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70 Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes for the Slow Cooker

Save space in your oven this Thanksgiving by using your slow cooker to whip up holiday favorites like turkey, sides, easy apps, cozy desserts and more.

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Slow-Cooked Pumpkin Apple CobblerTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Pumpkin Apple Cobbler

This spiced pumpkin apple cobbler recipe is sure to please all of your holiday guests. It's perfect for fall, but can be made year-round since it uses fresh or frozen cranberries. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Slow-Cooker Turkey BreastTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast

Try this wonderfully flavored, easy-to-fix slow-cooker turkey breast when you're craving something delicious. It makes a great holiday dish for smaller families, too. —Maria Juco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Corn & Onion StuffingTaste of Home

Corn & Onion Stuffing

I like something different for a side dish and this is it. This stuffing is perfect with pork, beef or chicken. You can leave it in the slow cooker until it’s time to eat—or make it early, refrigerate it until almost serving time, and then reheat it. —Patricia Swart, Galloway, New Jersey

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thanksgiving sides reimagined recipe contestssydney watson/taste of home

Thanksgiving Sides Reimagined Recipe Contest

Step aside, turkey—we’re all about the sides at this table. Tell us how you do the big day, whether it’s with tender pumpkin cornbread or your most-requested mashed potato waffles. Oh, and don’t forget your convenient crescent roll dressing, either. There’s always more room at the buffet, so if you’ve got a deliciously different side with 12 or less ingredients, dish! You just might see it here.

Enter the Contest

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Butterscotch Mulled CiderTaste of Home

Butterscotch Mulled Cider

Five minutes of preparation results in a dynamite slow-cooked drink. You’ll love the sweet taste of butterscotch and apple in this delightful cider. —Karen Mack, Webster, New York

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Slow-Cooked Sausage DressingTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Sausage Dressing

This dressing recipe is so delicious, no one will know it's lower in fat. And best of all, it cooks effortlessly in the slow cooker. —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma

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Smashed Sweet Potatoes and ApplesTaste of Home

Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Looking for ways to cut down on the number of dishes that require oven time on Thanksgiving, I devised a sweet potato dish that can be made ahead in a slow cooker. It’s not too sweet, and it makes a perfect side for turkey or ham. —Judy Batson, Tampa, FL

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Pumpkin Spice CustardTaste of Home

Pumpkin Spice Custard

We love this traditional Crock-Pot pumpkin spice custard. The added espresso powder gives it a latte effect! —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon

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Butter & Herb TurkeyTaste of Home

Butter & Herb Turkey

My kids love a turkey meal, and this one falls off the bone. It's the ideal recipe for special family times and holidays. —Rochelle Popovic, South Bend, Indiana

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Slow-Cooked Mac 'n' CheeseTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Mac 'n' Cheese

Slow-cooked mac and cheese—the words alone are enough to make mouths water. This is comfort food at its best: rich and extra cheesy. And the slow cooker makes it so easy. —Shelby Molina, Whitewater, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooker Cran-Apple ChutneyTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Cran-Apple Chutney

My clan isn’t crazy for cranberries, but they can’t get enough of this delicious chutney. I recommend it for Thanksgiving as it tastes amazing paired with turkey, but it's also good on its own. —Raquel Haggard, Edmond, Oklahoma

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Autumn Pumpkin ChiliTaste of Home

Autumn Pumpkin Chili

We have this turkey pumpkin chili often because everyone loves it, even the most finicky grandchildren. It’s a definite keeper in my book! —Kimberly Nagy, Port Hadlock, Washington

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Caramel and Pear PuddingTaste of Home

Caramel and Pear Pudding

This is a lovely winter dessert that uses pears that are seasonally available. It's easy to fix, and a comforting treat after any meal. I enjoy snacking on it in front of the fireplace. —Diane Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas

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Slow-Cooker Creamed Corn with BaconTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Creamed Corn with Bacon

