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.

Crockpot Meatloaf in crockpot with foil liner

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.

Two slices of crockpot meatloaf on plate with mashed potatoes

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.

  1. Line slow cooker with foil.
  2. Combine meatloaf ingredients, mix well and place in slow cooker.
  3. Top with meatloaf glaze, cover and cook.
  4. 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.

Forkful of meatloaf and mashed potatoes

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!

Two slices of crockpot meatloaf on plate with mashed potatoes
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Crockpot Meatloaf

This Crockpot Meatloaf is a great way to enjoy classic comfort food, with less stress, and without tying up your oven.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

TO MAKE IN THE OVEN
Make glaze as directed, and mix meatloaf as directed.  Shape meatloaf, spread with glaze, and transfer to a greased meatloaf pan or baking dish.  Bake in a 350°F degree oven for 60-70 minutes.
4.77 from 67 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 284 | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 120mg | Sodium: 815mg | Potassium: 641mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Vitamin C: 3.4mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 3.2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Amanda is the creator behind the food blog The Chunky Chef, where she shares comforting family meals, and the healthy food blog Smart Skinny Recipes, where she shares delicious family recipes that are on the lighter side. She firmly believes life is all about balance; eat a salad, but enjoy some bacon along with it! When she’s not in the kitchen, you’ll find her behind a camera, reading, and spending quality time with her husband and 2 children! You can visit her at The Chunky Chef and Smart Skinny Recipes!
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Comments

  1. I read all the comments and do not see anything about the fat that comes out of the meat. I have only ever done mine in the oven on a sheet pan and the fat easily drips off. Is the meatloaf sitting in the fat at the end of cooking? I really want to try this, but will wait for a response. thank you

    1. Hi Penny, the fat and juices will accumulate in the crockpot during cooking. They are what keeps the meatloaf moist while it cooks for 6 hours on low.

      1. I was worried about the grease as well. Having it sit in grease for 6 hours wont make it soggy or fall apart?5 stars

      2. We have not found this to be greasy. I suggest a lean ground beef so you have a little bit of fat but not too much. The stuffing mix will also absorb a little bit of the fat.

  2. This was wonderful, although next time I’m going to cut back on the Apple Cider Vinegar. My husband commented that it was a little strong.4 stars

  3. Love this meatloaf !! I never liked meatloaf until I tried this recipe. I have made it several times for my parents who are in their 90’s and they love it too!!5 stars

  4. I wanted to start this before leaving for work next week. With a six hour cook time, that means it would end up sitting on war, for a couple of hours. Will it be okay for that long or will there be any issues with drying out or with the glaze drying out or burning?

    1. Hi Dave, I haven’t tried leaving this one sitting on warm so I can’t say for sure. The glaze would be fine and won’t burn.

      I do think it would be ok as there are juices and steam and the lid is keeping it in so hopefully that would keep the meat moist. Let us know how it works out for you!

    2. I thought it was a really good recipe, but honestly ours needed more time and I followed the recipe to a T.

      8 hours on low minimum is more like it, as we had a lot of pink throughout the entire meatloaf at 6 hours.4 stars

    1. Hi Tia, broiling helps heat up the glaze making it sticky and bubbly. You could just leave it continue to heat up in the crockpot however it will be a bit different texture and flavor. Let us know how it turns out!

  5. Can this been made in the round crockpot opposed to the oblong one that is bigger? And wonder if it would affect the cooking time.
    thank you

    1. Hi Pat, as long as it fits in your crockpot it should work just fine. Just make sure your meatloaf reaches an internal temperature of 160°F before serving. :)

  6. I plan on making this tomorrow. I’m watching and logging my food intake. I see the estimated nutritional information which is great to have. Can you tell me what a portion is. Or how many portions there should be. That’s the only piece of the puzzle I’m missing. Thank you very much.

  7. Hello, I’m halfing this recipe – can you please let me know how much you think cooking time would need to be altered?

  8. The portion size is for 8 people but how big this turns out is honestly ridiculous! I recommend cutting the recipe in half. The stuffing to meat ratio is so wrong as you’re left with hardly any meat in the meatloaf; I can barely recognise it’s meat! I added garlic and other seasoning but still turned out bland after following this recipe. The glaze looks lovely in the photos but was more of a warm sauce on top with dried onion. You may enjoy this recipe if you’re from the cook’s home country but it does not translate well to the kiwi palette.2 stars

    1. I am sorry to hear it didn’t turn out for you Adriana. We’ve had great success with this recipe.

  9. Pretty close to how I make my meatloaf. I searched for recipes for crock pot as I have always used the oven and it heats up the kitchen in summer. I love the idea of lining the crock and just lifting it out. I will make it tonight using your recipe with stuffing instead of bread crumbs. Sadly, the Italian in me always tops my meatloaf with spaghetti sauce and I will probably continue. I know this is 5 star so you get my rating now. Thank you. I will bookmark your site.5 stars

    1. Those additions sound tasty Elaine! We love the lining trick, it just makes it to so easy after it’s cooked.

    1. That’s great Jimmy! You’ll find lots of great recipes to make here! Let us know which one is your favorite.

    1. Hi Barbara, other readers have had success using crock pot liners, parchment paper or even making without foil. Let us know how it turns out for you.

  10. I put a little tomato juice in the bottom of the crockpot when I make my Mom’s meatloaf recipe.

  11. This is absolutely the best meatloaf I have ever made, or eaten!! It’s so easy too. The glaze is wonderful.5 stars

    1. Sure Catherine. If you make it the night before I would hold off on adding the glaze until you are ready to cook it though.