Lanes were closed on the Southbound carriageway at junction 30 near Bamber Bridge causing long tailbacks.
Emergency services were called to the scene just after 9pm following the crash after the lorry crossed the central reservation and entered the northbound carriageway.
Fire crews from Bamber Bridge say it was "extremely lucky" that nobody suffered serious injuries.
A fire service spokesman said: "Two of our fire engines went to the accident on the M6.
"The lorry went into the central reservation and crossed into oncoming traffic on the northbound carriageway.
"It was extremely lucky there were no serious casualties. Traffic was backed up all the way to Horwich.
"The lorry ripped its fuel tank as it crossed the barrier and we had to help mop up the fuel using hazchem mats.
"We worked closely with teams from Highways England who worked brilliantly."
Ambulance Services say they attended the scene and helped a man who had suffered a minor ankle injury.
Highways England say lane three will remain closed for the rest of the Thursday and a further lane will be closed overnight from 10pm to allow repairs to the barrier and road surface.
Drivers are warned to plan ahead for this evening's closure.
Fire crews remained at the scene for around an hour.