I had the most amazingly stress-free Thanksgiving ever last year even though I was the one preparing the big meal and hosting it. I made the rolls and pie the night before, along with scrubbing my potatoes. Then I crocked potted the turkey, sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. The day went seamlessly.
After that holiday, I became thoroughly convinced that crock-pots immensely reduced my stress load and are ideal to assist in meal preparation for a few reasons:
- Recipes that are typically more timely in nature could be drawn out, taking longer, so there isn’t that intense pressure to get everything done in 15 minutes, like making mashed potatoes for me. I like to put them in the crock-pot in the morning, and then deal with them when they are soft. Also there is no boiling or extremely hot water to pour off.
- Preparation for different recipes could start the night before, so the recipes are ready to throw in the morning.
- Using the crock-pot frees up the oven. A HUGE bonus, especially if you are cooking your turkey in the oven, which is most families.
- Crock-pots are cheaper to use than ovens.
- Crock-pots don’t heat up the kitchen like the oven does.
- You can’t borrow ovens easily, but the crock-pot is portable!
I hope I will have convinced a few of you to start using the crock-pot to help you with your holiday food preparation so you will have a more relaxing and enjoyable holiday.
I will share some recipes that are Thanksgiving-friendly ideas you can make in the crock-pot and a few that aren’t in the crock-pot, and then I will share my meal plan, and plan of attack. **Pictures updated 11/14.
Thanksgiving Appetizer Ideas:
Thanksgiving Beverage Ideas:
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie or Thickie Recipe (great quick breakfast treat)
Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas:
Thanksgiving Main Dish Ideas:
Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas:
My Meal Plan:
- Crock-pot Turkey & Oven Baked Turkey
- Crock-pot Mashed Potatoes served with cheddar cheese or gravy
- Crock-pot Dressing
- 4 Ingredient Sourdough Rolls, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
- Big Green Salad with Lemony Vinaigrette
- Pumpkin “Cheesecake”, Dairy-Free Gluten-Free
Days before I will:
- Bake sourdough bread to cube for the stuffing. I already did this two weeks early, as bread freezes well.
- Make the Pumpkin “Cheesecake” since it can stay in the freezer.
- Make the Lemony Vinaigrette. This is our staple dressing we always have prepared.
The night before Thanksgiving I will:
- Scrub my potatoes, and leave them on the counter to dry.
- Cut the veggies for the stuffing and the salad.
- Prepare the dough for the sourdough rolls.
- Get out our china, nice stemware, and silverware.
- Crock-pot the turkey on low for 12 hours, so it is ready about noon.
Thanksgiving Morning I will:
- Dice the potatoes with skins on and warm them in the slow cooker.
- Throw the stuffing ingredients in the crock-pot.
- Put the second turkey in the oven.
Late Thanksgiving Morning We will:
- Bake the sourdough rolls.
- Mash the potatoes, and finish their prep.
- Slice the turkey.
- Bring out the salad.
- Sit, feast, and be thankful, remember and share the blessings with which our Lord Jesus bestows on us!
How are you celebrating Thanksgiving? For what things are you thankful?
Go here for the complete list of recipes.
Here are some leftover shredded turkey/chicken ideas.
Want some other crazy crock-pot ideas?