|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 22g||28%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||41%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 7g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||12%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Meatloaf is an easy weeknight meal, but the long baking time may not always fit into a busy schedule. Preparing it in a slow cooker, however, allows you to make the meatloaf ahead of time and have a delicious meal on the table when ready to eat. In addition, when meatloaf is prepared in the crockpot, the end result is even moister than when it is made in the oven.
You can mix the ingredients in the morning and set the slow cooker to low, or ready the meatloaf a couple of hours before mealtime and cook on high. Serve this crockpot meatloaf with classic mashed potatoes and green beans or your choice of vegetable side dishes.
For the Meatloaf:
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
For the Glaze:
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 to 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
Gather the ingredients.
Line the insert of a slow cooker with aluminum foil, leaving at least 2 inches of overhang.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, dry breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Use your hands to mix them together until everything is evenly distributed. Do not overwork.
Turn the mixture into the foil-lined slow cooker and shape it into an oval.
In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard.
Spoon the glaze over the meatloaf, spreading to coat evenly. Tuck the overhang of the foil into the slow cooker so that it doesn't obstruct the lid and place the lid on top. Cook on the high setting for 2 to 3 hours or on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours. The meatloaf is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 F.
When the meatloaf is done, use the foil overhang to lift it out of the slow cooker; carefully drain off the rendered fat. Place the meatloaf on a rimmed baking sheet or cutting board to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
Serve with your choice of side dishes and enjoy.
- When making meatloaf, do not overmix or overwork the meat, otherwise, the final product can become tough and dry.
- The aluminum foil is not required, but it will make it much easier to get the meatloaf out of the slow cooker.
- A food thermometer is the best way to tell if the meatloaf is done. Insert a reliable thermometer into the thickest part of the loaf. The minimum safe temperature for ground meat (e.g., beef, pork, lamb) is 160 F.
- Meatloaf is an easy way to hide vegetables, perfect for those picky eaters. Add about 1/4 cup or more of finely shredded or grated carrot or some finely chopped bell pepper.
- Instead of the glaze mixture, use plain ketchup or your favorite purchased barbecue sauce.
- For a dairy-free meatloaf, replace the milk with tomato juice or broth.
- Meatloaf recipes typically call for some sort of filler to help keep the texture of the meatloaf light and to help retain the moisture of the meatloaf so it doesn't become dry. For this recipe, you can swap the dry breadcrumbs for cracker crumbs, if desired.
How to Freeze
Meatloaf leftovers freeze well and can be reheated for a wholesome and delicious meal later on.
- Once the meatloaf is fully cooked, allow it to cool completely. Then slice and wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap. Place in a zip-top bag or freezer-safe container and be sure to clearly label with the name of the recipe and the date frozen. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- When ready to reheat frozen meatloaf, thaw the individual piece or pieces overnight in the refrigerator. Place on a microwave-safe plate and heat in the microwave until warmed through.
What Fat Content Is Best for Meatloaf?
For a juicy, flavorful meatloaf, a ratio of 73/27 to 80/20 (lean meat/fat) is typically recommended. Leaner ground beef will produce a less flavorful, dry loaf that will not hold together well. If your ground beef is lean, reduce the amount and add some fattier ground pork.
Why Do You Add Milk to Meatloaf?
Milk is a common ingredient in meatloaf recipes because it helps keep the mixture moist by soaking the breadcrumbs. You can use other types of liquid, if you prefer, such as stock, water, or any non-dairy options.