Slow Cooker Meatloaf with Seasoned Tomato Sauce Topping

Anytime is a good time for comfort food.

Meatloaf is one of those stick-to-your rib comfort foods that goes so well with comfort food side dishes like mashed potatoes, corn or green beans.

I especially like meatloaf when it’s topped with a tomato-based sauce like the seasoned sauce in this recipe.

And don’t forget about that all-time favorite fancy schmancy high class tomato-based sauce called ketchup which isn’t bad on top of meatloaf either.

When I was a kid, my very favorite frozen TV dinner on earth was meatloaf topped with tomato sauce.

To me at the time, the mashed potatoes were sooo good in that TV dinner, especially when the tomato sauce spilled over into the mashed potato section.

Some people may say they remember how delicious their grandmother’s or mom’s meatloaf was…but my delicious memory of meatloaf was that good old frozen dinner.

My grandmother and mom made a few great homemade dishes like fried chicken and spaghetti sauce but neither one of them ever made meatloaf.

Now the secret’s out, that my inspiration for making meatloaf comes from a frozen TV dinner.

These days I make several versions of homemade meatloaf but I think my favorite ones are those with tomato sauce toppings.

This meatloaf recipe is made in the slow cooker with 4 types of ground meat; turkey, pork, beef and Italian sausage.

And a quick and easy seasoned tomato sauce topping for the meatloaf is made on the stovetop.

Let’s check out the rest of the ingredients and how to make it.

For the Meatloaf – ground turkey, pork and beef; Italian sausage, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, eggs, crushed Ritz crackers (or plain, or panko bread crumbs), Worcestershire sauce, dried oregano, dried red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Also, olive oil (for lightly coating the bottom of the slow cooker pot).

For the Seasoned Tomato Sauce Topping – canned tomato sauce, meatloaf drippings from the slow cooker, granulated garlic, onion powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper.

Optional for Garnish – chopped fresh parsley, oregano, basil or Rosemary; and grated parmesan cheese.

Here’s how to make it.

For the Meatloaf:

In a large mixing bowl, add ground turkey, pork and beef; Italian sausage (no casing, just the meat), bell pepper, onion, garlic, eggs (beaten), crushed Ritz crackers (or plain bread crumbs), Worcestershire sauce, dried oregano, dried red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

With clean hands, mix together until it’s well combined.

On a large plate, form the mixture into a loaf shape that will fit inside of the slow cooker without touching the sides.

Add olive oil to the bottom of the slow cooker pot (this is added so that the meatloaf doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot).

Tilt the pot from side to side, or use a spatula to spread the oil so that the bottom of the pot is evenly coated with the oil.

Transfer the meatloaf from the plate into the pot.

If needed, slightly reshape the sides of the meatloaf so that it’s not touching the sides of the pot.

Next,

add water along the sides of the meatloaf.

Cover with a lid and cook on the low setting for 7 hours or until the meatloaf is thoroughly cooked (depending on the thickness of the loaf it may take longer than 7 hours when cooked on the low setting).

About 30 minutes before the meatloaf is done cooking, make the tomato sauce topping.

For the Seasoned Tomato Sauce Topping:

In a medium size pot, add tomato sauce, dried oregano, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper (when the meatloaf is done cooking, 2 tablespoons of liquid from the pot will also added).

Then,

stir together and heat the pot on low heat.

Stir as the sauce cooks.

Serving the Meatloaf:

When the meatloaf is done cooking, there should be some liquid in the bottom of the pot.

Ladle 2 tablespoons of the liquid into the tomato sauce mixture and stir.

Using a large spatula, carefully (it will be hot) transfer the meatloaf on to a serving platter.

Top the meatloaf with seasoned tomato sauce and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, oregano, basil or Rosemary (whatever you may have on hand).

Next…

…top with grated parmesan cheese.

Then,

…dig in and…

…enjoy each bite…

You may even like to mix a bite or two of meatloaf with mashed potatoes…(an eating technique I picked up back in my frozen TV dinner days).

Thank you so much for stopping by!

More Comfort Food Recipes:

Simple Fried Chicken

Baked Herb and Parmesan Potato Slices

Skillet Biscuits and Sage Sausage Gravy

Slow Cooker Guinness Corned Beef and Cabbage

Chicken Fried Pork Medallions

Snickerdoodle Skillet Biscuits

Bow Tie Pasta and Italian Turkey Sausage Skillet Meal

Eggplant Supper Soup

Fried Chicken and Bacon Gravy Sliders

Salt Crusted Baked Potato and Thyme Ground Beef and Gravy

Pork Meatballs with Pasta with Tomato Wine Sauce

Ground Turkey Sloppy Joe Sliders

Brown Butter Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Slow Cooker Meatloaf with Seasoned Tomato Sauce Topping

Yield: Serves 7

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 7 hours, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Meatloaf:

1/2 pound ground turkey
1/2 pound ground pork
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 Italian sausages (just the meat, no casing)
¼ cup diced green bell pepper
¼ cup diced onion
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and diced
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup crumbled Ritz crackers (or plain, or panko bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or more if preferred)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil (to coat the bottom of the slow cooker pot)
Meatloaf Sauce
Optional for Garnish - chopped fresh parsley, oregano, basil or Rosemary; and grated parmesan cheese

For the Meatloaf Sauce:

1 can (14.5 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons meatloaf drippings (strained) from the slow cooker pot
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3 dashes salt
3 dashes ground black pepper

Directions:

For the Meatloaf:

In a large mixing bowl, add ground turkey, pork and beef; Italian sausage (no casing, just the meat), bell pepper, onion, garlic, eggs (beaten), crushed Ritz crackers (or plain bread crumbs), Worcestershire sauce, dried oregano, dried red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. With clean hands, mix together until they're well combined. On a large plate, form the mixture into a loaf shape that will fit inside of the slow cooker without touching the sides.

Add olive oil to the bottom of the slow cooker pot (this is added so that the meatloaf doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot). Tilt the pot from side to side, or use a spatula to spread the oil so that the bottom of the pot is evenly coated with the oil. Transfer the meatloaf from the plate into the pot. If needed, slightly reshape the sides of the meatloaf so that it's not touching the sides of the pot. Add water along the sides of the meatloaf. Cover with a lid and cook on the low setting for 7 hours or until the meatloaf is thoroughly cooked (depending on the thickness of the loaf it may take longer than 7 hours when cooked on the low setting). About 30 minutes before the meatloaf is done cooking, make the tomato sauce topping.

For the Seasoned Tomato Sauce Topping:

In a medium size pot, add tomato sauce, dried oregano, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper (when the meatloaf is done cooking, 2 tablespoons of liquid from the pot will also added). Stir together and heat the pot on low heat. Stir as the sauce cooks.

Serving the Meatloaf:

When the meatloaf is done cooking, there should be some liquid in the bottom of the pot. Ladle 2 tablespoons of the liquid into the tomato sauce mixture and stir. Using a large spatula, carefully (it will be hot) transfer the meatloaf on to a serving platter. Top the meatloaf with seasoned tomato sauce and garnish with chopped fresh parsley, oregano, basil or Rosemary (whatever you may have on hand). Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve.

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