Slow Cooker Big Easy Meatloaf Recipe

It's the summer! And evidently that means that I neglect the computer.

oops! Sorry about that.

But I have been crockpotting, and I'd like to share a meatloaf I threw together that we enjoyed out in the yard.

I really appreciate that I can use the crockpot on a hot day and not have it heat up the house the way the oven or stove does. I also appreciate that the kids and I can be out in the yard playing in the water instead of hanging out in the house while I tend to dinner.

The Ingredients
serves 4-6

1 pound lean ground turkey or beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 fully cooked andouille sausage links (6-ounces, total)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

The Directions

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. I put a metal loaf pan into the slow cooker and baked the meatloaf in it (no need to add water, just put the loaf pan into the crock), but if you'd prefer to not use a loaf pan, you can just make a blob with the meat and put it directly into the crock.

Anyhow, take the casing off of the sausage, and chop it into pieces. Toss it in a mixing bowl with the ground meat, all the spices and the beaten egg. Mix well; I always use my hands. Shove the meat mixture into a 9 x 5 x 3 baking pan and put this pan into an oval crockpot (or plop the meat blob into the 
crock all alone).

Cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3 to 5 hours. You'll know the loaf is done when it's brown on the top and it starts to pull away from the sides. If you're not using the loaf pan, the meat will cook faster---check after 4 hours on low, 2 to 3 on high.

When thoroughly cooked, turn off and unplug the cooker and let the meat sit for about 15 minutes before removing from the pot.

The Verdict

I loved how the andouille sausage livens up this meatloaf (which can sometimes be pretty darn boring). I also liked that I was able to use up the two sausages I had roaming about the freezer and a package of ground turkey meat. We ate our meatloaf in the yard with some potato wedges. The kids always dip meatloaf into A-1 sauce.


more meatloaf!

traditional meatloaf
blue cheese and cherry meatloaf (sounds weird, but it's totally good)

Wake up your regular old boring meatloaf recipe by throwing in some andouille sausage! This "Big Easy" meatloaf recipe from is a great new spin on meatloaf!

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at June 24, 2010

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What they say about this article

  1. I'm making meatloaf in my crockpot right now!! I didn't know you could until I saw a recipe in Taste Of Home's cookbook. I'm not using their recipe other than the time frame to cook it. I sure hope it turns out well. My husband loves meatloaf but it is so hot here already I hated to use the oven!

  2. I just posted a meatloaf recipe today too! I never would think to do it in the crock pot though, great in the summer! I hate having the oven on for a hour! Thanks!

  3. This is on my menu for next week! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I make a meatloafe in the crockpot, but put strips of foil in the bottom and up over the top of the crock to easily lift the meatloaf out. Here is a link to the one I make.

  5. I loooveeee that sausage!

  6. Sounds delicious. Have your kids tried the "thick Worcestershire" sauce? I mistakenly grabbed it when I was stocking up on "normal" worchestershire sauce. It was alright!

  7. I love how versatile the crock pot is - I never would have thought to cook meatloaf in it! But why am I not surprised - your salmon with the dry rub is one of our favorite recipes which is also like baking in the crock pot. Going to try this one very soon!

  8. I will try meatloaf in the crockpot soon. What a great idea. Be sure to get The Help back and start reading! It is one of the best books I have read in a couple of years. Let us know how you enjoy it.

  9. I'm making a batch of sauce in the crock tonight (since we're out... and I believe that violates the ability to claim to be Italian in some families!). Have used the crock three times in the past week - LOVE the fact I can still have homecooked meals WITHOUT heating up the kitchen.

  10. Mmmmmm, Meatloaf!
    thanks, hubby and I both love it and I don't like the pre-prepared one he buys at a local store 12 miles to the south.
    Gave me hope!
    Haven't read The Help, but have Diana Gabaldon's 'An Echo In The Bone', all 814 pages sitting by the bed ready to go. Had to renew two books at the library, and want to finish those before I sit with the latest from Diana, but it is tempting to just return the other two unread.
    Get book one, 'Outlander', and fall in love with Jamie and Claire, then on to 'Dragonfly in Amber'. It is the neatest twist on a love story ever.

  11. Do you have a problem with the metal loaf pan rusting? Mine is after making only two meatloaf's in the CP. Although it's a cheapo one from the dollar store (I think).

  12. I read The Help. I loved it!! And this meatloaf recipe sound like I something I will also love! BTW, your book was great too! I've made a bunch of recipes and I've even purchased a 4 qt. crockpot (I had a 6 qt) to make some of the smaller recipes. Thanks!

  13. I just wanted to come on and say 'hi'. I have bought a 6 qt slow cooker, and your book of course!! And today, they are both getting used for the first time!! Taco Soup is on the menu tonight - and it will do it's thing while I am at work today!! And be ready for when I get home. Love this blog, and thank you for sharing the last year with us - and making us this fantastic book to use and abuse and get our slow cookers off the shelf and back on the counter where they belong!!!!

  14. I am very happy to find your blog and will become a regular reader. My goal this summer is to find slow cooker recipes to keep our oven off. It looks like you can help me here:)

  15. I read this post the other day and just realized that I forgot to comment ... oops. Brain affected by summer heat perhaps? This looks great, Steph! The sausage is a great idea. I give my meat loaf some zip with its topping. ;-) Like you, I enjoy meatloaf but don't want to heat up the kitchen and don't want to spend a long time on it either. My solution is a microwave meat loaf recipe, that I just shared over at Carrie's blog.

    Looking forward to the book club event! As you know I've read the book already, but now I'm in the queue to listen to the audio book right. My girlfriends and I have our own little audio book library. :-)


  16. My book club read this book and mostly liked it. Surprisingly, we found it relevant despite the fact we live in Ohio rather than the deep south. I really liked it and am looking forward to reading more from this first-time author.

  17. I made this today, it was so good! Even my picky husband loved it. It tasted better in the crockpot than my oven made meatloafs.

  18. A friend of mine sets her crockpot outside on the deck in the summer, to keep from heating up the house even a little.

  19. Anonymous10/25/2010

    Instead of using the loaf pan, I used my vegetable steamer basket so the fat can drip out of the meat while it cooks. Very useful and easy to clean as well.

  20. I've never used my crock pot for anything other then queso... I'm so glad that I found your website!!!

    My husband is a super picky eater and finding foods that he will eat is a challenge--but meatloaf is one of them (without the onions of course). I never thought to add sausage into the mix, but a few years ago I started adding 1/4 cup of bbq sauce--the flavor that it adds is wonderful, and since there's such a variety of types and flavors of sauce it's different every time!!

  21. Anonymous4/12/2011

    I made this in my 7 qt CP, 2 hrs 15 min on high, without the loaf pan. I used a "meatloaf" pack from the grocery...ground beef, pork and veal but otherwise followed your recipe exactly. I thought the meatloaf was very tasty, will make again. The only problem I had was 30 min into cooking on high, my stoneware insert CRACKED! And it's brand new, this was only the 4th time I've used it. I've read many complaints that the new lower-end Crock Pots tend to get too hot, but that's ridiculous! The company is replacing my CP at no charge, but I think I'll stick to cooking on low!

  22. I just made this...and this recipe alone was worth the purchase price of the cookbook! Even though it cooked too long on high, it is still the most delicious meatloaf I've ever tried. Thank will become our go-to meatloaf!

  23. What about an aluminum one you know the disposable pan as that is all i have!

  24. Adriana9/18/2012

    Hi, I used my crock quite often during school days. Though I homeschool, I am quite busy, and it comes in handy to just get everything ready in the morning, and have dinner on the table before 6:30 pm. I just made a Souththern BBQ chicken w/ beans and vegetables & 1 can of some cheap beer, meal today. We had a friend over for dinner, who's sister just passed away.He wouldn't stop complimenting the meal, it was so yummy. And all my kids loved it. I will definetly try your meatloaf. It sounds very yummy,and my family likes it when I cook something different, almost everyday:)

  25. A friend suggested to always put a slice of bread under the meat, no matter what you cook it in, that absorbs any fat. Works for me.