Balsamic & Parmesan Slow-Cooker Meatloaf

Delicious slow-cooker meatloaf with loads of veggies, shaved parmesan and a wonderful balsamic glaze.

 

Things are really getting streamlined around here. This easy slow-cooker meatloaf is proof that the two simple changes I’ve made are having a big impact in my kitchen!

First, I’m using my new slow-cooker more and more to create simple, healthy meals. I’d always assumed a slow-cooker was for people who work in an office and don’t have the luxury of braising in the oven or simmering on the stove. I still prefer those methods, if only because it brings a certain personal enjoyment. Yet the meals I’ve made in my slow cooker have been such a breeze – and so delicious – that it’s now earned a permanent space.

Delicious meatloaf with loads of veggies, shaved parmesan and a wonderful balsamic glaze! Crockpot meatloaf is so simple!

This slow-cooker meatloaf is so good that it didn’t last long though!

Delicious meatloaf with loads of veggies, shaved parmesan and a wonderful balsamic glaze! Crockpot meatloaf is so simple!

I make this slow-cooker meatloaf with either just tiny potatoes or a combination of potatoes and carrots for my sides. It all cooks in one slow-cooker (with a quick sauté of the veggies beforehand) and your house will smell fantastic.

Delicious meatloaf with loads of veggies, shaved parmesan and a wonderful balsamic glaze! Crockpot meatloaf is so simple!

I put a lot of extra veggies in it for both flavor, texture and to help keep it moist. Zucchini especially makes a difference and, if you dice it really small, you won’t even know it’s in there! My kids have caught on and are old enough now to where I dice the veggies but don’t worry if they’re big enough to see. Plus I think it looks pretty with the different colors.

Delicious meatloaf with loads of veggies, shaved parmesan and a wonderful balsamic glaze! Crockpot meatloaf is so simple!

In addition to the veggies, I love to add shaved parmesan for flavor. You can certainly use grated or shredded parmesan but I personally like the shaved for big pops of flavor. The balsamic glaze that coats this slow-cooker meatloaf is so much better than just regular ol’ ketchup (I’m always adding something to my meatloaf glazes, even chipotle for a smoky mix).

Balsamic & Parmesan Crockpot Meatloaf

Balsamic & Parmesan Crockpot Meatloaf

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 t extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved or quartered if necessary (they should be large bite-sized)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, onion, bell pepper, carrots and salt. Cook for five minutes or until vegetables are just starting to soften. Add garlic; cook one more minute, stirring occasionally.
  2. Place ground beef and Italian sausage in a large mixing bowl. Add vegetables from skillet, then add breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, parsley and parmesan. Using clean hands, mix together until just combined. Form into a loaf shape and place in slow cooker. Place potatoes around the sides of the slow cooker (see video if necessary).
  3. Mix together ketchup and balsamic vinegar. Spread over the top and sides of meatloaf (don't worry if you can't get down the entire side). Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until meatloaf is cooked through and potatoes are soft.
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