French Onion Mini Meatloaves
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8-10 small meatloaves
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 lbs onions
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ - ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper (plus a little bit extra for the onions)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sherry, optional
  • 6-8 oz grated cheese (Gruyere, Mozzarella, cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc.)
  1. I usually start by prepping the onions first. Finely mince one of the onions and place it into a large bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl, place the breadcrumbs and pour the milk over the breadcrumbs. Set aside for about 5 minutes, just until the milk soaks into the breadcrumbs.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the rest of the onions into ⅓ inch slices, pole to pole.
  4. Slicing the onions pole to pole instead of across the grain will help the onions to hold up their shape much better while they are cooking. Otherwise, they will disintegrate because they will be cooked for so long.
  5. Add the soaked breadcrumbs to the large bowl with the minced onion, along with the ground beef, egg, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½-3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix all of these ingredients together until evenly combined.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. In a 10 inch skillet, melt the butter on medium heat and then pile in all the onions. It will be really full. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Start cooking the onions on medium heat, uncovered, until the onions become slightly softened. At this point, the onions will shrink a bit and you will be able to cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Every 3-5 minutes, stir the onions in the skillet.
  8. At first, the onions will exude a lot of liquid. After a little while, the onions will start to turn slightly golden on the bottom. Every time you stir them, the onions will become more golden. Since you are cooking such a large amount of onions, there should be a lot of liquid at the bottom of the skillet, since cooking the onions will draw out a lot of moisture out of them. The salt also draws moisture out of the onions. The liquid exuding out of the onions should be enough to sort of "deglaze the bottom of the skillet", but if your onions aren't very juicy, add about ¼ cup of water to deglaze the bottom of the skillet, scraping the brown parts off the bottom, until the skillet it pretty clean. In this case, it's pretty important to use a skillet that has a thick and heavy bottom, otherwise the onions will burn and cook unevenly.
  9. Keep cooking the onions on low heat, mixing the onions every few minutes, until they are really dark brown and caramelized, about 35-45 minutes overall. At the very end, deglaze the bottom of the skillet with the sherry, if you're using it. It adds great flavor to the caramelized onions. It gives them a bit of a tangy acidity as well as a bit of sweetness. If you would rather not use alcohol, just use water.
  10. Cool the onions slightly while you are shaping the meatloaves.
  11. Shape the meatloaf mixture into 8 - 10 rectangular shapes, about 3½ inches x 2 inches each. Place the mini meatloaves onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Top each of the meatloaves with the caramelized onions and then with the grated cheese. Bake the mini meatloaves in the preheated 400 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is slightly golden.
  12. Serve immediately.
To reheat leftovers, place the mini meatloaves into a skillet. Pour in just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cover the skillet, and cook on medium low heat, until the meatloaves are heated through. As the water simmers on low heat, the steam will heat the meatloaves through, without drying them out.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at