Crockpot French Onion Meatloaf

I LOVE meatloaf! In fact, I love it so much that I’ve created a few creative variations of this delicious dish including Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes, Mac and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf, Chipotle Glazed Meatloaf, and Turkey Meatloaf!

Crockpot French Onion Meatloaf on a white plate
Today, I have the pleasure of adding my Crockpot French Onion Meatloaf to that list of meatloaf favorites but fair warning is given – although this recipe only takes 15 minutes of prep time, the cooking time adds up to 16 hours. That means that you’ll want to plan ahead for this one as it won’t be a midweek meal that you can quickly whip up!

Alternatively – continue to read below for great tips on how to reduce this cooking time!! I’m all about offering workarounds 🙂 But anyway – don’t let the long cooking time put you off as the wait is well worth it. While your meatloaf cooks in the slow cooker, those juicy flavors infiltrate the entire house which is brilliant when entertaining guests. After all, nothing is more inviting than those aromas of thoughtfully prepared home cooking.French Onion Meatloaf in a slow cooker

TIPS FOR MAKING CROCKPOT FRENCH ONION MEATLOAF

  • Speed up the cooking process by adding your onions to the slow cooker the night before to cook for 12 hours.
  • If cooking your onions for 12 hours is too long for you, rather opt to caramelize the onions on the stovetop, allowing you to cook everything on high for 3-4 hours. I just potentially saved you 8 hours!!!
  • Meatloaf can be eaten and enjoyed warm or cold – it’s really based on preference as well as what you intend serving it with.
  • Milk is an important component of most meatloaf recipes as it soaks the breadcrumbs which in turn ensures adequate moisture so that the meatloaf is juicy and moist instead of dry and crumbly. If you don’t want to use milk, try adding water, low-sodium beef or chicken stock, or a milk substitute instead.ingredients for crockpot french onion meatloaf

 

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Crockpot French Onion Meatloaf

  1. Slice onions and spread them in the bottom of a 6 Qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and sugar over the onions. Place your tabs of butter on top of onions. Cook on LOW for 12 hours.sliced onions and seasoning in a slow cooker
  2. Mix together ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, egg, and onion soup mix. Form meat mixture into a ball or oval.meatloaf ingredients in a mixing bowl
  3. Pour cooking sherry and Worcestershire over the onions. Place meatloaf on top of cooked onions in the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until meat registers 160°F.meatloaf placed on top of caramelized onions in crockpot
  4. Place cheese over the top of the meat and continue cooking 20-30 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.sliced cheese on top of meatloaf in slow cookermelted cheese on top of meatloaf
  5. Serve meatloaf sliced with onions and sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with fresh thyme.meatloaf on a serving platter with a slice removed

I’VE NEVER HAD MEATLOAF! WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?

  • If this is the first time that you are trying meatloaf, the closest taste comparison that I can make to meatloaf is that of a burger patty. While this may sound a bit average, once you add other ingredients to it as well as sauces or gravies, you’ll be coming back for seconds in no time!

CAN I FREEZE THIS CROCKPOT FRENCH ONION MEATLOAF?

  • Oh yes! Cooked meatloaf lasts for 1 month in the freezer. Allow your freshly cooked meatloaf to completely cool down before wrapping it tightly in foil first and then plastic wrap.
  • Leave any garnishes for when you are about to serve your meatloaf so that they don’t run the risk of spoiling in the freezer.
  • To reheat, leave it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw and then heat up either in the microwave OR in the oven at 350F for 1 – 1.5 hours while still wrapped in foil (this helps retain moisture and prevent it from drying out since it was previously cooked).

CAN I MAKE THIS MEATLOAF RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME?

  • Definitely! Here are a few ideas for how you could prepare this recipe ahead of time: 
    • Cook and Freeze: Cooked meatloaf lasts for 3-4 days in the refrigerator so you have the option of cooking this dish entirely and then storing for reheating a few days later.
    • Prepare Your Meatloaf Mixture Ahead of Time: Follow steps 1-2 above and place your meatloaf mixture in the refrigerator the night before OR place it in the freezer for later use. You then only need to pick up from step 3 when ready to complete your dish for serving.

Don’t forget to pack up any leftovers for lunch! We love using our These Lunchboxes for this!meatloaf, potatoes and carrots packed in a lunchbox

Great Side Dishes to Serve With Meatloaf

 

4.80 from 5 votes

Crockpot French Onion Meatloaf

This Crockpot French Onion Meatloaf in my new favorite loaf recipe. If you love caramelized onions, this is the recipe for you!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 16 hours
Total Time 16 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 3-4 large sweet onions sliced
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup Italian herb bread crumbs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1 oz. Package French onion soup mix
  • 1 ⁄2 cup cooking sherry
  • 1 ⁄2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 oz. swiss gruyere, or provolone cheese
  • Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

Instructions

  • Slice onions and spread them in the bottom of a 6 Qt. slow cooker. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and sugar over the onions. Place your tabs of butter on top of onions. Cook on LOW for 12 hours.
  • Mix together ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, egg, and onion soup mix. Form meat mixture into a ball or oval.
  • Pour cooking sherry and Worchestire over the onions. Place meatloaf on top of cooked onions in the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until meat registers 160°F.
  • Place cheese over the top of the meat and continue cooking 20-30 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
  • Serve meatloaf sliced with onions and sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with fresh thyme.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1482mg | Potassium: 679mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1498IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: Family Fresh Meals is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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4.80 from 5 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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19 Comments

  1. Sounds wonderful, but you didn’t tell us where to use the butter and olive oil. I am assuming it goes in with the onions, correct?

    1. Yes, the butter goes in with the onions.

  2. The sodium in this was through the roof, even after leaving out the additional salt, & using low sodium Worchestershire Sauce. I used Swiss Gruyere, since it has less sodium than Provalone, but ‘any’ product from a pkg. ( like this soup mix) is loaded w/sodium. Awful!

    1. Then don’t make the recipe if it offends you. No need to post a comment that is nothing but critical of the recipe components. Perhaps a review of what you should have been taught as a child; if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. I have followed Corey’s blog for years and she does an excellent job of offering a variety of meal suggestions. There is something on here for all tastes.

    2. Maria Medlock says:

      5 stars
      I REALLY LOVED your recipe! My husband did as well. It was a snap to make because your directions were well layed out. Thank you!!

    3. Maria Medlock says:

      By the way, whomever made the complaint of too much sodium? I loved your reply. You go girl!

  3. This sounds so yummy! I’d love to make this as a donated meal for a church ministry program. What are your suggestions for doubling or tripling this recipe? Thank you.

    1. You could probably double the recipe with a 6-8qt crockpot Linda.

    2. Thank you!

    3. Just wondering how can this recipe be made to cook in the oven instead of a crockpot, thank you

    4. Ive only made the recipe as written, so I can’t say for sure. Hopefully one of the family fresh meals family members have tried it and can help.

  4. Great recip0ee, Love french onion soup and I love meatloaf and to combine the two together, WOW. Great idea. Do you have time conversion for instant pot?

  5. Can I cook the onions on high for 6 hours instead of low for 12? Between the 12 for the onions and 3 for the meatloaf we’d be eating at 9 or 10pm lol