Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Beef Dinner

Slow Cooker Meatloaf is a perfect dinner option for busy people. Pair this tender meatloaf with your favorite prepared side dishes. Low effort, high flavor. Totally awesome.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

September has hit. Whether that means you’re back at work or you’re back to family and work all at the same time, we probably all need to slow down a little bit. We’ve got a lot of balls in the air, and they all require 100% of our attention. Is it any wonder we feel exhausted?

Some of us are back to work full time while trying to build a thriving online business. Some of us are trying to teach our kids about dinosaurs and algebra and how to use a comma while simultaneously hoping that no one in our office zoom meeting will notice we’re still wearing sweat pants. Not to mention, some of us are desperately looking for work while caring for others and trying to hide the fact that we don’t know how we’re going to make next months rent. It’s all a lot. I see you, and I want to help.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

I’m not an economist or a public health scientist. I’m just a humble food blogger, and I’m not even very good at that. I am confident, though, in my ability to help people feel calm and comforted. So, my offering today is a super simple Slow Cooker Meatloaf.

While you get on with the nine million things you’re juggling, a familiar and comforting dinner is cooking itself slowly over several hours. If you pair this with some instant mashed potatoes and microwave veggies, you’ve got yourself a lovely dinner that leaves you with enough energy to get through whatever life brings.

How to make Slow Cooker Meatloaf

This is a Slow Cooker recipe, so you know, you smoosh some stuff together, put it in a machine, and walk away. But seriously, this is really simple. Ground beef, an egg, some bread crumbs, a little onion, red wine, and some herbs and seasonings go into a bowl. Use your hands to gently combine everything.

Then we’re going to lay out some foil and make a litte criss cross of three stirps of bacon on it. Build your meatloaf over top of the bacon. Then fold up the strips around the meatloaf to help hold its shape and impart it’s bacony goodness.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Then you lift the foil into the slow cooker, with the meatloaf on it, obvs. Cook on high for an hour, then on low for four hours. When it’s cooked, you’ll actually discard the bacon and any weird fat and liquid that’s collected in the foil. Transfer the meatloaf to a serving plate, and spoon over some of your favorite tomato sauce that you’ve warmed gently. Do it in the microwave if you like.

One quick tip. You may be tempted to use super lean ground beef for this. And if that’s truly your jam, go for it. But I tried this with 5% and 15% fat ground beef, and the 15% was noticably less dry and more flavorful. It’s your life, and I haven’t had my cholesterol checked in a while, but a little extra fat definitely makes it taste better.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Life is a lot, and you don’t have to impress anyone. You just have to keep walking toward your best life. Make things easy on yourself and make Slow Cooker Meatloaf. You’re awesome, and you totally got this.

Looking for more awesome easy dinner recipes? Try this all-in-one Chicken & Potato Bake.


Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Slow Cooker Meatloaf is a perfect dinner option for busy people. Pair this tender meatloaf with your favorite prepared side dishes.

  • Author: Renee Rendall
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 300
  • Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1 pound (500 grams) ground beef, 15% fat recommended
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/4 red wine or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce


  1. Add ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, chopped onion, wine, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently combine all ingredients. 
  2. Lay out a large piece of aluminum foil. Criss-cross your three slices of bacon on the foil, then transfer your meatloaf mixture on top of the bacon cross and form it into an oblong loaf. Place your bay leaf on top. Wrap your bacon slices up and over the meatloaf.
  3. Lift the meatloaf by the foil into your slow cooker. Put the lid on and cook on high for one hour. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for four hours.
  4. Just before you’re ready to serve, warm up your favorite tomato sauce.
  5. When the meatloaf is cooked, gently lift out the whole foil package. Be careful not to pierce the foil. It’s probably holding in some fat and liquid, and you don’t want that all over your kitchen. Remove the bay leaf and bacon, and gently lift the meatloaf out onto a serving plate.
  6. Spoon over the warm tomato sauce over the top of the meatloaf, slice, and serve. 


I halved this recipe from the original, so if you want to feed more people or have more leftovers, you can for sure double this. Use the same cooking times.

Keywords: Meatloaf, Beef, Slow Cooker

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Recipe slightly adapted from Circle of Friends Meatloaf Recipes.

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