Meatball Meatloaf (Oven or Slow Cooker)

If you’re not crazy about making meatballs to go with your spaghetti, this is a great way to get the flavor with less than half the work.  Serve it with a side of spaghetti and a salad!  If you happen to have leftovers, a couple of ways to use it would be to crumble it on the top of a pizza, or make a meatloaf sandwich with melted provolone and/or mozzarella cheese.

Meatball Meatloaf (Oven or Slow Cooker)


  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (24-28 ounce) jar of your favorite pasta or marinara sauce


  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Mix all ingredients except the jar of sauce.
  3. Form into meatloaf on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 1 hr.
  5. Cover with pasta or marinara sauce and bake another 1/2 hour or until cooked through.
  6. For slow cooker method
  7. Cut about a 15” piece of heavy aluminum foil. Spray the center of one side with cooking oil spray.
  8. Form into meatloaf, and set it on the sprayed side of the aluminum foil. I make mine in a rounded shape to fit in the slow cooker for final cooking. Thoroughly spray the top of the meatloaf with cooking oil spray.
  9. Heat an 8” wrought iron frying pan, or any ovenproof heavy frying pan, in the 475° oven. When using wrought iron, it usually takes about 10 minutes to heat the pan. Take the pan out of the oven, and set it on a heat-proof pad, near the meatloaf. Lift the meatloaf with the aluminum foil, and place it in the pan. Place it in the oven. Cook meatloaf 15 minutes. Cool slightly to make it easier to handle (or do a day ahead and refrigerate overnight). Precooking in the oven keeps the meatloaf from falling apart during the long cooking time.
  10. Slide meatloaf off the foil and into slow cooker.
  11. Cover with a (24-28 ounce) jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  12. Set the slow cooker on low, cook for 6-8 hours. If you need additional liquid during cooking add broth or red wine.