Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf

Here’s a unique recipe for you to make in your slow cooker: Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf

Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf

I really loved the idea behind this recipe – cooking a meatloaf (in a loaf pan) INSIDE the slow cooker.  How fun is that?

365 Slow Cooker Suppers

The recipe comes from my current favorite cookbook:  365 Slow Cooker Suppers by Stephanie O’Dea.  My son is involved in a ton of sports and activities, which means that I’m driving all over town most days carting him to this or that.  It’s totally hard to serve a decent dinner to my family when I’m not home to prepare it.  And I’m completely against picking up fast food.  My slow cooker is my best friend on busy days like this.  I’ve tried a ton of slow cooker recipes in the past that are just duds.  This cookbook is much different.  I’ve tried three recipes so far… and they have all been big successes.  This recipe was one of them.

Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf 1

Check it out:  You just mix the meatloaf ingredients together in a bowl, then stuff it in your loaf pan, then place your loaf pan in the slow cooker and press START!  That’s it!

Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf 2

7 or 8 hours later, the meatloaf is done.  It’s one of the most tender, juicy, flavorful meatloaf recipes I’ve ever tasted.  I used ground turkey instead of chicken, and it was completely wonderful (and low fat!)

Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf -

I enjoyed the meatloaf straight out of the pan, unadorned and all by itself… served with a side salad.  My husband wanted a little more sauce drizzled on top (just a little marinara- easy).  I recommend the recipe to try out on your family for dinner.  It really is quite delicious.  And I recommend that you purchase the cookbook too- lots of great, easy recipes that I can’t wait to try.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 7 hour

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf


1 lb. ground chicken or turkey (93% lean)
2 large eggs
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup marinara sauce (I use Classico Tomato- Basil), divided
1 1/2 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken (or turkey), eggs, onion, breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 1/2 cup marinara and 1/2 cup cheese (it's easiest to just use your hands to do this).

2. Spray an 8x5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray (metal or glass- see notes below). Scoop the meatloaf mixture into the pan and smooth the top. Spread the remaining 1/2 cup of marinara sauce over the top. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese on top. Put the pan in a 6-quart slow cooker and place the lid on top. Cook for 7 to 8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).

3. Slice, and serve.


*Note: I used a glass pan and cooked mine on LOW. If you're opting for cooking it on HIGH, you might consider using a metal pan instead. I'm not certain the glass would work well with such a high temperature.
*If you are preparing this recipe as GLUTEN-FREE, be sure to use a sub for the regular breadcrumbs (like GF breadcrumbs), and be sure to use a brand of marinara sauce that is known to be GF (Classico Tomato Basil is GF).
*Option: Place some small potatoes around the sides of the pan so that they can be slow cooked along with the meatloaf.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1/6th of the loaf
Calories per serving: 296
Fat per serving: 14g
Saturated Fat per serving: 6.1g
Sugar per serving: 1.6g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">510.5mg
Fiber per serving: .8g
Protein per serving: 30g
Cholesterol per serving: 143.3mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 10.5g

WW POINTS per serving:
Points Plus Program: 7 Old Points Program: 7

Source:  Excerpted (and adapted slightly) from 365 Slow Cooker Suppers. Copyright © 2013 by Stephanie O’Dea. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

47 Responses to “Slow Cooker Chicken Parmigiana Meatloaf”

  1. postedJan 13, 2014 4:25 AM

    My household love love LOVES meatloaf…but I have never made it with turkey. What a genius idea to make it a little healthier. And, cheese? Yes. Love this recipe! Pinned!

  2. postedJan 13, 2014 5:28 AM

    This sounds so unique and delicious! Loving slow cooker recipes right now!

  3. postedJan 13, 2014 6:05 AM

    I absolutely love the idea of a slow cooker meatloaf, because the men in my house always welcome meatloaf at dinner!

  4. postedJan 13, 2014 6:20 AM

    I love this idea, but doesn’t there need to be water or some type of liquid in the crockpot? Especially if you are adding potatoes or anything else.

    • January 13th, 2014 @ 2:48 PM

      Nope- no liquid needed.

  5. postedJan 13, 2014 6:45 AM

    Oh I’m so glad you liked your dinner! Thank you for the kind words — this was such a joy to wake up to this morning!

    We have a super busy afterschool and early-evening schedule, too. I still can’t believe that all they prepare you for when they hand over the baby is that the carseat is properly installed! :-)

    • January 13th, 2014 @ 2:48 PM

      You’re very welcome! Thanks for a great recipe!

  6. postedJan 13, 2014 7:23 AM

    I just pinned this – What a genius idea!

  7. postedJan 13, 2014 9:32 AM

    This recipe sounds wonderful! I am trying to gather more great slow cooker recipes.
    During the hot summers here in AZ, I use the slow cooker in the garage so I don’t heat up the house.

  8. postedJan 13, 2014 9:37 AM

    So creative. This would be a huge hit with my family.

  9. postedJan 13, 2014 9:48 AM

    Can you use a metal pan instead of glass? Thanks! Looks delish!

  10. postedJan 13, 2014 9:50 AM

    this looks great – like one big fat chicken meatball!
    do you know if you could use a metal loaf pan? that’s what mine is.

    • January 13th, 2014 @ 2:47 PM

      Yes, I’m sure a metal pan would work just fine.

  11. postedJan 13, 2014 10:16 AM

    Quick question: no water at fhe bottom of the slowcooker pot? Isn’t there a risk that it might crack?

