Slow Cooker Bacon Barbecue Meatloaf


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Classic meatloaf is given a tasty twist in this Slow Cooker Bacon Barbecue Meatloaf recipe. As you may have guessed, cooked bacon and barbecue sauce are the highlight and they bring a flavor that will keep you wanting more.

Bacon and barbecue aren’t the only ways to switch up a classic meatloaf recipe. Try this Slow Cooker Turkey Meatloaf (with Stovetop stuffing) or my Slow Cooker Salsa Meatloaf.

Cooked and sliced bacon barbecue meatloaf in a slow cooker.

Why this recipe works

My mom made the best meatloaf in the oven, but did you know meatloaf is one of the BEST things to make in the slow cooker? Often meatloaf in the oven can get hard in spots. Not in the slow cooker. The meatloaf stays perfectly tender throughout.

I have a trusted crockpot meatloaf recipe that I follow as a base for this recipe. It’s my mom’s recipe that I converted to the slow cooker. Though that recipe uses ketchup and bell pepper, the rest is the same. Why mess with perfection, well besides adding bacon and barbecue sauce.

Ingredients for bacon barbecue meatloaf on a table.
  • Ground Beef: You’ll want to use no less than 2 pounds with a fat content of 10% or less.
  • Barbecue Sauce: This will be used both inside and outside of the meatloaf.
  • Bacon: Cook this ahead of time. It will also be used inside and out of the meatloaf.
  • Saltine Crackers: These are a classic meatloaf ingredient and are used to help it stay together.
  • Eggs: Eggs also work as a binding agent.
  • Milk: This is often seen as a hidden ingredient but also helps with binding and creating a juicy meatloaf.
  • Seasonings: Onion is diced and used to make a hearty and flavorful meatloaf along with salt, black pepper, and onion powder.

Step-by-Step Directions

6 images showing how to make bacon barbecue meatloaf in a crockpot.

Step One – In a large bowl add the eggs, onion, onion powder, salt, pepper, milk, barbecue sauce, and crushed saltine crackers.

Step Two – After those ingredients are mixed, add in the ground beef, and cooked bacon, and mix until just combined. Don’t overwork the meat.

Step Three – Add the meat to a cooking spray-prepared slow cooker and shape it into a loaf form.

Step Four – Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook for 5 hours on low.

Step Five – Drain off any grease that is sitting around the meat. Drizzle over more barbecue sauce.

Step Six – Add more bacon on top. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

sliced meatloaf in a green slow cooker.

How to serve

  • Meatloaf has long been identified as a dish that goes with mashed potatoes, gravy, and something green like green beans, turnip greens, or even asparagus.
  • A slice of this delicious meatloaf can also be served on bread to make meatloaf sandwiches.
  • Less traditional sides include honey glazed carrots, baked macaroni and cheese, cauliflower and broccoli salad, and/or sauteed mushrooms and onions.
  • When it comes to bread, you can’t go wrong with serving it with a slice of white bread, a piece of homemade cornbread, or a piece of toasted garlic bread.
a piece of mealoaf on a plate.

Recipe FAQs

What can I use instead of saltine crackers?

If you want to use something other than saltines (such as oatmeal or panko bread crumbs), the amount of saltines crushed is 1 1/4 cups.

What kind of barbecue sauce should I use?

I always say use your favorite sauce, but don’t forget that so many barbecue sauce flavors can make this recipe out of this world!

Can this meatloaf be cooked on a high setting?

I have not tested meatloaf on high, sorry! Soups, stews, and roasts are easily adapted, but things like meatloaf and casseroles must be tested.

If I try this with ground turkey, is it the same cooking instructions and time?

May need a bit more crackers if the turkey is really moist. But other than that should do fine.

How do I store leftovers?

Place any remaining meatloaf in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. Reheat it a skillet on the stove top or microwave until warm throughout.

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sliced meatloaf in a green slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Bacon Barbecue Meatloaf

5 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Tender meatloaf that is stepped up a notch with added bacon and barbecue sauce.


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce, I use sweet baby rays
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 25 saltine crackers
  • 2 lbs. 10% fat ground beef
  • 8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
  • For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon


  • In a large bowl, add the eggs, onion, barbecue sauce, milk, onion powder, salt and pepper. Crush the saltine crackers in next and mix this all together with clean hands.
  • Add the ground beef and cooked bacon in next, only mixing everything until it just comes together.
  • Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick spray, and shape the meat in to loaf shape in the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours, without opening the lid while during the cooking time. Scoop out the fat and discard. Top the meatloaf with the additional barbecue sauce and crumbled bacon.
  • Serve and Enjoy.



  • If you want to use something other than saltines (such as oatmeal or panko bread crumbs), the amount of saltines crushed is 1 1/4 cups.
  • Place any remaining meatloaf in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. Reheat it a skillet on the stove top or microwave until warm throughout.


Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 220mg | Sodium: 1220mg | Potassium: 796mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 245IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Felicia says:

    I’m making this now and I’m sure it will be delicious. I did make a mistake so hopefully it turns out. I didn’t shape it into a loaf but rather pressed it into the slow cooker without leaving space. I done think I can fix it now. Dumb move on my part.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      It will be fine!

  2. Deb says:

    Making this tonight can’t wait to eat but I put just a little bacon grease in my meat