Caramelized Onion & Barbecue Meatloaf

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on June 6, 2014

Caramelized Onion Barbecue Meatloaf

Sometimes I wish I blogged only about burgers. Just burgers, that is all.

Because I adore burgers…grilled at home, from a restaurant, even fast food (but Whataburger only!) burgers.

Here’s one of my all time favorite burger. I think you can see why.

Anytime there is burger on the menu that has caramelized onions, I’m sold. Because if I could blog about only caramelized onions, I would do that too. Except there wouldn’t be near as many posts as on my imaginary burger blog. Whatever, but to the recipe here…

Caramelized Onion BBQ Meatloaf

The key to this one is getting the onions perfectly caramelized. I sweetened up 3 white onions, in slices. I decided I would take half of them and chop them up after they caramelized and mix them into the meatloaf, then use the other half for topping. I had a hunch that the tangy-sweet BBQ sauce would be the perfect compliment to the sweet, caramelized onions both inside the meatloaf, as well as a garnish.

I was right. Plates polished, y’all!

This meatloaf is inspired by my love for burgers, specifically ones with BBQ sauce and caramelized onions on top. I hope you enjoy this as much as our family did :)

Caramelized Onion Barbecue Meatloaf-2

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Caramelized Onion & Barbecue Meatloaf

Yield – 4 to 6 servings, 1 9×5 loaf pan

Preparation Time – 40 minutes

Cooking Time – 60 minutes


  • 3 white onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tap garlic powder, salt and pepper each
  • BBQ sauce drizzle/topping
  • Side dish idea – garlic toast, veggies


  • Add the sliced onions, olive oil and sugar to a skillet and saute over high heat for about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and let the onions continue cooking and caramelizing, stirring often, for about 30 minutes. Once caramelized, chop half of the onions to use in the meatloaf.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs (use GF bread crumbs or GF bread to make this a GF meatloaf!), BBQ sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. (I did not include an egg because of an allergy, but you could add 1 egg to the mixture if you prefer. The egg acts as a binder and holds the meatloaf together.) Form into a loaf and add to a 9×5 loaf pan, drizzle a little BBQ sauce on top and then cover with foil.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, covered in foil. Then remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the meat has cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the toast, rolls, rice (whatever!) and veggies.
  • Serve Caramelized Onion and Barbecue Meatloaf with preferred sides.


  • This loaf is freezer friendly and can be frozen before or after cooking.

See more $5 Dinners Popular Recipes here

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

bernadene June 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

So just to be sure, half of the caramelized onions are to go in the bowl with the other ingredients for the meatloaf? Yes? What a great recipe, all my favorites in one. It’s like a lityle slice of heaven fell down onto my plate. I recently bought a 25 lb bag of onions and have been enjoying onions on everything. Also onions are a great reliever for any chest colds, or asthma, I haven’t had to use my inhalers once since I’ve eaten onions on a regular basis. Thank you for the recipe. Love, love, love your blog.


Glen June 16, 2014 at 9:08 am

Half of the onions go into the meatloaf when putting the meat and breadcrumbs and etc together?? How about the remaining half?


Ace Viray July 9, 2014 at 7:50 pm

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