magic crockpot meatloaf

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Sunny, sunny days in the Mississippi river valley. We walked up to the Red Wing Farmer’s market yesterday, despite the heat, and picked up sweet corn, Italian zucchini and baby bliss potatoes for dinner. We’ve been grilling like crazy so we don’t have to heat up the kitchen…and…using the crock pot! I use to think I could only use this little appliance when I was going to be gone, or that it was only for those warm comfort foods we enjoy in the colder months, but using the crockpot in the summer is an awesome idea. It will keep your kitchen cool and free up time so you can just enjoy your day.

We’re headed to the swimming quarry today with my daughter, Andrea. Before we leave, I’m making one of these meatloaves. Everyone loves this moist, yummy meatloaf. It makes it’s own gravy, so it really is kind of magic. And we LOVE leftovers for sandwiches. Just buy a bag of buns and your favorite hamburger/hot dog condiments and you’re in business! The sandwich above has mayo on the bottom part of the toasted, sourdough bun, then the meatloaf, and is topped with this homemade dill relish, a squirt of yellow mustard, and this homemade ketchup. Yum, yum, yum!

for the meatloaf:

2 lb. lean, ground meatloaf meat (we use a combination of beef, pork and lamb)

1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped fine

2 teaspoons Lawry’s seasoned salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dry breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs (I like Ritz or Club)

1 large egg

1 packet (7/8 oz.) dry, brown gravy mix

1 cup whole milk

10 to 12 baby red bliss or fingerling potatoes, unpeeled

fresh thyme and parsley, chopped

Combine all ingredients, except for potatoes and fresh herbs, in a large mixing bowl. Using clean hands, mix until all ingredients are evenly incorporated and smooth. Form into a loaf and place in crock pot. Put the little potatoes all around the sides of the meatloaf. Sprinkle the fresh chopped herbs over the top. Cover and cook on the “low” heat setting for 8 to 10 hours, or on the “high” heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.



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  82 comments for “magic crockpot meatloaf

  1. Ruth Cobb
    July 18, 2013 at 8:28 am

    My crockpot has a removeable crock, but it’s round. Is the meatloaf difficult to remove without breaking it up. This sounds really good, with a lot of flavor and the ease of cooking.


    • Melissa
      July 18, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Hi Ruth! thanks for commenting. I’ve never had a problem removing the meatloaf from the crock pot before…just use a spatula underneath and a big serving fork to steady it while you transfer from crock to platter πŸ™‚ enjoy!

      • Jo
        September 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm

        I use 2 thick layers of foil inside a crockpot liner and put in as an “x” and when finished I can lift out the meatloaf by the ends of the foil and then toss the crockpot liner – clean crockpot. It only takes a minute to fold the foil and make an “x” and it is well worth that minute.

    • Angela Burns
      January 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm

      I have a larger than the normal sized spatula. I think I’m going to try that. This recipe looks delicious.

      • Melissa
        January 23, 2014 at 4:33 pm

        Enjoy, Angela πŸ™‚

    • Yvonne
      January 30, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      Just make the maeatloaf round or use a crockpot liner. Those things are great!!

      • Melissa
        February 2, 2014 at 9:12 am

        Thanks for the tip, Yvonne! πŸ™‚

    • Dorothy
      September 25, 2014 at 4:58 am

      I was having problems with my meatloaf falling apart as well. I solved by making a foil tray and lining the bottom of the crock with it. I even made small handles by using an extra long piece and bringing the foil up on the sides. Made removing it super easy and I still had a “pretty” meal when I finished.

    • kristi
      September 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      if you are having trouble lifting the meatloaf out of your round crock pot consider using a crock pot liner. that way you can just lift the entire bag, and as a bonus your crock pot is left almost clean.

    • Marsha
      February 17, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Use a crock pot linner

  2. Evelyn
    July 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I have been looking for a crock pot recipe meatloaf meal. Thank you thank you!!! I will be doing this one soon

    • Melissa
      July 18, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Hi Evelyn, this is such a yummy recipe! and so easy too πŸ™‚ enjoy!

  3. Ann Yawornitsky
    July 19, 2013 at 6:15 am

    I just LOVE my crockpot when school is in session…NOTHING beats coming home and smelling dinner is done ! Can’t wait to try this – thank you for sharing !

    • Melissa
      July 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

      Hi Ann! I know what you mean! The crock pot can definitely be a life saver on those busy work days πŸ™‚ I love the feeling that someone has been at home cooking for me all day…when you walk through the front door and smell dinner… so cozy! Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy this recipe. It’s a favorite in our house. xo

  4. July 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I was thinking about trying this recipe – it sounds so yummy! But how does the meatloaf make a gravy if there’s not liquid in it.. is the “gravy” extremely fatty from all grease of the meat? I am going to use 93/7 ground beef – will it still work?
    Nikki at

    • Melissa
      July 21, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      Hi Nikki! I make this with extra lean ground beef sometimes and it still makes it’s own gravy… i think it’s the combination of gravy mix + milk! enjoy!

