Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf

This Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf recipe is a fantastic way to get a delicious meal on the table without all the stress!

This Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf recipe is a fantastic way to get a delicious meal on the table without all the stress! | | #slowcooker #recipe #dinner

Last week I shared my Slow Cooker Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes recipe with you and it’s kind of like my favorite way to make potatoes :)  Today I wanted to share another slow cooker recipe that goes perfectly with those potatoes – Slow Cooker Santa Fe Meatloaf.   Meatloaf and potatoes is kind of like peanut butter and chocolate – they were MADE for each other.

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice how much our family relies on slow cooker meals year round.  Whether it’s swimming or soccer practice, it’s awfully nice to have dinner ready when we get home and I’m already totally exhausted and not really interested in preparing a hot, fabulous meal for my family.

I have several slow cookers (okay, maybe 5…) and I use all of them!  They are great for holidays and parties and nights like these when I want to make both the side and the main dish in advance.  There is definitely a technique to making meatloafs in the slow cooker but it’s really very simple!

Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf from #slowcooker #recipe

The first thing you should know is that all slow cookers (at least I have) cooks unevenly.  They are usually hottest in the back.  This really doesn’t ever matter unless you are trying to make a meatloaf, casserole, lasagna or a similar dish in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf from #slowcooker #recipe

It’s really easy to rectify the situation, all you need is to place a foil collar (folded piece of foil) along the back of your slow cooker.  This helps distribute the heat and keeps your meatloaf from burning.  You can also see the first step to the sling that you will create with foil so that you can easily lift your meatloaf out.  It also is a great way to keep the juices in the slow cooker and not with your meatloaf when you’re ready to eat.

Because my directions are so masterfully unclear, I created this handy dandy illustration in the upper right hand corner.  Please tell me this isn’t more confusing!!  Basically you’re laying down a piece of foil perpendicular to each other making sure there is enough foil that it hangs over the edges of the slow cooker.  These will be your handles later.


Then all you have to do it put it all together and voila! I love all the colors in this meatloaf from the corn, black beans, cilantro green chiles, and red bell pepper – YUM!

Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf from #slowcooker #recipe

Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 1 c red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbls tomato paste
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ Tbls chili powder
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 slices white (or wheat if that's what you have on hand) sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • ¾ cup frozen corn
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 oz (half of 4 oz can) diced green chiles
  • 2 Tbls fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup barbeque sauce, divided
  1. Line slow cooker with foil collar and sling. Spray with cooking spray.
  2. Saute onion and bell pepper in vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, oregano and chili powder and continue cooking for 2 minutes more.
  4. Mash bread, beans, and milk together in a large bowl using your hands.
  5. Combine bread mixture and onion mixture with ground beef, cheese, corn, eggs, green chiles, cilantro, salt and pepper using your hands.
  6. Press mixture into an even layer in slow cooker.
  7. Brush with ¼ cup of barbecue sauce.
  8. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until meatloaf is tender and cooked through.
  9. Heat broiler. Transfer meatloaf, using foil sling, to a rimmed baking sheet. Let juices drain into the slow cooker.
  10. Push foil away from meatloaf and brush with remaining ¼ cup barbeque sauce.
  11. Broil for 3-5 minutes until sauce is bubbling and beginning to caramelize.
  12. Let meatloaf rest for 15 minutes before serving.

This Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf recipe is a fantastic way to get a delicious meal on the table without all the stress! A fantastic recipe that is sure to become a new family favorite!

 Do you love your slow cooker as much as I do??  Here are more slow cooker recipes we love:


Slow Cooker Garlic Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes


Muy Bueno Slow Cooker Carnitas


Spicy Pulled Pork Popper Sandwich

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  1. I think it’s about time I pull out my slow cooker and start making this meatloaf! Looks delicious Trish! Pinning :)
    Liz recently posted..Apple Pie Pancakes

  2. Such a great tip Trish! I’ve never thought to make meatloaf in a slow cooker. Genius!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted..Banana Cheesecake Bars with Golden Oreo Crust

  3. Awesome tutorial, Trish! I also have 5 crock pots – and I use ’em all. Love, love crock pot cooking – but I’ve never done a meatloaf before. Definitely trying this – my hubby loves meatloaf!
    Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl recently posted..Apple Cider Caramel Sauce

  4. Meatloaf in the slow cooker?? Who knew! I can definitely get on board with this… Love that you have 5 crock pots ;)
    Jamie @lifelovelemons recently posted..Chocolate Salted Carmel Layer Cake and a NEW LOOK!!

  5. Meatloaf & mashed potatoes has to be the most comforting of all suppers; and one of my favorites for sure! Love how you’ve jazzed it up with southwestern flavors, & snuck in all that colorful veg! ;)
    Allie | Baking a Moment recently posted..Pear Vanilla Upside Down Cakes

  6. This looks so good – I have never even thought about cooking meatloaf in the slow cooker! Yum! I am always on the lookout for new slow cooker recipes to try. Thanks!
    Leigh Anne @Your Homebased Mom recently posted..Peanut Butter Cookie Bark

  7. Excellent tutorial! Thanks for sharing! The scientist in you emerging! Keep up the great work! P.S. The meatloaf looks amazing and delicious!
    Carole recently posted..One Year Ago Today – Linda’s Cheese Ball

  8. Meatloaf is a favorite at my house … I must try this recipe … never cooked one in a crockpot!
    Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff recently posted..Potato Stick Stacks … it’s a sweet & salty thing

  9. Hi Trish! This looks fantabulous!! As I live alone, I hope the finished meatloaf can be frozen?
    And another thing…. when do you add the bread mixture??

  10. Isn’t this recipe from the book “Slow Cooker Revolution”?

    • LOL! I’m guessing it’s close if you’re asking :) This is actually a combination of my mom’s slow cooker meatloaf recipe and my friend’s sante fe meatloaf recipe for the oven. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Meatloaf was delicious. I was just wondering how many calories, etc it has?

  12. I made this recipe last week for my family. I omitted the cilantro as I didn’t have it on hand but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. All three of us loved it, including my 13 month old son. For days he gobbled down the leftovers, which is fantastic because there aren’t many meats he will eat. I’m making it again this week. Thank you so much for finding a meal that adults and toddlers can enjoy together.

    This is the BBQ sauce I used, I made it a couple of months ago so it was handy. It really complemented the meatloaf.

  13. Mexican blend cheese? We don’t have in Norway…

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