Hobo Dinner in the Slow Cooker


96 Comments


This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Conveniently cook an entire meal at once with this delicious Crock Pot Hobo Dinner. It features a tasty meatloaf along with sliced potatoes all cooked to perfection at the same time. This meal is perfect to enjoy by yourself over the weekend or send to work with your husband to enjoy for lunch.

Another one-pot meal option you may want to try is my Slow Cooker Meatloaf and Baked Potatoes, one that can feed the whole family.

overhead shot of hobo dinner in the slow cooker.
Save Recipe
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Why This Hobo Dinner Works

When it comes to making a complete meal with ease, this recipe is a great idea to try. All you need are simple meatloaf ingredients like ground beef, saltine crackers, eggs, onions along with sliced Russet potatoes that will be slow cooked in melted butter and sliced white onion.

This meal is also pretty versatile, meaning you can swap the potatoes for your favorite vegetables, mushrooms, corn on the cob, sliced carrots, and the like. With foil dinners like this, the prep time is quick and the cooking time is just short enough to have it ready by dinner time. You may also like my Slow Cooker Mealoaf!

Recipe Ingredients

ingredients for hobo dinner in the slow cooker on a table.
  • For the Meatloaf: Ground beef (10% is best for this recipe), large eggs, diced white onion, ketchup, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and crushed Saltine crackers.
  • For the Potatoes: Small sliced Russet potatoes, salt, onion powder, black pepper, and melted butter.
  • Cheese: Shredded sharp cheese will be added at the end.
  • For Serving: Ketchup can be added as a topping just before serving. (Full recipe is in the recipe card below the photos).

Step-by-Step Directions

three images showing how to make hobo dinner in the slow cooker.

Step One – In a large bowl, combine the meatloaf ingredients, be careful not to over mix.

Step Two – Shape the meatloaf on one side of the slow cooker, trying to keep the meatloaf from touching the sides.

Step Three – Make a foil “bowl” out of a foot or so of aluminum foil and shape it next to the meatloaf.

six images showing how to make hobo dinner in the slow cooker.

Step Four – Add the potatoes and onions and then season them with the salt, pepper, and onion powder. Toss them by hand.

Step Five – Drizzle over the melted butter.

Step Six – Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours. DO NOT OPEN THE LID WHILE THIS IS COOKING, or the potatoes will not get tender.

Step Seven – After the cooking time is up add the cheese on top of the potatoes.

Step Eight – Cover for about 5 minutes more or until the cheese is melted.

Step Nine – Add ketchup to the top of the meatloaf and serve. Enjoy!

scooping potatoes from a crockpot hobo dinner.

How to Serve

  • One of the best things about this crock pot hobo dinner is that it is served perfectly as is. Simply add a slice of meatloaf and a helping of potatoes onto a plate and eat up.
  • You can also serve this meal with cornbread, sliced white bread, or homemade biscuits.
  • Pair it with different veggies, a side salad, or have a nice dessert on hand to add something sweet.
overhead shot of serving of hobo dinner in the slow cooker.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use another type of meat?

Yes. This recipe works well with ground turkey.

Do I need to use cooking spray?

No, you shouldn’t need to use a cooking spray but you can for added protection against the meatloaf sticking. You can also use a slow cooker big, which makes cleanup a breeze.

How do I store leftovers?

Place any remaining meatloaf and potatoes in an airtight container (together or separate) and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed throughout.

serving of slow cooker hobo dinner on a plate.

More Slow Cooker ground beef recipes?

Want to make more magic in your crockpot? Stay up to date and subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

scooping potatoes from a crockpot hobo dinner.

Hobo Dinner in the Slow Cooker

4.50 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4
A complete one-pot meal of meatloaf and potatoes reminiscent of old campfire dinners.

Ingredients 
 

Meatloaf Ingredients

  • 1 lb. 10% fat ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • 15 Saltine crackers, crushed

For the potatoes

  • 4 small russet potatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup white onion, sliced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 cup sharp cheese, shredded; add at the end

For Serving

  • ketchup for topping meatloaf

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, combine the meatloaf ingredients, be careful not to over mix.
  • Shape the meatloaf on one side of the slow cooker, trying to keep the meatloaf from touching the sides.
  • Make a foil "bowl" out of a foot or so of foil.
  • Shape it next to the meatloaf.
  • Add the potatoes and onions.
  • Season the potatoes and onions with the salt, pepper, and onion powder; toss them by hand.
  • Drizzle over the melted butter.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours. DO NOT OPEN THE LID WHILE THIS IS COOKING, or the potatoes will not get tender.
  • After the cooking time is up add the cheese on top of the potatoes, and cover for about 5 minutes more or until the cheese is melted.
  • Add ketchup to the top of the meatloaf and serve.
  • Enjoy!

Sarah’s Notes

  • Place any remaining meatloaf and potatoes in an airtight container (together or separate) and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed throughout.
  • Ground turkey or ground chicken can be used instead of beef.

Nutrition

Calories: 671kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 208mg | Sodium: 1056mg | Potassium: 1434mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 741IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 269mg | Iron: 6mg

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

Made this recipe? Leave a comment below!

Other recipes you may like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




96 Comments

  1. Yvonne boggs says:

    Love this idea

  2. Anna says:

    My crockpot has two little vent holes in the lid.. Do you think this would effect the cook time? Also I would assume you spray your crockpot a little but without any liquid in the pot does it not burn and cook evenly?? Can’t wait to try thanks!

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      The vent holes are fine! I used to worry about that too. Just don’t open the crock pot while it cooks or that would really let the heat out. 🙂 Yes I would spray it with non-stick spray.

  3. laura says:

    Does anyone know if cooking it on high for 3 hours worked out alright?

    1. LV says:

      Curios to know if this worked as well! I would love to know if I can cook it on high.

  4. Jeremy says:

    What size slow cooker did you use for this recipe? I have a bigger family and would like to make one that will fit our family.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      I used a 6-quart oval slow cooker. 🙂

  5. Nancy says:

    Looks great but wonder if it will work with ground turkey the same way? We cannot eat ground beef anymore.

  6. Brenda says:

    Has anyone tried this? I’d like to try this but isn’t there a lot of liquid from the meatloaf? I always bake mine on a rack because I hate for it to sit in the grease.

    1. Sarah Olson says:

      There is about an 1/2 inch of liquid. If you use fattier beef than 10% there will be a lot more. I hope this helps.

    2. Cory says:

      I make crockpot meatloaf & instead of crackers that are bland I use chicken stuffing mix and ground turkey. To keep it moist I add minced, celery, onions, mushrooms, carrots, & bell pepper.. Top with BBQ sauce.. Cook on low 4-5 hrs.. Serve with a crockpot baked or Hasselbeck potatoes

      1. AMH says:

        Thank you so much for the ground turkey replacement. My son and I are Pollo-Pescetarians and was wondering how it would turn out if we used ground turkey or ground chicken. I love this recipe because it sounds easy and it looked really tasty in the pictures.

  7. Bonnie says:

    I love this idea! My crockpot is my favorite tool.

  8. Judy says:

    I love meals like this. I am 75 so to fix it early and let it cook is a great help. As a result, we eat better because I’m trying to not buy prepared foods.

  9. Nicole says:

    I have made these several times over the fire, but have balled up the meat and put it in foil as well. I think this will be on my list for the week. 🙂

  10. brandee says:

    Going to try about 3 hours on high and see what happens

    1. Jpeters says:

      Did it still turn out alright??

    2. bella says:

      3 hours i dont think is good. slow cooking must be slow so at least 4 or 5 znd after one hour either use low or zutomatic for at least 5 hours