warmed up from last night. Even better! Thanks for a super great recipe.

  11. 4 stars
    Great recipe but I found that the sauce was bland, so I added about 2 tbsp. Worchester sauce and a half tsp. Liquid bouquet and let it simmer down 25 minutes prior to adding the onion and cheese on top. Made some sour cream mashed potatoes and needles to say dinner was gone, gone, gone!!!!!! Definitely a keeper for my files….. thanks for giving me an alternative for meatloaf!

  12. Amy

    We finally made this for dinner tonight! And ooohhhhh, so good! Roberto said that this just might be his favorite of all your recipes!

  13. Lou Lou Girls

    Hello cute lady! This looks incredible. Pinned. We really appreciate you taking the time to stop by our party. It wouldn’t be a party without you. Please join us on Monday at 7 pm. Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

  14. Marlene

    5 stars
    My husband (aka Mr Fussy) requested meatloaf tonight, and I immediately thought of this recipe which I’d pinned. It was fabulous, and he rated it A+. I halved the recipe as it was just for us and am freezing the rest for another dinner. Definitely a keeper! Thanks, Brianne, for another winner.

  15. 5 stars
    I can believe how popular this dish has been since its come out on Sunday, it looks beyond amazing!! I’m certainly going to try this one! 🙂

    This screams comfort, especially with all the ooey, gooey cheese! 🙂

  16. What an absolutely brilliant idea, Brianne! I’m so with Renee–genius! I know you guys will do great in your new place, but getting acclimated always takes awhile. We actually hosted an open house a couple of weeks after we moved in. We had snacks and asked neighbors (via the neighborhood facebook page) to swing by and say howdy. It was a nice way to break the ice. Serve this too. It wouldn’t hurt! lol =)

  17. Linda | Brunch with Joy

    Bug is super cute and you’re totally blessed, Brianne. 🙂 Your french onion soup meatloaf looks so delish that I feel like having this for breakfast.

  18. smalltowngirl

    Oh my goodness! This looks amazing!! I can’t wait to try it! Looks incredible! Can I use anymore exclamation points!?!? Apparently yes. Well done!!!

  19. Katie

    How awesome that The Bug is so willing to donate to those in need! So so sweet that he is getting into the spirit of things at an early age. We moved about every 2 years when I was a kid, so donating/giving away items became second nature, and it was a really good feeling (and a bit freeing too). It’s kind of funny – when we moved from Michigan to Wisconsin, I gave my bike to a friend who didn’t have one…and I somehow have never bought another one for 15+ years. Oops!

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