Don't Hog the Oven: Slow-Cooker Thanksgiving Sides
With the marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, golden rolls and pies galore sitting in your oven — not to mention that perfectly cooked turkey of yours — any way to free up space in this overworked kitchen appliance is welcome on Thanksgiving Day. Luckily your slow cooker is ready and able to help pick up the slack, with these easy recipes for Thanksgiving classics that are low on prep time and high on hands-off cooking. With new techniques for everything from stuffing to potatoes, you'll be amazed how easy Slow-Cooker Thanksgiving Sides come together.
You don't need to use the oven or stovetop to get a hearty stuffing on your holiday table. Instead, add cut-up, stale French bread, veggies and sweet Italian sausage to the slow cooker, and let the machine take it from there. Cooked in the juices given off from the sausage and veggies, Slow-Cooker Sausage Stuffing (pictured above) needs only a touch of chicken broth to reach soft, savory perfection.
Traditional mashed potatoes are easy to make by the book, but Slow-Cooker Home-Style Mashed Potatoes take even less effort and free up a stovetop burner. Instead of bringing a pot of water to a boil on the stove, simply toss russet potatoes, butter, salt, pepper and just a cup of water into the slow cooker, then let it cook on high for a few hours. From there, the potatoes will become tender and ready to be mashed into the buttery, fluffy side.
Candied sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving mainstay, and this hands-off Slow-Cooker Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pecans recipe makes it easier than ever to enjoy them. Cut sweet potatoes into thick rounds and add them to the slow cooker with brown sugar, spices and butter. Once they're tender (not mushy), top with toasted chopped pecans for a sweet side that doesn't even need the marshmallow topping.
Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole may be cooked low and slow, but this recipe takes some liberties with shortcut ingredients to save on prep time. Raw cremini mushrooms release their savory flavor as the green beans cook, while an easy, creamy sauce and canned French-fried onions add the last special touches.