Delicious slow-cooker meatloaf with loads of veggies, shaved parmesan and a wonderful balsamic glaze.
This post is sponsored by FoodSaver®.
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.
I've also been continuing to use my FoodSaver® FM5000 Series Food Preservation System on a daily basis. It's made such a difference in our food bill already! Fresh herbs actually last until I need them again when I used to cringe as I tossed them in the trash. Recent research from the NDRC shows that Americans are throwing away nearly $165 billion worth of food each year, costing the average American family up to $2,200. The FoodSaver® Fresh Containers remain my favorite for daily use, especially since they come in different sizes – 3, 5, 8, and 10-cups – and I can fit most anything in them that I need.
Here's a perfect example of how my FoodSaver® FM5000 Series Food Preservation System has worked so well for my family. When I made that delicious One-Pan Salsa Chicken and Vegetables a couple of weeks ago, I had bell peppers leftover. I sliced them into large pieces and discarded the stem and seeds, then placed them in a FoodSaver® Fresh Container and vacuum sealed them. The unique “dimple” vacuum seal indicator on the containers assures an air tight seal. It was an entire week later when I pulled them out and they were still VERY fresh!
It's made such a difference to be able to rely on additional time before I have to use my fresh produce. It's made a difference with my cooked foods, too; I cut this meatloaf into individual slices and vacuum sealed each one so we'd have individual portions at the ready. Vacuum sealing my leftover meatloaf with the FoodSaver® FM5000 Food Preservation System removes air, locks out moisture, and combats freezer burn allowing these pre-portioned meals to last 5-times longer than they would if stored with traditional methods.
This slow-cooker meatloaf is so good that it didn't last long though!
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.
I put a lot of extra veggies in my slow-cooker meatloaf 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.
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).
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.