Posted by: Erica Retrochef | March 7, 2011

Meatza Pizza

This has popped up in a couple places, both on Flickr via bluwmongoose and most recently on Hey, My Mom Used To Make That! If you’re in the mood for a low-carb, high-protein meal with an extra dash of strange and bizarre, this is a terrific recipe to try.

Step 1. In a large bowl, mix the following ingredients thoroughly:
1/4 cup Campbell’s Tomato Soup
1-1/2 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. oregano, crushed

Place a square of foil on a cookie sheet. Put the ground beef mixture on the foil. Pat out the meat firmly into a 10-inch circle about 1/2-inch thick. Build a stand-up rim about 1 inch high all around the edge of the circle. This makes a meat “crust” for your pizza. (Be sure to make the meat rim high enough and firm enough so that it will prevent the meat juices and soup sauce from bubbling over.

Step 2. Turn up the edges of the foil to catch drippings. Spread the rest of the 10-3/4-ounce can of Tomato Soup over meat.

Step 3. Top with 3 slices of Mozzarella or process cheese and more oregano. If desired, add anchovies or mushrooms. Bake at 450°F. 15 min. or till done. Spoon off drippings. 6 wedges.

The ingredients for a meatloaf pizza (or “meatza” for brevity and silliness) are pretty standard — ground meat, bread crumbs, onions, tomato sauce… or, in this odd version, tomato soup.

Like many retro recipe entrées, the meatza mixing goes through a stage where it looks like something you’d find during surgery. (Not a terribly healthy something, either.)

Once everything is mixed thoroughly, squish it into a pizza shape, including a raised “crust” to hold ingredients in.

Pour on tomato sauce soup, and add toppings as desired. We split the meatza surface into thirds: one section with olives for the kids, one with mushrooms for me, one with anchovies for Buzz. (A side note: “real” mozzarella, the kind that comes in spheres and has to be cut in slices, is SO MUCH BETTER than the grated stuff!)

After 15 minutes, we opened the oven to check, and it was scary how much liquid had oozed out of the crust. It had reached a level where the meatza would shortly be boiled rather than baked.

That’s how much got spooned off (about 75% of the total leaked). Notice the lovely layer of fat floating on top…

After a few more minutes, it looked a lot more done; we took it out and then realized the greasy ooze was not only around the outside of the “meatza,” but also had been held in the top by the “crust.” The mushrooms were floating, everything else had sunk. (Considering we used relatively lean meat mixture, I really doubt that the original recipe photograph in the advertisement was based on real results. A freshly-made “meatza” would have been swimming in fat.)

Slicing this was another adventure; I lifted it up off the foil onto a wire rack to try to drain a little more of the liquid off the bottom, then sectioned it into servings. To get through the cheese, I needed to get out scissors.

The bottom line is that tomato soup is not an adequate replacement for tomato sauce, and Campbell’s recipe designers got a little bit too creative sometimes. This is not a “glorified pizza.” This is an absolutely ridiculous pizza, although it wasn’t a totally revolting meatloaf. Neither of the kids enjoyed it (although they found it entertaining to make). Unlike a typical pizza, the tomato flavor got thoroughly overwhelmed and/or absorbed by the meat.

On the plus side, Buzz has been cheerfully planning how to retool the recipe (e.g., use tomato sauce, have better meatloaf base, shrink the “crust”) so he can make it again — it couldn’t have been all THAT bad!


  1. As meatloaf, this wasn’t too bad, but the buildup of grease was astonishing (even though we were using a mixture of half ground turkey and half extra-lean ground sirloin). Some of the toppings (including my anchovies) were floating on the pool of liquid sitting within the crust.

    In retrospect, I think having the wall of meat around the toppings was a mistake. There was so much fluid there, however much ran off, there would still have been plenty to keep the thing moist. If it didn’t have a confined space to pool, I doubt the grease would have convected the toppings away, which was probably what the creators of this recipe were worried about.

    Given that there was no mention of having to spoon or suction off the grease, I wonder whether the writers assumed that housewives of the period would know that you always needed to degrease meat dishes. Or maybe they just never even bothered to make it themselves.

  2. How brave you are to not only try Retro Recipes, but to devote a blog to that endeavor. Looking at some of these recipes is like paging through my grandmother’s cookbook (that I was fortunate enough to inherit) as she was quite a recipe cutter and paster. She would have made one great scrapbooker today. Glad to have found your blog!

  3. […] After a couple weeks of silly desserts, and the greasy Meatza, I was in the mood to try something a little bit more nutritious. So, SURPRISE! It’s bran […]

  4. […] came out with recipes that called for soup. We’ve visited these before — Shrimp Lamaze, Meatza Pizza, and even Tomato Soup Cake. In general, it only manages to rise to the level of “meh” […]

  5. Somehow this recipe became much more appetizing when I saw the last couple of photos (which probably says more about my love of greasy, juicy hamburgers than anything).

    I think I’ll try it with 5% lean hamburger meat and an extra dollop of thick tomato soup; hopefully I’ll end up with a good balance of grease, meat, and sauce.

  6. My best and favorite meatloaf recipe actually calls for tomato soup, as well as *I know your hubby will cringe* ketchup, mustard, and steak sauce. Those ingredients, mixed with your standard onion, egg, and oatmeal (much healthier and better texture than breadcrumbs), actually make one of the most moist, flavorful meatloaves I’ve ever eaten. I can barely keep a serving for myself when I make it lol.

    As far as this recipe is concerned, maybe one of those pizza pans with the holes in the bottom placed in/over a large baking pan to catch the grease would help reduce that runny-ness?

  7. I used to make this for our family back on the 70-80, we loved it! Glad I found it, will try soon!

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