Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that is loved by the whole family! This recipe for crockpot meatloaf is easy to prepare, and using your slow cooker allows the flavors to blend together for a delicious meal.
If you love meatloaf then you have to try out some more of my easy and delicious meals that are perfect for a busy weeknight dinner. Some of my favorites are this Meatloaf Sandwich, this delicious Glazed Meatloaf, and these yummy Meatloaf Meatballs!
Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that is easy to make and so versatile! It’s a great option for a budget-friendly, easy-to-clean meal that your family will go crazy over! I love that I can throw it in the crockpot, let it cook all day and dinner is ready to go. It’s a lifesaver for busy days! This is definitely my new go-to meatloaf recipe.
Since this crockpot meatloaf is the kind of thing you can set and forget, you can use the extra time to make some easy sides to go with it! Mashed potatoes are an absolute must. Add in some delicious homemade rolls and a leafy green salad and you have a meal that will become a go-to for any busy night!
Ingredients in Crockpot Meatloaf
This recipe for crockpot meatloaf is perfect for a cozy weeknight dinner! The combo of the savory beef, sweet glaze, and tangy balsamic vinegar creates a delicious blend of flavors that is sure to please your taste buds! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for measurements.
- Ground Beef: I always get beef that is no leaner than 85 percent. The higher fat content helps the meatloaf stay moist! If you want a healthier version of crockpot meatloaf, you can also swap out the beef for ground turkey. Keep in mind, though, turkey tends to dry out more easily so you’ll want to add more liquids in order for it to turn out nice and moist.
- Onion: The onions add a sweet and savory flavor to the meatloaf and also help to bind the ingredients together.
- Parsley: Parsley adds a fresh and herby flavor to the meatloaf and also adds a pop of color!
- Italian Bread Crumbs: Using Italian-style breadcrumbs adds a subtle flavor to the meatloaf. You can even make your own breadcrumbs using this recipe.
- Milk: The milk helps to make the meatloaf moist and tender.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This sauce adds a savory and slightly tangy flavor to the meatloaf.
- Eggs: The eggs help to bind the ingredients together.
- Garlic Powder: The garlic adds such a delicious savory flavor to the dish!
- Kosher Salt: Salt is used to enhance the flavors in the recipe.
- Pepper: Pepper is used to add subtle spiciness (but don’t worry, no heat!)
- Ketchup: Ketchup is used as a glaze for the meatloaf.
- Balsamic Vinegar: This adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the glaze.
- Brown Sugar: This adds a sweetness to the glaze.
How to Make Meatloaf in the Slow Cooker
The best part about this meal is that the crockpot does most of the work, leaving you with plenty of time to relax and enjoy your meal with the rest of your family!
- Line: Line the inside of a crockpot with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine and Mix: In a large bowl combine beef, onion, parsley, Italian breadcrumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix until combined being careful not to overmix.
- Shape the Meatloaf: Using your hands, shape the meatloaf into a large oval and place it on top of the foil in the crockpot.
- Whisk the Glaze: In a small bowl whisk together ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar. Brush half of the mixture on the top of the meatloaf. Save the other half for later.
- Cook: Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours. Bake until the beef is cooked throughout and reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Top with Glaze: When finished cooking, top it with the remaining glaze.
- Slice and Serve: Serve sliced, with remaining glaze sauce served on the side for drizzling.
What is the Secret to Moist Meatloaf?
There are a few things you can do to ensure that your meatloaf doesn’t turn out dry:
- Use Meat with a Higher Fat Content: Using ground beef with a higher fat content helps keep the meatloaf moist and flavorful while it cooks.
- Don’t Overmix: Overmixing the ingredients can cause the proteins in the beef to break down, resulting in a dry and tough meatloaf.
- Add Moisture to the Recipe: Adding ingredients like milk, eggs, or even some grated vegetables can help to add moisture to the meatloaf.
- Don’t Skip the Glaze: Brushing a glaze or sauce on top of the meatloaf while it cooks can help to add moisture and flavor to the meatloaf.
- Check the Temperature: Meatloaf should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooking it for too long or at too high a temperature can cause the meat to dry out.
- Let it Rest: Letting the meatloaf rest for a few minutes before slicing lets all the liquids soak into the meatloaf to make sure it doesn’t dry out.
Crockpot meatloaf will last for up to 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 2-3 months in the freezer. Here’s how you can store it! Psst- it makes fantastic leftovers! Heat it up for a delicious, easy meal.
- In the Refrigerator: Let your meatloaf cool down to room temperature before storing it. This helps to prevent any bacteria from growing. Wrap the meatloaf in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container or a zip-top bag. It should stay nice and fresh for 3-4 days.
- In the Freezer: If you want to keep your meatloaf for longer, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Label it with the date and store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheating: You can easily reheat your crockpot meatloaf in the microwave for a minute or two, or in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- 2 pounds ground beef no leaner than 85%
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
Line the inside of a crockpot with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine beef, onion, parsley, Italian breadcrumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to mix until combined being careful not to overmix.
Using your hands, shape the meatloaf into a large oval and place it on top of the foil in the crockpot.
In a small bowl whisk together ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar. Brush half of the mixture on the top of the meatloaf. Save the other half for later.
Cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours. Bake until the beef is cooked throughout and reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
When finished cooking, top it with the remaining glaze.
Serve sliced, with remaining glaze sauce served on the side for drizzling.
Serving1sliceCalories396kcal (20%)Carbohydrates19g (6%)Protein23g (46%)Fat25g (38%)Saturated Fat9g (45%)Polyunsaturated Fat1gMonounsaturated Fat11gTrans Fat1gCholesterol123mg (41%)Sodium705mg (29%)Potassium455mg (13%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar10g (11%)Vitamin A311IU (6%)Vitamin C3mg (4%)Calcium78mg (8%)Iron3mg (17%)
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Keyword crockpot meatloaf, meatloaf in the crockpot, meatloaf in the slow cooker
I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.