25 Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Sides That Are Better Than the Bird
Green Bean Casserole with French Fried Onions
No list of slow cooker Thanksgiving sides would be complete without the classic green bean casserole. Everyone knows the crunchy onions are the best part, so we doubled the deliciousness by stirring some into the casserole and then topping with another whole can.
Sausage and Apple Stuffing
If there are folks at your Thanksgiving table who claim not to like stuffing, give this sausage- and apple-filled version a try. These unique additions to the typical bread and butter might win them over. Serve the stuffing straight from the crock or transfer it to a pretty casserole dish for presentation points.
Spicy Creamed Corn with Chiles
Green chiles and jalapeño-studded cream cheese kick up the flavor of classic creamed corn. Tone down the heat of this slow cooker corn by using plain cream cheese or crank it up by serving with fresh jalapeños. Tailor it to your guests' preferences.
Buttermilk White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
Slow cooker mashed potatoes get a nutritional boost from the addition of cauliflower and a flavor boost from white cheddar cheese; buttermilk helps keep it all creamy. This is certainly one of our favorite slow cooker recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes, but we serve it for all kinds of special occasions.
Orange-Sage Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
For one of our favorite easy slow cooker Thanksgiving sides, try this citrus twist on sweet potatoes. A splash of orange juice heightens the sweet flavor; crumbled bacon offers a smidge of saltiness. Best of all, you need only 15 minutes of hands-on time to complete it.
Sage and Bacon Slow Cooker Stuffing
This slow cooker Thanksgiving stuffing recipe gets a flavorful spin from leeks, chestnuts, and sage. Bacon keeps the recipe appealing to the masses.
Slow Cooker Spiced Pumpkin Butter
You'll want to slather this delicious pumpkin butter on everything in sight, starting with your Thanksgiving dinner rolls. It's made with canned pumpkin, maple syrup, fruit juices, and warm fall spices. Make it a week in advance, then keep it in the fridge until the big day. Or make it day-of to keep in the fridge to use as the spread on leftover turkey sandwiches.
Cauliflower and Broccoli in Swiss Cheese Sauce
Slow-cooking broccoli and cauliflower in a creamy blend of Swiss cheese and Alfredo sauce makes eating your vegetables a whole lot tastier. Thyme and black pepper mixed into the sauce add more flavor dimensions.
Bacon Corn Bread
Slow Cooker Risotto
Skip the constant stirring and serve restaurant-quality risotto right from your slow cooker. Adding cheese and butter just before serving gives this risotto dish the creaminess we love. When topped with mushrooms, this recipe transforms into an even heartier addition to your list of slow cooker side dishes for Thanksgiving.
Apple-Infused Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow
We took everything you love about sweet potato casserole and put it in the slow cooker to create these marshmallow-topped slow cooker sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. Oh, and we added some apple cider so there's even more fall flavor to love.
Vanilla-Butter Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Syrup
Gone is any chance of bitter Brussels sprouts. These slow cooker Brussels sprouts are sweetly flavored with vanilla bean paste and pomegranate syrup, with a topping of bacon and toasted nuts for salty contrast.
Apple-Infused Carrots with Bacon
Seven simple ingredients are all you need for these slow cooker Thanksgiving carrots that have the sweet-salty combo we crave. The sweetness comes naturally from the carrots and a bit of apple juice. Top with as much (or as little) bacon as you like for the salty element.
Slow-Cooked Sourdough Peasant Bread
Make this sourdough bread recipe in the slow cooker to keep your oven available for all the other holiday baking. Once the bird and other baked trimmings are done, place this bread loaf under the broiler for only 3 minutes to give it the browning your slow cooker can't. This yeast bread is extra moist thanks to a bit of yogurt mixed into the dough.
Potato Chip-Topped Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is all about the crunchy topper. For these slow cooker vegetables for Thanksgiving, we opted for a topping of salty, crispy potato chips. Once you try it, you may never go back to fried onions.
Ancho-Butternut Squash Gratin
We want more than mashed potatoes on our menu of slow cooker Thanksgiving sides because there's room for more than one potato dish on the table. This fresh twist on potatoes au gratin adds butternut squash to the mix. Plus, we added chorizo and chile powder to turn up the heat a bit.
Related: Learn How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Turkey and Ciabatta Slow Cooker Stuffing
A splash of pear nectar balances the savory flavors of this customizable stuffing recipe, one of our favorite slow cooker Thanksgiving sides. Choose your ideal ratio of carrots, leeks, and/or fennel, and if you want to transform the stuffing side dish into an entrée, add the optional turkey.
Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Sometimes a classic is best, but we figured you'd be OK with making these potatoes in the slow cooker to save room on the stove for gravies, sautéed veggies, and more. Prepare this recipe before Thanksgiving guests arrive, then keep it warm on the low setting for up to two hours.
Whole Grain Slow Cooker Stuffing
Slow Cooker Pickled Beets
Make this slow cooker side dish for Thanksgiving even easier by using purchased beets that have already been trimmed and peeled. Look for them in the refrigerated section of the produce department. You can pickle the beets in your slow cooker and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks for an easy make-ahead idea to kick-start the meal prep.
Loaded Creamed Corn
This homey recipe starts with frozen corn so you can make it any time of year. We often serve this slow cooker dish at Thanksgiving because creamed corn always belongs on a Thanksgiving buffet, but the tomato and bacon topping makes it a fit for summer potlucks too.
Orange-Cardamom Slow Cooker Carrots
Orange marmalade adds an unexpected bright, citrusy flavor to slow cooker carrots. Using whole baby carrots with their tops still on gives the side dish a holiday-worthy appearance.
Pistachio-Cranberry Brussels Sprouts Gratin
This Brussels sprouts side dish is an act of balance. Tart dried cranberries and orange zest balance decadence from goat cheese and heavy cream. A crunchy, nutty topper balances tender sprouts.
Three-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
This scalloped potato recipe remains one of our Test Kitchen’s most-requested slow cooker Thanksgiving sides for one delicious reason—a trifecta of cheeses loads this recipe with flavor and indulgent creaminess. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or chives for a fresh, festive finish.
Wild Rice with Pecans and Cherries
Your ho-hum wild rice side dish gets a huge punch of flavor from dried cherries and crunchy toasted pecans for a new Thanksgiving favorite.