Every time we take this super rich corn to a holiday potluck or work party, we leave with an empty slow cooker. It's decadent, homey and so worth the splurge. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia

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Jazzed-Up Green Bean CasseroleTaste of Home

Jazzed-Up Green Bean Casserole

This is not your mama's green bean casserole, but she'll still be raving about it! After trying many variations, I decided to give this old standby extra kick. The crunchy texture, cheesy goodness and bacon make it a hit. —Scott Rugh, Portland, Oregon

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Butterscotch PearsTaste of Home

Butterscotch Pears

This grand finale simmers during dinner and impresses as soon as you bring it to the table. Serve as is, or with vanilla ice cream and a slice of pound cake. Leftover pear nectar is heavenly when added to sparkling wine or simply poured over ice. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California

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Slow-Cooker Cheese DipTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Cheese Dip

I brought this slightly spicy cheese dip to a gathering with friends and it was a huge hit. The spicy pork sausage provides the zip! —Marion Bartone, Conneaut, Ohio

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Cranberry-Apple SpritzerTaste of Home

Cranberry-Apple Spritzer

This is an easy cranberry-apple spritzer to make for your guests for the holidays. Serve it hot or cold. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

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Sweet Potato and Pesto Slow-Cooker BreadTaste of Home

Sweet Potato and Pesto Slow-Cooker Bread

I like to bake fresh bread, both as a way to offer my family a delicious accompaniment to dinner and just because I enjoy the process. Baking bread in the slow cooker allows you to achieve a tender, perfectly baked loaf without turning on the oven, especially helpful in the summer. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah

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Moist Italian Turkey BreastTaste of Home

Moist Italian Turkey Breast

This recipe renders some of the juiciest turkey I have ever eaten. High in lean protein, it’s a smart entree for a special occasion. —Jessica Kunz, Springfield, Illinois

Next: Check out our 100 most-shared slow cooker dinners.

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Sausage-Herb DressingTaste of Home

Sausage-Herb Dressing

To make time for last-minute Thanksgiving essentials, I prep the sausage part of this recipe a day or two ahead of time, then finish the dressing in my slow cooker on the big day. It has stood the test two years running! —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida

Like this? You won’t want to miss our best-ever stuffing recipes for Thanksgiving.

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Yeast BreadTaste of Home

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Savor the rich flavors of fall with this homey loaf you can bake up in the slow cooker. Butterscotch adds a sweet surprise. —Erica Polly, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

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Herbed Turkey BreastsTaste of Home

Herbed Turkey Breasts

Fresh thyme and marjoram lend amazing flavor to turkey breast. It comes out of the slow cooker perfectly tender. —Laurie Mace, Los Osos, California

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Cranberry-Apple Red CabbageTaste of Home

Cranberry-Apple Red Cabbage

When I was looking for something new, I started playing with flavors and came up with this very tasty dish. My German grandmother would be impressed, I think! The colorful side dish is just right with pork. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts

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Scalloped TatersTaste of Home

Scalloped Taters

This creamy and comforting slow-cooked side tastes great with almost any main dish and is a snap to assemble with convenient frozen hash browns. It's a good way to make potatoes when your oven is busy with other dishes. —Lucinda Wolker, Somerset, Pennsylvania

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Apple Betty with Almond CreamTaste of Home

Apple Betty with Almond Cream

I love making this apple betty for friends during the peak of apple season. I plan a quick soup and bread meal, so we can get right to the dessert! —Elizabeth Godecke, Chicago, Illinois

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Very Vanilla Slow-Cooker Cheesecake

Very Vanilla Slow-Cooker Cheesecake

Cinnamon and vanilla give this cheesecake so much flavor, and making it in the slow cooker creates a silky, smooth texture that's hard to resist. —Krista Lanphier, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Slow Cooker Sweet Potato SoupTaste of Home

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup

I love that I can top this creamy soup with anything my heart desires, which means I can eat it several days in a row without ever having to have it the same way twice. You can substitute fresh onions and celery in this recipe if you prefer, but using the dried version makes it easy to throw together on a weekday morning. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia

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Slow-Cooked Wild RiceTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Wild Rice

This recipe has become such a family heirloom that I asked my mother's permission before passing it along. It has traveled to weddings, baptisms, landmark birthdays and wedding anniversaries—and it always makes people happy. —Janet Mahowald, Rice Lake, Wisconsin

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Slow-Cooked BroccoliTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Broccoli

This family-favorite side dish is quick to fix and full of flavor. Because it simmers in a slow cooker, it frees up my oven for other things. That's a tremendous help when I'm prepping a big meal at home. —Connie Slocum, Antioch, Tennessee

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Slow-Cooker CiderTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Cider

There's no last-minute rush before the party when you slowly simmer this punch. It has all the tantalizing flavors of fall. —Alpha Wilson, Roswell, New Mexico

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Stuffing from the Slow CookerTaste of Home

Stuffing from the Slow Cooker

If you're hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner this year, add this simple slow-cooked stuffing to your menu to ease entertaining. The recipe comes in handy when you run out of oven space at large family gatherings. I use this Crock Pot dressing recipe often. —Donald Seiler, Macon, Mississippi

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Italian MushroomsTaste of Home

Italian Mushrooms

Only four ingredients create a rich and flavorful side dish that we love to eat with beef and mashed potatoes. —Kim Reichert, St. Paul, Minnesota

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Potluck Macaroni and CheeseTaste of Home

Potluck Macaroni and Cheese

You'll always have a winner at the potluck when you bring macaroni and cheese. Here's an extra-rich, creamy version for the slow cooker. —Jennifer Babcock, Chicopee, Massachusetts

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Pumpkin Cranberry Bread PuddingTaste of Home

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread Pudding

Savor your favorite fall flavors with this scrumptious bread pudding, served warm with a sweet vanilla sauce. Yum! —Judith Bucciarelli, Johnson, New York

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Butternut Squash with Whole GrainsTaste of Home

Butternut Squash with Whole Grains

Fresh thyme really shines in this hearty slow-cooked side dish featuring tender butternut squash, nutritious whole grain pilaf and vitamin-packed baby spinach. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Lentil Pumpkin SoupTaste of Home

Lentil Pumpkin Soup

Garlic and spices brighten up my hearty pumpkin soup. It’s just the thing we need on a chilly fall day. —Laura Magee, Houlton, Wisconsin

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Spiced Sweet Potato SoupTaste of Home

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

This Thanksgiving serve your spuds as soup. It makes a unique first course, and guests will love the creamy texture and flavors of ginger, cinnamon and curry. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida

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Lemon-Garlic Turkey BreastTaste of Home

Lemon-Garlic Turkey Breast

It's simple to prepare a main dish that easily morphs into tender slices of lunch meat. This turkey breast is hearty, healthy and easy to make!—Sandra Hall, Decatur, Texas

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New England Indian PuddingTaste of Home

New England Indian Pudding

This recipe was inspired by traditional New England Indian pudding. My version is made in the slow cooker instead of baking hours in the oven. Use real molasses—if it's too strong, cut the amount to 1/3 cup. —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania

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Spiced Carrots & Butternut SquashTaste of Home

Spiced Carrots & Butternut Squash

When I've got a lot going on, my slow cooker is my go-to tool for cooking veggies. I toss in cumin and chili powder to bring out the natural sweetness of carrots and squash. —Courtney Stultz, Columbus, Kansas

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Gingerbread Pudding CakeTaste of Home

Gingerbread Pudding Cake

Super-moist cake gets all spiced up in this scrumptious slow-cooked dessert. If you want it a little sweeter, drizzle it with maple syrup. —Barbara Cook, Yuma, Arizona

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Fresh Pumpkin SoupTaste of Home

Fresh Pumpkin Soup

This appealing soup harvests the fall flavors of just-picked pumpkins and tart apples and is sure to warm you up on a crisp autumn day. I top the creamy puree with a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds. —Jane Shapton, Irvine, California