      • norma
        June 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm

        Crock pots have condensation and that moisture is what makes the gravy. This is a keeper receipe for my family paas down cook book. ThNks for sharingβ™‘

        • Melissa
          June 30, 2014 at 8:11 am

          Hi Norma! Thanks for visiting πŸ™‚ Yes, this is my favorite meatloaf recipe. I’m so glad you like it! enjoy!

  5. Teresa
    July 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    I read somewhere that you shouldn’t cook ground meat in the crock pot because of the meat is sitting too long in the crock pot raw. Does it cause salmonella?

    • Melissa
      July 23, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Teresa,
      I have been cooking meat and meatloaf of all sorts in my crockpot for over 20 years and I have never once heard this, or had a problem. If that were true, it would be true for all meat, not just ground meat. Thanks so much for stopping by! πŸ™‚

    • Linda Jones
      January 7, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Teresa….I also have cooked in crockpots since 1979. Once in a while I sear my meat, but on the whole all meats go in the crock from the package. And have put partially frozen meats in. Never had a problem at all. The one thing I do nowadays, though, is check some meats with a meat thermometer. Mostly fowl and pork. Beef not so much.

      Melissa, will definitely try this recipe! I make meatloaf a lot, but never thought to try a crock. Thank you for posting this!!

      • Melissa
        January 7, 2014 at 7:49 pm

        Hi Linda! Enjoy πŸ™‚

      • Lori Collison
        November 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm

        I have only made meatloaf in my crock pot, never thought of making it any other way, lol!! I’m definitely going to try this awesome looking recipe, today!! Yummy!!

  6. Evelyn
    July 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Melissa I googled the question about the ground meat and this is the answer I found. I also have used a crock pot for over 20 years maybe 30 and have never had a problem with anyone getting sick.

    Crockpot Food Safety Overview:
    Slow cookers are a wonderful convenience, but anytime you’re dealing with low temperatures over long time periods, food safety is a concern. That’s because the bacteria that cause food poisoning thrive and multiply rapidly at room temperature and up to 140Β°F.

    Slow cookers are designed to cook foods slowly, at temperatures between 170Β°F and 280Β°F, a range that’s well outside the Food Temperature Danger Zone. The key is making sure you’re using your slow cooker properly. These simple slow-cooker safety guidelines will help keep you and your family safe.
    Start Slow Cookers Safely:
    Make sure your slow cooker, utensils and work area are clean and sanitized. Wash your hands before you begin to prep and while prepping, especially after handling raw meat or poultry.

    Keep perishable foods refrigerated until you need them. If you plan to prep meat or veggies ahead of time, keep them in the fridge until the last minute. Your slow cooker might take a while to reach 165Β°F, which is widely regarded as the temperature at which most illness-causing bacteria are killed. Keeping ingredients in the fridge helps deny bacteria a chance to multiply wildly in those critical first hours of cooking.

    Here is the link it does have some good information about using/cooking in a crock pot.

    • Melissa
      July 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      Hi there, Evelyn! thanks for all of the great information. πŸ™‚ I really appreciate it. Have a lovely evening.


  7. Nicole Koenig
    August 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    Hi! Made this tonight and although it was really easy and tasty I did not have gravy that looks like the picture (just liquid). Any one else have this problem? Any idea what went wrong?

    • Melissa
      August 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      Hi Nicole! The gravy will thicken as it stands and cools just a bit…also, if you used skim milk or 2% in place of the whole milk, it could result in a thinner gravy.

      • Linda Jones
        January 7, 2014 at 10:36 am

        Hi Melissa,
        Regarding the milk issue. We use fat free to 2%. For recipes that call for whole milk, this is what I do. I always have dried milk on hand as well as canned evaporated milk. I add to half the recipe for milk to thicken if using added canned..otherwise just add dry milk to the lighter milk. Or take out a few tablespoons of liquid and add a bit of cornstarch, mix well and return to pot and blend with remaining liquid stirring til heated and thickened. Just a couple of my old tricks.

        • Melissa
          January 7, 2014 at 7:51 pm

          thanks, Linda πŸ™‚

  8. Beverley
    October 15, 2013 at 1:45 am

    you know I love your recipes and could spend my days just cooking everything you bake!! I do love this one and I seriously need to invest in a crock pot soon. thank you Melissa xoxo

    • Melissa
      October 15, 2013 at 7:37 am

      Aw…sweet Beverley πŸ™‚ You made my day. Enjoy, XOXOXO

  9. Kris
    January 7, 2014 at 11:42 am

    This looks yummy .. comfort food to me….someone asked if it might stick, I always spray my crockpot w/ Pam first…so that should help I am gonna copy this one…My husband gets alot of venison and he and the family like to substitute that for hamb…but could add other meats too, as you did…a “copier and keeper”…thanks!

