Make Ahead & Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving Pies - Make a head meals - Good Life of a Housewife

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Last night I started working on filling in my  Thanksgiving Planner for my menu and grocery list items. All month I have been in search of some recipes to make this week for Thanksgiving.

I even had a little Turkey debacle. Thursday (the week before Thanksgiving), I purchased a fresh turkey(cold but not fully frozen). I was under the impression that I could keep it in the fridge all week, but apparently they can spoil very quickly.

I ended up freezing it a day later, and just pulled it out to thaw(it’s 23 lbs)! Unsure of how many people were coming this year, I opted for a big bird. My final number is down to 12. There will be no shortage of leftovers.

When originally planning the menu for upwards of 20 people, I was going to use my electric roaster oven to reheat the mash potatoes and cook the turkey in the oven.

A roaster oven is great because you can then use the oven to bake any side dishes. My father-in-law got it for us when we first moved in because our oven was original to the house (1960’s) and did not produce a consistent heat.

Now, that we have a new oven, it’s nice to be able to cook side dishes in the oven, however, my 23 lb bird will not fit in the roaster oven, but a few pounds smaller should be no problem.

Even cooking for 12 can be a big undertaking so I have been looking for easy make ahead recipes.

With the larger bird, I opted to do two dishes in my slow cookers.  Including reheating mashed potatoes, and crockpot stuffing.

What’s Cooking America, recommends placing cooked potatoes on low for 3 hours and  stirring once or twice.

My Thanksgiving Menu

Here are some awesome recipes for saving time (yes, please!), preparing in advance, and making fresh, delicious, menu items for Thanksgiving.

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Ham & Cream Cheese Rolls – These are quick and easy to make ahead. Spread cream cheese on a slice of ham. Roll the ham around a green onion. Once rolled, secure with four or five tooth picks. Slice with a knife.

Olives & Pickles –  We always have olives and pickles out at Thanksgiving. This is a tradition on my husband’s side.  Super easy, just arrange them in a bowl or tray.

Deviled Eggs – She Wears Many Hats has a Perfect Deviled Egg Recipe. My recipe is pretty similar to this, however, I make it to taste. On advice from an aunt, I will now add a little horseradish. These are savory deviled eggs, not sweet ones. If your family likes sweet deviled eggs, use Miracle Whip and sweet dill relish instead of mayonnaise, dill and horseradish.

Main Course

Turkey – My husband likes to do the turkey. He will brine it, and season it and bake it in the oven.

Slow Cooker Stuffing[Dressing] by the Kitchen is My Playground – The items in this can be prepped ahead of time, and cooked in the slow cooker on Thanksgiving.

Sweet Potato Casserole by Chef in Training- A sweet dish, with pecans and brown sugar, and raving reviews. This is one of two dishes I will place in the oven after the Turkey comes out.

Broiled Frozen Corn – So easy and so fast. After the sweet potatoes are done, I will throw frozen corn, drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper in the oven for about five minutes on broil.

Slow Cooker Mash Potatoes – These I make my own way, but What’s Cooking America, has a great recipe.

Perfect Turkey Gravy by Center Cut Cook – A simple gravy recipe with just four ingredients that can be made while the turkey is resting and the sweet potatoes are baking in the oven.


Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie – In October, as part of my October Bucket List, I made this apple pie. I had no idea it would be so delicious. I followed the recipe exactly. It was perfect.

The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction – Sally makes this pumpkin pie look beautiful. She gives instructions on how to make it in advance.

What’s on your Thanksgiving Menu?


Still wanting to squeeze more fall out of the month, I put together some Autumn themed flower center pieces. I used deep red carnations and yellow/orange roses. One pre-made bouquet was also put in an orange vase. The burnt oranges, reds, and yellows are perfect to celebrate the final days, before we go full blown Christmas. Some of the vases I had, but you can get them from thrift stores for a few bucks a piece.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Make Ahead & Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Menu




I’m Chanele. Housewife, Mama, and Chief of Household Management. I love charm, simplicity, and getting organized.

I‘m always on the hunt for inspiration
and love the creative process. All of the tips I share are for busy moms managing a household and family.

Please join me in making magic, molding memories & managing a household.

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