This crockpot meatloaf is lean ground beef mixed with breadcrumbs, herbs and seasonings, then cooked in a slow cooker along with carrots and potatoes. An easy dinner option that’s perfect to come home to after a long day!
I always turn to my crockpot when I know I’m not going to have a lot of time to make dinner in the evening. Some of our favorite slow cooker recipes include chicken tortellini soup, apricot chicken, and this tender and juicy traditional meatloaf.
Meatloaf is always a big hit, but it can take an hour or longer to bake in the oven. I don’t always have that kind of time to wait for dinner at night, so I’ve created this crockpot meatloaf that slow cooks all day while you’re gone. The end result is a super tender loaf that’s full of savory flavors.
How do you make crockpot meatloaf?
This easy meatloaf starts with making the beef mixture. Cook up some diced onions in a pan and add a little minced garlic. Mix together ground beef, beef broth, bread crumbs and seasonings, along with the cooked onions and garlic. Once everything is combined, shape the meat into a loaf and put in it a slow cooker. Toss some chopped carrots and potatoes in olive oil with salt and pepper, and arrange them in the slow cooker around the meat. Brush the loaf with ketchup, then everything cooks together until the meat is done and the veggies are tender. You’ve got a delicious meal ready to serve garnished with a little chopped parsley.
Tips for crockpot meatloaf
- I recommend using 90% lean ground beef for this recipe. 80% lean beef tends to leave grease in the bottom of the slow cooker, and 96% lean beef tends to dry out and get crumbly.
- You can use other vegetables besides carrots and potatoes. Just make sure they’re cut into larger pieces so they don’t get mushy during the long cook time.
- Feel free to line your slow cooker with foil to help lift the hot meatloaf out of the slow cooker.
- The meat mixture can be assembled the night before, then placed in the crockpot in the morning.
- Leftover meatloaf and veggies are good in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can freeze individual slices of meatloaf for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
- If you’re not sure if your meatloaf is cooked through, you can use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. The middle of the loaf should reach at least 160 degrees F.
HOW TO MAKE A MEATLOAF SANDWICH
Leftover meatloaf is perfect for meatloaf sandwiches! You’ll want to use a sturdy bread like a french roll. Toast the bread to keep it from getting soggy. Heat meatloaf all the way through in a toaster oven, regular oven or a microwave. Feel free to add tomatoes and lettuce, or any other of your your favorite toppings to the sandwich.
Slow cooker meatloaf variations
I love this meatloaf recipe as-is, but there are some other ways to customize the flavors in this dish.
- Italian: Add 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese and use Italian breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. Top the meatloaf with your favorite marinara sauce instead of ketchup.
- Mexican: Add 1/2 cup each of cheddar cheese, black beans and corn to the meatloaf mixture. For extra flavor and spice, add 1 tablespoon of chili powder or taco seasoning.
- Cheesesteak: Add 1/2 cup each chopped of cooked peppers and mushrooms to the meatloaf, along with 1/2 cup of shredded provolone cheese.
- Bacon Cheeseburger: Add 1/2 cup of cooked crumbled bacon, 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese to the meatloaf.
Using this crockpot recipe is an easy way to make a delicious meatloaf meal. Cooking the meatloaf with the potatoes and carrots gives them a wonderful savory flavor and the meatloaf stays tender and juicy. This recipe will have your family and friends asking for seconds.
More comfort food classics
- Cheeseburger Pie
- Chicken Alfredo Bake
- Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- Chili Mac
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided use
- 1 onion finely diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef 90% lean
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves minced
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup ketchup divided use
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- 1 pound small potatoes halved
- 1 pound carrots peeled, halved and cut into 1 inch pieces
- cooking spray
- Coat a 6 quart crockpot with cooking spray.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
- Place the garlic and onion mixture in a large bowl along with the ground beef, thyme, salt, pepper, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, eggs and breadcrumbs. Stir well to combine.
- Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the carrots and potatoes and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Form the beef mixture into a loaf. Place in the crockpot and arrange the potatoes and carrots around the meat.
- Brush the top of the loaf with half the ketchup. Cover the crockpot and cook for 6 hours on low.
- Brush the remaining ketchup over the cooked meatloaf. Sprinkle with parsley, then slice and serve.
Does anyone ever stretch the meat, by adding green bell peppers and celery to the mixture? Just wondered if I could precooked the veggies into microwave to soften them some first? Thanks in advance!
Can you use ground turkey.
That should work!
This recipe came out so great! I love the way the house smells when you use the crock pot
Is it okay if the meatloaf cooks over 6 hours? If so what is considered too many hours?
You could go an hour longer!
Can I use instant pot? And for how long?
I have not tested it in the Instant Pot. My best approximation is to cook it on high pressure for 25 minutes.
My family loves meat loaf and this recipe came out wonderful!
If I wanted to half this recipe how do you think I should adjust the cook time? It looks great!
You could do 4 hours on low!
I was so happy to come home to a wonderful food smell in my house and this tasty meal. I really should use my crook pot more ofter
It’s already 2 and I want mea loaf tonight! Thoughts on putting this recipe in the oven??? Temp and time?
Bake at 325 degrees F for one hour or until a thermometer registers 160 degrees!
The meatloaf is so good and so juicy, and cooking it in a crockpot is perfect for busy days. We love the recipe, as is. And I’m going to try the other suggested variations. 🙂
Hello. I have something to ask you.
She never put what on the crockpot ( high, low,)
What temperature did you put it on?
You should cook it on low it’s written in the recipe!
I’ve never thought to make meatloaf in the crockpot! What a brilliant recipe and one that would make dinner SO much easier. I can’t wait to try it.
Wow! What a great recipe! I’m with you, slow cooker recipes are my lifeline for busy weekdays!
This is a very delicious looking recipe. Never thought to meatloaf in a crockpot. Now that’s all I am thinking about. Thanks for the inspiration.
What a great idea to cook a meatloaf in the crockpot. This will be perfect for those nights when I don’t have time to cook a full meal.
This crockpot meatloaf is so vibrant, healthy and yummy!
Such a delicious meal for busy nights! My family will love this!
This is the perfect weeknight meal! Love that’s it made in the crockpot – so easy and delicious!
This looks like something my family would DEVOUR! I can’t wait to try it!
Turned out perfectly! The meat was so flavorful and everything was super easy to make. Thanks!