Crockpot Meatloaf – The Cookie Rookie®

Susan S. Johnson

Crockpot Meatloaf might just be your family’s new favorite weeknight dinner! This classic meatloaf recipe is hearty, flavorful, and perfectly tender, and so easy to make in a slow cooker. The tangy ketchup based glaze on top is what really ties it all together. When you need a tried and true comfort meal, this is the recipe to make!

overhead view of 2 slices of crockpot meatloaf on a white plate with broccoli and mashed potaotes.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Plug in your Crockpot because it’s time to make the best homemade meatloaf! This easy recipe is ideal for those crazy busy weeknights when you want a comforting, filling, and simple dinner on the table without putting in a whole lot of elbow grease. After just 3 hours of letting the slow cooker do the work for you, you’ll have this family favorite on the dinner table!

This easy slow cooker meatloaf recipe is made with ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, a medley of seasonings, breadcrumbs, ground beef, and more. I love a dinner recipe that utilizes pantry staples that I already have on hand, and this is certainly one of those recipes.

Easy, inexpensive, and filling? Yes, please! My family loves this hearty meal and I know yours will too.

Why You’ll Love this Crockpot Meatloaf Recipe:

  • SO EASY: Mix up the ingredients, toss them in the Crockpot, and cook. After that you just have to smother it with an easy-to-make ketchup glaze and broil it if you want to.
  • TRIED AND TRUE: It’s almost impossible to mess it a classic like this. Plus, the results are guaranteed to be perfectly flavorful and tender.
  • COMFORTING: Meatloaf is an all American comfort food staple! It’s a great dinner to make on a chilly winter night, or just when you need a warm serving of something comforting. Don’t forget to serve it with some mashed potatoes!

Warning! Once you make this Crockpot Meatloaf once for your family, they’re going to be asking for it over and over again. Your spouse, kids, grandparents, and everyone in between will gobble it up.

close up view of 2 slices of crockpot meatloaf on a white plate.
overhead view of sliced crockpot meatloaf.

How to Make Meatloaf in a Crockpot

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

  1. Combine the meatloaf ingredients in a bowl, and form the mixture into a loaf shape.
  2. Transfer it into the Crockpot, cover, and cook on low for 3 hours.
  3. Mix together the glaze ingredients, and coat the meatloaf.
  4. Optional – Broil it on a baking sheet in the oven for 4-5 minutes.
step by step photos for how to make crockpot meatloaf.
Can you cook meatloaf in a crockpot?

Yes, you absolutely can make meatloaf in a crockpot. In fact, it’s one of my favorite easy methods for making meatloaf!

Why should I cook meatloaf in a crockpot?

Cooking meatloaf in the crockpot is easy, hands-off, and basically foolproof! Crockpot meatloaf always comes out moist and rich!

What is the best beef for crockpot meatloaf?

The best beef for crockpot meatloaf is one with a good ratio of fat, such as 80/20 or 85/15. If your meat is too lean, it could lead to a drier meatloaf.

Can I make crockpot meatloaf with a different kind of meat?

Yes! You can use ground pork, ground veal, ground turkey, or ground chicken! If using turkey or chicken, check on the meatloaf after 2 hours on low, as it might be done faster.

Do I need to cover the meatloaf in liquid in order to cook it in the crockpot?

Nope. There’s plenty of moisture mixed into the meat mixture, and the low heat prevents it from drying out.

How long does meatloaf take to cook in a crockpot?

Meatloaf takes about 4 hours total to cook in a crockpot.

Serving Suggestions

Let’s be honest, there’s only one thing that must be served with meatloaf, and that’s mashed potatoes! Here are a few of my best recipes.

I like to broil my Crockpot Meatloaf right at the very end just to add that extra level of deliciousness! Broiling it makes the glaze on top even better, almost like caramelizing it.

2 slices of crockpot meatloaf on a white plate with broccoli and mashed potaotes.
close up view of 2 slices of crockpot meatloaf on a white plate.

Make Ahead Instructions

You can mix together the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl and store them in the refrigerator overnight before shaping and adding to the crockpot.

The glaze ingredients can be stirred together and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before using.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover crockpot meatloaf in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat individual slices in a 350°F oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until warmed through.

Freezing Instructions

Freeze crockpot meatloaf cut into individual slices tightly wrapped in 2 layers of plastic wrap and 1 layer of aluminum foil for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Substitutions

  • You can swap the ground beef for an equal amount of pork, veal, turkey, or chicken.
  • If you’d prefer not to use milk, you can use an equal amount of dairy-free milk, water, or beef broth.
  • If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can use an equal amount of low-sodium soy sauce.
  • In the glaze, you can use balsamic or sherry vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar.

Tips for the Best Crockpot Meatloaf

  • Don’t skip lining the crockpot with foil; it will make it so much easier to remove the meatloaf.
  • Don’t overwork the meatloaf mixture. Everything should be well combined, but over mixing it can cause the beef to become chewy and dense.
  • The internal temperature of properly cooked meatloaf is 160°F.
  • For extra crispy, caramelized meatloaf, broil the meatloaf on a sheet pan for a few minutes after cooking.
  • Let the meatloaf rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing to lock in the juices.
2 slices of crockpot meatloaf on a white plate with broccoli and mashed potaotes.

Next time you’re craving real comfort food that couldn’t be any easier to make, consider this Crockpot Meatloaf recipe! It’s a hassle free, delicious dinner you’ll make time and time again!

If you make this recipe be sure to upload a photo in the comment section below or leave a rating. Enjoy!

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