By Cora L. Diekman

Published on November 4, 2016

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Photography by THE LITTLE KITCHEN

MAINS:

Whole Slow Cooker Turkey

Believe it or not, you can cook a whole turkey in your slow cooker. Just a couple of things to keep in mind: You will need a large machine. (The recipe’s author uses a 7-quart.) And, if you want crispy skin (uh, of course) you’ll need to pop it under the broiler for 4-5 minutes before serving. But that’s it. No basting, foiling, brining, or any of that complicated stuff.

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Photography by BACK TO HER ROOTS

Slow Cooker Ham With Honey-Mustard Glaze

Ham is perfect for the slow cooker because all of that low-and-slow baking makes the meat fall-apart tender. A homemade honey mustard glaze satisfies both salty and sweet cravings—the perfect turkey alternative.

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Photography by THE COOKING JAR

Slow Cooker Balsamic Roast

If you’re oh-so-over the ham and turkey routine, use your slow cooker to make roast beef. Try this yummy version with a balsamic sauce flavored with brown sugar, soy sauce, and garlic. And yes, there’s plenty of gravy left over in the end for dipping and drizzling.

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Photography by EMMA CHRISTENSEN FOR THE KITCHN

Slow Cooker Salmon

If you didn’t already know, you can use your slow cooker to make salmon, too. This simple recipe walks you through the entire process.

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Photography by DAMN DELICIOUS

SIDES:

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

This recipe is great because you don’t have to worry about your potatoes getting cold before they hit the table. Once they’re tender, place the cooker on the ‘warm’ setting until you’re ready to eat.

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Photography by THE FOOD CHARLATAN

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots

If you think you don’t like carrots, you’ve never had these carrots. Literally swimming in brown butter and brown sugar, this is one side that will have everyone reaching for seconds.

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Photography by WICKED SPATULA

Slow Cooker Garlic Herb Mashed Cauliflower

Switch out an old standby for this twist made with cauliflower—which is just as creamy, but way lighter.

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Photography by SPICY SOUTHERN KITCHEN

Trisha Yearwood’s Slow Cooker Mac And Cheese

Everyone needs an amazing slow cooker mac and cheese recipe, and this is it. In only three hours and 15 minutes, your slow cooker can bake this amazing no-fuss dish that’s perfect for holiday meals, or any night of the week when comfort food is a must.

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Photography by SKINNYTASTE

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is a go-to this time of year, and if you need a hands-off way to serve this cold-weather staple, this soup is as easy as it gets. The squash itself is creamy, and a can of coconut milk sends the flavor over the top.

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Photography by GIMME SOME OVEN

Slow Cooker Creamed Corn

This six-ingredient wonder doesn’t disappoint. Just throw corn, cream cheese, milk, butter, sugar, and salt into your slow cooker, and heat until the mixture is melted and warmed through. 

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Photography by LIFE MADE SWEETER

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Maple Cornbread

Canned pumpkin, cornmeal, maple syrup, butter, and a few other tasty ingredients bake themselves in your slow cooker while you focus on the rest of the meal … or enjoy a glass of wine

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Photography by LITTLE SPICE JAR

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Never resort to canned cranberries again. Add real cranberries to your slow cooker (along with a few other aromatics), and enjoy the real stuff this year.

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Photography by WILLIAMS-SONOMA

Slow Cooker Polenta With Mushrooms

Polenta is a great alternative to rice or potatoes. And thanks to the slow cooker, it’s also fuss-free.

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Photography by CREME DE LA CRUMB

Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole

Is there any side dish more iconic than the classic green bean casserole? This year, let your slow cooker take over with this recipe that promises all of the flavor with none of the work.

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Photography by HOME COOKING MEMORIES

APPS:

Spinach And Artichoke Dip

Dips in the slow cooker are pure genius. They keep cheeses melty and warm until the last bite is scraped from the bowl. Everyone will want a bite of this yummy spinach and artichoke classic, and you’ll love how simple it is to make.

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Photography by SIX SISTERS’ STUFF

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds

During the holidays, you can never have enough sweet treats around. Your slow cooker can bake up a batch of these irresistible cinnamon almonds that are perfect with drinks or dessert.

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Photography by BHG

DESSERTS:

Slow Cooker Pecan Pie

Just when you thought you’d seen everything, this recipe happens. Pie in the slow cooker? Surprise your guests with this spin on pecan pie.  

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Photography by MOM ON TIMEOUT

Slow Cooker Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

The author promises this carrot cake will change our lives. You’ll never think of baking the same way again.

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Photography by CRAZY FOR CRUST

Slow Cooker Caramel Cake

Not only is this dessert made simpler by your slow cooker, it also uses a boxed cake mix. Perfect for novice bakers and busy holiday hosts who need a delicious dessert minus the work.

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Photography by SPICY SOUTHERN KITCHEN

Slow Cooker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

A cake covered in peanut butter cups? That’s all we need to know.

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Photography by HOUSE OF HAWTHORNES

Crock Pot Baked Apples

If you’re looking for a healthy dessert option, this is it. Be sure to use a large slow cooker so you can squeeze in lots of delicious apples.

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Photography by SPEND WITH PENNIES

Hot Fudge Slow Cooker Brownies

For some, it’s simply not dessert without chocolate. This recipe is for you.

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Photography by THINKING OUTSIDE THE SANDBOX FAMILY

DRINKS:

Homemade Slow Cooker Apple Cider

Don’t forget the drinks. Keep a pot of this apple cider bubbling away during dinner.

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Photography by MOM ON TIMEOUT

Slow Cooker Spiced White Hot Chocolate

If you’re a fan of sweet drinks that double as dessert, this decadent white hot chocolate is the perfect after-dinner treat.

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Photography by THE MAGICAL SLOW COOKER

Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Because once the temperature drops, you can never have enough pumpkin. And homemade PSLs are better in a slow cooker.