Let’s start by saying: this lipton onion soup meatloaf recipe has been a hit at every dinner and potluck it has graced. It’s simple, easy, and delicious.
But many people just don’t get excited about meatloaf. Many of our parents remember meatloaf the way they remember cooked-to-death Brussel’s sprouts.
Meatloaf’s less-than-enthusiastic response really came down to this: blandness and dryness. Beef, especially substantial quantities of beef, needs seasoning. Like the Brussel’s sprouts, it just needed some people to come along and say: switch a few things up (bake or fry the veggies instead of boiling boiling boiling!) Meatloaf needed moistness, and it needed flavor, and now it’s got it.
Slowly, meatloaf’s reputation has switched from “budget-friendly but tasteless and boring” to “deliciously hearty comfort food.” Using ketchup and dried onion soup mix, this Lipton onion soup meatloaf recipe is still true to the American classic, but it’s quick and practically foolproof. Below the recipe are some (close to a dozen, actually) tips and tricks.
An optional 3-ingredient glaze adds shine and even more flavor. Making your own breadcrumbs is easy (and if you’ve got stale bread on your hands, you should use it).
How to Make Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf
Serve this meatloaf alongside some other classics; mashed potatoes and green beans or even Mac and cheese. And “goes really well with salad” is not a phrase most dishes inspire, but this meatloaf really is a lovely meal when balanced out with something fresh and green on the side.
Tips & Tricks
If you don’t have a loaf pan of the right size, you can make your own form with a few layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
This recipe can also be baked freestanding and will hold together if shaped into a loaf on a flat baking sheet, but it will run the risk of going dry. Reduce cooking time by 10-15 minutes, and then check for consistency, making sure that the center reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
It also keeps and freezes extremely well. Let it cool to room temperature before wrapping in foil or plastic and freezing—sealed properly, it will be good for up to 6 months. It’s a good replacement for a frozen casserole for casserole-giving circumstances.
Cooked, it will keep for a few days in the fridge. Feel free to mix and shape the day before baking and refrigerate. Some people think meatloaf actually tastes better if it rests overnight in the fridge! Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down the plastic against the surface, and don’t leave it for more than a day.
This recipe calls for onion soup, but other dried soup mixes also work well—onion and mushroom is another favorite.
Crumbled buttery crackers can easily replace the breadcrumbs.
Other seasonings, like garlic powder or Italian seasoning, will add even more flavor.
Try adding a few tablespoons of ground Parmesan cheese.
Try swapping out the ketchup for a tomato-based sauce or tomato-based salsa.
Go 50/50 with ketchup and your favorite barbecue sauce.
Or heat it up! A few (or more) shakes of hot sauce, a 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of red pepper flakes, or maybe some diced jalapenos.
A handful of fresh parsley will add a nice flavor and touch of color to the meatloaf.
Finely chopped lightly sautéed onion is a great addition. Or try finely chopped cooked carrot, celery, or green bean.
It’s easy to make a leaner version using ground turkey. You can also use whole wheat breadcrumbs, or replace half with ground oats. Meat with a lower fat content will need the amount of liquid in the recipe increased a little to compensate.
A richer meatloaf can be made by adding pork or veal—lower the liquid a little to compensate for the extra fat.
As “basic” as meatloaf seems, there are so many variations you can make!
But don’t get overwhelmed. When experimenting, the basic rule is this: for 2 pounds of meat, use 1 1/2 to 2 cups of non-meat. (Which is to say, breadcrumbs, oats, cheese, etc). Using that rule of thumb, it’s a great way to incorporate all kinds of leftovers.
It’s also a classic—sitcom level, really—way for parents who want to sneak vegetables to picky eaters.
This the kind of recipe that practically begs to be used as leftovers. A sandwich made with a slice of leftover meatloaf is terrific. Other favorites include crumbling into pasta sauce, mixing into chili, adding to a casserole, or gently rolling into the easiest meatballs ever.
It’s so easy to make the most comforting of comfort foods. Moist and flavorful, this recipe will definitely win over the skeptics.