Beef | Healthier Main Dishes | Main Dishes | Recipes | Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Meatloaf without Breadcrumbs

Slow Cooker Meatloaf  is one of the most popular dinner recipes on It’s Yummi! Meal prep is quick and easy with this Slow Cooker Meatloaf recipe, and your crock pot does all of the cooking!

This meatloaf bursts with Italian flavor and is SO juicy and delicious! It’s definitely one of our favorite slow cooker recipes for a healthy comfort food dinner.

healthy low carb meatloaf made with grated zucchini as a substitute for bread crumbs

Healthy Hacks

I’ve made a lot of meatloaf recipes over the years, including my healthy Veggie Stuffed Meatloaf and my not healthy, but insanely delicious, Over Stuffed Meatloaf Recipe.

This low carb slow cooker meatloaf recipe is honestly my favorite, though. I never would have thought crock pot meatloaf would taste better than oven baked meatloaf, but it does! The healthy hack of using zucchini to replace bread crumbs lowers the carbs and keeps the meat loaf moist.

Substitute for Bread Crumbs in Meatloaf

Using shredded zucchini as a substitute for bread crumbs in meatloaf eliminates several grams worth of carbs. Such a smart, healthy choice! Other substitutes for bread crumbs (these are not low carb options) include:

  • Rolled oats – You can use traditional or gluten-free rolled oats, but I don’t suggest using quick cooking oats, as they’ll get too mushy.
  • Crushed corn flakes are another great gluten free option.
  • Mashed potato flakes are great for adding structure to an otherwise loose meatloaf mixture, and I use them to thicken soup as well!
  • Finely ground almond flour OR almond meal

Meatloaf Recipe Tips:

  • Use an aluminum foil sling to secure the meatloaf in place

For easy removal of the meatloaf from the pan, line the slow cooker with strips of aluminum foil. Weave several strips together, assuring that the meat has a nice bed to cradle into. Make sure the strips are long enough that they come up higher than the meatloaf

  • Spray the foil with olive oil to prevent the meat loaf from sticking

Low Carb Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe, from @itsyummi - This low carb recipe uses a special ingredient instead of bread crumbs to make it a low carb dinner that tastes just like the comfort food you grew up eating.

NOTE: The zucchini in the meat loaf mixture makes it very loose compared to a traditional meatloaf mixture. Be careful when you’re transferring the uncooked mixture into the slow cooker so that it doesn’t fall apart before you have a chance to settle it in there.  

When I saw how wet the mixture was, I was convinced that it would never come together into a nice loaf. But I was wrong! I cooked it on high power for 2 hours and 45 minutes and the loaf was perfectly firm.

After you make this slow cooker meatloaf recipe, please come back and rate the recipe!

low carb meatloaf made in a slow cooker

Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe

This easy slow cooker Italian meat loaf is made with lean ground sirloin, freshly grated zucchini, and zesty Italian spices & herbs. Your family will LOVE this, and your kids will never know they're eating healthy vegetables!
4.53 from 21 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Main Dish
Servings 8
Calories 320 kcal


  • Olive oil in a spritzer bottle or olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 pounds extra lean ground sirloin or ground bison
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 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 minced garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons minced dry onion or onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1/4 cup no sugar added tomato sauce or no sugar added ketchup
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or 2-3 slices
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley


  • 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!


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 26gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 403mgPotassium: 507mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 640IUVitamin C: 11.8mgCalcium: 140mgIron: 3.5mg
Tried this recipe? Mention @itsyummi or tag #itsyummirecipe!

More Easy Crock Pot Recipes to Try:

On the first of every month, a few of my food blogging friends and I share recipes with you. Each month has a different theme, and this month’s theme is Easy Crock Pot Recipes! Obviously, my low carb slow cooker meatloaf recipe fits the theme, but here my friend’s crock pot recipes, and a few more of mine, too!
titled photo collage of 10 easy crock pot dinners

Low Carb Italian Meatloaf made in a slow cooker sits on a white platter, garnished with fresh parsley

Clean Eating Dinner Recipes Cookbook

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the eBook from Olena, but this review is 100% from my heart and in my own words.

The low carb slow cooker meatloaf recipe comes from the e-cookbook, “30 Clean Quick Dinner Recipes“, written by Olena at iFoodReal. She graciously allowed me to share the recipe with you here, written (with her permission) in my own words (to avoid plagiarism).

I have a large collection of e-cookbooks. Some are well written, but most of them are mediocre at best.  Poor photos (or none at all), grammatical errors, poor design, and/or just overpriced. Overall, a poor value for the investment I made.

Thankfully, that is not the case with this ebook. The photos in the book are gorgeous, and Olena’s recipes have complete nutritional information, including Weight Watchers Plus points; very impressive!
All 30 recipes in the book are in an easy-to-read layout, with regular, every day ingredients that you can easily find at a 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 🙂

I am in love with Olena’s low carb meatloaf recipe and I hope that you will love the low carb meatloaf, too!
Low Carb Slow Cooker Meatloaf Recipe photo collage

Slow Cooker Low Carb Meatloaf Recipe

Similar Posts


  1. OMG! I had SERIOUS doubts about this recipe, but it was PHENOMENAL! I tweaked it a little with some of the spices I use in my regular meatloaf, and left out the balsamic, as I coated it with sugar-free BBQ sauce. Also wrapped it in bacon. I REALLY expected it to be soft & mushy because of the zucchini and “no corn flakes, which I use instead of breadcrumbs in my regular meatloaf). Boy was I WRONG! This was PERFECT!

    Quick word of advice – after grating the zucchini, salt it well and put it in a mesh strainer for 15 minutes. You will be able to squeeze out almost all the water to keep this from being too moist.

    THANK YOU! I NEVER thought I would eat meatloaf again! You saved this favorite for me!

  2. Can you substitute cauliflower for the zucchini? This looks really good but I only have cauliflower in the house and don’t want to go to the store. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please rate this recipe!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.