Slow cookers may not possess the raw sex appeal of a sleek, smokeless grill or gleaming stand mixer but we’d be hard-pressed to part with ours.
We count on ours to deliver Crockpot Thanksgiving sides to help free up the stove and oven (and air fryer and microwave).
They’re more than just a weapon in the stressed-out college student’s battle to put a meal on the table — like any other appliance, slow cookers have their quirks, advantages, and pitfalls.
And when you know and understand what they can and cannot do, you’ll come to appreciate your magical slow-cooker for the wonderfully versatile small kitchen appliance that it is.
Fork-tender and brimming with deep, luxurious flavors: Here are 28 of our favorite Thanksgiving crockpot recipes to sling in the slow-cooker and wait for those words we all love to hear: Dinner is ready!
1. Pear Tatin
Sweet, caramelized fruit encased in a thick, buttery crust — this fresh, vibrant French classic is all about making the most of those pears you’ve got lying in the bottom of the fridge.
Serve with creme fraiche or ice cream.
When you’re all out of crockpot thanksgiving recipes, ditch the distinctly uninspired casseroles in favor of these zesty chipotle honey tacos — you’ll be glad you did.
Serve alongside sour cream.
When the sun’s out, we find it hard to shake the feeling that we ought to be doing anything but tending a BBQ pit.
And pulled pork is BBQ at its finest — plus, this slow-cooker recipe eliminates the need to spend hours in the grueling sun.
4. Slow Cooker Black Beans In Chicken Broth
Warm, comforting and delectably spicy — this is one of those recipes that goes hand in glove with Thanksgiving day.
Best enjoyed caveman style, with buttery hunks of bread torn directly from the loaf.
Have you heard? The 1970s are making a comeback — and they’ve brought corned beef along with them.
Middle-school-mystery-meat, this recipe isn’t; it’s a perfumed, briny brisket that makes as lovely a breakfast hash as it does a zippy Thanksgiving slow cooker treat.
Did you know that you can fit a whole rack of ribs inside your slow cooker? Neither did we — till we did it.
You’ll find yourself licking the smoke-y barbeque sauce off your fingers long after everyone else has given up on the party.
7. Apple Cider
With a few apples, and a little effort, you can have yourself a delightful, spicy cider come Thanksgiving dinnertime.
Sweeten with a little maple syrup.
What makes this even better is that it is one of those helpful slow cooker recipes. Using the magical slow cooker can be the best way to save on time.
Velvety-soft and delicately sweet — fluffy marshmallow plays well with the ginger-caramel notes of the sweet potato in this comforting, easy to make classic Thanksgiving side.
Sweet potatoes are one of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving foods.
This buttery mash manages to be at once sinfully indulgent yet so light and airy you hardly realize you’re on serving #4.
Guests will be asking after these slow-cooker mashed potatoes for weeks to come — be sure to thoroughly enjoy the looks of surprise on their faces when you tell them it wasn’t your instant-pot behind the magic.
The topic of green beans started a heated debate at our Thanksgiving dinner table.
Half of us insisted they ought to be boiled in a hearty minestrone or served raw in a cracking salad; the rest of us were convinced a simple casserole was the way to go — half an hour later, it was obvious we were all right.
Green beans are as delicious as they are versatile. Go figure.
Qubely blocks is added to the Gutenberg editor as soon as you install the plugin. You can start using it as any other Gutenberg block. Add ready blocks using the plus sign where you’ll find a new section of blocks under the Qubely icon.
Think sangria’s only for getting tipsy at garden parties that necessitate the making of uncomfortable small-talk and the wearing of doubly-uncomfortable shoes? Wrong.
This bubbly cranberry sangria is high up on our list of Thanksgiving side ideas for slow cooker.
This browned, caramelized butternut squash makes for a sweet, succulent Thanksgiving side.
Watch it disappear secure in the knowledge that you’ve got a secret Tupperware of the stuff stowed away in the fridge.
This succulent turkey breast is our answer to a quick Thanksgiving meal. This is an easy way to get your main dishes on the Thanskgiving table.
Serve with a side of red cabbage in cider vinegar.
