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Indulge in the comfort of a classic, homestyle meatloaf with a twist tailored just for you. This single serving slow cooker meatloaf recipe transforms simple, wholesome ingredients into a succulent, flavor-packed meal, ideal for those cozy nights in.
Crafted to fit perfectly in your small slow cooker, this mini meatloaf offers a tender, juicy texture and a blend of rich, savory spices. It’s a hassle-free, no-fuss meal that promises to satisfy your meatloaf cravings in just the right portion size, making it a delightful choice for a personal treat or a small household.
Why This Recipe Works
- Simple Ingredients: This meatloaf recipe uses everyday ingredients that are easy to find.
- No-Fuss Preparation: Minimal prep time makes this recipe perfect for busy individuals.
- Customizable: You can easily adapt this recipe to suit your dietary preferences.
- Perfect Portion: Cooking a single serving ensures no leftovers or waste.
What Is Meatloaf?
Meatloaf is a dish made primarily from ground meat (usually beef), mixed with a variety of ingredients like breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasonings, then baked or smoked. Slow cooker meatloaf follows the same premise but is cooked using a slow cooker, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully while keeping the meat moist and tender.
Meatloaf has humble origins, as it was a way for people to stretch their supply of meat by mixing it with fillers. It gained popularity in the United States during the Great Depression, and since then, has become a classic comfort food. Different cultures have their own versions, such as the Scandinavian “Färsbröd” and Italian “Polpettone”.
- Butter: One tablespoon of butter is used to cook the chopped onions and garlic in. Cooking the vegetables in butter before adding them to the beef is key to a making moist and juicy meatloaf.
- Vegetables: Chopped onions and garlic add quite a lot of flavor to this meatloaf, definitely don’t leave them out.
- Seasonings: Use dried thyme, salt, and black pepper.
- Ground beef Use 1/2 pound of ground beef. You can substitute this with ground turkey, chicken, or a plant-based meat alternative. If you’ve got extra ground beef, consider using it in Beef Tacos or Lasagna Soup.
- Worcestershire sauce: For great flavor.
- Egg: One large egg helps to add flavor and bind the meat together.
- Breadcrumbs: Use store-bought or homemade breadcrumbs. Instead of breadcrumbs, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of oat flour or almond flour or use 4 tablespoons of old-fashioned rolled oats.
- Ketchup and molasses: These two ingredients stirred together make a terrific sauce! BBQ sauce can be a great alternative.
How To Make A Slow Cooker Meatloaf
See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.
- Cut a 1-foot length of foil in half lengthwise. Fold each strip in half lengthwise to form two long strips. Place the foil strips in the bottom of the Crockpot or slow cooker in a cross pattern. Trim them so that they are even with the rim or below the rim so that they don’t get in the way of the Crockpot lid. Spray the foil and slow cooker with nonstick spray.
- Cook chopped onions and a clove of garlic in a bit of butter in a small skillet. When the onions soften, add dried thyme, salt, and black pepper.
- Pour the cooked onions and garlic into a large bowl and add the ground beef. To the meat, add Worcestershire sauce, an egg, and either bread crumbs, almond flour, or oat flour to help hold it all together. Mix the ingredients together, form the meat into a round or oval shape, and place the meatloaf in the slow cooker.
- Cook the meatloaf on a low setting for 6 hours.
- When you have about 30 minutes left of cooking time, mix together 1/4 cup of ketchup combined with 1 tablespoon of molasses and spoon the mixture over the top of the meatloaf. Put the lid back on the slow cooker and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Foil Lining: To easily remove your meatloaf from the slow cooker, line the base with foil strips. This technique not only helps lift the meatloaf smoothly but also separates it from any excess oil.
- Pre-Cooked Onions and Garlic: For a moist and flavorful meatloaf, sauté onions and garlic in butter before mixing them with the ground beef. This step enhances the taste and texture of your meatloaf.
- Oven Alternative: Don’t have a slow cooker? No problem! You can bake this meatloaf in a conventional oven. Set it to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and cook for 50 minutes to achieve the same delicious result.
- Resting Time: After cooking, let your meatloaf rest, covered, for five minutes before slicing. This pause allows the juices to settle, ensuring a moist and tender meatloaf. Cutting it too soon can release these juices and result in a drier meatloaf.
There you have it – a delightful single serving meatloaf that’s as easy as it is tasty. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or looking to perfect your meatloaf game, this recipe is sure to hit the spot. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
The best size slow cooker to use to make this meatloaf recipe is a small, 1.5 to 3-quart slow cooker.
If you only have a large slow cooker, that’s fine too.
You can easily transform your large slow cooker into a small one by placing an oven-safe bowl inside of the bowl of your slow cooker.
Other Single Serving Slow Cooker Recipes
If you like this slow cooker meatloaf recipe, you might also like to try these slow cooker recipes:
If you’ve tried this slow cooker meatloaf or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.
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Slow Cooker Meatloaf For One
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 ounces chopped onions (1/4 of a large onion)
- 1 clove garlic , chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- ½ pound ground beef
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs (instead of breadcrumbs, you can substitute 3 tablespoons of oat flour or almond flour or use 4 tablespoons of old-fashioned rolled oats)
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add in the chopped garlic, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for an additional 2 minutes. Remove skillet from the heat and set aside.
- Place the ground beef in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the onion/garlic/butter mixture over the meat. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, the egg and the breadcrumbs. Using a large spoon or your hands, mix the meat and all of the ingredients together until fully combined. Shape into an oval.
- Cut a 1-foot length of foil in half lengthwise. Fold each strip in half lengthwise to form two long strips. Place the foil strips in the bottom of the slow cooker in a cross pattern. Trim them so that they are even with the rim or below the rim so that they don’t get in the way of the slow cooker lid.
- Spray the foil and slow cooker with nonstick spray.
- Place the meatloaf on top of the foil lining the slow cooker. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 5 1/2 hours.
- Stir together the ketchup and molasses in a small bowl. Remove the lid from the slow cooker and spoon the sauce over the meatloaf. Cover the slow cooker again and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
- Carefully grasp the ends of the foil strips to lift out the meatloaf. Transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let the meatloaf rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.