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Saucy Scalloped PotatoesTaste of Home

Saucy Scalloped Potatoes

For old-fashioned flavor, try these scalloped potatoes. They cook up tender, creamy and comforting and chopped ham adds a hearty touch. —Elaine Kane, Keizer, Oregon

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Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes with ApplesTaste of Home

Brown Sugar Sweet Potatoes with Apples

This foolproof winner is easy to prepare and makes a beautiful alternative to traditional sweet potatoes. To save time, make it ahead, allow it to cool, and refrigerate up to two days. On feast day, put it in the slow cooker set to low about two hours before serving, and reheat while the turkey roasts. Add a bit of apple cider or water if needed. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida

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Honey-Butter Peas and CarrotsTaste of Home

Honey-Butter Peas and Carrots

This classic combination of peas and carrots is enriched with a handful of flavor enhancers. Slow cooking allows the ingredients to meld for maximum richness. —Theresa Kreyche, Tustin, California

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Cheese-Stuffed Sweet OnionsTaste of Home

Cheese-Stuffed Sweet Onions

These onions are cooked in vegetable broth and stuffed with a delicious blend of cheeses. Experiment to find the blend you like. Instead of goat cheese, try cream cheese or mascarpone cheese. For the blue cheese, you can use Gorgonzola cheese, and in place of Romano, you can use Parmesan. It’s all delicious! —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California

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Corn Spoon BreadTaste of Home

Corn Spoon Bread

This slow-cooked spoon bread is more tender than corn pudding made in the oven, and the cream cheese is a nice addition. —Tamara Ellefson, Frederic, Wisconsin

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Slow Cooker Bacon-Mushroom DressingTaste of Home

Slow Cooker Bacon-Mushroom Dressing

My favorite stuffing uses a slow cooker, which helps when your oven's busy. It goes with everything from turkey to game hens. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio

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Moist & Tender Turkey BreastTaste of Home

Moist & Tender Turkey Breast

This easy turkey recipe is sure to be popular in your home. Everyone will love the taste, and you'll love how quickly it comes together. —Heidi Vawdrey, Riverton, Utah

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Creamed CornTaste of Home

Creamed Corn

Five ingredients are all you'll need for my popular creamed corn recipe. It's wonderful no matter what the occasion is. Try it on a barbecue buffet or holiday menu. —Barbara Brizendine, Harrisonville, Missouri

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Cheesy Cauliflower SoupTaste of Home

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

When a chill is in the air, I like to make soups for the family. Cheese adds flavor and heartiness to this one, which is my own recipe. —Ruth Worden, Mossena, New York

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Pumpkin Pie PuddingTaste of Home

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

My husband loves anything pumpkin, and this creamy, comforting pumpkin pudding recipe is one of his favorites. We make our easy pudding all year long, but it's especially nice in the fall. —Andrea Schaak, Bloomington, Minnesota

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Moist Corn Spoon BreadTaste of Home

Moist Corn Spoon Bread

Enjoy this easy take on a southern specialty by using the convenient slow cooker. Here's an excellent side dish for Thanksgiving, Easter or any special feast. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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"Everything" StuffingTaste of Home

"Everything" Stuffing

Of all the stuffing recipes, my husband and father both go crazy for this particular dish! The leftovers freeze well so we can enjoy it long after Thanksgiving has passed. —Bette Votral, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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Nicole's Slow-Cooker BroccoliTaste of Home

Nicole's Slow-Cooker Broccoli

My sister is a huge inspiration to me and an amazing force in shaping my life. This is one of her favorite dishes. It’s an amazing side, and usually little to none of it is left over! —Toni Ann Moschello, Manahawkin, New Jersey

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Slow-Cooker Mashed PotatoesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Sour cream and cream cheese give richness to these smooth make-ahead potatoes. They are wonderful for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner since there's no last-minute mashing required. —Trudy Vincent, Valles Mines, Missouri

