Thanksgiving is right around the corner! While the turkey is no doubt the star of the show, don’t count out your side dishes. Sides can add a lot to a meal while only taking a little bit of effort to make—especially if you utilize a slow cooker. During the holidays, your slow cooker can be your best friend. Use these simple ideas to create some great side dishes that won’t take up precious room in your oven or on your stovetop.
Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing
Try this delicious stuffing that requires little time and effort. Place cut-up stale French bread, chopped-up carrots, celery and onion, and a little sweet Italian sausage in your slow cooker. Top with a small amount of chicken or turkey stock (the vegetables and sausage will give off plenty of additional liquid and flavor), and let the slow cooker do the rest.
Slow Cooker Home-Style Mashed Potatoes
Simple mashed potatoes can take up room on your stovetop. Use your slow cooker to solve this problem. Toss cut russet potatoes, butter, salt, and pepper into a slow cooker. Turn it on low and step away for a few hours. When you return, the potatoes will be perfectly tender and ready to be mashed. Make sure to mash them up with warm milk (warm the milk quickly in the microwave). For some added flavor, throw in some of the roasted garlic that you roasted the night before.
Slow Cooker Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
Here’s an easy way to make the celebrated candied sweet potatoes that are a tradition on most holiday tables. Begin by cutting the potatoes into thick rounds so they will hold up during the cooking process. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, toss them with a dash of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of butter. There is no need to add marshmallows to these. The result will yield you a tender potato that’s just sweet enough with a touch of spice.
Slow Cooker Green Bean Casserole
Pre-sliced cremini mushrooms are thrown right into the slow cooker with string beans. Cooked together, the mushrooms will release some great flavor into the beans. Once cooked, toss the mixture with some butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper to serve. Simple and easy!
The YMCA of Central Florida is wishing everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving!