CrockPot Bleu Cheese and Dried Cherry Meatloaf

Day 230.

Who says you can't have meatloaf in the middle of summer?

This is not your grandma's meatloaf. This is decadent. This is gourmet. This is super duper easy, yet you will get tons of praise and be granted tons of bragging rights.

I got this idea from reading the Gluten Free Gobsmacked blog, where she had made bleu cheese and cherry-topped burgers.

My friend Jennifer was with me when I mixed the meatloaf, and she is to thank for the added spices. I would have stuck to just the bleu cheese and the cherries, and it would have been bland. Thanks, Jen!

The Ingredients.

--1 pound of lean ground beef, or turkey
--1/2 cup dried cherries (I bought Rainer, because after yelling through Trader Joe's, "hey Jen, what's the difference between Rainer and Bing cherries?" the shelf-stocker lady came and asked if I needed help. She said Rainer were a bit sweeter and were more of the yellow-y red cherries. After I threw them in the cart, she followed me around for a bit. It was kind of weird.)
--1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles (if you are gluten free, please read this.)
--1 egg
--1 tsp seasoned salt
--1/2 t black pepper
--1 tsp onion powder
--1 T chopped fresh basil (I think this is optional. I couldn't taste it at all. But Jennifer made me put it in because it was about to go bad. We gave the rest to the guinea pigs.)
--1/2 cup bread crumbs (I have bread crumbs made from a loaf of brown rice bread)

The Directions.

I used a 4 quart round crockpot for this. I chose to make a glob of meatloaf and cook it directly in the crockpot, but you can use a loaf pan inside of a 6 quart if you'd like. I did that earlier in the year.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the meat, cherries, cheese, spices, bread crumbs, and the egg.

Spray the inside of your crock well with cooking spray. Put the meat into the pot and shape into a large round blob in the center.

Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 7-8. The meat is done when it is cooked thoroughly and has browned on top and darkened on the edges.

Using two spatulas, lift the meat out of the crock and let it stand on a cutting board for 15 minutes before cutting.

The Verdict.

Woah, mama. Awesome.

I couldn't bribe the kids to give it a try. I think got a mouthful out of each of them, but they spit it out. They had buttered pasta and leftover broccoli casserole for dinner. Adam and I couldn't get enough. My father-in-law was over, and he liked it, too.

Do you love this article?

Please share it with your friends!

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at August 17, 2008

Sign up for the A Year of Slow Cooking newsletter and get the Top Ten Reader Favorite Recipes sent directly to your inbox!

What they say about this article

  1. Anonymous8/17/2008

    Love and adore your blog. Read it every single day. Made me unearth my cobwebbed crockpot for the first time in years. I keep a GF household too, but don't think blue cheese is GF. Am trying to think of a substitue because this sounds mighty darn good.

  2. Stephanie, thank you so much for all the fun recipes you post. I also love my crock and having six kids crockpots make my day SO much easier. I was definitely in a rut, however, and this has been fun to see so many new ideas!!! Thank you for taking on the challenge!!

  3. woah! this sounds delicious!

  4. I can't have dairy, but I was wondering if your bleu cheese was totally gluten-free. I've read that it can often contain gluten.

  5. Anonymous8/17/2008

    This is my first time to use a Google/Blogger comments, so I hope I do it right. I have been checking into your blog regularly for quite a while but I rarely use my crockpot because all I have is a big one, but I have no idea of its size. All I know is that it is big round Rival. Can you tell me how to find out its size?

    I used to have a smaller one which I used more but it did not have a removeable pot (all one piece) so I gave it away when I moved to a smaller house. (Kids are grown so mostly there are just the 2 of us most of the time.) I want to get a smaller one. Do you agree with the linked FAQ site's recommendations for sizes?

    Also, how many crockpots do you have? If you could only have two, which sizes would you choose?

  6. Anonymous8/17/2008

    Hey! Just wanted to say if you were trying for gluten free, it's my understanding that blue cheese usually is not gluten free. You would have to get a verification from the supplier and there's quite a trail to follow, back to whether bread was used to start the culture or not. But the recipe looks awesome! Thanks for sharing your recipes. Angela

  7. Stephanie,

    That looks amazing. I just found your blog about a month ago, and I am loving it. You are so creative. I, too, love my crock-pot and I'm so excited to try all these great ideas.

