Dinner's never been easier than with this Slow Cooker Meatloaf recipe. It tastes great, holds together and slices perfectly.
~by Regan Jones, RD
Still with me? Awesome. Your affinity for the slow cooker makes me like you even more. It's like we're on the same page.
Okay, so obviously I know that meatloaf can be made without the help of a slow cooker (just like I know making carrot cake in a crock pot isn't normal, but that doesn't mean it's not a great idea.) I absolutely love being able to prep dinner in the afternoon before I head to carline for kid pick up. We usually do a gym run after school for my boys to get the crazys out and for me to
binge watch Netflix on the treadmill get in a healthy dose of exercise myself. Inevitably, this means that when we finally make it home everyone is starving and I'm crunched to make a quick dinner. Having the main course -- like this meatloaf -- ready to go, makes the rest of my meal prep so much simpler
What Makes This Meatloaf Different?
Besides the fact that it's crockpot cooked versus oven, it's bound together by ground chia seeds... not your typical bread or cracker or oatmeal concoction. I stumbled onto how great ground chia seeds work in this dish when I was looking for a gluten free substitution for my husband. One of the main problems with "bad" meatloaf is that it's too crumbly and falls apart when slicing. The ground chia seeds hold it together perfectly.
The other "bad" meatloaf trait that this recipe overcomes is greasiness... and here's the trick: stale bread. I learned this from my mom a few years back. You line the bottom of the dish with stale bread, which soaks up the grease (and discard the bread, obviously). It also makes for a nice slow cooker clean up (bonus!) since you simply lift out the bread and toss it in the trash.
We had this meatloaf earlier in the week and my boys loved it. My oldest (the picky one) asked for seconds, then dessert and then some more meatloaf. So overall, I'd say it was a hit.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Check out this extra easy Slow Cooker Meatloaf. It's a family favorite at @ReganJonesRD's house! Tweet this
Slow Cooker Meatloaf
- 1 pound ground beef (I used Aldi's SimplyNature Organic Grass-fed)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds or all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 stale bread slices
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- Garnishes: additional grated Parmesan and chopped freshly parsley
- Turn slow cooker on HIGH.
- Combine ground beef and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl mixing well.
- Coat bottom of slow cooker with cooking spray. Place bread slices side by side down length of slow cooker (I used an oval shaped slow cooker for this meatloaf. If using a round cooker you may have to trim bread to fit).
- Shape meat mixture over bread slices into a loaf.
- Cover and cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or until meat loaf registers at no less than 160 degrees F with an instant read thermometer.
- Top with ketchup and garnishes. Let cook an additional 15 to 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and ketchup is hot. To serve, slice meatloaf and leave bread on bottom of slow cooker. Discard bread.