Slow Cooker Giant Meatball Meatloaf is a phenomenal meatloaf recipe that combines very simple ingredients to make a fabulous dish. Meatball Meatloaf is super easy to throw together, and since it cooks in the slow cooker, it makes for an effortless meal. Plan on not having any leftovers because the whole family will devour this Slow Cooker Giant Meatball Meatloaf.
Slow Cooker Giant Meatball Meatloaf
My mom, Linda, retired several years ago from our town’s public library, where she worked for 30 years. Although Mom worked in the children’s department her favorite work pastime, besides shooting the breeze with all her work buddies, was to meander down to the nonfiction department, talk with her work buddies there, and then checkout an absurd number of cookbooks.
It’s probably apparent why my mom managed to hold down this job for 30 years while raising six kids.
During her years at the library, our kitchen counter continually housed stacks of library cookbooks. You see, Linda would work the system quite a bit. Apparently overdue fees aren’t accrued by librarians, one of the perks of the job, so those cookbooks would sit for months on our counter, possibly until she cooked through them all. (Full disclosure, since Linda has probably exceeded the statute of limitations, my mom is still harboring unreturned items.)
If a library cookbook recipe was a home run, I would be provided with a photocopied page. Her neat, cursive writing would adorn the word “good” on my copy, underlined a couple times for emphasis. That’s Linda-speak for, It is your duty to make this recipe, and do not miss out on this opportunity I’m handing you.
Slow Cooker Giant Meatball Meatloaf was one of those photocopied recipes I was encouraged to make. You can probably guess how it worked out for me if I’m passing it on to all of you. I’ll be honest, when I first laid eyes on this recipe I wasn’t moved by it, but this humble list of ingredients works fabulously together. The slow cooker makes the meat super moist and tender, plus using a smaller amount of bread crumbs makes it less dense and overly bonded. I always use homemade marinara, which definitely adds to the recipe. If you don’t use a homemade marinara, make sure you do use a high quality, great tasting jarred one.
I wish I could give credit where credit is due for this great recipe, but I have no idea where it came from. Let’s just leave it at Adapted from Some-Random-Library-Cookbook-My-Mom-Had-On-Her-Counter-10-Years-Ago.
- 2 lbs. ground chuck
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- ½ cup bread crumbs, regular or gluten free*
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- 2 cups homemade or good quality jarred marinara sauce (can use more for serving)
- spaghetti, regular or gluten free, for serving
- Fold a 2-foot length of aluminum foil in half lengthwise. Place the foil in the slow cooker in the lengthwise direction, pressing along bottom and sides. Roll over the excess foil to make "handles" for lifting when the meatloaf is done.
In a large bowl place eggs, garlic, Parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add ground chuck and mix throughly with hands until mixture is evenly incorporated.
Shape it into a loaf and carefully place in the slow cooker on top of foil. Pour 2 cups of marinara over the top.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until thermometer reads 165-170ºF.
Carefully lift meatloaf out of slow cooker with handles and place on platter to serve with extra marinara. Cut into slices and serve with pasta, if desired.