    It also love seeing all your Trader Joe's ingredients. Where we live now we are not blessed with Trader Joe's. Let me tell you, you don't know how much you will miss it till you don't have one.

    Thanks again for the great recipes.

    -Liz - Provo, UT

  8. hi there, sorry---I've been away from the computer.

    yes! Bleu Cheese can be gluten free, you just need to check labels carefully and call manufacturers to double check. Here's a great artilce Alison at Sure Foods Living has done.

  9. Hi Genie, I have 5 crockpots right now, ranging from a 1-cup Little Dipper to two 6qt Crock-Pots (used to be under the Rival name brand name). For two people, I'd recommend a 3qt for everyday use. The crock works the best when it's at least 2/3 of the way full.


  10. Anonymous8/17/2008

    Wow so your kids wouldn't eat this but they will eat broc. I don't think ds would eat either but I'll have to try this one just the same.

  11. You are just the bomb, Crockpot lady! You crack me up and some day I will actually start using my crock pot. 

  12. mmm...I love me a loaf of meat. the cherries sound like a very interesting addition!

  13. Anonymous8/18/2008

    wow... that picture... it doesn't look like meatloaf...

  14. Anonymous8/18/2008

    Don't let your meat loaf...:)

  15. My boyfriend loves you for this recipe. As soon as I read it to him he instantly asked me when I could make it. I can't wait to try it out now when I get a crock pot :D

  16. Anonymous8/18/2008

    I really thought the verdict on this one was going to be "yuck" (that was my first reaction) but if you say it's good I'm willing to try it. As soon as I get a crockpot. I have been saying that for a while now. Maybe I just need someone to tell me which one to buy. Or someone to buy one for me. Can you do either of those things??

  17. I have been reading for about a month and I just love your blog- and I love my crock, too, so I'm getting some great meal ideas, thanks!!!

    Do you think that I could use dried cranberries instead of cherries in this recipe? I realize that it's a different kind of sweet, but we all love cranberries and bleu cheese (and put them both in salads on a regular basis, so they do blend well). Or does the bleu need the sweet when paired with meat? (Hey, I'm a poet!)

  18. Hi Jenn,
    cranberries would be great in here instead of dried cherries.

  19. Hi Jenn,
    cranberries would be great in here instead of dried cherries.

  20. I made this the other day, but I screwed up and accidentally bought goat cheese instead of blue cheese. Went for it anyway, and the result was excellent. Very rich and very yummy. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. ooh, I'm so glad! thanks for reporting back--I appreciate it.

  22. Love love love this recipe! I made this tonight for dinner and it was a total hit. I used the cranberries that I had in the cupboard. This may be a once a week recipie in our house. Thank you soooo much!

  23. I made this tonight--yum! My DH is super-picky, and he ate it! DD (age 3) ate it as well, exclaiming, "Yummy--this is good!" Thanks for a great recipe--I NEVER would have thought of a combo like this, but it is delicious! :)

    (This is my first time commenting, but I read your blog daily). :)

  24. I made this last night - oh my goodness. So delish.

    A little expensive tho. I am thinking of different cheaper ways to make it - maybe with raisins or craisins and feta? Ummmm.

  25. Anonymous9/02/2008

    I just love this blog! You have saved my sanity at dinner time several days in a row now.

    I made this meatloaf tonight, and was astounded at how delicious it was. Only the pickiest of our 3 kids decided she would not eat it. My 4 year old gobbled it up (what can I say, the boy has good taste) and my 12 year old declared it the best meatloaf ever. It's definitely going on our weekly menu here. I tossed some baked potatoes wrapped in foil to cook with the meat and everything came out perfectly. Oh, and I used gorgonzola cheese in place of the blue (bleu?) cheese since my Trader Joe's was out of the blue today. Yummy!

    Can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow!

