Slow-Cooker Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

Save precious space in your oven (or on your stovetop) when making your Thanksgiving feast. From turkey and stuffing to sides and desserts, you’ll be surprised at how many classics can be prepared in a slow cooker.

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©(C) 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

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Thanksgiving Classics in the Slow Cooker

When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner there’s no shortage of delicious dishes to be included on your table. The only problem? Your oven and stovetop can fill up fast! That’s why we like to break out our trusty slow slow cooker. It can make everything from traditional Thanksgiving sides to cozy desserts with ease.

Slow-Cooker Pulled Turkey

This low-maintenance main serves 6 — for hardly any work at all. Best of all, the turkey breast cooks up tender, juicy and flavorful thanks to the low-and-slow cooking method and a blend of spices and aromatic vegetables.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Pulled Turkey

Slow-Cooker Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Candied sweet potatoes have long been a celebrated side dish during the holiday season, but we have removed some of the sweetness (no marshmallows!) and made them even easier by cooking them in a slow cooker. We cut the potatoes into thick rounds so they hold up during the cooking process. The resulting tender sweet potatoes glazed with butter and spices are just sweet enough to make them the perfect accompaniment to your favorite poultry or pork dish.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Slow-Cooker Cranberry-Walnut Stuffed Apples

Two of your favorite Thanksgiving flavors (apples and cranberry) are rolled into one with this easy, autumnal dessert. Be sure to use large baking apples such as Rome or Golden Delicious — they'll have just the right tenderness.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Cranberry-Walnut Stuffed Apples

Slow-Cooker Home-Style Mashed Potatoes

The slow cooker takes an already-simple classic recipe and makes it even easier. Simply toss cut russet potatoes, butter and a touch of salt and pepper into a slow cooker, turn it on low and walk away for a few hours. When you return, the potatoes will be perfectly tender and ready to be mashed. Best of all, the slow cooker traps all the potato flavor, making these spuds extra potato-y.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Slow-Cooker Mulled Wine

Nothing complements your Thanksgiving desserts quite like a warm glass of mulled red wine. Making it in the slow cooker won’t use up precious stovetop space — and will still make your whole house smell incredible.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Mulled Wine

Slow-Cooker Sausage Stuffing

This hearty stuffing requires no use of a stovetop or oven — simply add cut-up stale French bread, a few vegetables and sweet Italian sausage to a slow cooker and let the machine do the rest. Only a small amount of chicken broth is necessary, because the vegetables and sausage give off so much liquid (and flavor).

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Sausage Stuffing

Slow-Cooker Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple upside-down cake is a beloved dessert that’s welcome any time of the year, Thanksgiving included. This easy-to-make version comes together in the slow cooker. Just be sure to drape paper towels over the top of the slow cooker; they’ll absorb extra moisture and keep the cake from getting soggy.

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole

This comforting side dish takes a couple of supermarket shortcuts: Buy presliced mushrooms and canned french-fried onions to save on prep time. The raw cremini mushrooms are thrown right into the slow cooker and release their savory goodness while the green beans cook.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Slow-Cooker Whole Chicken

If you want to carve a whole bird but are feeding a smaller crowd, chicken makes a nice alternative to turkey. Plus, you can cook the whole thing in your slow cooker!

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Whole Chicken

Slow Cooked Potatoes with Butter and Thyme

Instead of mashed potatoes, try serving these showstopping spuds. We use Yukon Golds so that the finished dish still has a rich, creaminess in every bite. Bacon, butter and thyme add all the flavor you could ever need.

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooked Potatoes with Butter and Thyme

Apple Butter

Apple butter is possibly the easiest preserves to make. You don't even have to peel or core the apples, and your slow cooker does all the hard work. If you make this recipe ahead of time you can set a jar out with your Thanksgiving bread basket for a special holiday treat.

Get the Recipe: Apple Butter

Slow Cooker Bread

This easy-to-make bread is light and airy, like the soft inside of a loaf of French bread. There's no need to let it rise; you can go directly from making the dough to baking with no waiting around. What could be easier?!

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Bread

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Candy

These chocolate-peanut treats make the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving dessert spread. Simply layer peanuts, sweet chocolate squares, semisweet chocolate chips and white almond bark before slow cooking into a creamy mixture that can be dropped into cupcake liners for a hand-held treat.

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Chocolate Candy

Slow-Cooker Acorn Squash

Squash is an essential part of any Thanksgiving feast but roasting it on a sheet pan takes up an entire rack in your oven. Save space by letting it simmer away in your slow cooker until perfectly tender and delicious.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Acorn Squash

Warm and Toasty Apple Cider Cocktail

No one can say no to a glass of warm, spiced cider with dessert — especially when it's spiked with a little bourbon!

Get the Recipe: Warm and Toasty Apple Cider Cocktail

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Cooking this cheesecake low and slow makes it extra smooth and creamy. It’s sure to get rave reviews at any Thanksgiving celebration.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

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