Make slow cooker venison meatloaf for dinner this week. This recipe is flavorful and very tender and has a beautiful tangy glaze. All you need for a perfect dinner is mashed potatoes!
If you love venison and love using your slow cooker, you also need to try my spicy venison chili, classic venison roast, venison barbecue and my venison roast with bacon mushroom gravy! Venison recipes work great in the crockpot.
Can meatloaf be made with venison?
Yes! You can make just about anything you would typically make with ground beef. Ground venison does well made into a meatloaf. You don’t get as much gamey flavor with meatloaf as you would making venison burgers.
This meal is full of protein and is excellent for lunch the next day in a sandwich.
- Ground Venison – You’ll want to ensure your butcher has added at least 20% pork fat to your ground venison. The pork fat keeps the ground venison meatloaf moist, but it also adds flavor. This is an excellent recipe if you have lots of extra deer meat to use.
- Breadcrumbs – The breadcrumbs will help bind the meatloaf and keep it from falling apart.
- Eggs – Two eggs will also help bind the meat together.
- Tomato sauce – This comes in a can is an excellent choice for a meatloaf. You can use ketchup if you don’t have tomato sauce.
- Onion – I think onion is what makes a meatloaf; the smell of it cooking along with the meat is AMAZING! Make sure to dice your yellow onion finely.
- Seasonings – Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Glaze – More tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and onion powder. This mixture is sweet and tangy. You won’t want to skip making this glaze for your crockpot venison meatloaf. This is added after the cooking time is up.
Step one – Add your ground venison, eggs, breadcrumbs, seasonings, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce to a large bowl. Mix this with clean hands.
Step two – For effortless cleanup and a way to lift out your meatloaf, you can line your meatloaf with foil or use a slow cooker liner. If you prefer not to use either, it still works great, and you’ll need to slice the meatloaf to get it out. Shape your venison mixture into a loaf form, do not let the meatloaf touch the edges. No need for a loaf pan with this recipe! Cook on low for 6 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
Step Three – Make the glaze mixture when the cooking time is almost up. Remove any fatty bits or extra juices from around the meatloaf; I do this with a spoon or a turkey baster.
Step Four – Spread over the meatloaf glaze.
Step Five – Cook for 20 more minutes, enough time to warm the glaze.
The best way to reheat venison meatloaf is to get a pan hot on the stovetop (medium-high heat), add a little oil or cooking spray to your pan, and brown each side of the slice of meatloaf until the center is hot. Great for sandwiches or with leftover mashed potatoes.
Usually, this will happen if you don’t have enough binding ingredients. The binding ingredients in this recipe are the eggs and the breadcrumbs.
Venison tends to be extremely lean and can dry out quickly. The pork helps keep the lean venison moist and adds an extra flavor profile. I usually request an 80/20 mixture for ground meat when I get my deer processed.
Yes, meatloaf freezes well. Store in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months.
Many items can be used instead of breadcrumbs to bind meatloaf. Some choices are ground-up Saltine or Ritz crackers. You can also use oatmeal. Use 3/4 cup of cracker crumbs or oatmeal.
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Slow Cooker Venison Meatloaf
- 2 lbs. ground venison 80% Venison, 20% Pork fat (the butcher usually asks if you want this done before packing)
- 1 cup yellow onion finely diced
- 3/4 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce (or ketchup)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp. half and half
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- Parsley optional garnish
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce (or ketchup)
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar packed
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. prepared mustard
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- Take a large piece of foil and line the inside of your slow cooker, then spray with cooking spray. You can use a slow cooker liner or go without foil or liner. The purpose of the foil or liner is an easy way to lift the meatloaf out.
- In a large mixing bowl take all the meatloaf ingredients and mix well with your hands. If you prefer, use gloves, otherwise make sure to wash your hands before and after handling raw meat. Mixing with your hands will give you the best results, but you can use a spoon if you prefer.
- Take this mixture and mold into a loaf shape. Ensure the ends are not too much smaller than the middle, otherwise the ends will cook more. Try to keep it even.
- Place this loaf into the slow cooker, carefully.
- Pat where you see any cracks in the loaf to help seal it back.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 Hours. The meatloaf is cooked once a thermometer inserted into the middle reads 160°F.
- Make the glaze mixture when the cooking time is almost up, do this by mixing the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Remove any fatty bits or extra juices from around the meatloaf; I do this with a spoon or a turkey baster. Brush the glaze all over the meatloaf. Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the sauce is warm.
- Slice and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley, if you wish.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.
Renee Goerger says
I don’t typically cook venison, but this was unusually delicious! Thanks for the new recipe.
I gave this recipe to my brother-in-law, an avid hunter, and both he and his wife loved your recipe!!!
This looks so delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe! 🙂
JENNIFER R OSBORN says
This looks like a great recipe, thanks for the step by step. My husband adores meatloaf and I never, ever make it!