Crock Pot (or Instant Pot) Meatloaf Recipe

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Beef Recipes » Crock Pot (or Instant Pot) Meatloaf Recipe

Love it or hate it (we love it!) meatloaf is a classic comfort food. This is a great versatile base recipe that works in the slow cooker or Instant Pot to keep things simple. I can either pop it in the slow cooker early in the day, or toss it in the Instant Pot half an hour before dinner.

We like both better than regular oven-baked meatloaf, plus you avoid the chance of any grease overflowing in the oven and causing a major cloud of smoke! (Just me?!)

Healthy Crock Pot Meatloaf

The slow cooker option (or slow cooker function on the Instant Pot) is great because it can cook while you work, go for a walk, or cross things off your to-do list. I like that I can get it done early in the day and not have to worry about anything later on.

To cook the meatloaf in the slow cooker, I like to just form it into the right shape with my hands and place it in the middle of the slow cooker. Make sure there are no areas touching the edges of the pot or they’ll get dry and crispy.

If you want, you can place the meatloaf in a loaf pan and put the whole thing in the slow cooker, but it’s not necessary. (Although it is easier to get out this way.)

Make Meatloaf Speedier in the Instant Pot

There is definitely a special place in my heart for my Instant Pot. It has saved my sanity many evenings when I’m running short on time.

To make Instant Pot meatloaf, I use the same recipe as for the slow cooker, but put the formed loaf in a baking dish that will fit in the Instant Pot. I add some water and the trivet to the bottom of the pot, put the baking dish on top of the trivet, and set the timer for 25 minutes.

I’ve also heard of cooking sweet potatoes in the bottom of the Instant Pot while the meatloaf is cooking up top. This post is handy for gauging the right-sized sweet potatoes for the amount of time it takes the meatloaf to cook.

Fun and Creative Meatloaf Ideas

Here are some other meatloaf variations we’ve enjoyed over the years:

  • Meatloaf “Cupcakes” With Sweet Potato “Frosting” – My kids LOVE this fun spin on meatloaf (and make it themselves thanks to this online cooking class for kids). Don’t forget the chopped chives for sprinkles! Here’s the recipe.
  • Greek-Inspired Meatloaf – This one mixes it up a little with ground turkey flavored with chopped mint and fennel and served with a yogurt sauce. Get the recipe here.
  • Bacon and Barbecue Meatloaf – Add a little chopped bacon to the mix and top with barbeque sauce. No recipe required!

Bulk Cooking Tip

Meatloaf in all its varieties also freezes really well. Triple or quadruple this recipe (I bake some in the oven if I run out of room in the Instant Pot) and freeze for a later meal.

Crock Pot Meatloaf Recipe (With Instant Pot option)

Make delicious meatloaf ahead of time in the slow cooker or at the last minute in the Instant Pot.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Calories 183kcal
Author Katie Wells


8 people



  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix lightly with hands to combine.

To cook in the Crock Pot

  • Shape into a loaf and place it centered in the Crock Pot, making sure the edges of the meat aren't touching the edges.
  • Put the lid on and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • When cooked, turn the Crock Pot off and let the meatloaf rest for about 15 minutes with the lid off before slicing.
  • Top with homemade ketchup (optional) and serve.

To cook in the Instant Pot

  • Put the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot and pour in 1 cup of water.
  • Shape the meat into a loaf and place in a dish that fits into the Instant Pot.
  • Put on the lid, set valve to seal, and pressure cook for 25 minutes with a quick pressure release.
  • When cooked, turn the Instant Pot off and let the meatloaf rest for about 10 minutes with the lid off before slicing.


Nutrition Facts
Crock Pot Meatloaf Recipe (With Instant Pot option)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 183 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 590mg26%
Potassium 483mg14%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 59IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Avoid dirtying extra dishes by putting in a dish that will fit in your Instant Pot or slow cooker before putting the meat in it — try a stainless steel pan.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Ever made meatloaf in a Crock Pot? What is your secret to great meatloaf? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


63 responses to “Crock Pot (or Instant Pot) Meatloaf Recipe”

  1. Emma Avatar

    2 stars
    I tried this meatloaf recipe in my instant pot in a stainless steel container at the specified time in the recipe. It was raw on the inside and the flavor was less than awesome. Step 4 on the instant pot recipe looks to be an unfinished thought in regards to how many minutes to let it stand for. Not sure if knowing how long it needed to stand for would have made it any better. I’m so disappointed, what did I do wrong?

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      Are you sure that the instant pot sealed? With that amount of cooking time, it should have been cooked through. I’ve had a couple times where the instant pot didn’t actually seal and the timer started anyway, so there was heat but no pressure. You’d be able to tell because the lid locks when it is properly sealed.

      1. Emma Avatar

        I appreciate your help with trying to problem solve with what went wrong for me. However, I do know that the instant pot was sealed based on the steam I saw when I did the quick pressure release after the time was up. I see you updated the steps for the instant pot method. Thank you.

  2. Dorothy Avatar

    5 stars
    In haven’t made meatloaf in a while and this looks like a good recipe to try. ? I remember meatloaf sandwiches growing up, and it makes good leftovers. How long do you let it rest after cooking? There’s a blank space there.

  3. Julie Avatar

    Is there a substitution for eggs that work with meatloaf? My sons are allergic to eggs. 🙁

  4. Lela Avatar

    4 stars
    I use oats in mine instead of bread crumbs for those who are gluten intolerant.

  5. Mandy Avatar

    5 stars
    I made this last night and my family loved it! We’re a family of 7, and what small amount was left my husband took to work for lunch today. Finding a meal all 5 of our kids enjoy can be tricky, and they’re actually not very picky. This was a big hit, and talk about easy to make. I mixed it all together in the crockpot, smoothed it out and let it cook. So simple for a really delicious meal. We’ve always eaten healthy, but I was one of those that just assumed grains equaled good, so we’re slowly revamping our meals. So far everything we’ve eaten has been great and grains aren’t missed at dinner. Next will be lunch, then breakfast. I’m so excited to be making my family healthier. Thanks for all the great recipes!

    1. Dorothy Avatar

      I don’t, but I wondered about that too. Coconut Aminos makes meat taste good, but I wonder how well it would sub.

  6. deneen Avatar

    I just made chicken meatloaf in my crockpot 6lbs chicken (we ground ourselves) I added sauteed onions and pepper seasoning salt garlic powder 6 eggs mixed it all together and put it in on high 7 hours later yummy

  7. Abby Avatar

    The glass pan worked, but it was in the crock pot too long. I was gone for 8 1/2 hours to work, and that was too long. It burned (on low) but was still edible. I need a timer crock pot for when I’m gone all day.

    1. Pat Avatar

      An hour ago I found my timer gadget that I used to switch on lights in my last house. I’m going to try it with my crockpot and this recipe, which sounds delicious, as usual WM!

  8. Abby Avatar

    I want to try this, but only have a glass “pan”. Will that work? It fits into my crockpot fine. I will be gone for 8 hours, so I didn’t want to put the meatloaf directly in the crock pot. Thanks!

  9. Mike C. Avatar

    Does anyone know the nutritional value of this recipe, specifically calories per serving?

  10. Kara Rochelle Artrip Avatar
    Kara Rochelle Artrip

    If you make baked apples, save a few back for your meatloaf recipe! Mash them up to a lumpy mixture and use the “chunky apple sauce” in your meatloaf instead of egg. Then use potato chip crumbs in place of bread. (Bbq and mustard on top) got this recipeat an apple orchard. veryyummy!

4.13 from 32 votes (25 ratings without comment)

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