Thanksgiving is the one day of the year dedicated to creating a decadent meal to share with your family members and friends. But it can also be one of the most stressful days of the year—the kitchen gets hot and crowded, and your stovetop seems too small to cook everything you need by the time your guests arrive. Well, it’s time to say goodbye to the Thanksgiving day madness and cook at ease without firing up any of your burners.
From the smoker to the handy-dandy slow cooker, there are tons of ways to avoid touching the stovetop this Thanksgiving. So, try these stove-free dishes for your next holiday meal, and check out our 50 Cheap and Easy Slow Cooker Recipes to enjoy all year long.
Instead of buying the sugar-filled canned cranberry sauce from the store, try making your own. Adding this Thanksgiving staple to your table adds a sweet and tart flavor to your hearty meal, and according to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, cranberries are one of the berries with the most antioxidants. And you won’t even need to touch the stove to make this dish, just follow this slow cooker recipe from The Lemon Bowl for a deliciously sweet side with minimal effort.
Spinach Salad with Pears, Cranberries and Candied Pecans
Upgrade your salad with fall favorites like cranberries and candied pecans. Using spinach as the base adds a boost of vitamins and pears are filled with fiber that keeps your digestive system healthy and on the right track. To make this tasty and nutritious salad, follow the recipe from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Butternut squash is an essential to your Thanksgiving meal. Not only is this gourd extremely tasty, it’s also a great source of vitamin C. This vitamin has been proven in research cited by The National Institutes of Health to assist with wound healing, antioxidant regeneration, and absorption of iron. To make this dish, check out the recipe from Lemon Tree Dwelling
Spiced Pumpkin, Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
This fall medley of a soup is perfect to keep you warm at the dinner table. This soup may taste like a comfort food, but it’s actually filled with nutrients to keep the autumn cold from making you sick. Carrots contain vitamins A and D, two nutrients that boost your immune system. A 2012 study published in Nature Reviews Immunology found that these vitamins improve immune responses in the body and work in preventing and treating inflammation and autoimmunity. Add this soup to your menu by following this recipe fromFuss Free Flavours.
Double Layer No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
What’s even better than a freshly-baked pumpkin cheesecake? One that doesn’t even involve the oven. You can make this double-layer cheesecake in as little as 10 minutes, so you can easily save this dessert for last while you prep the rest of your dishes. To make this hassle-free pumpkin pie, try The Gold Lining Girl’s quick and easy recipe.
Corn and Broccoli Rice Casserole
This casserole is incredibly simple to make, yet so tasty! Instead of using white rice, try using heartier whole grain alternatives like quinoa or wild rice for extra fiber to keep your digestive tract running smoothly. Here’s a quick tip: if you don’t have any room in your stovetop, cook the rice in a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Find this recipe at The Plain Chicken.
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
If you have too many things to put in the oven on Thanksgiving, free up all the space turkey takes and put some turkey breasts in a slow cooker. It will come out tender and juicy, and everyone’s favorite part is the turkey breast anyways. Learn how to make this simple recipe at Wishes and Dishes.
Candied Acorn Squash
Acorn squash is a major fall staple to add to your dinner this holiday. Not only is this dish absolutely beautiful, but it’s is also filled with important nutrients such as vitamins A and C, which are known immunity-boosters. Try A Year of Slow Cooking’s recipe that only requires a slow cooker to leave some extra space in your oven.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate
If you’re not a fan of salads, but still want to get some tasty greens on your plate, then try this roasted medley of butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and pomegranate from Robust Recipes. This dish is both sweet and savory, and it’s a cocktail of nutrients like immunity-boosting vitamin C, digestion-regulating fiber, and health-boosting antioxidants.
Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is another staple to most Thanksgiving dinners but can take up a lot of room in your oven. That’s where the slow cooker comes back in: just add all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and let it do it’s magic for two and a half hours. By the time you need to pop the casserole into the oven to brown the onion crust, most of your food will be done cooking. Try this simple and easy recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker.
If you’re sick of the same-old roasted turkey every year, then try smoking it instead. Smoking your Thanksgiving bird will let it harness a smoky and juicy flavor, making the skin crisp and the meat perfectly tender. It’s also a simple and an out-of-the-box way to make your Thanksgiving meal unforgettable. Try this turkey recipe from Sweet C’s Designs to make a perfectly smoked turkey this year.
Simple Fall Slaw
This slaw is simple, refreshing, and packed with crisp veggies like broccoli, radishes, and beets. The best part is that you would never realize this tasty dish is vegan and gluten-free! Try this side out this Thanksgiving by following the recipe fromMinimalist Baker.
Turkey Barley Soup
Get creative with your turkey this year and make it into a soup. Instead of making tons of separate dishes, make a colorful soup by adding a medley of herbs and vegetables of your choosing with turkey into one slow cooker and let it simmer for a few hours. Try this slow cooker turkey barley soup recipe by The Food Charlatan to make your Thanksgiving meal as easy as a push of a button.
Pear and Sausage Stuffing
Make your stuffing sweet and savory this year for a flavorful change to the classic dish. Pears are a great source of fiber, which helps digestion, and sausage adds some extra protein. You can find this recipe at Pinch of Yum.
Macaroni and Cheese
If you’re looking for some cheesy, hearty comfort food, look no further than this mac and cheese recipe. This three-cheese concoction can be simply made in a slow cooker, and you can try boosting the fiber content of this mac and cheese by using whole wheat pasta. Find the recipe for this ooey-gooey mac and cheese at the Fake Ginger.
Pumpkin-Shaped Cheese Ball
This adorable pumpkin-shaped cheeseball recipe takes minimal effort while looking (and tasting) amazing. For a slightly healthier option, try using low-fat cheeses and whole grain crackers. Find the recipe for this adorable Thanksgiving dish at The Country Cook.
Try serving some roasted potatoes as another option to mashed potatoes. You’ll cut down on all of the fattening butter and heavy cream that most mashed potato recipes have, and you can top these with your favorite herbs and olive oil to make them perfectly crisp and flavorful. Follow this simple recipe by Sweet C’s Designs to make crunchy and crispy roasted potatoes for your Thanksgiving meal.
Gluten Free Chocolate Pecan Pie
If you or a member of your Thanksgiving guests are gluten-free, then this pie is an excellent dessert alternative. It has all of the rich chocolate flavor and crunchy candied pecans as the original version of this pie and takes as little as 45 minutes to make. If you really like to plan ahead, the crust can be made up to two days before the big day to save some oven space for the rest of your Thanksgiving dishes. Try out this recipe by heading to Robust Recipes.
Stuffing and cornbread are two major parts of a Thanksgiving meal, so why not combine them? Cornbread takes the place of your average breadcrumbs in this creative stuffing recipe, and you can even make it gluten-free. Try out this tasty recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking for a hearty Thanksgiving recipe you’ll want to recreate every year.
Turkey in Gravy
No matter how juicy your turkey may be, it’s never complete without a drizzle (or heavy pour!) of gravy. So, why not just cook it in the gravy? This is a foolproof way to stray from a disappointingly dry turkey, and it’s as easy as combining everything into a crockpot and letting it do the rest of the work. You can top this turkey-gravy combination onto your mashed potatoes for a little bite of everything at once. Check out the recipe at Sweet C’s Designs. If you prefer to do a whole-roasted turkey, don’t miss our tips for prepping your bird: 5 Tips for How to Thaw a Frozen Turkey.