    • January 13th, 2014 @ 2:47 PM

      The author did not call for water in the pan, and I didn’t put any water. Turned out fine!

  12. postedJan 13, 2014 10:44 AM

    I love this and am going to try it soon. I never knew you could do this.I am going to try it with ground turkey too.

  13. postedJan 13, 2014 11:42 AM
    Sarah S

    Sounds delicious! So you don’t need a water bath or anything, you just put the pan in the slow cooker? I never would’ve thought of that.

  14. postedJan 13, 2014 12:45 PM

    One question…I don’t have an 8×5 pan, only 9×5, which is that larger loaf size. Do you think I could still use that pan size for this recipe?

    • January 13th, 2014 @ 2:46 PM

      It would work fine- as long as the pan fits inside your slow cooker. The 9×5 loaf pan did not fit in mine.

  15. postedJan 13, 2014 7:07 PM

    Can this recipe be made in a Ninja Cooking system? If so would I cook it on low for the same amount of time? I just got the Ninja and don’t know how to use it with other recipes. Thanks for your help

    • January 21st, 2014 @ 7:43 AM

      I’m not familiar with the Ninja cooking system, so I’m not sure!

  16. postedJan 13, 2014 9:30 PM

    I haven’t had meatloaf in forever! This looks so good!

  17. postedJan 14, 2014 1:19 PM

    What a fun idea to cook meatloaf in a slow cooker! Looks moist and delicious!

  18. postedJan 14, 2014 2:04 PM

    What a great idea to use the slow-cooker to make a meatloaf for after a long day of driving the kids around!

  19. postedJan 14, 2014 4:19 PM
    jan koshinsky

    Can u use any meatloaf recipe for this?????

    • January 15th, 2014 @ 12:33 PM

      Maybe! I haven’t tried…

  20. postedJan 14, 2014 11:45 PM

    Our family love meatloaf and chicken parmigiana so this recipe sounds great!

  21. postedJan 15, 2014 10:41 AM

    I assembled last night and put in my slow cooker late morning BUT I didn’t check the size of my pot and and the Meatloaf pan doesn’t fit on the bottom of the pot!! It’s hanging from the rim on top? Should I decrease the cook time for more heat? Can I cook in the oven if it isn’t done in 7-8 hours? HELP!

    • January 15th, 2014 @ 12:32 PM

      Does the lid still fit on tight? If not, I’d say try cooking it in the oven instead. Just google another meatloaf recipe to see for timing and temp. Let me know how it goes!!

  22. postedJan 15, 2014 10:42 AM
    Eva D

    Can’t wait to try this, and I love your idea of snuggling in a few small potatoes in the slow cooker too! Brilliant idea!

  23. postedJan 16, 2014 3:30 PM

    Just made your recipe for dinner and it went over really big! My only alteration came from a recipe for turkey burgers that I use: I added one shredded zucchini to the mix (which allowed me to cut back on one egg). It keeps ground turkey or chicken amazingly juicy. This was delicious … Thanks!

  24. postedJan 17, 2014 10:02 AM

    I am seriously adding this one to my dinner rotation. YUM! I love how it is cooked in the slow cooker!!!

  25. postedJan 17, 2014 11:32 AM

    My husband would seriously LOVE this!

  26. postedJan 19, 2014 8:00 AM

    Our crock-pot is round so a loaf pan won’t fit. Would it be possible to cook the meatloaf directly in the pot?

    • January 19th, 2014 @ 8:09 AM

      I don’t think so… but you could use an alternate pan (maybe a round casserole dish) instead. Anything that will fit in there!

  27. postedJan 19, 2014 3:20 PM

    This was so delicious. I made it with ground turkey and added a bit of chopped green pepper. It had a lot of great flavor.

  28. postedJan 22, 2014 2:51 PM

    How would you adjust cooking time for beef? My kid is allergic to chicken.

    • January 23rd, 2014 @ 6:38 PM

      I would think it would be the same.

  29. postedJan 23, 2014 11:15 AM

    Made this last night and it was soooooooo good! A big hit with the kids too!

  30. postedJan 27, 2014 7:43 AM

    I just love this idea :) definitely just saved this recipe, can’t wait to make it!

  31. postedJan 27, 2014 5:21 PM

    I used minced garlic instead of garlic powder, also I was a smidge short for the marinara sauce on top. So I added a little red wine (poured into marinara jar to clear it out), it came out very moist. Will be making it again. I’m thinking a light pasta side next time.

    My pan didn’t fit inside my crock pot, made it in the oven.
    350 for 50 minutes.

  32. postedJan 30, 2014 5:54 PM

    That’s interesting and different! I’ve never seen a meatloaf cooked that way!! I’m going to have to try that.

  33. postedFeb 20, 2014 3:33 PM

    and there was no liquid in the crock pot? and ti came out ok with no liquid? That seems weird to me….

    • February 20th, 2014 @ 3:36 PM

      no- no liquid needed in the slow cooker. Recipe comes from a Slow Cooker expert, so you can trust her!

  34. postedMar 18, 2014 7:08 AM
    Corrine Gartzke

    Can you do this in the oven and cook it the same way you would a regular meatloaf!! 350 for an hour???

    • March 18th, 2014 @ 12:43 PM

      If you read through the comments, there is someone who made hers in the oven. Looks like she did it at 350 for 50 minutes.

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