No-Stress Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

When we think of cooking a holiday meal, it can seem like a LOT to take on. Maybe even a little overwhelming, especially if this is your first year on your own for the holidays. And cooking a whole turkey seems so complicated.

Well, I’m going to tell you my secret to a stress-free Thanksgiving turkey. I cook a turkey roast in the slow cooker with ridiculously simple and delicious recipes. Then, I ignore it until dinner time. That gives me lots of time to focus on making my favorite part of the meal – dessert!

Here are two of my favorite slow cooker turkey recipes that come out delicious and moist every time.

Stress free turkey recipes thanksgiving slow cooker

Drunken Turkey


  • One 3 lb. Butterball turkey roast with light and dark meat
  • Two packets of onion soup mix
  • One bottle of Riesling wine
  • Water
Easy Thanksgiving turkey recipes for the slow cooker
This is all you need – Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t get much easier. Or, more delicious!


  1. Place the roast in your slow cooker.
  2. Pour the two packets of onion soup mix over the turkey.
  3. Pour in the bottle of Riesling until the roast is just covered. If the bottle of wine is not enough to cover your roast, add water until all the turkey is submerged.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 3-5 hours or until done, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Easy Thanksgiving turkey recipes for the slow cooker
No one will guess it was this easy to make!

Cranberry Turkey

(Adapted from the Better Homes and Garden’s Ultimate Slow Cooker Book , which is a great cookbook that I highly recommend!)


  • One 3 lb. butterball turkey roast with light and dark meat
  • 16 oz can of jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice


  1. Put all ingredients but turkey in a small mixing bowl and stir.
  2. Place turkey roast in the slow cooker.
  3. Pour cranberry mixture over the turkey.
  4. Cover the roast with foil to keep the moisture in the turkey.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 3 -5 hours or until done, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

That’s it! Each recipe has only four ingredients, and it couldn’t get much easier to have a moist, delicious turkey for your family to enjoy.

With the main dish in the slow cooker, you can put your oven and your energy to work on making your favorite desserts and sides. You can check out what I’ll be baking this holiday with this post on my favorite holiday pies, and check the blog every day this week to see what’s cooking in our other writers’ kitchens with our Thanksgiving dinner series.

Carbs, Carbs, and More Carbs
Egg-Free Pumpkin Spice Cake
Hostess Hacks 

Have your own favorite recipes to share or looking for other good recipe recommendations? Visit our ICMB Moms In the Kitchen Facebook group

Happy Thanksgiving!


Laura is a mom of three who works full-time from home as a Development Director for a children’s charity. Laura grew up in Maryland, spent her 20s living in Southern California and South Carolina, and has spent her 30s and now 40s in Iowa, moving to Iowa City in 2010. Laura loves dancing, reading, baking, and music. She and her husband Ryan started dating in college (gasp – over 20 years ago!) and they have been sharing life’s adventures ever since. Their biggest adventure is, of course, parenthood. With three kids, the action is non-stop - which is just the way Laura likes it.


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