Most people can agree that Thanksgiving Day is a glorious time of fun, family, and, most importantly, food. But if you are the one preparing all that food, you might have other thoughts. In fact, you might be having visions of waking up in the early morning to begin defrosting and cooking, only to have your vision turn into a nightmare when you realize you are going to be left with all the dishes to clean up.
Why not make your day a little bit easier by using a crockpot or slow cooker to make part of the meal? You can throw together the ingredients, let it cook until you are ready for it, and be left with minimal cleanup. To assist you in your Thanksgiving festivities, we’ve pulled together a smorgasbord of crockpot recipes including everything from breakfast to dessert, and if you are brave enough, even the turkey.
Cinnamon Roll Casserole
- 2 12 oz tubes of cinnamon rolls cut into quarters- divided
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Spray your 6-quart crock with cooking spray.
- Place a layer of cinnamon roll pieces to cover the bottom of your slow cooker completely. (Reserve icing packets)
- Beat eggs, cream, maple syrup, vanilla and spices until blended well.
- Pour evenly over the rolls in the slow cooker.
- Place remaining roll pieces on top and spoon one packet of icing evenly over rolls.
- Cover and cook on low for 2½ to 3 hours or until sides are golden and rolls are set.
- Drizzle remaining icing over top and serve warm.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp whole allspice berries
- 4 star anise
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice and 1/2 cup whole fresh cranberries
- 1/2 vanilla bean, slit down the center (if you save pods this is a good time to reuse one)
- a good grating of fresh nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp)
- garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick
- Put the water and sugar in the crock pot and turn on high. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the cranberries to the pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and heat until the wine just gets to a simmer. Then turn the dial to the ‘keep warm’ setting and let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
- You can strain the wine before serving, or not.
Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Stuffing
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 2 cup chopped sweet onions
- 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
- 12 ounces unseasoned dried bread cube stuffing (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Place the butter in a large skillet and set over medium heat. Once melted add the chopped onions and celery, then sauté for 3-5 minutes to soften.
- Meanwhile, chop all the herbs and whisk the chicken broth and eggs together. Pour the dried bread cubes into a large slow cooker.
- Once the onions and celery are soft and sweet, scoop them over the top of the dried bread cubes. Add the chopped herbs, dried cranberries, 2 teaspoons of Diamond Crystal® Kosher Salt, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Pour the broth and egg mixture over the top. Gently mix to coat.
- Cover the slow cooker and turn on high for 2-4 hours, or low for 4-6 hours. If you leave the stuffing on too long, and it starts to dry out, add a little more chicken broth to soften.
- turkey, thawed and small enough to fit in your slow cooker (or almost small enough)
- water, enough to barely cover the bottom of your slow cooker
- 3 T olive oil
- Italian seasonings or flavorings as desired
- salt to taste
- Barely cover the bottom of your slow cooker with water.
- Place the turkey in the crock-pot.
- Place oil between skin, and season as desired.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-12 hours depending on the size of the bird. You could start this the night before and free up oven space, and you’ll be ready for an early afternoon feast if desired. The turkey is done when an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached in the breast and thigh.
- 5 pounds russet potatoes
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, optional
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- Peel and chop the potatoes: Lightly grease the slow cooker insert with butter or cooking spray. Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces about 1 inch to a side. The smaller the potatoes, the faster they will cook, obviously. Transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker.
- Add the seasonings: Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop on top of the potatoes. Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.
- Pour in 1 1/2 cups milk: Pour in 1 1/2 cups milk and stir the potatoes once.
- Cook until tender: Cover the slow cooker and cook 4 to 5 hours on HIGH or until the potatoes are very tender and soft. Turn the heat to WARM.
- Melt the butter: When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- Warm the dairy: Stir 2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream, into the melted butter and warm gently over low heat.
- Mash the potatoes: If you used garlic but don’t want the potatoes super garlicky, remove the garlic cloves and discard. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard any browned bits on the sides of the pot. Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes right in the pot.
- Slowly stir in the dairy: When the potatoes are as smooth as you like, slowly stir in the warmed dairy and butter. The potatoes will look soupy at first but the potatoes will quickly soak up the liquid. Add an additional 1/2 cup of milk or cream if you want them to be even creamier.
- Taste and season: Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.
- Keep warm: To keep the potatoes warm, leave in the covered slow cooker on the WARM setting for up to 4 hours.
Green Bean Casserole
- (3) 10 3/4 ounce cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Onion Powder
- (10) 14.5 ounce Cans Del Monte Cut Green Beans (drained)
- (2) 6 ounce canisters French’s French Fried Onions (note- one is mixed in, one is the topping)
- Non-Stick Cooking Oil Spray
- In a very large bowl, add the cream of mushrooms soup, milk, black pepper, and onion powder, whisk until smooth.
- Add the drained green beans, and 1 of the canisters of french fried onions into the large bowl with the soup mixture you just made, and with a spatula, fold everything together, being careful not to break the green beans up.
- Spray the slow cooker with the non-stick cooking spray, and add the green bean mixture to the slow cooker.
- Cook on HIGH for 2.5 hours.
- After cooking time is done, add the other canister of french fried onions onto the green beans. Take the slow cooker insert out of the heating element, and put into the oven (without the lid on!). My oven was set at 350 degrees. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are browned.
- Set the insert back into the slow cooker heating element, replace the lid, and set the slow cooker to WARM until ready to serve. Enjoy!
Candied Sweet Potatoes
- 6-7 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into slices
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
- Spread chopped sweet potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar.
- Pour over the top of the sweet potatoes and place lid on the slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3.
- Once cooked, pour all the contents from your slow cooker into a baking dish.
- Top with marshmallows and broil in oven until marshmallows are golden brown.
For the topping:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- Butter or cooking spray, for coating the slow cooker
- 6 medium apples (about 3 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the melted butter and stir until the butter is completely incorporated into the dry ingredients and the mixture is wet and crumbly; set aside.
Generously coat the insert of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray or butter.
Add the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice to the slow cooker, stir to combine, and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the oat topping evenly over the apples.
Place a large sheet of paper towels over the slow cooker, making sure it completely covers the top of the slow cooker, but does not sag down onto the crisp. Cover with the slow-cooker lid. Set the slow cooker to HIGH and cook for 1 1/2 hours, or cook on LOW for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Remove the lid and paper towels and cook, uncovered, until the topping is browned and crisp and the fruit is tender, about 1 more hour. Let the crisp cool at least 15 minutes uncovered before serving.