Classic Lipton Onion Soup Meatloaf

Onion soup meatloaf and mashed potatoes on a plate

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Cooling Time: 10 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 1 loaf
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
347 Calories
15g Fat
16g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 347
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 124mg 41%
Sodium 689mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 35g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 589mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Meatloaf has long been a family favorite for a very long time. This simple, traditional recipe comes from a 1936 General Electric Kitchen Institute cookbook, "The New Art of Modern Cookery." The meatloaf gets a flavor boost from dry onion soup mix and ketchup. While it calls for only six ingredients—one of them is water—you can add your own special touch to the mixture with a dash of thyme and sage, Worcestershire sauce, or freshly cracked pepper.

For best flavor and texture, use ground beef with a ratio of about 85/15 or 90/10. Very lean ground beef can result in a dry, less flavorful loaf. To keep the meatloaf from baking in the excess drippings, use a meatloaf pan or crumple a sheet of foil and put it in the bottom of the pan.

If you like your meatloaf saucy, top it with more ketchup before serving. Any kind of dry breadcrumbs will work, from plain store-bought breadcrumbs to homemade to panko. The mixture has just enough moisture and binder that it is easy to slice and won't fall apart on you. Plus, the leftovers are delicious, and slices are especially good in a meatloaf sandwich.

Make sure you bake this meatloaf uncovered. There are enough moisture-rich ingredients in the mixture that it won't dry out, and covering with foil would prevent the loaf from developing a deliciously crispy crust. This meatloaf is excellent paired with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans or steamed broccoli for a balanced family meal.


Click Play to See This 6-Ingredient Onion Soup Meatloaf Recipe Come Together

Tips for Making Meatloaf

  • Shaping and then cooking the meatloaf on a baking sheet or shallow pan will allow the sides to become crisper. Baking in a loaf pan will keep the sides and bottoms moister.
  • The most popular onion soup mix to use for this recipe is Lipton, but any brand should produce a flavorful meatloaf.
  • Slices of meatloaf can be reheated in a skillet over medium-low heat (flip for even cooking) or in the microwave.
  • If you have any leftovers, we suggest making meatloaf sandwiches the next day. For a gourmet sandwich, take a slice of reheated meatloaf and place it between two slices of toasted garlic ciabatta bread. Top with a little mayo, crispy fried onions, quick pickled red onion, a few sweet and hot pickle chips, pickled peppers, and barbecue sauce.

"Simple, budget-friendly, and moist, this meatloaf is a great option for when you want a no-hassle, flavorful meal. You're essentially just mixing all of the ingredients together, molding them into a loaf, and baking. Jazz things up and add some chopped onion for more texture or add Worcestershire and/or soy for added depth." —Victoria Heydt

Classic Lipton onion soup meatloaf in a foil-lined pan
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/3 cup ketchup, more for topping, if desired

  • 1 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    Onion soup meatloaf ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, soup mix, water, and ketchup. Mix to combine well.

    Onion soup meatloaf wet ingredients in a mixing bowl

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  3. Add the breadcrumbs and ground beef. Mix well.

    Breadcrumbs and ground beef combined with the wet ingredients in a bowl

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  4. Shape the meat mixture into an oblong loaf and place in a shallow, foil-lined baking dish, loaf pan, or meatloaf pan.

    Onion soup meatloaf shaped into a loaf in a foil-lined pan

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  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until crisp on the outside and cooked through. Top with more ketchup, if desired.

    Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

    Onion soup meatloaf browned in a pan lined with aluminum foil

    The Spruce Eats

How To Store and Freeze

  • Transfer leftover cooked meatloaf to a shallow covered container within 2 hours. Refrigerate the leftovers for up to 4 days. Reheat leftover meatloaf in the oven or microwave until it reaches 165 F, the minimum safe temperature for leftover cooked food.
  • If you don't plan to use the leftovers within a few days, it may be frozen. Freeze cooked, cooled meatloaf in airtight containers or zip-close bags for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat frozen meatloaf, put it in a baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Heat in a preheated 350 F oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it reaches 165 F.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of breadcrumbs, use cracker crumbs, fresh torn bread that has been soaked in milk, cooked rice, or oatmeal.
  • For a keto-friendly loaf, replace the breadcrumbs with crushed pork rinds.
  • Instead of ketchup, top the meatloaf with thick salsa, chili sauce, barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, or canned diced tomatoes.
  • If you have picky eaters, you might try adding sautéed grated carrots or finely chopped vegetables to the meat mixture.

What is the Secret to a Moist Meatloaf?

A meatloaf needs a certain amount of fat to keep it moist and tender. If the meat is too lean, you'll end up with a dry, tough loaf. If your ground meat (or poultry) is very lean, you might consider adding fattier ground beef or ground pork to the mixture. Another way to add moisture is bacon—drape several strips over the meatloaf before it goes into the oven.

Overmixing can make a meatloaf dense and dry. Mix the ingredients thoroughly but gently, and don't pack it tightly when you put it in the pan.

How Long Should You Cook Meatloaf?

Depending on the amount of meat mixture, a meatloaf is usually done after 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a 350 F oven. To be sure it is thoroughly cooked, insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the loaf. The meatloaf will register 160 F—or 165 F if it includes poultry—when done.

What is a Meatloaf Pan?

A meatloaf pan is a loaf pan with a separate inner pan that has perforations. The meat mixture is placed in the inner pan. As the meatloaf cooks, excess fat drips into the outer pan.