French Onion Stuffed Meatloaf with Cheese

4.69 from 19 votes
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French Onion Meatloaf au Gratin is the ultimate comfort food mash-up. Take the best part of French Onion Soup – the rich caramelized onions and ooey, gooey cheese – stuff it inside one of the most classic recipes. Then top it with a soupy gravy and more golden brown cheese.

Looking for more meatloaf recipes? Try Roasted Veggie Balsamic Meatloaf or Mozzarella Stuffed Meatloaf!

French Onion Meatloaf sliced on a serving platter with cheese stretching from the middle

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.

A Comfort Food Mash Up

Comfort comes in many forms. Oftentimes we think of doing something to treat ourselves in order to feel better. Buying a new outfit, getting a haircut, bingeing a show.

Other times it comes from doing something good for others. Knowing that we have made others happy brings us joy and satisfaction. Maybe it’s getting your kids to donate their old toys or just calling an elderly relative.

Then there are times when you can do double duty but making and savoring a favorite comfort food, but inviting someone over or doubling the recipe so you can share it with someone else.

But how about double duty squared when you combine two comfort foods into one amazing recipe!

Slices of onion stuffed meatloaf on a place with mashed potatoes and green beans

French Onion Meatloaf Recipe

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatloaf definitely combines the best of two comfort foods. Just like my French Onion Stuffed Meatballs, this recipes calls for stuffing caramelized onions and gooey mozzarella cheese into another classic comfort food – MEATLOAF!

You see, stuffing cheese and onions into meatballs can get a bit tedious. So this really was a stroke of brilliance, if I do say so myself. Then covering it in a soup-inspired gravy and more cheese – you really can’t go wrong!

And if you love the flavors of French Onion Meatloaf in the winter, but can’t bear to turn on the oven in the summer, try French Onion Stuffed Burgers!

Whole meatloaf with caramelized onions and cheese on top

How to Make Stuffed Meatloaf

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

This recipe has three main components – the caramelized onions, the meatloaf itself, and the sauce.

For the caramelized onions

You’ll need:

  • Olive oil
  • Onions – I like to use a sweet onion, such a a Vidalia or Maui, but any white or yellow onion will do. It should be halved and thinly sliced.
  • Thyme – you can use fresh or dried
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Beef broth
  • Dry red wine – you can use an inexpensive wine, but use one you would drink, not one of those bottles of cooking wine. I usually use a Cabernet Sauvignon, but Pinot Noir or Merlot would also work nicely. If you don’t cook with alcohol, substitute with additional beef broth or even Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar for that depth of flavor.

To caramelize the onions, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add onions, salt, and pepper and caramelize slowly. Stir frequently to avoid burning the onions. Add the remaining ingredients, then simmer until very little liquid remains.

Set aside until you are ready to ad to the meatloaf. You can even do this a day in advance and keep the onions in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

For the gravy

You’ll need:

  • Beef broth
  • Dry red wine – same note as above about the type of wine, though here I would substitute with more beef broth and perhaps just a splash or Worcestershire or balsamic vinegar.
  • Cornstarch
  • Kosher salt and pepper

You can make the sauce while the meatloaf is in the over because you only need to add it for the last bit of time in the oven.

Simply whisk ingredients together in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened. Set aside.

For the meatloaf

You’ll need:

  • Lean ground beef
  • Bread crumbs – for a gluten free option, you can use gluten free bread crumbs, or place certified gluten free oats in a blender or food processor and pulse a few times to form crumbs.
  • Fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Eggs
  • Mozzarella cheese – you can also substitute your favorite cheese, but I like the way the mozzarella melts in the middle and browns on top.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl, gently combine ground beef, bread crumbs or oats, parsley, pepper, salt, and eggs with your hands.

On a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper, press the meat mixture into a 10×12-inch rectangle. Set aside some of the carmelized onions and cheese, and sprinkle the rest over the meat. Roll up like a jelly roll, and seal the ends to form into a loaf.

Place the loaf in a 9×13-inch baking dish and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Then pour the sauce over the meatloaf, sprinkle the reserved onions and cheese over the top, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until it has an internal temperature of 160°F.

BRIANNE’S TIP: A good Instant Read Thermometer is an essential kitchen tool!

Switch your oven to broil, and 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 rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Cheese stretching from the inside of sliced meatloaf

Make it a Meal

Here are some perfect side dishes to serve with meatloaf!

Total Comfort

Keep It Simple

Less Carbs

Just a Side Salad

Two slices of meatloaf stuffed with onions and cheese on a pate with green beans and mashed potatoes

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French Onion Meatloaf Sliced on a plate
4.7 from 19 votes

French Onion Soup au Gratin Stuffed Meatloaf

With its caramelized onions and ooey, gooey cheese and soup-y gravy, it’s the ultimate comfort food mash-up.

Ingredients

For the 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

For 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.

For 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, prepare the sauce (see below).
  • Remove pan from oven, pour the sauce over the meatloaf, and sprinkle with the reserved onions nd 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.

For the sauce:

  • Whisk ingredients together in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce to a simmer until reduced and thickened.

Enjoy!

82 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. 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. 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. 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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