An unbeatably easy classic, tender homemade Crock Pot Meatloaf with Pan Gravy is one of the best, most comforting dinners you can dream of! Made with ground beef, pork, and onion soup mix, this recipe contains a secret ingredient that keeps it low carb and gluten free, too!
What is it about brown food?
SO difficult to make pretty for photos, but good grief, it’s some of the best stuff, innit?
I’m pulling a classic childhood recipe out of the woodwork today.
Because in a month full of soups and smoothies and salads, I’m still partial to meaty dinners.
This Crock Pot Meatloaf is an adapted version of my Nana’s delicious gravy-bathed onion soup mix meatloaf. I have to say, I believe I’ve done her proud here!
This page includes step by step instructions, as well as tips and notes. If you’d like to skip all that, feel free to scroll down to the full, printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Browsing Google, most recipes for homemade meatloaf are the shiny red brown sugar-ketchup-glazed versions that – well – I’ve never once tried.
Who knows? I might actually like it…I do eat ketchup on my burgers after all.
But I was raised on good old Lipton onion soup meatloaf served on mashed potatoes and drowning in pan gravy. It’s the best, and I know no other way.
The gravy is so good at keeping the meatloaf juicy and moist, even as leftovers.
Trust me, there is nothing like an open-faced meatloaf sandwich smothered in reheated gravy. Pure comfort.
Who can relate? I’ve been trying to start a Keto diet for a year now.
Now I’m not going to say that I’m going to rock this diet because, if I’m being honest, I have horrible diet discipline.
I can go all day eating well, and then I remember that half pint of frosty ice cream or one last Swiss cake roll hidden in the pantry and it’s all over.
Carbs just have a hold on me, guys. Breaking me away from my go to Air Fryer Meatloaf is going to be a struggle.
But I plan to give it the old college try, and I’m hoping a few low carb recipes here and there will help those of you that ARE killing it with Keto already!
Meatloaf is a perfect Keto meal…if you ignore the bread binder that keeps it so moist. The one stumper for me when making this recipe was how to make meatloaf without breadcrumbs and still have it come out as tender and juicy as the classic version.
Thankfully, my client work in the last 6 months has taught me quite a bit about low carb diets, and the secret bread crumb replacement lies in a bag of gas station snacks.
Crush those babies up and soak them in some eggs and heavy cream. There’s your Keto meatloaf binder.
How Do I Make My Low Carb Meatloaf Tender?
I promise, you don’t NEED those “essential” bread crumbs to make a wonderfully tender meatloaf that doesn’t fall apart! You also don’t need any alternative flours.
- Defer to The Low Carb Meatloaf Trinity – crushed pork rinds, heavy cream, and eggs. Lightly scramble some eggs, whisk in heavy cream, then stir in the pork dust and let it sit before mixing the meatloaf. The rinds don’t absorb liquid quite like bread, but they get the job done!
- Use a mixture of fatty meats. Opting for all beef, even the fattiest type, will cause the loaf to dry out faster even with a gravy. Try adding in some ground pork and/or veal. Not only do they add extra moisture, the flavor will be even more complex.
- Never overmix your meatloaf. The most common culprit in dry meatloaf is working it too much before forming it. Mix it with your hands only until it is just combined and the diced peppers are mostly equally distributed.
How Long To Cook Meatloaf In The Crock Pot
Nana’s meatloaf was always always roasted in the oven, nestled in her blue flower Corningware.
While that’s still my favorite preparation, there’s something to be said about using a slow cooker to make a hearty family dinner.
If you’re short on time, cook this meatloaf on high for 2 to 3 hours. If you’ve got a bit longer, cook it on low for 5 to 6 hours.
Whichever temperature you choose, make sure the meatloaf reaches between 155-165 degrees F before turning off the Crock Pot.
How To Make Meatloaf Gravy
Even the gravy for this meatloaf is low carb! Of course, if you’re not concerned about carbs, feel free to use a regular equal ratio flour slurry to thicken the pan juices.
If you are, make sure you pick up some xanthan gum, a common food thickener.
After you transfer the cooked meatloaf and mushrooms to your serving platter, strain the broth from the cooker through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Set the pan on the stove over high heat and whisk in xanthan gum, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
Of course, if you like the pan gravy straight out of the slow cooker, with no added thickener, that’s fine too!
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING SLOW COOKER MEATLOAF:
LOOKING FOR MEATLOAF SIDES?
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Crock Pot Meatloaf with Pan Gravy
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- 1 cup green bell pepper diced
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup crushed pork rinds (or bread crumbs)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 packet onion soup mix divided
- 1 cup beef broth
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms halved (optional)
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (or 2T water + 2T flour)
- Spray the inside of the slow cooker crock with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ground pork, diced pepper, eggs, crushed pork rinds, cream, seasonings, and half of the onion soup mix packet. Gently mix together until well combined, but don’t overwork the meat.
- Shape the mixture into a loaf and place in the prepared crock. Pour the beef broth over the top of the meatloaf, then sprinkle with the remaining onion soup mix. Arrange the mushrooms around the meatloaf, the seal the lid.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours, or high for 2-3 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 155-160 degrees F.
- Carefully transfer the meatloaf and mushrooms to a serving platter. Strain the remaining broth through a fine sieve and transfer to a saucepan set over high heat. Whisk in the xantham gum (or flour slurry) and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to your liking.
- Season the gravy with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the meatloaf and mushrooms.
To Bake In The Oven:
- Place the shaped meatloaf, broth, and mushrooms in a ceramic baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 60-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. If you’re in the kitchen, baste the meatloaf occasionally with the pan juices. Remove from the oven and follow directions to make gravy.