In celebration of my upcoming birthday, I’m sharing a slow cooker low carb meatloaf recipe with you, because Italian meatloaf is one of my favorite dinners!
It’s true, everyone… I’m turning a half century old this Thursday! They say you’re only as old as you feel, but since my body is falling apart, I think I’ll avoid thinking about how old I feel and focus on the age! Bring on those 50 candles and let’s have a bonfire…it’ll help get rid of the polar vortex 😉
Anyhoo, to make sure that this 50th birthday celebration is one that none of us will soon forget, I invited a few of my AWESOME friends to help me celebrate. Here’s who I currently love more than bacon:
The girls have crafted up some delicious birthday themed dishes that they’ll be posting on their blogs all this week, so without further ado, let me introduce you to today’s recipes.
As for my slow cooker meatloaf recipe, This recipe came straight from the e-Cookbook, “30 Clean Quick Dinner Recipes“, written by Olena at iFoodReal. I want to disclose that I received a free copy of the eBook from Olena, but this review is 100% from my heart and in my own words.
I’ve purchased quite a few e-Cookbooks over the years. Some of them were well written, but most of them were mediocre at best. Poor photos (or none at all), grammatical errors, poorly designed, and just plain overpriced. I felt ripped off by the poor value. However, that wasn’t the case with this ebook. The photos in the book are GORGEOUS, and Olena went to great lengths to include FULL nutritional information for each recipe, including Weight Watchers Plus points! I was very impressed!
All of the 30 recipes in the book are in an easy to read layout and they all use regular, every day ingredients that you can probably find at your local grocery store. I can honestly say that’s not always the case with healthy food recipes. I once found a whole/raw food recipe that called for a $14 bottle of some strange thickening agent that I couldn’t afford, let alone pronounce the name of. No thanks
So while all of the recipes in the book sounded amazing, I chose to create a low carb version of one of my favorite comfort foods, Italian meatloaf. To say it’s delicious is an understatement.
To bind the meatloaf together, the recipe calls for the use of shredded zucchini instead of bread crumbs, eliminating several grams worth of carbs right off the bat. Enough so that I was able to have two servings instead of one. SCORE!
To help make it easier to remove the meatloaf from the pan, Olena suggests lining the slow cooker with strips of aluminum foil. That was such a helpful tip! I went ahead and used a large amount to be sure that I had nice thick strips of foil so the meat had a nice bed to cradle into. I sprayed it with some olive oil to prevent it from sticking and it worked like a charm.
NOTE: The zucchini in the meat loaf does make the mixture very loose before it’s baked compared to a traditional meatloaf. Be careful when you’re transferring the raw mixture into the slow cooker so that it doesn’t fall apart before you have a chance to settle it in there. I have to say that I got sort of nervous when I saw how wet the mixture was. I was convinced that it would never come together into a nice loaf, but I was SO wrong! I cooked it on high power for 2 hours and 45 minutes and it was perfectly cooked.
Now here’s the recipe for her delicious meatloaf, written (with her permission) in my own words, of course, so that I can avoid plagiarism.
If you make this low carb meatloaf recipe, please come back and let me know what you think of it!
- Olive oil in a spritzer bottle, or non-stick cooking spray
- 2 pounds extra lean ground sirloin (or bison)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (about 1 medium size) zucchini, grated and excess liquid squeezed out
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 4 cloves freshly minced garlic
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 Tablespoons minced dry onion or onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea or Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
FOR THE TOPPING
- 1/4 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup shredded or 2-3 slices mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
- Line a large (6 quart or larger) slow cooker with strips of aluminum foil. Spray the foil with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for cooking spray and the topping ingredients. Mixture WILL BE loose/wet. This is expected.
- Carefully transfer mixture into the slow cooker and form into an oblong shaped loaf, setting it on top of the aluminum foil strips. Place lid on top of slow cooker.
- Cook on high power for 3 hours or low power for 6 hours. 15 minutes before the end of the cook time, turn the heat off and unplug the slow cooker. Remove the lid and spread ketchup over the top of the meatloaf. Place cheese on top of ketchup and replace the lid onto the slow cooker. Allow the meat loaf to sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- To remove loaf from the slow cooker, remove lid, hold each end of the strips in each hand , and carefully lift. Transfer the loaf to serving platter and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve and enjoy!