CROCK POT MEATLOAF

Enjoy this classic recipe for meatloaf made right in your slow cooker! This Crock Pot Meatloaf with Brown Sugar Glaze cooks low and slow for tender and flavorful meatloaf with a hint of sweetness that can be paired with your favorite side dishes!

Meatloaf is a dish made from ground meat that is shaped into a loaf and then baked or smoked. It is typically made with beef, pork, lamb, or a combination of meats. Meatloaf can be flavored with various herbs and spices and often contains other ingredients such as bread crumbs or chopped vegetables.

This dish originated in Germany, was brought to the United States by German immigrants, and is now enjoyed worldwide!

While meatloaf is traditionally baked in the oven, this recipe uses your slow cooker to cook the meat slowly, producing lots of flavors and soft and tender meat.

The best crock pot meatloaf is made with a brown sugar glaze, a delicious twist on the classic dish. The brown sugar glaze adds a hint of sweetness to the savory meatloaf. Serve with your favorite side dishes for a complete meal!

Crock Pot Meat Loaf

INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED

  • Ground Beef - This makes up the meatloaf's main portion, adds a beefy flavor and texture, and holds all ingredients together.
  • Ritz Crackers - These get crushed up and added to the meatloaf to add a binder, giving it a classic comfort flavor.
  • Eggs - Helps bind all ingredients together and helps set the meatloaf properly while slow cooking.
  • Ketchup & Mustard - Adds a tangy acidic flavor to the meatloaf that also tenderizes the meat.
  • Milk - Helps tenderize the meat and soak up the crackers to soften the meatloaf.
  • Worchestershire Sauce - Gives this dish a salty, bold umami flavor that pairs well with beef.
  • Minced Garlic - Adds a bold garlic flavor throughout.
  • Salt & Pepper - Balances and enhances the flavor of the meatloaf.
  • Lipton Onion Soup Packet - This can be found in any grocery store and enhances the flavor of the beef by adding a salty onion and beef flavor.

THE GLAZE

  • Ketchup - Gives the top its classic red color, tomato flavor, and sweetness.
  • Brown Sugar - Enhances the sweetness in the glaze while making the glaze sticky.
  • Yellow Mustard - Adds a tangy flavor to the glaze that complements the meat in the dish.

HOW TO MAKE MEATLOAF IN THE CROCK POT

Form the meatloaf: Add ground beef, Ritz crackers, eggs, ketchup, mustard, milk, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, black pepper, and onion soup in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix until just combined.

Make a foil cooking dish: Line the slow cooker with aluminum foil across the bottom and up the two sides. Shape the meat mixture into an oval shape and place it into the slow cooker.

Slow cook the meatloaf: Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours.

Add the glaze: Thirty minutes before the final cooking time is done. Add ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Then top the meatloaf with the glaze, cover, and cook remaining 30 minutes.

Serve and enjoy: Slice and serve while hot with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!

Seasonal Gifts

RECIPE TIPS

  • When forming the meatloaf, it's important to ensure you don't overwork the mixture. This will make the meatloaf tough.
  • As the meatloaf cooks, it will render off the fat in the mixture. You can spoon this out or carefully remove the meatloaf from the grease while it is hot before slicing and serving.
  • For a thicker glaze, remove the meatloaf from the crock pot 30 minutes before it is done. Top with glaze and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the glaze is sticky and thick.
  • If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, mix all ingredients and store them in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to two days before cooking.

STORING & FREEZING

Storing: Cooled leftover meatloaf can be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Freezing: Cook meatloaf as directed and cool completely before slicing into individual servings. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and place in the freezer for one hour or until frozen solid. Wrap each serving tightly in plastic wrap, then place all servings in a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Reheating: Place meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees F until heated through about 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, heat individual servings in the microwave for one minute or until heated.

FAQ

Do I have to use Ritz Crackers?

No, you can use panko or regular bread crumbs. I like to use the Italian style to add a little more flavor. You can also use regular bread torn into small pieces.


Can I use ground turkey?

Ground turkey and ground chicken are great options if you are looking for a healthier version of meatloaf. When using either of these options, I will up the milk to 1 cup.


Can I make this meatloaf in the oven?

It sure can! Make everything as normal and pop it onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook at 350 degrees for 60 minutes. Then, add the glaze and broil for 3-5 minutes until it bubbles.


Can I make this meatloaf gluten free?

Yes, you can use gluten free crackers or bread crumbs instead of the Ritz crackers. Make sure your other ingredients do not contain hidden wheat or gluten.

Crock Pot Meatloaf

Meat Loaf in a serving platter

Enjoy this classic recipe for meatloaf made right in your slow cooker! This Crock Pot Meatloaf cooks low and slow for tender and flavorful meatloaf with a hint of sweetness that can be paired with your favorite side dishes! I guarantee this is the best meat loaf you will ever eat.

PREP TIME 10minutes 
COOK TIME 3hours 
TOTAL TIME 3hours  10minutes 
COURSE Main Course
CUISINE American
SERVINGS 6
CALORIES 582 kcal

EQUIPMENT

  • Your Favorite Slow Cooker

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  •  cup Ritz Crackers (crushed)
  • 2 large eggs
  •  cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • ¾ cup milk
  •  tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ tsp salt
  •  tsp black pepper
  • 1 packet Lipton onion soup

The Glaze


INSTRUCTIONS

  • Add ground beef, Ritz crackers, eggs, ketchup, mustard, milk, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, black pepper, and onion soup in a large bowl. Use your hands to mix until just combined.
  • Line the slow cooker with aluminum foil across the bottom and up the two sides. Shape the meat mixture into an oval shape and place it into the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours.
  • Thirty minutes before the final cooking time is done. Add ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Then top the meatloaf with the glaze, cover, and cook remaining 30 minutes.
  • Slice and serve while hot.

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