Instant Pot French Onion Meatloaf

Looking for a comforting meal for the whole family? Instant Pot French Onion Meatloaf adds a flavorful kick to any dinner! Made entirely in the electric pressure cooker, this easy-to-make meatloaf is done and on the table in an hour and a half. Bursting with French onion flavors, the meatloaf is topped with a Gruyere Onion Gravy, made out of the pan drippings and cheese. So comforting and delicious, this recipe will become a family favorite!

French Onion Meatloaf, sitting on a white platter, covered in gruyere gravy

This was first posted on Julie’s Eats and Treats, where I am a contributor.

In November, our faithful slow cooker broke… thanks to a wonky sink handle that flew off its axis and cracked the ceramic in half while it was waiting to be cleaned.

I was a little heartbroken. Our slow cooker gets used on the regular in our home, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get consistent dinners on the table, what with holiday craziness and a neverending ear infection.

So I added an Instant Pot to my Christmas list, thinking, “Why not?”

Caramelized Onions in the Instant Pot, ready to be added to the meatloaf

My husband’s grandmother was the one who purchased it for us, and everyone oohed and aahed when we got it out of the packaging on Christmas morning.

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    But when I started reading the pamphlet, I got a little nervous.

    You see, I’d never used a pressure cooker before, let alone an electric one. I was terrified I’d do something wrong and unintentionally blow up my kitchen. Mind you, while we’re never had a snafu that large—minus the time our grill caught on fire—it’s something I fear, even though I’m sure it would make a hysterical story, assuming the house didn’t fall down around me.

    So I held off on using the Pressure Cook setting until I got roped into cookbook testing for a friend and put on my brave face.

    French Onion Meatloaf ingredients together in a glass bowl, ready to be mixed together to make the meatloaf

    Needless to say, once I faced my fear, I was blown away with everything this appliance could do, and I wanted to make a newfangled meatloaf involving some of my absolute favorite flavors.

    French Onion, to be specific.

    Instant Pot French Onion Meatloaf.

    You’re welcome, internet.

    French Onion Meatloaf, sitting on a white platter, sliced and ready for eating

    I was gushing to some friends about this meatloaf because it is so good. It’s comfort food at its finest and can be on the table in less than two hours. You can also make it in increments if that’s easier.

    The flavors are reminiscent of the classic soup while bringing something utterly unique to the table.

    And since I love all fun takes involving French Onion flavors, y’all know I’m super into this.

    Gruyere Gravy, in the Instant Pot, ready for serving

    The meatloaf is filled with caramelized onions–made in the Instant Pot first–and fresh thyme, and the flavor combination, in my opinion, is out of this world. You can add cheese, too, if you’re feeling decadent! (We didn’t do this to ours because what comes next adds that punch of cheese you get with the soup!)

    It’s topped with a gooey Gruyere Gravy, which is also made in the Instant Pot. I meaaaaaan… how could that not be delish?

    We served it with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans, but any sides you want to pair with this would be tasty, too!

    French Onion Meatloaf, sitting on a white platter, sliced and ready for eating

    What you need to make this recipe:

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    A slice of French Onion Meatloaf, covered in gravy, on a white plate with a serving of mashed potatoes and gravy, ready for eating

    Other French Onion Recipes We Adore

    Interested in making this meatloaf for your family? It’s become one of our favorites, along with my Slow Cooker Italian MeatloafItalian Chicken Meatloaf and Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf.

    Scroll on down to see how you can do it, too.

    Pinterest collage featuring two images of cooked, ready-to-eat French Onion Meatloaf
    French Onion Meatloaf, sitting on a white platter, sliced and ready for eating
    Yield: 8 large servings

    French Onion Meatloaf

    Prep Time: 25 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 33 minutes

    Looking for a comforting meal for the whole family? Instant Pot French Onion Meatloaf adds a flavorful kick to any dinner! Made entirely in the electric pressure cooker, this easy-to-make meatloaf is done and on the table in an hour and a half. Bursting with French onion flavors, the meatloaf is topped with a Gruyere Onion Gravy, made out of the pan drippings and cheese. So comforting and delicious, this recipe will become a family favorite!

    Ingredients

    Caramelized Onions

    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 onions, sliced thin (about 3 ½ cups)

    French Onion Meatloaf

    • 2 lbs. ground beef (85/15)
    • ½ cup saltine crackers, crushed
    • ½ cup caramelized onions, recipe above (reserve the rest for the gravy)
    • 1 egg
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • ½ cup beef stock

    Gruyere Gravy

    • Pan drippings from the meatloaf
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • ¾ cup beef stock
    • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
    • ½ cup gruyere cheese, , shredded

    Instructions

    Caramelize the Onions

    1. Slice the onions thinly using a very sharp knife or a mandoline.
    2. Turn on the Instant Pot to the Saute (Normal) setting for 30 minutes.
    3. Melt the butter in the pan, and then add onions.
    4. Cook—stirring constantly with a wooden spoon—until slightly browned/caramelized, then remove from pan.
    5. Set the onions aside to cool slightly.
    6. Do not clean the pan. Everything else will build off these caramelized onions!

    Make the Meatloaf

    1. In a large glass bowl, measure out the ground beef, saltines, caramelized onions and egg, salt, fresh thyme, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
    2. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined.
    3. Form one or two loafs.
    4. Turn on the Instant Pot to the Saute setting (Normal) for 10 minutes.
    5. Sear the meatloaf on ALL sides. (If the meat begins sticking, add a little vegetable oil to the pot to assist. I found that there was butter/liquid leftover from the onions that worked just fine.)
    6. When the meatloaf is browned on all sides and the Saute setting is complete, add ½ cup of beef stock.
    7. Put on the lid, and program the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook (Normal) for 18 minutes.
    8. When the pressure cook has completed, depressurize the Instant Pot.
    9. Remove the meatloaf, leaving the pan drippings behind. (This will make the gravy!)

    Make the Gruyere Gravy

    1. Set the Instant Pot to the Saute (Normal) setting for 10 minutes.
    2. Add the flour into the pan drippings, and stir using a wooden spoon.
    3. When the flour begins changing color, add the additional caramelized onions and the beef stock.
    4. Season with the fresh thyme and any additional salt or pepper. (I didn't think any more was needed, but taste the gravy at this point and go with your tastebuds!)
    5. When the setting has completed, add the cheese, melting at the very end.
    6. Serve warm over the meatloaf and enjoy immediately!

    Notes

    Please note the total time does NOT include the time it took for the Instant Pot to pressurize.

    If you want more gruyere in your recipe, throw ½ cup into the meatloaf!

    This recipe can be made in the slow cooker, though it will take significantly longer and require more dishes. You can make the caramelized onions in a nonstick skillet in about the same amount of time, then sear the meatloaf in the same skillet. Pop into the slow cooker on low for 8ish hours. When the meatloaf is fully cooked through, pour the pan drippings back into the original skillet and make the gravy.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 715mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 38g

    Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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    4 Comments

    1. Yep. You had me at “two onions” and “fresh thyme”, so I made it. Excellent recipe. My wife knew all about gruyere cheese and was slightly amused that I thought “Swiss cheese” was more than just emmentaler. 🙂

      1. Woohoo! Your comment makes me so happy, John! I’m glad that you and your wife enjoyed this recipe, and I hope y’all continue to enjoy it into the fall and winter months, too.

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