Crockpot Meatloaf is amazingly tender and made easily in the slow cooker!
Do you have a go-to dinner recipe? My family LOVES my baked mac and cheese, but sometimes I need something that isn’t pasta. That’s when I turn to a classic meatloaf recipe!
This is one of my favorite Crockpot Meatloaf recipes because it is amazingly flavorful and easy, thanks to using dried stuffing mix in place of breadcrumbs. It may seem odd, but all the great seasonings are already in the stuffing mix, so it’s several steps in one! The glaze on top of the meatloaf is lip-smackingly good; made with ketchup, minced onion, brown sugar and vinegar for a little tang.
My favorite part about this meatloaf is how it’s always tender and moist!
Why Cook Meatloaf in the Crockpot?
I love making this slow cooker meatloaf recipe in the crockpot for two main reasons. First, a meatloaf cooked in the crockpot is much harder to “mess up” and be dry or tough. The process of cooking in the crockpot lends to a much more tender and moist dish. Secondly, it’s ready when you get home, meaning far less stress! Traditional meatloaf takes an hour or more to bake, so if you wait until you get home to bake it, you’ll be having a later dinner. This way, dinner is mostly finished!
Plus, I can generally fit more beef into my crockpot than I can in my meatloaf pan.
How to Make Meatloaf in a Crockpot
Making meatloaf in a slow cooker is truly so easy! The use of foil not only makes for easy cleanup, it makes it easy to get the meatloaf out of the crockpot and to broil the top at the end.
- Line slow cooker with foil.
- Combine meatloaf ingredients, mix well and place in slow cooker.
- Top with meatloaf glaze, cover and cook.
- Lift out foil and broil to brown the top. Serve!
How Long Does it Take to Cook Meatloaf in the Crockpot?
It depends on how big of a loaf you’re making, but for this 2 pound meatloaf, it’ll take about 6 hours on LOW, or 3 hours on HIGH. If you have an instant read meat thermometer, check for doneness by cooking until meatloaf is at 160 F degrees.
Can this meatloaf be made in the oven instead? Absolutely! I’ve included oven directions following the recipe at the bottom of this post.
So the next time you get a craving for classic comfort food, give this easy Crockpot Meatloaf recipe a try! Crockpot meatloaf and potatoes really are a perfect pairing! Our favorite things to have alongside meatloaf are my incredibly easy Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, Southwest Cilantro Lime Corn Salad, and Cheesy Roasted Broccoli!
More Meatloaf Sides!
- Roasted Root Vegetables – easy set it and forget it!
- Creamed Spinach – such a classic!
- How to Steam Broccoli – perfect broccoli
- Sauteed Brussel Sprouts – LOVE sprouts with meatloaf!
- Classic Wedge Salad – speaks for itself
- Easy Kale Salad with Fresh Lemon Dressing – healthy and fresh
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion finely minced (divided)
- 1 box (6 oz) dried stuffing mix (I like to use the savory herb variety)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons ketchup glaze (see below)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
Brown Sugar Ketchup Glaze
- 1 ½ cups ketchup
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a small mixing bowl, mix all brown sugar ketchup glaze ingredients (reserving the rest of the minced onion for the meatloaf itself), stirring or whisking to combine well. Set aside.
- Tear off a large strip of aluminum foil (heavy duty works well), and press it into the bottom and up two of the sides of a 6 quart or larger slow cooker. Spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray, then set aside.
- Add ground beef, remaining minced onion (from step 1), stuffing mix, milk, eggs, 2 tablespoons glaze, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix until just combined (being careful not to over mix).
- Shape into an oval-like shape and place into the foil lined crockpot. Top with ½ cup of the glaze, cover, and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
- When finished cooking, carefully lift out the meatloaf, using the foil overhang, and place on a baking sheet. Top with ⅔ cup of the glaze and broil until glaze is sticky and bubbly.
- Serve sliced, with remaining glaze sauce served on the side for drizzling.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I made this tonight in the oven and holy cow!!! What a winner! I have never enjoyed meatloaf with ketchup on top until tonight. This will forever be my go-to meatloaf! Oh I didn’t have stuffing mix so I just used the equivalent of seasoned bread crumbs. Delicious!
Holly, I made your crockpot meat loaf today and my husband and I both loved it.