  26. Just made this for the football players in my house. I used venison burger and they devoured it!

  27. Anonymous10/02/2008

    Dear Steph; Thank you for doing this, and for all the honesty in reporting, and most of all the humorous comments! Love it!
    I have had trouble over the years with crockpot cooking. I believe it was because I was trying to cook without a recipe and put in too much liquid. My mother suggested the food was not cooking properly because it didn't need that much liquid, so after reading lots of crockpot recipies I have to agree...with that in mind I may have thrown out a perfectly good crockpot of mom's...although it was old, so the attached cord may not have been safe. Even with buying new crockpots, I have had trouble finding a good crockpot...till last year. A few years ago I bought a Westinghouse with a temperature dial on the cord that at borderline 200 degrees either does not cook at all, or if you move it a hair it boils like CRAZY, so I bought a different new crockpot last year.
    I love my new big Rival!! My first try with my new crockpot is hilarious though in that I thought it was not hot enough until I discovered the cardboard inside the underside of the inner bowl:) I did clean it when I first took it out of the box and just forgot I previously put back the cardboard under the bowl. Once I took the cardboard out it certainly did work better:)
    Now, I still am getting the hang of this since not using one since the 70s. I made one of your roast recipies. After sufficient time cooking, I had to turn it from low to high as it honestly did not seem to be cooking at a hot enough temperature to be safe, or to be done in time for dinner. It turned out good, but I could not leave it as I worried about it cooking safely.
    I want to ask you if you have had any fears about any of your pots not being hot enough, or cooking fast enough to be safe and healthy. I also want to know if this is another reason why you use different size be sure you do not have a pot too large for your dinner so that it does not cook safely enough. I ask because I only have this large one, and I would buy a smaller one if it means being more safe.
    I'm sure you understand that I just want to make sure I am cooking safe for my family, and I'm sure you have looked into it, so if you can share your research on this I appreciate it.
    Thanks Steph, and keep up the good work! By the way, I heard a song on the radio yesterday called "Too Many Stephanies" and thought of you..since you wrote here that all your friends were named Stephanie...cracked me up!! now you have a friend named Lynne! AKA Grownuplady, Albany, New York

  28. Anonymous10/02/2008

    PS~I just wanted to tell you that I first learned about your project when I saw you on Rachel Ray, who is from my neck of the woods, and I have been watching since she was local here. I have to admit in my older age I'm looking for new, even easier recipies than before, and with Winter coming I love the idea of throwing it all in the crockpot and going back later to a meal that is done!! Hooray! Lynne/Grownuplady again:)

  29. I made this last week with ground turkey and dried cranberries - my fiance, who was initially horrified at the notion of ground turkey in meatloaf was a convert. :)

    Thank you!

  30. Anonymous11/24/2008

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was great. Based on someone else's suggestion, I also added foil wrapped sweet potatoes.

    Thanks for the great blog!

  31. Dear Stephanie

    Just received your book "Make it fast, cook it slow" as a gift from my husband. Can't wait to try so many of the recipes. The first one I made was the Blue Cheese and Dried Cherry Meatloaf. I substituted quick oats in place of bread crumbs due to my husbands diet needs. I was anxious to try a ground turkey recipe I could actually choke down. What a huge hit! We loved it. My husband had another piece later at night (cold) and asked for more the next day for lunch. Fantastic.

    I have a chicken in the crock pot now - Rotisserie Style Chicken. - which already smells wonderful by the way. And have a beef brisket for tomorrow (Hickory Smoked Brisket).

    I have always used my crock pot, but not like this! I love how you think outside the pot. My Crock pots won't be spending as much time in the pantry as they used to. This weekend - making yogurt.

    Thank you so much.

    Sincerely, Jo from New England

  32. Anonymous7/07/2010

    As soon as I saw this recipe, I HAD to try it...

    Made it for dinner 2 nights ago and, well... I think my Crockpot cooks too fast? It was very browned after 3 hours on low, and I turned it OFF. The bottom was burnt and the rest was pretty dry. Underneath, though, I could tell there was a yummy, yummy flavor DYING to get out! I'm going to have to try this again, probably with more bleu cheese and watching more carefully on the timing! Thanks for the great idea, though!

  33. I absolutely LOVED this ...I made it with my lentil and brown rice meat substitute. I never thought I'd say I love meatloaf, but this was awesome. Thanks so much for the recipe. You can see the veggie one here:

  34. I have been trying to figure out - what kind of sauce would go well with this meatloaf? I'm thinking of serving this to my husband, and also making a bleu cheese cheesecake (I found a crazy recipe in the paper once, if you would like it!) for an interesting theme night.

    Love the blog; I've made tons of your stuff already!

  35. This recipe is amazing! Especially during summers here in Florida, I'm always on the lookout for good recipes that won't heat up the kitchen, which is why I bought a slow cooker in the first place. And since I'm celiac, I always appreciate finding another great GF recipe!