Skip the oven and make a delicious, mouth-watering slow cooker meatloaf recipe! All you need are a few classic meatloaf ingredients and you’re set to go. This easy crockpot meatloaf is one to add to your holiday meal plan.
Why this slow cooker meatloaf recipe works
This slow cooker meat loaf is so moist and is pretty much fool-proof! Made with onions, bell pepper, and saltine crackers, this one pot meal is a family favorite! This is the ultimate classic comfort food and is easy to make in the slow cooker. This is my mom’s recipe that I converted from a loaf pan to the slow cooker.
I don’t understand why some people hate meatloaf, were they fed awful meatloaf as a kid? My mom made the best meatloaf, and I wish I still lived at home and had my meals made for me! My mom made hers on a baking sheet; I love this updated way to make it!
- Ground beef – Use an extra lean ground beef for meatloaf. I always get asked why is my meatloaf floating in grease? If you use a ground beef 7% – 10% fat, your meatloaf won’t be floating in grease.
- Vegetables – Onions and bell pepper. Trust me on the bell pepper, it makes this recipe. Cut the onion and bell pepper into a small chop.
- Seasonings – Onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Ketchup – This helps moisten the meatloaf.
- Milk – This also helps moisten the meatloaf and some say milk makes for a more tender loaf.
- Crackers – Crush saltine crackers for the binder in this recipe.
Step by Step Directions
Step One – In a large bowl, add the eggs, onion, bell pepper, ketchup, milk, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Step Two – Crush the saltine crackers in next and mix this all together with clean hands.
Step Three – Add the meat next, only mixing everything until the meat mixture just comes together.
Step four – Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray, and shape the meatloaf mix into a loaf on the bottom of the slow cooker. Your meatloaf should hold into a loaf form without falling apart. Add more crushed saltines if the mixture seems too wet.
Step 5 – Cover, and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours, without opening the lid during cooking time. Scoop out the fat with a spoon, and discard.
Step Six – Add the homemade sauce ingredients to a small or medium bowl. Mix together the sauce ingredients.
Step Seven – Spoon the homemade sauce on top of the meatloaf.
Step Eight – Cover and continue cooking for 30 more minutes on LOW if you want the sauce heated. Serve and enjoy!
What do I top my meatloaf with?
- A mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce is a classic sweet and tangy way to top meatloaf (see my recipe for this in the recipe card).
- You can also use warm brown gravy, barbecue sauce, ketchup, or even a zesty salsa.
What to serve with crock pot meatloaf:
Sure thing! Alright, so if you’re throwing together some crockpot meatloaf, you’ve got some awesome options to team up with it. Check it out:
- Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes: because who doesn’t love a mash and meat combo, right?
- Roasted Vegetables: Pop some carrots, Brussels sprouts, or green beans in the oven for that extra oomph. Try my slow cooker baby carrots recipe!
- Steamed Veggies: Keep it simple with some lightly steamed broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus.
- Salad: Fresh garden salad, because greens make everything better.
- Mac and Cheese: Cheesy goodness to match the meatloaf vibes. You can make slow cooker mac and cheese if you have another slow cooker!
- Gravy: Pour some homemade gravy over that meatloaf for a flavor explosion.
- Baked Potatoes: Load ’em up with sour cream, chives, cheese, or bacon. Here is my slow cooker baked potato recipe.
- Coleslaw: Tangy and crunchy coleslaw for that perfect balance.
- Garlic Bread or Rolls: Gotta have something to mop up those delicious sauces.
- Baked Beans: Don’t forget the baked beans – a classic BBQ side that pairs awesome with meatloaf. Try my crockpot baked beans.
Mix and match these sides, and you’re in for a yummy feast!
Try one of these leftover meatloaf recipes:
This recipe makes plenty to go around. If you have leftovers, try the following to have a quick family dinner on busy nights.
- Leftover Meatloaf Soup – Recipe by Food Network
- Leftover Meatloaf Tater Tot Casserole – Recipe by Allrecipes
- Leftover Meatloaf Quiche – Recipe by Kitchen Magpie
- Leftover Meatloaf Chili – Recipe by Food.com
- Leftover Meatloaf Baked Ziti – Recipe by Rachael Ray
- Leftover Meatloaf Sandwiches – Recipe by Best Recipe Box
Recipe FAQs and Variations
It takes 5 hours on low to cook a two-pound flavorful meatloaf in a crockpot.
Yes, you can! You can use ground turkey for this recipe. Though you may need to add more crushed saltine crackers, ground turkey tends to be wetter than ground beef.
Add crumbled bacon and barbecue sauce instead of ketchup to this recipe. Or for an Italian twist and a teaspoon of Italian seasoning to the meatloaf mixture and top with warm marinara to finish off the dish.
You can use crushed Ritz Crackers instead of saltine in meatloaf. Or you can use bread crumbs or even oatmeal as a binder. I suggest about a cup for any of these substitutions.
Your meatloaf should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit and will be safe to eat. If it is still pink, it is from chemical changes due to myoglobin and heat.
Add any remaining meatloaf to an airtight container or cover it with aluminum foil. Store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Slow Cooker Meatloaf
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 1 cup diced red or green bell pepper
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 25 saltine crackers
- 2 lbs. 7% – 10% fat ground beef
For the Sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. mustard
- 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce (optional)
- In a large bowl, add the eggs ,onion, bell pepper, ketchup, milk, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Crush the saltine crackers in next, and mix this all together with clean hands. Add the meat next, only mixing everything until it just comes together.
- Spray a 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick spray, and shape the meat into a loaf on the bottom of the slow cooker. Your meatloaf should hold into a loaf form without falling apart. Add more crushed saltines if the mixture seems too wet.
- Cover, and cook on LOW for 5-6 hours, without opening the lid during cooking time.
- Scoop out the fat with a spoon, discard.
- Mix together the sauce ingredients, and spoon over meatloaf.
- Cover and cook for 30 more minutes on LOW if you want the sauce heated. Serve and enjoy!
How to Video:
- Barbecue sauce
- Warm brown gravy (can buy packets or jarred gravy)
- Plain ketchup
- Zesty salsa
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.