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.
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 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.
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.