Cheese is optional, toppings are encouraged.
Yes, the cheese is purely optional, yet it is still at least a triple hamburger and a meatloaf at once! This is a simple concept idea that you can really tweak to your own liking. I used chard leaves as the lettuce of the “burger” knowing it wouldn’t get too mushy, yet you could also use spinach or kale. I also used sliced onions, jalapenos, and dill pickles. You may decide to add in fresh tomato slices, mustard, or bacon. It’s your burger meatloaf, put what you want in it. I’ll Just show you how to make one and you can decide later.
First off you have to make sure you work with a lean cut of ground beef. I used Wisconsin raised 91/9 grass feed beef that I ordered from Tropical Traditions. The reason you want such a quality lean cut, is that extra fat will simply render off your meatloaf and pool in your slow cooker. This does happen a little still with the 91/9 but not nearly as much and this came out great.
What you need:
- 2.5 pounds of grass fed ground beef, about 90% lean
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp granulated onion
The Toppings / Fillings:
- 4 ounces grass fed sharp cheddar cheese, sliced thin (optional)
- Large handful of chard or kale leaves
- 1 medium white onion, sliced thin
- 2 jalapenos, sliced medium
- 1 large dill pickle, sliced into hamburger sized pickles.
- Other options: Bacon of course, fresh tomato slices, mustard, chili, etc.
The Ketchup topping:
- Make the tomato sauce topping from this meatloaf recipe of mine, and simply top with sesame seeds.
- If you are super pinched on time and don’t care about the paleo police, just find a sugar free ketchup at the market, and top with sesame seeds. How much ketchup? Just enough to form a decent cover to your loaf, about a quarter cup.
How you make it:
- In a large bowl, combine your ground beef, 2 eggs, and spices. Mix by hand really good (let the kids to it) until an even consistency is reached.
- Divide your meat into 3 equal portions. They don’t have to be perfectly equal in size, just close. This is meatloaf not math.
- Lightly grease the bottom of your slow cooker with a small amount of coconut oil. A tsp will do.
- Press one of your portions of beef down into your slow cooker. You want to form an even base for your meatloaf leaving just enough room for your fingers to rest between the cooker and your loaf. Keep in mind I cook in a 6 quart cooker.
- Add your toppings to the first layer, leaving the outside 1/2″ of the layer untouched for crimping with the next layer. I added chard leaves first, then my cheese slices, onions, and jalapenos.
- Take another portion of your meat and flatten it out on your counter top so that it is large enough to cover the first layer. Place it on top of the first layer and use your fingers to crimp down the edges of the meat so that they join with the first layer. Tuck any toppings that are sticking out back into the loaf.
- Add your second layer of toppings. For this layer I used dill pickle slices instead of jalapenos.
- Use your 3rd portion of meat to form one last layer, and apply it to the top just as in step 5.
- Make sure no toppings are sticking out of your loaf, push them back in if they are! Use your hands to seal the layers of the loaf shut.
- Top your loaf with your tomato sauce / ketchup and sprinkle on some sesame seeds for garnish.
- Cook on high for 2.5 hours or on low for 5.
- When cooking is finished, allow loaf to cool before attempting to remove or slice it. Use some potholders to remove your slow cooker’s lining and transport it to your stovetop where it can sit and cool. You may also want to use a turkey baster to remove some of the fat that has rendered down into the bottom of your slow cooker.
- Enjoy! Do let me know if the comments what toppings you used in yours.
Genius! Thank you so much for this recipe! I shall try it when I’m done with the Whole30! 🙂
I’m thinking an Italian variation – with basil, sliced tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. Hmm… maybe for dinner Sunday…
HEY thanks for this recipe idea! I’m going to make it tonight with whatever I have to add as “toppings” and filling. this looks just fabulous and i’m excited! LOL
Sweet and thanks! Let me know what you end up using in yours and how it turns out..
I am uneasy about the tomato in a crock pot…it won’t get mushy? I assume the bacon will cook thru but not be crispy…I am sill new to cooking
I’d crisp the bacon before putting it into the layers. Fresh tomatoes, they might mush up, not sure yet! You could always add some of your ketchup and or mustard in the layers. Let me know how it comes out for you.
Good idea with ketchup, I may follow the toppings recipe first. I only have regular ketchup and I want to use it sparingly.
I made this for dinner tonight but added sliced tomato and bacon. I also mixed a bit of mustard into the “glaze” and some garlic into the meat (I used 1/2 grassfed beef and 1/2 venison). It came out great. Delish!
Hi there, did you pre-cook the bacon, or put it in raw? I assume it was already cooked a little bit?
Yes, I crisped the bacon. Raw bacon doesn’t fair very well in the slow cooker.
I can’t stop looking at this meatloaf! I can’t wait to make it!!! Yummmmm!!!
Trying this today! Hope it’s awesome!
It’s in our crockpot!
HUGE hit with the family.
I added 1 t seasoned salt and 4 cloves crushed garlic into the raw beef along with the recipe ingredients.
Inside used chard leaves, purple onion, cooked bacon, dill pickles, provolone cheese in one layer, and diced tomato in one layer.
On top made your sauce recipe, but had no dijon mustard so just omitted it then added 1 T water to thin it down. Had no sesame seeds, so sprinkled dried onion over the top.
I ate mine as is. Husband added mayo to his. Daughter placed hers on a bed of shredded lettuce and added salsa & sour cream.
Next time I think I’ll put some paleo bbq sauce inside the layers & leave the cheese out.
I cannot wait to make this. I am drooling even looking at it!
You know, that recipe serves ONE… ME! Seriously, I could wolf that puppy down, in the blink of an EYE!!! My favorite toppings are olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and maybe a little spinach with a side of roasted butternut squash! Mmmmmm!! LOVE! 🙂
Oh nice, sliced black olives are a great idea to throw in next time!
I made this last night, and it was absolutely phenomenal – no leftovers, sadly!
I did it in the oven, at 375 for about 1 hour, maybe 50 mins. Layers included cheddar, pickled jalapenos, caramelized onions, and crisped-up and chopped bacon, and I used a combo of dijon mustard and ketchup on top.
As I was making this for 3 people with different tastes, I actually did three different segments (all in the same loaf though) and it worked beautifully.
Oh, and I added some dried parsley to the meat mixture. This is definitely a new household favorite!
w00t! Glad to hear everyone liked it!
I’m lazy–I put plain tomato paste on top of meatloaf…works great!
If worried about too much fat pooling at the bottom, can you sub the beef for ground Turkey or do you think that would be too dry?
That will work fine. Some fat will pool at the bottom no matter what, yet you really want to use a very lean cut of ground meat here. Bison works great as well. Do not use ground beef that is > 10% fat.
Hi, I would like to try this, does it matter if I used smoked paprika compared to the regular kind? And should I brown the ground beef first?
Smoked is ideal, regular will work, and no you do not need to brown the meat first.
This may be a really dumb question, but if you want to add bacon, should you cook it a little first before adding it in?
Yes, I never cook bacon from a raw state in the slow cooker, always cook it at least half way through to develop some sort of crisp texture.
Omg I new to make this ASAP! I am AIP so cannot use eggs, can I omit?? I can use applesauce but not seed subs.HELP
Just skip the egg, add in a little bit more dried seasonings such as granulated onion, or perhaps a tbsp of coconut or almond flour, just to use a a binder replacement. I assume it will work…
This was great! I will definitely make this again!
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