Slow Cooker Meatloaf features our family favorite BEST ever meatloaf recipe made even easier in the crockpot. It's tender and savory, and the perfect set-it-and-forget-it weeknight comfort food dinner that the whole family will love!
Slow Cooker Meatloaf
One of our favorite family dinners is meatloaf. It's one of those rare no-fight dinners for us that just makes my day.
This Slow Cooker Meatloaf recipe uses our absolute favorite BEST EVER classic meatloaf and cooks it right in crockpot for the simplest and easiest way to get it on the table for dinner.
Slow Cooker meatloaf features tender ground with breadcrumbs and a mixture of sauteed onions, garlic, and herbs for an extra savory flavor kick. It's kid-friendly, hands-off, and the perfect weeknight meal.
Why Cook Meatloaf in the Crockpot?
I say, why not?! Meatloaf is a pretty simple recipe but it takes a while to cook, even in the oven. This slow cooker version allows the meatloaf to cook hands-off while you go about your day!
Can You Put Raw Ground Beef in the Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can. It's safe, just like putting a raw beef roast or chicken breast in is also safe.
How Long Does it Take to Cook Meatloaf in the Crockpot?
Usually about 4 hours on low. A programmable slow cooker that turns off when done cooking is great for recipes with a shorter cook times, like this one.
Can This Meatloaf be Made in the Oven Instead?
Yes, it can! This meatloaf was originally an oven version that I adapted for the slow cooker. If you'd like the full instructions, you can head over this oven meatloaf recipe.
The cliff-notes version is to prepare the meatloaf as directed in the recipe below. Then place in an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan or shape on a baking sheet. Then bake for 60-75 minutes in a 350°F oven, until firm.
What Do I Top My Meatloaf With?
I personally just use ketchup to brush on top of my meatloaf (or smear with a spoon if I'm feeling a little more lazy).
Some more super easy options are barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce (the thick kind, not the thin salty kind), or even orange marmalade.
Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe Variations
This is my favorite meatloaf recipe, and I don't like to alter it at all because it's already the BEST. But if you're looking for a little variety, here are some ideas.
- Topping - Above, I already suggested some different sauce toppings for the meatloaf, You can use an alternate such as barbecue, teriyaki, or orange marmalade in place of ketchup, both on top and in the recipe for a slightly different flavor.
- Cheese - Cheese can be sprinkled on top for the last 20 minutes of cook time or it can be sandwiched in the middle in a layer for a stuffed-meatloaf situation. You can use your favorite cheese including but not limited to cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, Monterey or Colby Jack, or Swiss. Cheeses that melt will work better for this purpose, rather than a crumbly-type cheese.
- Bacon - bacon is a classic addition. Cut some in half and drape it across the meatloaf to cook (this will produce a lot more grease that will need to be drained). Or cook and crumble some bacon and toss it into the meat mixture before cooking.
- Jalapenos - for some added spice throw some diced jalapenos, fresh or jarred into the meat mixture. You can also add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce for a little extra spice.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Meatloaf
For more side dishes, you can head over to my full list of side dishes because, really meatloaf can go with anything you're in the mood for.
How to Store Slow Cooker Meatloaf
To store leftovers, cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days. Reheat in individual servings in a microwave-safe dish.
To freeze meatloaf, prepare the mixture, but don't cook. Transfer raw meatloaf mixture into a freezer bag. Store for up to 3 months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then cook as instructed in the recipe.
More Crockpot Beef Recipes You'll Love
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff - a from-scratch stroganoff with fresh mushrooms and tender pieces of beef in noodles.
- Crock Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs - everything is cooked right in the crockpot! From the meatballs to the sauce. Yes! Even the noodles!
- Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers - the easiest way to make stuffed peppers. No need to pre-cook the ground beef or the rice!
- Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak - the slow cooker is the perfect method for getting a decadent onion gravy as it slow simmers the sauce to savory-sweet perfection.
- Crock Pot Sloppy Joes - ground beef in a sweet and tangy sauce that's slow simmered and delicious served on buns with coleslaw.
- SEE ALL CROCK POT RECIPES
Slow Cooker Meatloaf Video
Slow Cooker Meatloaf
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ of a large onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried parsley)
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground thyme)
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 2 eggs beaten
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Saute onions and garlic until onions are tender, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in parsley and thyme and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Combine beef, eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, Worcestershire, pepper, and cooled veggies.
- Place mixture in lined crock and spread evenly.
- Cook on low for 3-5 hours, or until cooked through (meat thermometer reaches 160°
- Drain excess grease, and let your meatloaf set for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Reheat in individual servings on a microwave safe dish.
- Freezer Directions: To freeze, prepare meatloaf mixture but do not cook. Then transfer raw meatloaf mixture into a freezer bag. Store for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using. Then continue with the recipe starting at step 5.
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