Here’s a healthy recipe for crock-pot meatloaf with an Italian twist from guest blogger Olena of iFOODreal.com. Shredded zucchini is added to help to lighten-up this slow-cooker meatloaf recipe which means it’s gluten-free and low-carb. The best part? It’s topped off with ketchup and a blanket of melty cheese.

crockpot Italian zucchini meatloaf recipe | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

We originally shared this Crockpot Turkey Meatloaf on February 4th, 2014. We have updated some of the text today.

My guest blogger this month is Olena from iFOODreal. I have been checking in on her blog regularly and I really love what she is doing. She has great clean and simple recipes, photos and a lot of super helpful tips for food bloggers that are not to be missed! She recently worked her tail off and published her very first e-cookbook! I am so in awe of her and really want to know where she finds all her energy! Today she’s sharing a wonderful meatloaf recipe, and if you’ve tried my Turkey Meatloaf you’ll definitely be a fan.

Please help me welcome Olena and be sure to follow her on social media. Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Why We Love This Recipe For Zucchini Meatloaf

Hi, guys. I’m so excited to be here and share my “different” recipe with you today. Just wait, I promise it works!

About me: I’m Olena, an author of iFOODreal – clean and simple recipes blog. I’m a mom to 2 little boys, wife and an avid fitness enthusiast. My life is busy or, to be perfectly honest, it’s crazy. If you are a mom and wife, I’m sure you can relate. As I like to say, I refuse to be unhealthy and support pharmaceutical companies. Therefore, I cook a lot. And it’s all clean and simple food, just like this gluten-free crock pot meatloaf.

When Katie offered me to do a guest post at Healthy Seasonal Recipes, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I stumbled across Katie’s blog last year. I was blown away with her amazing healthy recipes and mouthwatering photography. The fact that she is a contributor to EatingWell magazine (a National magazine I read every month), and she is real and talking to me?! Whoa. It was pretty cool to meet you, Katie!:)

Anyways, back to the recipe. First of all, I never thought it was possible to make a meatloaf in a slow cooker. So, I understand how you might feel. Turns out it’s easier than you think. The key is to line the bottom of your crock pot with double or triple aluminum foil strips. This step ensures an easy meatloaf removal after it’s cooked.

To give the meatloaf an Italian flare, I used simple seasonings that you most likely have in your pantry/fridge – dried herbs, balsamic vinegar and fresh Parmiggiano Reggiano (or simply Parmesan cheese). Lastly, the ketchup and cheese topping is optional but truly makes this meatloaf exceptional. Skip it to further reduce the amount of calories. I personally do not mind a tiny bit of organic ketchup once in a while!

I hope you enjoy this Crock Pot Italian Zucchini Meatloaf and let me or Katie know how it turns out. This recipe comes from my new 30 Clean Quick Dinner Recipes eBook that contains plenty of crock pot, vegetarian and gluten-free recipes. It is also 20% off for a limited time.

Ingredients For This Recipe

Ground beef or bison

Despite the most recent turkey trend, my meat choice was extra lean ground beef. Also lately, I have been cooking  with ground bison and venison a lot. Any game meat like elk, moose or deer will work. Yes, you can use ground turkey in place of red meat. The meatloaf will be more delicate, so be careful when handling. Not that it will fall apart, just saying. And another note, I always buy organic or local and humanely raised meat. Better for you and the environment.

Zucchini

Recently, I discovered the power of shredded zucchini using as a binder and moisturizer in place of breadcrumbs. I know, who would think?! Just make sure to squeeze the liquid out really well with your hands. Works like magic in meatloaf and meatball recipes. It makes the meat moist and holds it together, without adding extra calories. And your kids won’t even know they are eating vegetables.

Other Ingredients

For Meatloaf:

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dry
  • 2 tbsp minced dry onion or onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking coconut oil spray

For Topping:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup, low sodium (organic)
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, low fat
  • 2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped

Step By Step Instructions To Make This Crock-Pot Italian Meatloaf

Step 1: Prepare Meatloaf:

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, eggs, zucchini, Parmesan, parsley, garlic, vinegar, oregano, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix or knead thoroughly with your hands to combine.

Step 2: Prepare Crock-Pot

Line the bottom of a large slow cooker/crock-pot with double folded aluminum foil, criss cross. Make sure to leave flaps on the side, so you can easily lift the meatloaf out once it’s ready. Spray the bottom with cooking spray.

Step 3:

Place the meatloaf mixture in the crockpot and use your hands to shape it into a meatloaf. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours (alternatively, cook on high for 3 hours).

Step 4: Top Meatloaf & Serve

Once the meatloaf is fully cooked through, remove the lid and spread ketchup evenly over top of meatloaf. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove meatloaf from the slow cooker, garnish with parsley, and cut into 10 slices. Serve warm with whole wheat spaghetti or quinoa. Any whole grain side would work.

FAQs and Expert Tips

How long does meatloaf last in the refrigerator?

If properly stored in an airtight container in the fridge, meatloaf will stay good for 3 to 4 days. You can also extend its shelf life by freezing the slices individually.

What should the internal temperature of cooked meatloaf be?

If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should read 160ºF once it’s fully cooked and safe to eat.

How do you remove excess water from zucchini?

To make sure you’re getting as much water out of the zucchini as possible, spread the shredded zucchini out on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle all of the zucchini with salt and let it sit for about 10 minutes (salt helps draw moisture out). Squeeze water out from zucchini and pat dry. If it’s too salty, rinse under cold water first.

Additional Recipes To Try

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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crockpot Italian zucchini meatloaf recipe | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Crockpot Italian Zucchini Meatloaf


  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x

Description

Healthy and simple CrockPot Italian Meatloaf recipe with shredded zucchini in it, gluten-free, low carb and grain free.


Ingredients

Scale

For Meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs ground beef or bison, extra lean
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded and liquid squeezed out (with hands)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dry
  • 2 tbsp minced dry onion or onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking coconut oil spray

For Topping:

  • 1/4 cup ketchup, low sodium (organic)
  • 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, low fat
  • 2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped

Instructions

Prepare Meatloaf:

  1. In a large bowl, add all ingredients for meatloaf and mix thoroughly with your hands to combine.
  2. Line the bottom of a large slow cooker with double folded aluminum foil, criss cross. Make sure to make the flaps, so it will be easy for you to lift the meatloaf once it’s ready. Spray the bottom with cooking spray.
  3. Place the mixture in crockpot and using your hands shape it into meatloaf. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.

Top Meatloaf:

  1. Spread ketchup on top of meatloaf and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Remove meatloaf from the slow cooker, garnish with parsley, cut into 10 slices and serve warm with whole wheat spaghetti or quinoa. Any whole grain side would work.

Notes

Storage Instructions:

Refrigerate covered for 3-4 days or freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

• Cholesterol: 97.5 mg
• Sodium: 310.9 mg
• Total Carbs: 3.4 g
• Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
• Protein: 20.7 g
• WW Points+: 5

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/10 meatloaf, 1 slice
  • Calories: 214
  • Fat: 12.4

Keywords: Crockpot Italian Meatloaf, Gluten-free Crock Pot Meatloaf, Italian Meatloaf Crockpot, Healthy Meatloaf Recipe with Zucchini

This recipe and images were published with the permission of and belong to Olena Osipov of iFOODreal, www.ifoodreal.com. Copyrighted and all rights reserved. Please do not republish any content on this post without the permission of the author.