7 easy slow-cooking side dishes for Thanksgiving

eIt is well known that a Thanksgiving plate is strategically designed to leave most of the square footage to the sides. No matter how perfectly cooked that turkey may be, it simply isn’t on the same level as the stuffing. Sadly, the enticing aspects that make the third Thursday of November the best day of the year won’t make themselves; but you can set it and forget it with these slow cooker side dishes for Thanksgiving.

To help you spend more time with your family and less time in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, we’ve rounded up seven essential side dishes (all of which you can make in the slow cooker or Instant Pot). Here are the items on the menu, from mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce to chickpea casseroles and creamed corn.

7 easy slow-cooking side dishes for Thanksgiving

1. Kristine’s Kitchen slow cooker sweet potato casserole

thanksgiving slow cooker side dish
Photo: Kristine’s kitchen

Thanksgiving is probably only every year when both sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are on the menu—and I’m grateful for that. Sweet potatoes add plenty of fiber and potassium to any meal. And this recipe from Kristine’s Kitchen has added apples and honey for a natural sweetness.

Get the recipe: Kristine’s Kitchen Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Stew

2. Slow cooker soaked green beans plums

Photo: Pickled plums

Ah, stewed green beans. It’s not the prettiest dish on the Thanksgiving table, but the combination of crispy onions, lots of avocado, and chickpeas can’t be beat. This special recipe swaps chicken broth and other animal products for an equally delicious vegan treat. If you have plant-eaters coming to dinner, you’ll want to mark this dish as a crowd pleaser.

Get the recipe: Pickled plums stewed with green beans stew

3. Mashed potatoes in a sweet pea pot

Photo: A Sweet Pea Chef

Potatoes, round two! In this recipe, Lacey Baier of A Sweet Pea Chef shows you how to use a potato masher and slow cooker for the smoothest, easiest potato puree your guests will ever eat. Plain white potatoes contain vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium—so you’re adding all of those nutrients to your plate with the sauce above.

Get the recipe: Sweet Pea Chef’s Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

4. Brooklyn Farm Girl Slow Cooked Whole Wheat Bread

Photo: Brooklyn Farm Girl

Speaking of gravy, you need something to suck up the delicious leftovers on your plate at the end of a meal. That’s why Brooklyn Farm Girl’s slow-cooked whole-wheat bread was born. After a year of working towards therapeutic toasting, you should now become an expert in the field.

Get the recipe: Brooklyn Farm Girl Whole Wheat Slow Cooker Bread

5. Yummy Healthy Easy Crock Pot Stuffed

Photo: Yummy Healthy Easy

And now for the main event: stuffing. Okay, so I should make it clear that this is the main event for me. But if you agree, you’ll want to partake in this veggie-packed recipe that will practically make itself in five hours in the Instant Pot.

Get the recipe: Yummy Healthy Easy Crock Pot Stuffing

6. Make Healthy Thyme Easy Slow Cooked Cranberry Sauce

Photo: Making thyme is good for health

Canned cranberry sauce is delicious, but its mushy texture can be off-putting to some people. Thyme for Health’s simple recipe takes on good requirements for canned cranberries, water, orange juice, maple syrup and a touch of vanilla and creates a more homemade texture. Cranberries are also packed with gut-healthy fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C, so there’s some fodder for dinner.

Get the recipe: Make Healthy Thyme Easy Slow Cooked Cranberry Sauce

7. Erin Crockpot Cream Corn is well plated

Another thing to love about Thanksgiving is that no one expects you to put in more effort to eat corn on the cob. Who needs all that chew? This special dish allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy all that flavor without much effort.

Get the recipe: Erin Crockpot Well Plated Cream Corn

How a Dietitian Prepares a Thanksgiving Plate:

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