This slow cooker meatloaf takes your favorite classic meatloaf recipe and makes it even easier! By cooking your meatloaf in the Crockpot, you end up with a tender, perfect dinner that’s ready to eat as soon as you walk in the door. Great for busy weeknights or meal prepping!
What Makes Slow Cooker Meatloaf So Good
- There’s so much to love about this recipe. It tastes GREAT, it’s super easy to make, clean-up is a snap… I think my favorite part, though, is that the slow cooker lets you have a delicious meatloaf waiting for you as soon as you get home from work, or errands, or tackling the million other things on your to-do list.
- The texture on this slow cooker meatloaf is absolutely perfect. You might be worried that cooking it for so long will make it dry or tough, but I promise that it won’t! It actually comes out really moist and tender, even better than the traditional oven method, in my opinion.
- Slow cooker meatloaf is an easy-to-customize recipe. Maybe you like more spices, a different meat, no onions, etc. Don’t be afraid to play with your food.
Key Ingredients for Slow Cooker Meatloaf
Ground Beef – CLASSIC. You could also use ground turkey, ground bison, or a combo of ground beef and ground sausage. Feel free to make this crockpot meatloaf your own!
Breadcrumbs – Another meatloaf staple. Breadcrumbs (and eggs) act as the binder, helping the slow cooker meatloaf keep its shape. For a little extra flavor, use Italian breadcrumbs. You could also use crushed pork rinds or crushed buttery crackers. If you’re gluten free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Milk – Wait. Milk? In meatloaf? There are a lot of ways to make a meatloaf, so this might be a new meatloaf ingredient for you. Trust me on it, though! Milk keeps the slow cooker meatloaf super moist and adds a little rich flavor. If you don’t do dairy, you can use your favorite non-dairy milk. Just be sure it’s unsweetened! Beef broth would also work but the taste and consistency will be different.
- Super recommend using an internal meat thermometer to know when your slow cooker meatloaf is ready! Everyone’s Crockpot behaves a little differently based on a number of factors, and you don’t want to serve under- or over-cooked meat. For food safety, ground beef should reach an internal temperature of 160° Fahrenheit.
- For a really tender meatloaf, use a ground beef with a higher fat content. A 90/10 mix will still come out really well, but you’ll notice a slight difference compared to an 80/20 mix.
- I mention this in the recipe card below, but it’s worth another reminder: don’t overmix the meatloaf ingredients! If you work the meat mixture too much, it’ll toughen and become really dense. To keep it light and tender, use you hands and mix just until everything is combined.
Be Sure to Try These Other Slow Cooker Recipes!
- Slow Cooker Tom Kha Soup (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
- Dreamy Crockpot Chicken and Rice
- Crockpot Zuppa Toscana (Whole30)
- Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Crockpot Chicken Wings
- Crockpot Queso Dip
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Slow Cooker Meatloaf
- Large bowl & spoon or silicone spatula
- Aluminum Foil
- Crockpot or other slow cooker
- Baking sheet
- Small bowl & whisk
For the Meatloaf
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup milk of choice see Notes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In large bowl, mix together all ingredients for meatloaf until combined. Careful not to overmix.
- Line ceramic slow cooker insert with aluminum foil. Place meat mixture on foil and shape into loaf. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on high 3 hours or low 6 hours.
- When cook time is up, check center of meatloaf with internal meat thermometer. For ground beef, internal temperature should read 160° Fahrenheit for food safety. Keep in mind that meatloaf will continue to cook slightly after cook time, so be careful not to overcook it. When meatloaf is ready, remove loaf from slow cooker and transfer to baking sheet.
- In small bowl, mix together all ingredients for glaze. Spread glaze over top of meatloaf, then place baking sheet under broiler.
- Broil on high heat 3 to 4 minutes until glaze is sticky. Remove from oven and serve warm.
- Make it Dairy Free: Use your favorite unsweetened, non-dairy milk.
- Make it Gluten Free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Make it Lower Sugar: Use a ketchup without any sugar (store-bought, or make your own Keto Ketchup or Whole30 Ketchup) and substitute Brown Swerve or coconut sugar for the brown sugar in the glaze. The Worcestershire sauce does contain a small amount of sugar, so the recipe won’t be 100% sugar free, but these subs will help.
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Jasmine Comer is a food photographer and recipe developer from North Carolina. She grew up in the kitchen watching her mom cook all types of delicious meals. In 2016 she established Lively Meals, a food blog where she creates healthy recipes. This led to creating recipes for other blogs as well. In her free time she enjoys exploring new places and spending time in nature. Ultimately she’s grateful to be doing work she loves—cooking good food and sharing it with people.