31 Thanksgiving Recipes That Require Zero Oven Space

Flavored Dinner Rolls
Photo: Jason Donnelly

Slow cooker Thanksgiving recipes are here to save oven space and sanity on Thanksgiving day. You may think of your slow cooker for family meals, but with slow cooker stuffing, slow cooker vegetables, slow cooker breads, and even slow cooker pumpkin desserts, you can pull together a brilliant holiday meal for a houseful of guests with this collection of Thanksgiving slow cooker recipes.

01 of 31

Slow Cooker Swiss Chard and Sausage Stuffing

Slow Cooker Swiss Chard Sausage Stuffing
Jason Donnelly

This rainbow-hued slow cooker Thanksgiving stuffing looks almost as incredible as it tastes. Almost. Salty sausage, bitter chard, and the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing recipe ingredients will fill your house with a mouthwatering aroma. Opt for dense bread, such as ciabatta, so it can soak up more of the buttery, brothy goodness.

02 of 31

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie
Karla Conrad

We're grateful for homemade Thanksgiving desserts that don't take space in the oven—like this slow cooker pumpkin pie. The traditional pastry combines pumpkin, cinnamon, and ginger for a beloved family dessert.

03 of 31

Slow Cooker Pickled Beets

Slow Cooker Pickled Beets
Karla Conrad

Pickled beets aren't just for summer, you know. If you want a perfect Thanksgiving salad, rely on the slow cooker. This harvest vegetable is a flavorful side dish when served with fresh veggies and homemade croutons.

04 of 31

Three-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

Three-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
Andy Lyons

Count on slow cooker scalloped potatoes to please your holiday crowd and free up the oven for other Thanksgiving goodies. Cooked with cream of potato soup and three kinds of cheese, the potatoes skip the bread crumbs and go straight for gooey goodness. This may just be our favorite slow cooker vegetable ever. (You can count potatoes as a vegetable, right?!)

05 of 31

Flavored Dinner Rolls

Flavored Dinner Rolls
Jason Donnelly

Now we're on a roll. This slow cooker bread is not only an oven space-saver, but it's also remarkably customizable so you can savor a new flavor each and every holiday throughout the year! Start with the basic cornmeal roll recipe, or jazz things up with everything bagel seasoning, chives, and dill, or pumpkin and ginger, then "bake" in the slow cooker for two hours as you finish the rest of the Thanksgiving menu.

06 of 31

Andouille Corn Bread Stuffing

Andouille Corn Bread Stuffing
Jason Donnelly

Invite a pleasant amount of heat to the holiday table by adding this Cajun Thanksgiving recipe to your menu. A one-to-one mix of corn bread and Texas toast slow cook and soak up all the spicy, savory elements from andouille or chorizo sausage, red pepper, and more. Everyone will go back for seconds once they discover pumpkin seeds are hiding inside, too, for a nice salty, crunchy punch.

07 of 31

Brown Sugar-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Brown Sugar-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Andy Lyons

If there are no sweet potatoes, is it even a Thanksgiving meal? We don't think so. We converted classic candied sweet potatoes to a slow cooker Thanksgiving recipe to make life easier and ensure that sweet potatoes (with a praline-inspired topping, to make them even more irresistible) are on the table next to your favorite salad and stuffing.

08 of 31

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder
Andy Lyons

Warm-up with a thick and creamy corn chowder straight from your slow cooker ($24, Walmart). This hands-off slow cooker stew incorporates reduced-sodium chicken broth, milk, and white wine instead of heavy cream, so you don't have to feel guilty indulging in the rest of Thanksgiving's offerings.

09 of 31

Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Scott Little

You can't beat the Thanksgiving classics. Cook potatoes in your slow cooker with chicken broth, garlic, and a bay leaf for flavor, then blend with whole milk for the quintessential Thanksgiving comfort food. Hint: The slow cooker side dish is best enjoyed with a big pat of butter melting on top.

10 of 31

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Latte

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Latte
Matthew Clark

This slow cooker drink recipe delivers a PSL without the hefty price tag … and even on days when your corner coffee shop is closed! The cozy coffee blend features real canned pumpkin, pure maple syrup, and java for a much more natural and healthy-ish beverage. Opt for almond milk and the sans-alcohol sip is completely dairy-free, too.

