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Ease Holiday Stress With a Slow Cooker Turkey

Forget slaving over the stove this Thanksgiving, these set it and forget it recipes are here to save the holiday!
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While most of us aren't lucky enough to get prince charming's personal invite to his lavish ball, we could all use a fairy godmother—especially when we need a helping hand in the kitchen. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, we can't think of a better time for some granted wishes.

But since our lives aren't set in a storybook (insert sad face emoji here), the closest we can get to some magical helping powers is a slow cooker. Think about it: After you toss your ingredients into it, you simply push a button, wait, and then poof! The machine transforms everything into a fully cooked, cohesive meal overnight—sans painful oven burns, hours wasted stirring, or a sink full of pots and pans. Almost like magic, if you ask us.

That's why we've searched the Internet looking for the best slow cooker turkey recipes in all the land. Because if there was ever a holiday that could be improved with a bit of magic, it would certainly be Thanksgiving. To help you out even more, we also picked out our favorite slow cooker sides, all of which are super easy to pull off along with the bird—especially if you happen to have one of those slow cookers with multiple cooking compartments. Read on to discover our go-to recipes and while you've got holiday cooking on your mind, check out our report, The Only 25 Thanksgiving Recipes You'll Ever Need.

Whole Turkey in a Slow Cooker

whole turkey in a slow cooker

Serves: 17
Nutrition: 372 calories, 10.7 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 157 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0.5 g fiber, 0.7 g sugar, 62.8 g protein (calculated with 8 lbs turkey and no added salt)

Bundled in fresh garlic, lemon, and thyme, this turkey is left to rest in the crock pot on low for 6 to 8 hours. After your bird is cooked through and tender, slide it under the broiler until the skin becomes golden and crisps up. So while you're mingling with your friends before dinner without a care in the world, they'll be wondering how you've managed to get everything on the table in time.

Get the recipe from The Little Kitchen.

Crockpot Turkey Breast

crockpot turkey breast

Serves: 11
Nutrition: 357 calories, 8.2 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 245 mg sodium, 4.4 g carbs, 1.3 g fiber, 2.1 g sugar, 63 g protein (calculated with 5 lbs turkey and no added salt)

This bird is smothered in smoky paprika and aromatic herbs like sage, parsley, and thyme before it's left to simmer in a bath of chicken broth and veggies. Leave the concoction to cook in the crock pot on high for an hour, and then switch the setting to low before you hit the sack. We guarantee you'll sleep like a baby knowing your turkey is well on the way to being done for the next day's Thanksgiving feast. Plus, the blogger behind this delish recipe also has a bonus tip for pulling together an easy and delish gravy using the savory liquid leftover in the crock pot. Mmm!

Get the recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

slow cooker cranberry sauce

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 98 calories, 0.1 g fat (0 g saturated), 1 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 3.1 g fiber, 15.7 g sugar, 0.2 g protein (calculated with ⅕ cup sugar and stevia to taste)

When you're whipping up a plethora of scrumptious sides, your stovetop can get cluttered—and fast. Free up some stove space by whipping up the cranberry sauce in your crockpot, instead. This recipe is super simple. It calls for just four ingredients, and after you've tossed them all in the slow cooker, all that's left to do is let it simmer. Besides a resulting effervescent and sweet sauce, this pick is packed with energy-boosting vitamin B6, immunity-boosting vitamin C, and manganese, a trace mineral that is essential for energy production.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

slow cooker cranberry pecan stuffing

Serves: 8
Nutrition: 336 calories, 19.7 g fat (4.8 g saturated), 435 mg sodium, 30.6 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 7.2 g sugar, 7 g protein (calculated without sausage)

What's Thanksgiving dinner without a side of plump, savory stuffing? Pretty boring and bland, we'd say. Save the stuffing for the slow cooker, because this recipe is definitely one of our favorites. Along with bright cranberries, diced Hawaiian dinner rolls give this pick its drool-worthy sweetness, while pecans add a satisfying crunch.

Get the recipe from Damn Delicious.


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April Benshosan, MS
April is a born-and-raised Brooklynite who has a passion for all things health, wellness, and tastebud-related. Read more about April