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Secret Ingredient Meatloaf

Secret Ingredient Meatloaf

Secret Ingredient Meatloaf

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.

  • Author: Addie Gundry
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Entrées


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (about 24 crackers)
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • Fresh thyme, for garnish


  1. Line the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. Shape the meat mixture into a loaf and place it in the slow cooker.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Let cool. Slice and serve with fresh thyme.

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