The Best Crockpot Meatloaf

The Best Crockpot Meatloaf is a great way to enjoy classic comfort food, with less stress, and dinner is ready when you get home!

The most amazing meatloaf recipe, made so easily in your slow cooker!  No more waiting over an hour for meatloaf after you get home from work.

The Best Crockpot Meatloaf is a way to enjoy classic comfort food, even on a busy weeknight!  Moist and tender, this meatloaf recipe is always a family favorite! #meatloaf #crockpot #slowcooker #comfortfood #weeknightrecipe #dinnerrecipe #beef #groundbeef #family

Amazingly tender meatloaf, made easily in the crockpot!

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 this classic meatloaf recipe!

This recipe 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.

Drizzling ketchup sauce over crockpot meatloaf

WHY COOK MEATLOAF IN THE CROCKPOT?

I love cooking meatloaf in the crockpot for two main reasons.  First, a meatloaf cooked in the crockpot is much more harder to “mess up” and be dry or tough.  The cooking process of cooking in the crockpot lends to a much more tender and moist dish.  Secondly, it’s ready when you get home.  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 LATE 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 crockpot is SO easy!  Using aluminum foil makes for easy cleanup, but it also helps you remove the crockpot so you can broil it at the end.

  1. Line crockpot with foil (heavy duty works best)
  2. Combine meatloaf ingredients, mix well, place in crockpot and shape into a loaf-shape.
  3. Top with glaze, cover, and cook.
  4. Lift out foil and broil to brown the top. 

Glazed meatloaf in the crockpot

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 2lb 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 RECIPE BE MADE IN THE OVEN INSTEAD?

Absolutely!  I’ve included oven directions following the recipe at the bottom of this post.

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT CROCKPOT MEATLOAF:

  1. Use beef with a good ratio of beef to fat.  I like to use 80/20 or 85/15, but no leaner.  Beef that is too lean can lead to a drier meatloaf.
  2. Avoid over-mixing your meat.  You only want to mix until the ingredients have just combined.  Mixing too much will make the meatloaf tough.
  3. Use your hands to mix.  Some people like to use a wooden spoon, but I find your hands are the best tools for the job.  Wear latex/nitrile gloves if you don’t want meatloaf hands.
  4. Use milk if you can.  I love the richness that milk lends to meatloaf.  If you can’t use dairy, you could try substituting with a non-dairy milk, or use water/chicken broth/beef broth.
  5. Add a little bit of onion and the sauce to the meatloaf mixture itself.  They both not only add flavor, but add moisture as well.
  6. Don’t skip the topping!  The sauce is sweet and tangy, and really takes the meatloaf from good to great.

Forkful of mashed potatoes and meatloaf

GREAT DISHES TO SERVE WITH MEATLOAF:

SHOP THE RECIPE:

Recipe previously contributed for Spend With Pennies

The Best Crockpot Meatloaf is a way to enjoy classic comfort food, even on a busy weeknight!  Moist and tender, this meatloaf recipe is always a family favorite! #meatloaf #crockpot #slowcooker #comfortfood #weeknightrecipe #dinnerrecipe #beef #groundbeef #family

The Best Crockpot Meatloaf

The Best Crockpot Meatloaf is a great way to enjoy classic comfort food, with less stress, and dinner is ready when you get home!
5 from 14 votes
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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs
Total Time: 6 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 396

Ingredients

MEATLOAF

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely minced (divided)
  • 2 boxes (6 oz each) dried stuffing mix (I like the savory herbs variety)
  • 1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp glaze (see below)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

BROWN SUGAR KETCHUP GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Instructions

  • 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, all but 2 Tbsp of the minced onion, stuffing mix, milk, eggs, 2 Tbsp glaze, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix until just combined.
  • Combine all ketchup glaze ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.  Set aside.
  • 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 2/3 cup of the glaze and broil until glaze is sticky and bubbly.
  • Serve sliced, with remaining glaze sauce served on the side for drizzling.

Video

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.
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The Best Crockpot Meatloaf is a way to enjoy classic comfort food, even on a busy weeknight!  Moist and tender, this meatloaf recipe is always a family favorite! #meatloaf #crockpot #slowcooker #comfortfood #weeknightrecipe #dinnerrecipe #beef #groundbeef #family

 

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39 comments on “The Best Crockpot Meatloaf”

  1. Looks delicious and I cant wait to try it! I have a large family and need to double the recipe. What do you think the cooking time will be?

  2. It’s delicious 😋

  3. Meatloaf was good. We made it last Night. I felt like it tasted like Thanksgiving due to the  Recommendation of using the savory herb bread crumbs. Smelled deciduous in the house. I would not make this again tho.

  4. this sounds so amazing!! I live where it gets very hot weather in early March and lasting thru September so I don’t use my oven. Also I am the only one who likes Meatloaf. I wonder if I could use ground turkey instead of the beef? Thank you for your time

  5. Sounds good doing to try it soon anyone know if I can mix it up the night before and refrigerator it till in the morning then cook it in the crock pot?

