17 Classic Thanksgiving Sides for the Slow Cooker
Finding the space to cook an entire Thanksgiving meal can prove more challenging than finding the time. You can prep a handful of holiday favorites in advance and heat them up on Turkey Day. But, before you cram your oven with casseroles, here's the real secret to saving valuable cooking space: the slow cooker. From sweet potatoes to stuffing, these slow-cooked Thanksgiving side dishes will leave you feeling extra grateful.
Slow Cooker Stuffing
Thousands of Allrecipes users have served our Slow Cooker Stuffing. And with more than 1,500 five-star ratings, it's a tried-and-tested choice for Thanksgiving. Reviewers recommend using the entire amount of broth for store-bought, packaged bread and less broth for a freshly-baked loaf. Just be sure to stir the stuffing till it absorbs the liquid, reviewer ChefNan says.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes (Yams) and Marshmallows
"I came up with this one Thanksgiving because I was short on oven space. Everyone loved it and I have made it for every Thanksgiving and holiday meal ever since. Be careful not to overcook marshmallows. They can become liquified," Renee Coley says.
Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
We're all ears for this top-rated creamed corn that you can prep and cook the morning of Thanksgiving. Plus, it calls for nothing more than cream cheese, butter, milk, sugar, salt, and pepper.
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
"This method of preparation really eased the busy-ness and hustle-bustle in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day. I'm hooked. I will always make the mashed potatoes this way on Thanksgiving from now on!" — naples34102
Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
One major perk of making cranberry sauce in the slow cooker? The sweet, spiced, citrusy smell that will fill your kitchen.
Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole
"This is a great version of a classic recipe! It's one of my favorite dishes for the holidays, and I love that this makes so much. Parmesan cheese is a nice touch. And doing this in the slow cooker frees up space in the oven for other yummy dishes!" — KevinBerry7406
Slow Cooker Collard Greens
Kimmy added Old Bay and Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning at the same time as the greens to amp up the jalapeno heat: "I cooked for five hours the night before and then three hours the day of Thanksgiving. By doing that, the seasonings had absorbed really well, and the greens were tender and flavorful!"
Cranberry Nut Stuffing
Tart cranberries set this stuffing apart from the rest. Some reviewers advocate for fresh berries over frozen. Either way, pulsing whole cranberries in the food processor a few times will save you the trouble of chopping them.
Slow Cooker Cauliflower Casserole
What's Thanksgiving without cheesy casseroles? With bacon, mozzarella, Cheddar, and cream of chicken soup, this cauliflower side will win over both kids and keto dieters.
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash
With cinnamon, sugar, apple juice, and butter, this super-sweet, super-simple Slow Cooker Butternut Squash could stand in for candied yams.
Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
You don't have to be Southern to deem creamy, carby mac and cheese a Thanksgiving staple. And thanks to the slow cooker, introducing this side to your holiday menu couldn't be easier.
Slow Cooker Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
Cut the potatoes to between 1/8- and 1/4-inch thick. In adition to layering the ingredients in the slow cooker, reviewers recommend doubling the ham and cheese and using milk in place of water to take these scalloped potatoes to the next level of decadence.
Slow Cooker Creamed Spinach
Cottage cheese adds to the richness of our Slow Cooker Creamed Spinach. Not crazy about curds? Follow the lead of home cook Jessica, who pureed the spinach after an hour. As the recipe calls for four more hours in the slow cooker, enlist the help of an imersion blender.
Slow Cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes
If you need a break from syrupy-sweet sweet potatoes, look no further. This recipe achieves savory perfection with dried sage — though the salt, butter, and milk don't hurt.
Slow Cooker Green Beans
These buttery, bacony green beans take much less effort to prep than they let on. You just need five minutes to measure your ingredients and throw them in the slow cooker.
Minnesota Real Wild Rice Stuffing
"The nutty flavor of wild rice makes a great combo with dried apricots, pine nuts, and traditional ingredients," recipe creator birdseed says. "This is a forgiving and flexible recipe. There are so many different things to add or substitute: walnuts, almonds, orange zest, dried cranberries, mushrooms, more bread, whatever you prefer."
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
If you're looking for a lighter Thanksgiving side, our Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup tastes rich enough for the holiday without the calories of a casserole.