29 Thanksgiving Recipes That Require Zero Oven Space
Slow Cooker Swiss Chard and Sausage Stuffing
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.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie
Slow Cooker Pickled Beets
Three-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
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?!)
Flavored Dinner Rolls
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 ($25, Target) for two hours as you finish the rest of the Thanksgiving menu.
Andouille Corn Bread Stuffing
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.
Brown Sugar-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes
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.
Warm-up with a thick and creamy corn chowder straight from your slow cooker ($50, Williams Sonoma). 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.
Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
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.
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Latte
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.
Orange-Glazed Carrots and Parsnips
Aztec Hot Chocolate
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.
Sourdough Peasant Bread
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.
Slow Cooker Chestnut-Bacon Stuffing
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.
Make-It Mine Mulled Wine
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.
Acorn Squash with Bacon-Chive Crumbs
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.
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.
Cider-Maple Brussels Sprouts
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.
Buttermilk White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
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.
Wild Rice with Pecans and Cherries
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.
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.
Mashed Potatoes Four Ways
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.
Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
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.
Slow Cooker Pecan Pie
Fruited Multigrain Pilaf
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.
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.
Mulled Cranberry Punch
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.
Smoky Green Bean Casserole
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.