Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Dinner: Brilliant or Too Far?

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Dinner: Brilliant or Too Far?

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Slow cookers are having a major moment right now. You cannot get on the internet without seeing at least one slow cooker recipe and when we say one, we mean 10. They are everywhere. So we thought it would be fun to prepare an entire Thanksgiving meal in, you guessed it, slow cookers.

Some of you may think we are taking this thing a little too far, but we actually can’t think of a better way to cook this holiday feast. After a little prep time, you let the slow cookers do all the work.

Of course, you are probably going to have to borrow a few cookers from your friends and family unless you just happen to have 7 or 8 of them laying around.

Let’s get this party started:

Slow Cooker Turkey

This is perfect for the newbie who is a little nervous about overcooking their bird. No, you aren’t going to get that delicious golden skin, but you can’t always have it all.


10-12 lb. turkey

1 small onion

1 head of garlic

1 cup chicken broth

Olive oil




Place onion and garlic into the cavity of the turkey.

Rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place in slow cooker with chicken broth.

Cook on high for 2 hours. Reduce heat to low, cook another 4-6 hours.

No basting necessary.

Slow Cooker Ham

There is always that one person who prefers ham over turkey. I personally do not understand this person, but no judging here.


1 8lb ham

2 cups packed brown sugar


Spread 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar on the bottom of the slow cooker. Place ham flat side down in the slow cooker. Trim if necessary. Rub the rest of the brown sugar onto the ham. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

Even if you don’t cook your entire meal in a slow cooker, this is a great recipe to save oven space.


3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 1/2lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

2 cups miniature marshmallows


Spray oval 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

In large microwavable bowl, mix brown sugar, butter, pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon water. Microwave uncovered on High 1 1/2 minutes, stirring once. Stir in vanilla. Add sweet potatoes; stir to coat thoroughly.

Pour mixture into slow cooker. Cover; cook on High heat setting 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until fork tender. Reduce to Warm heat setting until ready to serve.

Stir mixture; top with marshmallows, and cover 1 to 2 minutes or until marshmallows melt slightly.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes


Yukon gold potatoes

1 box chicken broth

1 can evaporated milk

1 stick of butter

6 oz cream cheese

8 oz sour cream




Peel potatoes and chop into 1″ cubes. Soak cubes for 30 minutes to avoid gluey potatoes. Drain and rinse.

Add water and chicken broth to cover potatoes.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours. Test a few pieces to make sure they are tender.

Drain potatoes, return to slow cooker.

Add butter, salt and pepper. Mix with an electric mixer. Add cream cheese and sour cream. Mix until smooth.

Gradually mix in evaporated milk until potatoes are the consistency you want. You may not need the entire can.

You can eat now or put the slow cooker on the warm setting for up to 2 hours.

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

We shared this recipe already and it’s a good one!

Click this link to see this recipe!

Slow Cooker Wheat Bread

Who knew?


1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt


For dough:

Mix the water and yeast in a large bowl and allow to stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and salt. Stir to form a very wet, shaggy dough. Make sure all the flour has been incorporated; the dough should feel sticky to the touch.

Cover the bowl and set it somewhere warm for 12 to 18 hours. After rising, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days if you don’t have time to bake it right away.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dust your hands with flour. Starting with the edge nearest you, lift up the dough and fold it over on itself. Next, pick up the edge furthest from you and fold it over the dough as well. Repeat with the edges to the left and right. The dough should hold together in a neat package. Sprinkle the top generously with flour and cover with a clean cotton dishtowel. Let the dough rise until doubled, about 2 hours (slightly longer if chilled from the fridge).

In the slow cooker:

Shape your loaf into a round or a loaf depending on the size of your slow cooker and/or what kind of loaf you’d like to make. Set the shaped dough on a square of parchment paper.

Place the parchment with the dough in the middle of the slow cooker. Try to flatten the parchment as much as possible against the sides of the slow cooker to prevent it from getting caught in the bread as it rises. Cover the slow cooker with its lid.

Turn on your slow cooker to the highest heat setting (or quickest time setting).

Baking time will vary depending on your slow cooker. If this is your first time baking bread in your slow cooker, begin checking the loaf after 1 hour, then every 30 minutes, and then more frequently as it nears finishing. Record this baking time for future reference.

Checking the internal temperature of the loaf is the best way to tell when it is done baking; a finished loaf will have an internal temperature of 190°F to 200°F. The top will also feel soft but no longer spongy, and the bottom will be hard and slightly golden.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie


15 ounces canned pumpkin puree

9 ounces evaporated milk

3/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup Bisquick, divided

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Whipped cream for garnish


In a large mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, one-third of the Bisquick, eggs and pumpkin pie spice.

Pour mixture into the slow cooker. Place pats of butter over the mixture and sprinkle with remaining Bisquick.

Cook on low for six to seven hours or until mixture is thick and crust is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream and enjoy!

There you have it. An entire Thanksgiving meal made in a slow cooker. Would you try this?

Image Source: Big Stock

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