This cheesy, flavor-packed riff on a classic meatloaf becomes weeknight-friendly and hands-off with the help of the slow cooker.
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into wedges
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 large egg
1 (1 oz) packet ranch seasoning
1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 lbs 90% lean ground beef
In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and ½ cup water. Let stand 10 min., until pasty. Line a 5- to 6-qt slow cooker bowl with foil, covering bottom and all the way up sides. Coat foil with the cooking spray. In a food processor, pulse the red pepper and onion until finely minced.
To bowl with crumbs, add bell pepper and onion mixture, leaving any excess liquid behind. Add the egg, ranch seasoning, ¼ cup barbecue sauce, ½ cup Cheddar, salt, and pepper. Stir together thoroughly. Add the beef and mix until well combined.
Transfer mixture to lined slow cooker bowl and form into loaf. Brush top with remaining ¼ cup barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low 6 hours.
Preheat broiler. Uncover slow cooker. Using foil, lift meatloaf out of slow cooker bowl and transfer to a sheet pan. Spoon or drain off any excess liquid on foil around meatloaf. Top with remaining ½ cup Cheddar and broil until cheese melts. Let stand 5 min. before slicing.