Served in a neat pile atop a steaming halo of basmati rice, this fragrant turkey and pumpkin chilli looks like something that popped out of an outlandish Thanksgiving side ideas for slow-cooker cookbook — thankfully, it’s delicious.
The ham hock is a brilliantly thrifty cut of meat that works wonderfully with the bitter collards in this Thanksgiving side dishes crockpot recipe.
Cooking your greens this way saves on that ever so precious oven space.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away — well, probably not when slow-cooked in brown sugar and served alongside a generous helping of vanilla ice cream, but lucky for you, this recipe has its own merits.
One of which is that it makes an excellent addition to your roster of crockpot side dishes for Thanksgiving.
Tastes like melted toffee all the way down. Yes, please. This is one of those apple cider recipes that you can serve on the big day and everyone will be so darn delighted.
Ah, apples. How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways — in a cider, in a pie, in warm apple betty swimming in glorious clouds of almond cream — I love thee lots.
This Thanksgiving recipe is one of the best ways to use the bruised apples you’ve got lying around softening someplace.
Rich vanilla-bean, crumb bottom, custard-y cream cheese — it sounds like we’ve all died and gone to heaven.
We’re not sure you can ever have enough cheesecake. Let’s be honest here. This one is a great addition to any thanksgiving menu.
The luxury of cranberries saves this slow-cooked wild rice from tasting like something out of the dusty aisles of a health food store.
And while it’s a little fussier than we’d prefer, it’s also undeniably delicious.
Thanksgiving rolls around and we go a little cranberry crazy.
This fun upside-down cake has been amply flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg that offer a fragrant contrast to the tart compote. This is an excellent Thanksgiving dessert.
Creamed corn gets undeservedly bad press — but that’s because it’s all too common that someone will reach for a helping only to find it so cloyingly sweet that it puts them off the rest of their dinner.
This recipe proffers a savory, creamy, comforting alternative that pairs well with just about everything.
Invitingly crunchy, warming-ly buttery and bountifully sweet — these candied yams don’t hold back — but that’s why we love them so.
We’re here for it.
Out with the store-bought stuffing! Make your own instead. It’s easy.
Savory and slightly sweet, this will make your roasted bird sing.
Dense, savory and unapologetically brimming with crackling bacon grease — you’re in for a wonderful treat.
Serve with a spread of assertively garlicky tomatoes.
Give musky, bitter beets a new lease on life with a good brining.
The results make a tasty addition to any burger or as part of a sprawling Thanksgiving feast.
Use the baked biscuits left over from breakfast along with a couple boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix to create a savory, set-it-and-forget-it stuffing to go with Thanksgiving lunch.
This rides the luscious line to make both the “cornbread stuffing” vs. “white bread stuffing” camps happy.
The bottom line
This Thanksgiving, we’re giving you permission to free yourself from allegiance to the turkey — because it’s high-time the very best side dishes were duly acknowledged as being the star attraction of the meal.
Far beyond potato recipes and casserole, we hope these slow cooker Thanksgiving recipes earn a spot at your holiday meal!
Did our long list just leave you wanting more recipe ideas? We aim to please! Here you go:
- 13 Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas
- 15 Easy Thanksgiving Desserts
- 27 Thanksgiving Potluck Ideas
- Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes
- Pear Tatin
- Chipotle Honey Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooked Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Black Beans In Chicken Broth
- Slow Cooker Corned Beef
- Slow Cooker Ribs
- Apple Cider
- Candied Sweet Potato Casserole
- Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Southern Slow Cooker Green Beans
- Crock Pot Mac And Cheese
- Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Sanagria
- Cinnamon And Brown Sugar Butternut Squash
- Crockpot Turkey Breast
- Turkey Pumpkin Chili
- Slow Cooker Collard Greens With Ham Hocks
- Slow Cooked Pumpkin Apple Cobbler
- Butterscotch mulled Cider
- Apple Betty with Almond Cream
- Very Vanilla Slow Cooker Cheesecake
- Slow Cooking Wild Rice
- Cranberry Upside Down Cake
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Slow Cooker Candied Yams
- Sausage And Apple Stuffing
- Bacon Cornbread
- Slow Cooker Pickled Beets
- Jackpot Biscuit Cornbread stuffing
- Pick three to four items from the list
- Follow the recipe instructions
- Enjoy every bite