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 more 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.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion finely minced (divided)
- 2 boxes (6 oz each) dried stuffing mix (I like to use the savory herb variety)
- 1 1/3 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons ketchup glaze (see below)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Brown Sugar Ketchup Glaze
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons finely minced onion
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 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 Tbsp 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 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.
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.
Calories: 284, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 815mg, Potassium: 641mg, Carbohydrates: 22g, Sugar: 19g, Protein: 27g, Vitamin A: 7.3%, Vitamin C: 4.1%, Calcium: 8%, Iron: 17.7%