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May 3, 2013 05:26 PM

How to replace msg in a meatloaf recipe with salt and sugar?

Good evening I am looking to replace 1 tsp. of msg in a typical 9x5 2 lb. (ground beef) meatloaf recipe,
I am specifically looking to avoid the msg and replace it with whatever should go in its place.
I am confused because I have read you can use salt instead, but I also read you should mix salt and sugar 50/50 . .  

Thank you for your help and I am aware of what msg is and does chemically meaning I won't be able to get a perfect substitute . . Thanks :D

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  1. No need to substitute ANYTHING in my opinion if you are using this:

    The salt from the onion soup mix and the sweet from the ketchup should be more than enough, if you're going with that recipe.

    You've got enough flavor from the bacon, chili sauce, etc. No need for MSG.

    9 Replies
    1. re: pinehurst

      hey ok thank you I thought that as well lots of salt in onion mix..
      another way to figure this out is to simply figure out how much sodium is coming in from the msg and substitute with salt accordingly . . thanks!

      1. re: curiousaboutcafos

        MSG does not contribute to the saltiness. It's another flavor, variously described as savory or meatiness, something that is also associated with parmasan cheese, meat, mushrooms, soy sauce, and fish sauce.

      2. re: pinehurst

        Lipton Onion Soup Mix is PACKED with glutamates, isn't it?

        1. re: pinehurst

          The recipe you linked has 1 tsp of Accent in it. Accent IS MSG.

          1. re: kmcarr

            Right! I assumed OP knew that (the recipe said so, too, I think?)

            Total overkill, MSG in meatloaf.

            1. re: pinehurst

              I've never cooked with Accent or msg--is Accent just pure msg only more expensively packaged?

              1. re: rccola

                Yes, Accent is just plain old MSG.

            2. re: kmcarr

              That recipe had to be from a cookbook circa 1950-1990. Accent and MSG and such stuff from the Ajinomoto line were all the rage. Now, not so much.

          2. The recipe link doesn't lead to the recipe.
            I don't use MSG, salt or sugar in my meatloaf. But, if you want to follow a traditional recipe with flavor and that you can work around (leave out the carrot, change the cheese, etc):


            9 Replies
            1. re: HillJ

              hey weirdest thing my recipe was actually from and is slightly different I have no idea why that link is leading to semi-wrong recipe..

              recipe is here it's supposed to have water as well again really weird my link got changed..

              thank you for your recipe I will look into it . .

              1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                There is a total of 142 reviews Ann's Sister's meatloaf, a sample of eight of which are on the web page. Of the eight, five of them state they leave out the MSG and a quick survey of some of the remaining reviews say the same thing.

                Consider making the recipe without the MSG and, only then, if you still think something is missing, try adding more salt to the recipe.

              2. re: HillJ


                This link works. There were two extra .. in the OPs link.

                1. re: paulj

                  thanks for the help paulj. but does that recipe look right to you? I wouldn't recommend wasting good meat on it. So many better options.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    It would taste ok, I think, especially if you are used to using onion soup mix as a flavoring. But I don't think there's anything special about it.

                    But would recipe that contains a Tbl of Worcestershire sauce be better?

                    1. re: paulj

                      It's all that warm water in the ingred list that had me wondering. I've used onion soup mix as a flavoring (like 1/4 of pouch) tho but no water. Worcestershire sauce, yes. Nice hit of salt there and flavors. But the recipes below would be my recommendation over this OP'd link.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Well there is 1 1/2c of dry bread crumbs.

                        What's the typical proportion for a panade, bread crumbs soaked in milk?


                        An ATK meatloaf:

                        2/3 cup saltine crackers, crushed
                        1/3 cup whole milk
                        2 lbs meat
                        2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

                2. re: HillJ

                  Nor do I. I thought that was weird honestly.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Maybe all that warm water is for diluting the onion mix but I can't imagine that being good eats.

                3. I think you better find a different recipe. Most of the flavor comes from the onion soup mix

                  INGREDIENTS: Onions (Dehydrated)Salt, Cornstarch, Onion Powder, Sugar, Corn Syrup (Dehydrated)Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Caramel Color, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Disodium Inosinate, ...

                  There are plenty of meatloaf recipes that don't have ingredients like that.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Now you're talkin'-that's meatloaf!

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        pika, yours and this,1618,... are quite like Bob's grandmother's meatloaf. Which we for many years thought was an original :)

                      2. I'm with the crowd who wants you to find an entirely different recipe - one that is made without processed products with questionable ingredients.