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!
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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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Other French Onion Recipes We Adore
- French Onion Poutine
- French Onion Risotto
- Cheesy French Onion Pull-Apart Bread
- French Onion Bruschetta
- French Onion Soup
Essential Products for French Onion Meatloaf
- Instant Pot.
- A mandoline slicer.
- Gravy boat .
- If not using an Instant Pot, then a nonstick skillet and a Slow Cooker.
Scroll on down to see how you can do it, too.
French Onion Meatloaf
Looking for a comforting meal for the whole family? French Onion Meatloaf adds a flavorful kick to any dinner! Made entirely in the electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot), 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!
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 onions , sliced thin (about 3.5 cups)
French Onion Meatloaf
- 2 lbs. ground beef (85/15, grass fed)
- 1/2 cup saltine crackers , crushed
- 1/2 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
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- Pan drippings (from meatloaf)
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup beef stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup gruyere cheese , shredded
Caramelize the Onions
Slice the onions thinly using a very sharp knife or a mandoline.
Turn on the Instant Pot to the Saute (Normal) setting for 30 minutes.
Melt the butter in the pan, and then add onions.
Cook—stirring constantly with a wooden spoon—until slightly browned/caramelized, then remove from pan.
Set the onions aside to cool slightly.
Do not clean the pan. Everything else will build off these caramelized onions!
Make the Meatloaf
In a large glass bowl, measure out the ground beef, saltines, caramelized onions and egg, salt, fresh thyme, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined.
Form one or two loafs.
Turn on the Instant Pot to the Saute setting (Normal) for 10 minutes.
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.)
When the meatloaf is browned on all sides and the Saute setting is complete, add ½ cup of beef stock.
Put on the lid, and program the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook (Normal) for 18 minutes.
When the pressure cook has completed, depressurize the Instant Pot.
Remove the meatloaf, leaving the pan drippings behind. (This will make the gravy!)
Make the Gruyere Gravy
Set the Instant Pot to the Saute (Normal) setting for 10 minutes.
Add the flour into the pan drippings, and stir using a wooden spoon.
When the flour begins changing color, add the additional caramelized onions and the beef stock.
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!)
When the setting has completed, add the cheese, melting at the very end.
Serve warm over the meatloaf and enjoy immediately!
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.
This was first posted on Julie’s Eats and Treats, where I am a contributor.