    • Melissa
      January 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Kris! I’ve never had a problem with the meatloaf sticking before… you could definitely use PAM or rub a little olive oil on the inside of the crock if that’s a worry. Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

  10. brian
    January 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Really, the 1 cup of milk doesn’t make it mushy?

    • Melissa
      January 7, 2014 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Brian πŸ™‚ No, the 1 cup of milk won’t make it mushy. It will add moisture to your meatloaf, and that’s what creates the gravy. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.

  11. Elizabeth Perrette
    January 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Had all of these ingredients on hand and just started my crock pot. I’m known for cooking bad meatloa. If this turns out you are a hero! Thank you

    • Melissa
      January 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      This is one of my favorite recipes, Elizabeth! πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

      • Elizabeth Perrette
        January 7, 2014 at 9:35 pm

        Was really good! Will definitely add this to my dinner rotation. Thank you!

        • Melissa
          January 11, 2014 at 1:48 am

          My pleasure! thanks for visiting and commenting! πŸ™‚

  12. elizabeth hollingsworth
    January 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    do you add the milk and gravy IN the meatloaf??? or ON??

    • Melissa
      January 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      You add the milk and gravy mix to the meatloaf itself, Elizabeth. Enjoy πŸ™‚

  13. Jennifer
    January 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Cooked this today and it looks yummy but I don’t see any evidence of gravy except for a small amount of watery juices at the bottom. Not sure what I have done wrong..

    • Melissa
      January 11, 2014 at 1:46 am

      Hi Jennifer. I am so sorry that happened… It’s happened to a couple of my other readers before too and I can’t figure out why. The only thing I’ve come up with so far is maybe your crock pot is cooking at a slightly higher temperature and drying the gravy up before the meatloaf is done cooking all the way. I would suggest maybe adding a little more liquid, but that could make your meat loaf mushy. What size crock pot are you using?

      Thanks for stopping by and for commenting πŸ™‚

      • Joyce
        January 24, 2014 at 6:25 am

        Same happened with me. Really no gravy.

  14. Jamie
    January 11, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    OMG! I put this in the crockpot this AM and went to play practice and grocery shopping. Just walked in and it smells heavenly! I can’t wait to dig in!

    • Melissa
      January 23, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      YAY! I’m so glad you like it, Jamie! πŸ™‚

  15. Denise
    January 30, 2014 at 8:58 am

    This looks so good, even though I don’t like meatloaf and I hate the crockpot! But I am going to give it a try!!

    • Melissa
      January 30, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Enjoy, Denise! πŸ™‚

  16. Frances Weiden
    February 5, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I was just reading all the comments and wondered if everyone knew about simple crockpot rules. I am old as the hills and remember very well when they were invented. The #1 rule was once you put everything into the pot you don’t lift the lid till done. Every time you lift the lid you lose an hour of cooking time.I learned the hard way with a pot roast that was raw 8 hours later because I was stiring every 20 minutes or so. After re-reading my handbook I learned. There are times when last minute things can be added during the last hour but do not open till then. That may be why their gravies were not made or were runny. Sounds great and I will try but I may use a can of tomato soup instead of milk for a tomato gravy.

    • Melissa
      February 6, 2014 at 11:05 pm

      Thanks for that information, Frances! πŸ™‚ enjoy the recipe!

  17. betty coker
    April 26, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Please if you can send the answer to this to my e-mail address. Am having dinner at my house on May 4th. Need a recipe to cook shrimp in the oven. Nothing fancy just about as plain as it gets. What I really need is what simple spices to use and how long to bake it in the oven. Have never cooked shrimp before–cannot wait to use the meatloaf recipe –will do one day this next week. thanks for taking the time to read this (it seems so dumb ) and answer it. We will be having porktenderloin and all the dressing on the same day–but my brother love shrimp and asked to fix some for him.

    • Melissa
      April 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

      Hi Betty! I just sent a message to your personal email. πŸ™‚ I hope what I send helps! XOXO and enjoy that meatloaf recipe!

  18. Renee Yarbrough
    June 30, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I just made this today and did not get any gravy out of it..just the reduced grease. The meatloaf is really good tho! I never removed the lid during the cook time either. Fyi..I cooked mine on the high heat setting.

    • Melissa
      July 11, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Hi Renee πŸ™‚
      Well, the instructions say to cook it on low… so maybe that’s why it didn’t turn out like you expected? Hmmmm…. Sorry that happened. ~M

  19. Louise Wilkes
    July 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    I have never been able to make a meatloaf like my Momma’s until now. Made meatloaf per recipe and it is delicious! However, I too, had no gravy. I cooked it on slow and the only thing I can think of is that I did use 2% milk. I will use whole milk next time to see if it makes a difference. And, I will make it again! Thanks!