11 of 31

Orange-Glazed Carrots and Parsnips

Orange-Glazed Carrots Parsnips
Jason Donnelly

Serve Thanksgiving guests a double dose of delicious root vegetables with this slow-cooked parsnips and carrots recipe. Quick-cooking tapioca thickens the orange-infused sauce that coats the holiday side dish.

12 of 31

Aztec Hot Chocolate

Aztec Hot Chocolate
Blaine Moats

Depart from the usual after-dinner drink with a rich, creamy hot chocolate that is sweet enough to double as a Thanksgiving dessert. The strong flavors of espresso powder, cinnamon, and chipotle chile pepper make this a memorable beverage—and one of our top slow cooker drinks with a bit of a kick!

Test Kitchen Tip: While we love the addition of java, you can omit it if you're headed to bed soon after dinner and prefer to steer clear of the caffeine.

13 of 31

Sourdough Peasant Bread

Slow-Cooked Sourdough Peasant Bread
Andy Lyons

Just place this simple dough in your slow cooker, then await the perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving soup or salad—no maintenance required! Add dill, fennel, or dried onion to the sourdough bread for an easy flavor change.

Test Kitchen Tip: Don't peek! Lifting the lid off the slow cooker while the bread cooks can release heat, increase condensation, and cause uneven baking.

14 of 31

Slow Cooker Chestnut-Bacon Stuffing

Slow Cooker Chestnut-Bacon Stuffing
Jason Donnelly

Put away that old stuffing recipe! Here's the slow cooker stuffing you'll want to make this Thanksgiving. (And many more in the decades to come.) Mushrooms, leeks, bacon, chestnuts—and did we mention bacon?—combine for a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe that will become your new go-to.

15 of 31

Make-It Mine Mulled Wine

Make-it-Mine Mulled Wine
Jason Donnelly

We don't know about you, but after cooking a holiday dinner, we're ready to wine about it. Rather than pouring a Thanksgiving wine straight from the bottle, consider slow cooker drinks. They're perfect for large gatherings! Keep this cozy wine drink bubbling away in your slow cooker so guests can grab a glass on their way to the appetizer table.

16 of 31

Acorn Squash with Bacon-Chive Crumbs

Acorn Squash with Bacon-Chive Crumbs
Andy Lyons

Think beyond pumpkin when you think "squash" on your holiday menu. Nutty acorn squash gets the sweet-and-savory treatment in this flavorful slow cooker side dish. After simmering in brown sugar and an apple cider broth, the squash is topped with crumbled bacon and crisp bread crumbs.

Test Kitchen Tip: Prepare the squash slices ahead of time to save precious minutes on your busy holiday.

17 of 31

Pumpernickel-Cherry Stuffing

Pumpernickel-Cherry Stuffing
Jason Donnelly

Fruits and nuts step outside of the breakfast parfait box and pivot tastefully into this slow cooker side dish recipe. This Thanksgiving stuffing uses two types of bread cubes plus three types of fall fruit for an irresistible harvest side dish. And unlike roasting in the oven, the low, slow heat from your slow cooker keeps the stuffing moist.

18 of 31

Cider-Maple Brussels Sprouts

Cider-Maple Brussels Sprouts
Jason Donnelly

Score a big dose of fall flavors—sprouts, fresh thyme, apple cider, maple syrup … the gang's all here—in one slow cooker side. The buttery sweet maple reduction beautifully counteracts the bitterness of Brussels sprouts. Red onion and a bit of butter give the winter veggies extra oomph on your Thanksgiving table.

19 of 31

Buttermilk White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Buttermilk White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
Andy Lyons

Say hello to one of the easiest slow cooker vegetables (and most-loved) Thanksgiving side dishes you'll meet. Classic mashed potatoes get jazzed up with buttermilk and white cheddar cheese to make an irresistible Thanksgiving slow cooker dish. Shh...it'll be our secret that there's vitamin-rich cauliflower hiding in the mash, too.

20 of 31

Wild Rice with Pecans and Cherries

Wild Rice Pecans Cherries
Karla Conrad

Wild rice gives a subtle nod to the settler days back during the first feast in the States. Bring something new to the table this Thanksgiving with our healthy take on slow cooker stuffing. The wild rice incorporates tart dried cherries and toasted nuts for a simple Thanksgiving side that pairs well with any main-dish meat.

