Meatloaf is the ol’ reliable of dinners. It’s been a staple in kitchens for decades for good reason—it’s beloved, and it just works. Instead of bread crumbs though, this recipe calls for Ritz crackers to act as a binding agent to help hold the loaf together. Plus the saltiness in the crackers gets transferred to the dish for a flavorful final product.
- Serves: 8
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 6–8 hours on Low or 3–4 hours on High
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (about 24 crackers)
- 1½ cups ketchup
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- Fresh thyme, for garnish
- Line the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, bell pepper, onion, eggs, salt, cracker crumbs, and ¾ cup of the ketchup. Use a spoon or your hands to mix until the ingredients are incorporated.
- Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place it in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, until the meat is no longer pink.
- In the last 15 minutes of cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the remaining ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar and spread on top of the meat loaf. Cook for the remaining 15 minutes.
- Let cool. Slice and serve with fresh thyme.