  6. It was amazing…my suggestion make EXTRA of the sauce; it’s really good 

  7. What is the nutritional value?  We’re on KETO so checking it out. Thanks

    • As I’m not a nutritionist, I don’t provide full nutritional information for my recipes (don’t want to inadvertently pass along incorrect information). Your best bet would be to copy the ingredients into your favorite online nutritional calculator.

  8. Amanda, thank you for this recipe. I am looking forward to trying this. I currently dont have a oven and am looking for tried and true crock pot recipes. One question I have for Amanda or anyone who knows, if you try a halved recipe, do you know (or even a guess 🙂 )how much cook time on low or high? I have a thermometer, just not sure when to first start to check for correct doneness. TIA L.

  9. I only have chicken stuffing mix, will that work?

  10. My family loves this recipe and it was super easy to make.  My husband couldn’t stop talking about! My glaze didn’t come out right but I didn’t measure the ingredients properly so I’m looking forward to making again!! Huge hit- thank you!!

  11. Brilliant recipe. My husband loves meatloaf. Tried a couple from the butchers. Dry and tasted of sausage meat. He loves this. Moist with a delicious sauce. Used Panco crumbs with dry mixed herbs instead of stuffing mix, and halved the mixture for two people. This and your sloppy Joe’s are great. Going to try more of your receipes. I’m Australian and Australia is loving American food. Your food is one of the best. Keep it up.

  12. I have a question. I am currently ovenless (long story, but it all started with a gas leak in the oven, followed by having to replace furnace, hot water heater, central air, etc). How necessary is it to broil it? Any other suggestions? 

  13. Excellent!!  Was just for my husband and I, so cut the recipe in half.  I baked it in the oven as directed for that method.  Best meatloaf recipe!!  A definite keeper!!  Thank you, Amanda.  

  14.  Could you put a rack in the bottom to put the meatloaf on so that it doesn’t sit in grease and to make it a little healthier? 

  15. I forgot to mention on my previous post that I did poke 3 holes in the tin foil to drain the grease and I used 85/15 beef. I also forgot to rate the recipe which is definitely a 5/5.

  16. I tried this recipe and it was a great success. My sister said it was the best meat loaf she ever had. My sons said it was the best thing I have ever cooked in the crock pot. (I love crock pot recipes.) One thing I did that is not in the recipe: I wisked most of the ingredients that go in the meat together before adding to the meat. This includes the eggs, milk, minced onion, glaze, salt, pepper. I even separated the herbs & spices from the stuffing mix to wisk in to the liquid before mixing it in the beef using my hands. I added the bread from the stuffing mix last. Cooked on 6 hours on low. I also doubled the glaze mixture ‘cause I knew my family would love to load it on the meat loaf. It came out GREAT! Definitely a keeper.

  17. I already have a crock pot meat loaf recipe that my husband LOVES but I am anxious to try this one! It looks and sounds delish! Thank you for sharing it! Can’t wait to get the ingredients and try it!

  18. Wow! This looks amazing! I’ve never thought to make meatloaf (one of my favorite things!) in the crockpot. How cool!

  19. WW points ????? This looks great .

  20. Hi, I haven’t made the recipe yet, although it looks delicious! I am wondering about the grease that comes off. The meatloaf would be sitting in grease!  Does that make it soggy on the bottom?
    I’m anxious to make it, just concerned about the grease! 
    Thank you, Nancy

    • Hi Nancy 🙂 I don’t notice it being soggy on the bottom from the grease, but I normally use 85/15 or 90/10 beef so there isn’t a whole lot of grease to begin with. You could poke some small holes in the bottom of the foil liner to let the grease go through if you wanted 🙂

    • Recipe instructions say “80/20 or 85/15 , but no leaner. Beef that is too lean can lead to a drier meatloaf” In a later response you are saying 90/10 is OK. So what do you recommend?

      • You can go to 90/10 if you have to (the time I made it that way it was all the beef we had on hand), since you’re cooking it in the slow cooker it’s much more forgiving than oven-baked.

  21. This needs to happen at my house very soon!!

  22. Will it work in the casserole crockpot?

  23. I’ve never tried making meatloaf in the crock pot! I need to try this!

  24. THis was an awesome recipe! Made it for my family last night and they loved it!

  25. Looks fabulous! I will try to make this crockpot meatloaf this weekend. Hope they will be yummy as yours. Thanks for sharing the recipe Amanda!

  26. So good! Looks like a fabulous weeknight dinner, it’s always my all time classic comfort food and so excited to make this!

  27. I can’t wait to make this tomorrow! I have everything and if I didn’t already have something in the crockpot it would have been this.

  28. This is so easy using the slow cooker! Looks amazing!