The sauce mixture on top really added to the taste. It was delicious. I am glad I saw this crockpot recipe as it was so easy.
I also made your Crockpot Smothered Pork Chops with Gravy last week. Ass he is Cajun my husband always loves anything with rice & gravy.
Thanks for sharing your recipes!
I am so glad you are enjoying the recipes Peg!
Please tell me what percentage of fat to ground beef you recommend.
I generally use an 80/20 mix.
i HAVE BEEN A WIDDOWER FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND i AM ALWYS LOOKING FOR A GOOD EASY CROCK POT MEATLOAF IN MY SMALL KITCHEN CROCK POT, i WILL HAVE TO GIVE IT A GO AT SOMETIME AND i THANK YOU FOR THE IDEA. IT WILL BE A CHALLENGE TO CUT THE RECIPIE DOWN TO FIT IN MY SMALL POT BUT CHALLENGES ARE MADE TO TO MAKE INTERESTING DAYS.
So happy you are enjoying it, Carl! We hope it turns out delicious for you.
Maybe you could mix up the meatloaf and divide it into two, and freeze one for later (either before or after cooking). I know how difficult it is cooking for one person! You could also just half the amounts. I saw another recipe online for a smaller recipe, using 1/2 lb of meat and it still said to cook 5 and 1/2 hours, so I’d think the time would be about the same if you just halved this recipe and used 1 lb of meat. (Four sevings isn’t so much to contend with and then you could freeze some of those leftovers in serving sizes.)
Hi, I was wondering if we do 2 meat loafs (separating the recipes) in the crockpot, how long should we cook it? Thanks for your delicious recipes!!
Hi Myriam, we have never tried separating this recipe into two smaller loaves but we would love to hear of any adjustments you needed to make. I would check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer towards the end of the cooking time to see if it is cooked. It should reach 160°F before serving.
We LOVED this recipe !!! we cut the amounts in half..cooked in oven 350 for 70 minutes Best I’ve had in a really long time!!
I love hearing when people LOVE a recipe Tammy! You made my day!
I don’t know if I did something wrong but this was waaaaaay too bready! Disappointed
Oh Julie, I’m sorry to hear that. Were your bread crumbs packages 6 ounces each?
The recipes are super. Thank you !!
why do people put milk in the meatloaf
Milk is added for moisture.
I made this tonight using the oven method because I procrastinated too long getting dinner ready. I ended up using 3 pounds of ground beef (there are a lot of us eating dinner) and only one box of stuffing mix. Two boxes just seemed like too much. I baked it for 45 minutes @ 375 without the glaze and drained off about half a cup of liquid. I use 93/7% lean beef. I can see where the extra stuffing would come in handy if it were cooking in the crockpot 6+ hours. I added the glaze for the last 20 minutes. I’m glad I tried it but I don’t think it will become our regular meatloaf recipe. It wasn’t bad, just not our personal tastes.
I am thinking about trying this recipe for dinner this weekend, but have you tried doing ground turkey in the crockpot? I saw you did have another recipe with turkey, but I’m very interested in doing in crockpot. I’m 30 weeks pregnant and have a 11-month-old, lol.
I haven’t tried it with turkey, my only concern is that the turkey doesn’t have as much fat to absorb into the stuffing so it could dry out.
This was honestly the worst meatloaf I’ve ever had. After my mouth watering as it cooked for SIX hours, I was starving! When we took it out of the crockpot, it was a pail colored blob with some glaze on top. We put it under the broiler as instructed. We served it up. The stuffing mix absorbed all liquid and grease, leaving a very dry wad of meat. It was way too sweet with the glaze.
This made making meatloaf way more complicated than it should be! I’ll stick with my regular way of just throwing everything in a bowl, mixing and topping with ketchup and bacon bits.
I have loved all of your other recipes, just not this one.
I”m sorry this didn’t work out for you Lisa, thank you for trying it.
this has been a hit when i make it in my house! Makes a lot so there is plenty leftovers . Would it turn out the same if i used a slow cooker liner instead of foil?
I’ve only used foil, but think the liners would work Jessica. Let us know if you try the meatloaf using the liners!
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Made it and the whole family loved it! Have you ever tried with ground bison instead?
We have not, April! But let us know how it turns out if you do :)