Italian Balsamic BBQ Meatloaf

Here’s another spin on meatloaf using bulk Italian sausage to boost the flavor and minced vegetables to keep it moist. I added my Balsamic BBQ Sauce over the top to give it a tangy twist.

Prep time 20 minutes
Serves 6

1 pound (455 g) ground beef
1 pound (455 g) uncooked bulk Italian sausage (pork or chicken)
1 cup (124 g) zucchini, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups (500 g) Balsamic BBQ Sauce

1 Prep a 6-quart (5.7 liter) slow cooker by adding “handles” made of aluminum foil. This is easy: Tear off two sheets of aluminum foil about 2 feet (60 cm) long each. Fold each piece in half lengthwise, and then in half again to make long, narrow strips. Lay one strip across the bottom and up the sides of your slow cooker. Lay the other strip perpendicular to the first one. You should have foil pieces hanging off all sides of the slow cooker and a foil “rack” lining the bottom.
2 In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the BBQ sauce. Fold the mixture gently together with your fingers to thoroughly combine. Press it into one large mass and transfer it to the prepared slow cooker. Form it into an oblong shape.
3 Cover and cook on low for 21/2 to 3 hours, until cooked through. Pour 1/2 cup (125 g) BBQ sauce over the meatloaf, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes.
4 Remove the slow cooker lid. Gather all of the aluminum foil ends to the center and lift out the meatloaf, transferring it to a large plate or platter. Discard the cooking juices. Cover the meatloaf with the aluminum strips and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
5 Slice and serve with remaining BBQ sauce.