With the hectic pace of life today, the slow cooker is an important part of the kitchen. Just put the ingredients in the slow cooker, plug it in and turn it on. Your dinner will cook while you're away.

Here is a good meatloaf recipe for the slow cooker.

American Style Meatloaf

11/2 lbs lean ground beef

11/2 cups panko bread

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup chopped onion, saute lightly

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

8 slices cheddar cheese, cut into strips

1/4 cup tomato paste

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the cheese and tomato paste. Shape 1/2 the mixture into a loaf. arrange 8 cheese strips on top of the meat, and top with the remaining meat, pressing edges together to seal. Place in the slow-cooker and top with the tomato paste and remaining cheese slices. Cover; cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

Fluffy Meat Loaf

Heat oven 350 degrees

Bake 1 1/2 hr.

Mix together:

1 lb ground beef

1/2 lb ground pork

3 slices soft bread, torn into pieces

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup minced onion

1 1/4 salt

1/4 tsp pepper,

1/4 tsp garlic salt

Mix together all ingredients. Shape into a loaf on shallow baking pan,sprayed with oil.

Bake 1 1/2 hours or until done.

Mini-Meatloaves

Preheat oven 350 degree.

Spray baking sheet with cooking spray

1 1/2 lb ground lean beef

! onion, chopped

1/4 cup ketchup + 6 tbsp ketchup

1 tbsp mustard

1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp cornmeal

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Combine the beef, onion, 1/4 cup of ketchup, egg, cornmeal, garlic, salt and pepper. Form into 6 (21/2 in x 41/2-inch) oval loaves. Transfer the loaves to baking sheet. Spread 1 tbsp ketchup over the top of each loaf. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each loaf reads 160 degrees, about 40-45 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Tip; To shape meat mixture into a loaf, prepare mixture as directed. Turn mixture into 8x4x2-inch pan. Slightly press meat down around edges, pulling it away from the sides of the pan. Smooth the top. Or shape into an 8x4-inch loaf and place on a baking sheet. Smooth the top and bake as directed.