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
- 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.