Looking for a recipe that is both flavorful and easy to prepare? This easy Crockpot Meatloaf is your answer! With just a few simple steps, you can create a tender and juicy meatloaf that is sure to please everyone at the dinner table. The simple homemade glaze on top takes the flavors of this classic comfort food to the next level - adding a touch of sweetness and tanginess that perfectly complements the savory meatloaf. Best of all, cooking this dish in the crockpot means you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing what you love.
It is rare that everyone in our house agrees on dinner, and meatloaf is one thing I know will keep everyone happy.
My Ninja Foodi Grill meatloaf has been a regular in our rotation for a while now.
On those days when I want to be able to prep everything ahead of time, this slow cooker meatloaf is always a hit.
Follow along and I’ll teach you how to get this easy meal on the table with just a few minutes of hands-on time.
- Saltine Crackers: Using crackers instead of bread crumbs helps to keep this crockpot meatloaf recipe moist and adds flavor. You can use breadcrumbs if you like - I’ve got substitution instructions below.
- Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan adds the best flavor.
- Seasonings: Adjust the garlic powder and salt to your personal preference. I normally recommend a teaspoon of salt per pound of meat, but I have reduced that here since the saltines and soy sauce add salt to the dish.
- Eggs: Large eggs are what I keep in my kitchen, but you could use any size you have on hand.
- Milk: Adding milk to your meatloaf mixture helps to tenderize the meat and keep it moist while cooking.
- Soy Sauce: You can use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos if you prefer.
- Balsamic Vinegar: This adds just a hint of acid and sweetness to the recipe.
- Ground Beef: Use 80/20, 85/15, or 90/10 ground beef, keeping in mind that the more fat, the more the loaf will cook down. You could substitute ground turkey or ground pork for part of the ground beef in this recipe.
- Ketchup: Use your favorite brand of ketchup to make crock pot meatloaf. We like primal kitchen or Publix Greenwise.
- Brown Sugar: Light brown sugar helps to add an additional depth of flavor.
- Soy Sauce: Again, you can use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos if that is what you have on hand. Two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce will also work.
- Mustard: You can use any type of mustard that you prefer in this slow cooker meatloaf recipe. Great options include Dijon, yellow, or even honey mustard.
Step by Step
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. It will come up to the recommended 165° F as it rests.
- Be sure to use a heavy-duty foil, as regular foil will not hold up well in the slow cooker.
- Using a kitchen thermometer is a great way to check if your meatloaf is cooked through. The internal temperature should read 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) before you remove it from the heat.
- Keep a close eye on the glaze as you broil it. You want it to get nice and bubbly without burning.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into the meatloaf. This will help prevent it from falling apart when you cut into it.
To bring out the flavor of your meatloaf, serve it alongside some flavorful sides that will complement its savory flavors.
If you're looking for an extra special touch, try serving your meatloaf with creamy crockpot mashed potatoes or cheesy scalloped potatoes.
Try adding simple yet sophisticated sides such as a garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing or air fryer mushrooms. You can serve vegetables such as Instant Pot green beans, roasted shaved Brussels sprouts, Instant Pot Carrots, or peas.
No matter what sides you choose to serve along with your meatloaf creation, you are sure to wow your family and friends with this comforting dish.
Can you cook meatloaf in a crockpot?
Yes, you can definitely cook a meatloaf in the slow cooker. It's actually quite easy to do and requires very little hands-on time. Just be sure to use a heavy-duty foil sling so that it is easy to lift out when done.
Do I need to add water or other liquid to my slow cooker when cooking meatloaf?
No. Unlike cooking with an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, adding liquid is not necessary when cooking meatloaf in a slow cooker. The moisture trapped inside the slow cooker during cooking is enough to keep the meatloaf moist and flavorful.
Can I substitute breadcrumbs for the saltine crackers?
Yes, breadcrumbs will work just fine in this recipe. Use a heaping ⅔ cup as a substitute.
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- Slow Cooker: Use your favorite multicooker like the Ninja PossibleCooker, or Instant Pot Dutch Oven, or a Crockpot.
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
Leftover slow cooker meatloaf and be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
You can also freeze meatloaf for up to three months. I like to slice it and freeze it individually in plastic wrap inside a freezer-safe container. That way it is easy to thaw and bake or heat it in the microwave.
More Slow Cooker Recipes to Try
- Crockpot lasagna with ricotta is an easy and delicious dinner that will delight the whole family.
- Slow-cooker chicken alfredo pasta is a creamy, flavorful dish that can be cooked to perfection in a slow cooker.
- Crockpot chicken pot pie is a comforting and hearty dish that is perfect for Sunday dinners. Made with cubed chicken, vegetables, and a creamy sauce, this slow cooker meal is sure to become a family favorite.
- Slow cooker French dip is a delicious sandwich featuring succulent beef that has been cooked to tender perfection in a slow cooker. Served with flavorful au jus, it's sure to be a hit at your next gathering.
- Crockpot broccoli cheese soup is a creamy and flavorful dish that is perfect for cooler days. Made with fresh broccoli, onion, garlic, and sharp cheddar, this slow cooker meal will be a hit in your household.
- 30 saltine crackers
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 pounds ground beef
- ½ cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard.
- Line the bottom and two of the sides of your slow cooker with heavy duty foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the saltines in a zip top bag. Seal, and use a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet to crush fine.
- Transfer to a bowl. Whisk in the parmesan, garlic powder, and salt.
- Add the eggs, milk, soy sauce, and vinegar and mix until a paste forms.
- Put the meat in a large bowl. Add the paste and mix with your hands until combined. Be careful not to overmix.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared slow cooker, and form into a loaf.
- Make the glaze by combining the ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, and mustard in a small bowl. Divide the mixture in half.
- Brush the meatloaf with half on the glaze.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Carefully lift the meatloaf from the slow cooker by using the foil. Transfer to a large baking dish.
- Top with the remaining glaze.
- Broil until the glaze is bubbly.
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