    • Melissa
      July 11, 2014 at 6:51 am

      So glad you like the recipe, Louise! πŸ™‚ Thanks for letting me know. XO ~M

  20. Jennifer
    July 24, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I would love to try this, just moved and can;t find the box my crock pot is in…Does this recipe and cooking time transfer to the oven as well?

    • Melissa
      July 26, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Hi Jennifer!

      I’ve never tried making this in the oven, but I would say to significantly reduce the cooking time if you’re going to attempt it. Start with 1 hour at 350 degrees F… and cover the meatloaf with foil πŸ™‚ that’s just a guesstimate πŸ˜‰ Hope that helps!


      • Jennifer
        July 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm

        I tried it….delicious! Cook time was around 90 minutes.

  21. Joan Morgan
    September 11, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Would it be possible to add a little bacon to the ingredient list? Was thinking it might be tastier or maybe try this first and see how I like it.
    I’m just not a meatloaf fan.
    My ex – daughter in law is the.only one that.makes the best meat loaf and I’ve lost contact with her πŸ™
    Many Thanks

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I think bacon would be a wonderful addition, Joan! πŸ™‚

  22. Patty Etzkorn
    September 20, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Is it possible yo connect your site yo ziplist?It saves recipes and prints shopping lists. This looks great. I am going to try next week. I have used my crock pot for meatloaf before but not this recipe. Thanks

  23. Diane Miller
    September 21, 2014 at 11:48 am

    would half and half make the gravy or should it be whole milk Thanks

    • Barbara Haydt
      September 23, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Can hardly wait to try this, been looking for a meatloaf without a tomato sauce on it.Thank you…..will let all know how turned out

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Hi Diane! πŸ™‚
      I’m not sure if half and half would work, Diane. I’ve never tried it.

  24. sandy
    September 23, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    I made this today and it is the best meatloaf I have ever eaten, I cut up carrots and put red potatoes in the last 2 hours, YUMO!

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 9:18 am

      Hi Sandy! πŸ™‚

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the meatloaf! Thanks for trying my recipe and for stopping by! XO ~M

  25. Debbi
    September 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Hi , I don’t eat beef. Wondering if anyone has tried this with ground turkey and dried turkey gravy ? Thanks !

    • Elizabeth
      September 25, 2014 at 10:26 am

      I only have used ground turkey. Its excellent.

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Hi Debbi! πŸ™‚

      I’ve never tried a turkey version of this … I bet it would be delicious though! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting, and please let me know if you give the turkey version a whirl πŸ˜‰


  26. Candice
    September 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I cannot use dry soup mix or gravy in a jar. I have chronic Gouty Arthritis. I do have a homemade beef broth I use. Can I just thicken it up and put it in the crock pot after it has cooked for 4 or 5 hours or does it have to be used in the meatloaf mixture? if you have any other ideas for this recipe can you please help me.

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 9:21 am

      You could probably just add your version of gravy at the end, Candice πŸ™‚ Hope that helps! ~M

  27. Billie
    September 25, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I am definitely going to try this. Do you think it will make any difference that I use oatmeal instead of crackers or bread. Also if I cut the recipe in half should I adjust the cooking time?

    • Stacie
      September 27, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      I am an oatmeal meatloaf girl too. I will let you know what happens. I did make the full recipe tho.

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Hi Billie! πŸ™‚

      I’m not sure about the addition of oatmeal to this recipe as I have never tried it. πŸ™‚

  28. Stacie
    September 27, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I just put this in the slow cooker. I did make one change. I used oatmeal instead of crackers. I hope it still turns out! Can’t wait!

  29. Shannon
    October 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Mine did not make gravy either πŸ™ What brand gravy mix do you buy? Maybe I bought the wrong kind. I did use 2 % milk! but I would not think that would make the difference?

    • Melissa
      October 4, 2014 at 9:25 am

      I’ve used all sorts of different MSG-free gravy mixes and it always works for me, Shannon :/ So sorry yours didn’t. Did you use extra lean meat? Sometimes that can make a difference. You need to use a meat that offers a little bit of pan drippings to the Crock Pot. Hope that helps in the future. Thanks for trying my recipe and for stopping by to share your results. ~M πŸ™‚

  30. Edith Richards
    April 12, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    Wouldn’t the potatoes be cooked beyond recognition Seven hrs seems like a long tome for small potatoes.

    • Peg
      April 15, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      I put mine in the crock 4 hours ago. Followed everything directed. I am very curious because I only counted one person in the comments who actually got the gravey. I hope can comment that I got gravey. Otherwise ….with those ingredients, and am sure it will taste great!

  31. May 25, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I made this for dinner, didn’t get the gravy either but it was DELICIOUS! Definitely saving this recipe to make it again!

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