This Is the Secret to the Most Flavorful Meatloaf

published Sep 10, 2022
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sliced meatloaf on plate
Credit: Rachel Reiss

Meatloaf elicits mixed feelings. For some, it conjures up memories of dry, flavorless TV dinners. For others, it’s the ultimate comfort food. I fall into the second camp, especially since I discovered a secret ingredient that makes an ultra-flavorful meatloaf that will have even the greatest of meatloaf skeptics hankering for more: store-bought onion soup mix. 

I actually never ate meatloaf growing up; in fact, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered the delectable potential behind this humble dish. I was planning to make my grandma’s brisket recipe for a holiday dinner, only to find that our grocery store was sold out of the cut of meat I needed. Her brisket has an unmistakable flavor that is both savory and sweet, thanks to three star ingredients: ketchup, brown sugar, and onion soup mix. Seeking another main course alternative with a similar flavor profile, I turned to Google and stumbled upon Lipton’s Souperior Meatloaf, which, don’t tell my grandma — has full-on replaced her brisket. The Lipton recipe first made its debut in a 1936 cookbook, and, a true old-school classic, has withstood the test of time.

The best part? It only requires six ingredients and is practically foolproof — you simply combine everything in a large mixing bowl and transfer to a lined or nonstick loaf pan and bake it for about an hour. (An instant read thermometer should register 165°F when inserted into the center of the loaf.)

I serve it over a bed of mashed potatoes for a hearty meal, or atop some mashed cauliflower with a simple green salad, or with roasted veggies — such as parsnips, carrots, and green beans. I love repurposing the leftovers into meatloaf sandwiches.

If you want to make it ahead or have leftovers, the meatloaf can stay in the fridge for up to four days or can be sliced, wrapped tightly, and frozen for up to three months. You can also portion it into mini loaves, meatballs, or bake it in muffin tins for easy prep and storage. 

Everyone has their own variation and recipe, so feel free to customize this further with grated veggies (like zucchini or carrots), shredded cheese, or a dash of Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. I like to add a little sprinkle of parsley on top for a pop of color and flavor.

I am willing to bet that after trying this version, you won’t want to make meatloaf any other way.