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How to Make a Simple Thanksgiving Dinner

How to Make a Simple Thanksgiving Dinner

On Thanksgiving, the main event is often dinner shared with family or friends. For the person preparing the meal, getting everything ready can be stressful and time-consuming. A slow cooker – an everyday timesaver – is the perfect kitchen helper for busy holiday cooks. The following recipes are interpretations of classic Thanksgiving dishes. Choose a couple to lighten dinner prep on Thanksgiving morning, or borrow some slow cookers and let them cook the entire meal.

Slow Cooker Turkey and Dressing

Serves: 12 minutes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 package cornbread stuffing mix
  • 1 med onion diced
  • 2 ribs celery sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 TBLS margarine
  • 3/4 cup chicken low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 4-6 pound turkey breast thawed, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Directions

  1. Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Add stuffing mix, onion, celery, and cranberries.
  3. Combine chicken stock and margarine; pour over stuffing mixture, stirring gently.
  4. Rub olive oil on turkey breast and place on top of dressing in slow cooker.
  5. Combine all seasonings and sprinkle over turkey,
  6. Cover and cook on High for 1 hour.
  7. Reduce to low setting and let cook for 7-8 hours, or until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast reads 170 degrees or juices run clear.
  8. Remove turkey to serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes before carving.
  9. Stir stuffing gently in slow cooker, let stand 5 minutes,
  10. Spoon dressing on serving platter around turkey.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 31/4 hours

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh cranberries (12 ounce bag rinsed and picked over for stems)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • lime zest or orange zest

Directions

  1. Combine the cranberries, sugar and water in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 to 2.5 hours: the cranberries will have popped open.
  2. Stir the zest into the hot sauce. Turn off the cooker, remove the lid and let cool in the crock to room temperature. (It will be very liquid at first; don’t worry!)
  3. When cooled, store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
  4. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  5. If you use frozed cranberries, add 30 to 45 minutes cooking time.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves: 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 (29 ounce) cans sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
  • 2 (29 oz cans) sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a slow cooker.
  2. In a large bowl, blend sweet potatoes, 1/3 cup butter, white sugar and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Beat in orange juice, eggs and milk. Transfer this mixture to the prepared casserole dish.
  3. In a small bowl, combine pecans, 1/3 cup brown sugar, flour and 2 tablespoons butter. Spread the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin-Apple Dessert

Serves: 12

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 ¼ hours

Ingredients

  • 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • ice cream, if desired

Directions

  1. Spray 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray; Spoon pie filling into cooker; spread evenly.
  2. Beat remaining ingredients except ice cream with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl constantly; Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
  3. Pour batter over pie filling.
  4. Cover and cook on High heat setting 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Serve with ice cream.

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