Meatloaf is a versatile dish that can be served with all sorts of vegetable side dishes.
But a recently unearthed Campbell’s tomato soup ad from 1966 suggests kicking your meatloaf dinner up a notch by rolling those vegetables up inside the meatloaf.
Redditor MarchKick, whose name is Katie, said she found the recipe in a Facebook group that shares vintage advertisements. When she saw the “Roll-in-one Meatloaf,” she knew it was perfect fodder for the Old_Recipes subreddit.
“I thought it was funny,” Katie told TODAY Food. “Everything back then was in a loaf or Jell-O. Food from back then really interests me, so I thought someone else might get a kick out of it as well.”
The recipe, complete with several how-to photos, instructs home chefs to make their next meatloaf using Campbell’s tomato soup and “Roll up your vegetable course in the loaf!”
“A new one-dish meat and vegetable dinner,” the ad reads, “and soup makes it great!”
The recipe itself looked fairly straightforward: Standard meatloaf ingredients like egg, breadcrumbs, ground beef and minced onion are mixed with tomato soup, combined and flattened out into a 12- by 9-inch rectangle on a piece of wax paper.
Next comes the fun part: Frozen green beans are sprinkled onto the meat and pressed into the ground mixture, then the whole thing gets rolled up and cooked in a 350 F oven.
It was simple to assemble, and the recipe’s advice to use the wax paper to help roll and shape the loaf was much appreciated — I’d have been devastated if my beautiful meatloaf creation fell apart during the rolling process.
While my meatloaf was baking for the first 40 minutes, I peeled and mashed some potatoes and baked some yeast rolls for side dishes. The whole thing was giving me serious ’60s cafeteria vibes — in the best way possible.
After those initial 40 minutes of baking, more — you guessed it! — Campbell’s tomato soup gets spread on top of the loaf, and the whole thing bakes for another ten minutes before it’s ready to serve.
When the meatloaf was ready and I sliced into it, I couldn’t believe how strangely beautiful the combination of perfectly cooked ground beef, bright green beans and red tomato soup looked together on the plate.
Dinner was delicious, and everyone in my family agreed that it was one of the best meatloaves we’d ever had — though my husband was quick to point out that that’s not saying much since we aren’t huge meatloaf-eaters.
Still, I was pleased with my Sunday dinner creation, and may even make it again on a chilly winter evening, as it was nostalgic comfort-food perfection.
Katie, the Redditor who shared this vintage delight, said she loves reading through old recipes, and so does her mother.
“She is the one that introduced me to looking into the past for some ideas,” she said. “We have a cookbook my grandma got in the ’70s that we regularly use and I also make a casserole sometimes that I got out of a cookbook published in the ’50s.”
But Katie admitted she hasn’t made the recipe herself and probably won’t, as she prefers meatloaf a certain way.
“I prefer barbecue meatloaf with the green beans on the side with some homemade mashed potatoes,” she said.