21 of 31

Walnut-Apple Crisp

Walnut Apple Crisp
Karla Conrad

We're nuts for this hands-off twist on all-American apple pie. Take advantage of in-season apples by pairing the fruit with the convenience of your slow cooker. The bubbly autumn crisp gets its crunch from walnuts and finishes cooking itself while you enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.

22 of 31

Mashed Potatoes Four Ways

Mashed Potatoes Four Ways
Jason Donnelly

All of the silky, savory goodness you remember from grandma's holiday mashed potatoes, just without all of the fuss! Beyond the cream cheese, butter, and broth, we suggest dressing up these slow cooker mashed potatoes with oodles of fresh herbs or bacon and cheddar cheese. After just 15 minutes of prep time, the appliance does almost all of the rest of the work for you to complete the potato side dish. Once the spuds are done slow cooking, just mash, add your mix-ins, and grab a spoon.

23 of 31

Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes Bacon
Jason Donnelly

Orange juice concentrate infuses tender sweet potatoes with a sticky-sweet sauce. Brown sugar adds a hint of sweetness, while crunchy bacon adds a salty touch to this Thanksgiving side.

24 of 31

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie on blue table
Karla Conrad

Come hectic Turkey Day, we're grateful for homemade Thanksgiving desserts that don't take space in the oven. Enter: This slow cooker pecan pie. The traditional pastry combines salty nuts and a sweet vanilla-scented filling for a beloved family dessert.

25 of 31

Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread

Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread
Andy Lyons

Canned pumpkin isn't just for pie. And cranberries shouldn't just be saved for sauce! Combine the two holiday favorites in this sweet slow cooker pumpkin bread recipe that's studded with tart berries and toasted pecans.

26 of 31

Fruited Multigrain Pilaf

Fruited Multigrain Pilaf
Jason Donnelly

The combined benefits of wheat berries, barley, and wild rice—three nutritious whole grains—result in a healthy slow cooker pilaf that pairs well with traditional Thanksgiving turkey. The recipe's red apples, dried cranberries, and sweet potatoes showcase some of the season's most delicious produce.

27 of 31

Cider-Poached Pears

Cider-Poached Pears in the Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker
Jacob Fox

Gluten-free and dairy-free Thanksgiving desserts can be tricky to find. Since holiday pies, crumbles, cupcakes, and ice cream are all no-gos, what's left? This fantastic fall fruit dessert that's warm, nicely-spiced by cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, and completely GF and DF if you omit the Greek yogurt (or serve it on the side). Sprinkle with pistachios for a satisfying crunchy finish.

28 of 31

Mulled Cranberry Punch

Mulled Cranberry Punch
Blaine Moats

With kids in the mix and more people exploring all things sober curious, a mocktail recipe is a thoughtful addition to the Thanksgiving menu. For this seasonal slow cooker sip, steep a spice bag filled with cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in simple cocktail juices.

Test Kitchen Tip: Use a vegetable peeler to easily remove orange peel for the drink.

29 of 31

Slow Cooker Pumpkin-Blueberry Bread

Slow Cooker Pumpkin-Blueberry Bread
Karla Conrad

We look forward to making homemade pumpkin bread every year. Instead of baking the bread in the oven, mix up the batter and toss it in your slow cooker. A sprinkle of pecans on top adds nutty crunch.

30 of 31

Smoky Green Bean Casserole

Smoky Green Bean Casserole
Andy Lyons

Your side dish agenda doesn't have to go up in smoke if the turkey, rolls, and pie are baking and you're out of room in the oven. Try this slow cooker green bean casserole that features the classic components—green beans, cream of mushroom soup, garlic, mushrooms—plus smoked Gouda for a modern twist. For a double-dose of crunch to balance out the rich casserole sauce, toss in water chestnuts and top with french-fried onions.

31 of 31

Whole Grain Slow Cooker Stuffing

Whole Grain Slow Cooker Stuffing
Jason Donnelly

This easy Thanksgiving recipe is filled with a few surprise ingredients. Toasted macadamia nuts add crunch while a drizzle of white grape juice gives the stuffing a subtle sweetness. Add a sprinkle of fresh parsley just before serving.

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