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Cheddar-Topped Barbecue Meat Loaf

My family loves the bold barbecue flavor of this tender meat loaf. I love that it's such an easy recipe to prepare in the slow cooker. —David Snodgrass, Columbia, Missouri
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 3-1/4 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 large green or sweet red pepper, chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Cut three 18x3-in. strips of heavy-duty foil; crisscross so they resemble spokes of a wheel. Place strips on bottom and up sides of a 3-qt. slow cooker. Coat strips with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, oats, chopped pepper, onion, soup mix, garlic, salt and pepper. Add beef; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into a 7-in. round loaf. Place loaf in center of strips in slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low for 3-4 hours or until a thermometer reads at least 160°.
  • In a small bowl, mix ketchup, brown sugar, barbecue seasoning and mustard; pour over meat loaf and sprinkle with cheese. Cook, covered, on low until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes longer. Let stand 5 minutes. Using foil strips as handles, remove meat loaf to a platter.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 356 calories, 17g fat (7g saturated fat), 154mg cholesterol, 1358mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (13g sugars, 2g fiber), 29g protein.

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  • Marlene
    Oct 6, 2020

    No comment left

  • cathyhl
    Sep 21, 2020

    I've made this meat loaf 3 times since I got the recipe. Always easy prep and clean up and the meat loaf turns out great.

  • LeAnne
    Sep 20, 2020

    Amazing meatloaf. Made a few changes. Will definitely make again

  • Paulette
    Sep 19, 2020

    I admit I flubbed the recipe (inadvertently added most of the topping sauce to the meat mixture), but it is a forgiving recipe. I loved that it took (more healthy) old-fashioned oats versus soft bread crumbs. It was DELICIOUS! In spite of my error.

  • Sherry
    Sep 13, 2020

    No comment left

  • my2shelties
    Sep 8, 2020

    Made this about a month ago, and my family loved it. I did not make it in my slow-cooker, but baked it in the oven at 350º for about 1 hour, then put the BBQ sauce and cheese on. It was great. The recipe makes a lot of sauce, so I may cut that in half the next time. Great for sandwiches, too.

  • AKEmily
    Sep 8, 2020

    Turned out moist and flavorful. I liked making meatloaf in the slow cooker--it avoided the problem of getting over-cooked top or edges. I'll make this one again.

  • pattiejean
    Aug 25, 2020

    I liked the idea of baking in my slow cooker so was happy to give this a try. I thought the sodium level for 1 serving was rather excessive, so did not use the onion soup mix, but did use other seasonings as listed. The sauce was yummy and the meatloaf was moist was the texture was not the same as my usual meatloaf recipe-seemed somewhat mushy. I will try again but maybe not use as much oatmeal? I do appreciate the technique of baking in the slow cooker! VFE

  • Debglass11
    Aug 20, 2020

    We loved this spin on traditional meatloaf. I used bottled barbecue sauce, spread on top at the beginning of cooking and due to time, baked mine in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour. Then I sprinkled the cheddar on top and baked for another 15 minutes. Family loved the green pepper and garlic, and I liked using the oats instead of breadcrumbs. The onion soup mix gave it a nice flavor. I'm keeping this one handy!

  • Grammy Debbie
    Aug 4, 2020

    Very good and a nice change from our usual meatloaf. I used one pound ground beef and one pound ground pork and that proved to be a great flavor combination.