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Slow-Cooked Herbed TurkeyTaste of Home

Slow-Cooked Herbed Turkey

When herbs are plentiful in my garden, I prepare this turkey recipe. The turkey stays moist in the slow cooker and is bursting with herb flavors. When I served this to our Bible study potluck group, everyone wanted the recipe! —Sue Jurack, Mequon, Wisconsin

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Hot Spiced WineTaste of Home

Hot Spiced Wine

My friends, family and I enjoy this spiced wine during cold-winter gatherings. This warm drink will be a special treat for anyone who enjoys dry red wines. —Noel Lickenfelt, Bolivar, Pennsylvania

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Easy Squash StuffingTaste of Home

Easy Squash Stuffing

My friends just rave about this creamy side dish. It's a snap to jazz up summer squash, carrots and onion with canned soup and stuffing mix. —Pamela Thorson, Hot Springs, Arkansas

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Apple Pie Oatmeal DessertTaste of Home

Apple Pie Oatmeal Dessert

Warm and comforting oatmeal desserts bring back memories of time spent with my family around the kitchen table. I serve this dish with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream as a topper. —Carol Greer, Earlville, Illinois

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Slow-Cooker Loaded Mashed PotatoesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Every year my Mom made cream cheese mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I tailored the recipe to my family's taste and carried on the tradition. I make them a day ahead and use my slow cooker to free up oven space for other dishes. —Ann Nolte, Tampa, Florida

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Slow-Cooker Apple Pudding CakeTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Apple Pudding Cake

A satisfying dessert, pudding cake is a superb treat on a chilly night. It has three separate layers—apples, cake and sauce—and I like to serve it in a bowl. —Ellen Schroeder, Reedsburg, Wisconsin

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Butternut Squash Soup with CinnamonTaste of Home

Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon

The golden color, smooth and creamy texture and wonderful taste of this soup make it a welcome addition to a chilly fall day. It has a slightly tangy flavor from the gingerroot, and the sweet cinnamon really comes through. —Jackie Campbell, Stanhope, New Jersey

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Five-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke DipTaste of Home

Five-Cheese Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Whenever I go to an event, I'm always asked to bring this hot dip. Five types of cheese make it a standout and oh-so delicious. I love its party-ready convenience— I serve it straight from the slow cooker, so set-up and clean-up are a breeze! —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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Spiced Acorn SquashTaste of Home

Spiced Acorn Squash

Working full time, I found I didn't always have time to cook the meals my family loved, so I re-created many of those dishes in the slow cooker. This treatment for squash is one of our favorites. —Carol Greco, Centereach, New York

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Moist Corn Spoon BreadTaste of Home

Moist Corn Spoon Bread

Enjoy this easy take on a southern specialty by using the convenient slow cooker. Here's an excellent side dish for Thanksgiving, Easter or any special feast. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Hot Spiced Cranberry DrinkTaste of Home

Hot Spiced Cranberry Drink

I serve this rosy spiced beverage at parties and family gatherings during the winter. Friends like the tangy twist it gets from Red Hots. It's a nice change from the usual hot chocolate. —Laura Burgess, Ballwin, Missouri

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Slow-Cooker Baked ApplesTaste of Home

Slow-Cooker Baked Apples

Coming home to this irresistible dessert on a dreary day is just wonderful; it’s slow-cooker easy. — Evangeline Bradford, Erlanger, Kentucky

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Apricot-Apple CiderTaste of Home

Apricot-Apple Cider

Dried apricots give this comforting cider a marvelous twist. Add cranberries, cinnamon, allspice and cloves for the perfect hot drink to sip on cool nights. —Ginnie Busam, Pewee Valley, Kentucky

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Tomato Apple ChutneyTaste of Home

Tomato Apple Chutney

I love to make different kinds of chutney during the holidays and give jars to family and friends for gifts. Cook the chutney in a slow cooker, and you don't have to fuss with it until you are ready to serve. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada

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