Crockpot Turkey Recipes


Having a stove on which only two burners worked, with only one oven, would have made preparing meals difficult at the best of times. On Thanksgiving, it was a far bigger obstacle. I, however, am not one to be deterred by a challenge. I was determined to not only offer my family a nice meal, I was determined to do it with aplomb. I searched and searched for recipes online that I could prepare in other ways: ahead, in the microwave, and in the crock pot. That was how my signature crockpot turkey was born.
I now have a working stove again, but I still prefer to prepare my turkey in a crock pot. I have two separate recipes, and I use them both, each Thanksgiving. I use one for dark meat, the other for white. Crockpot cooking leaves your meat moist, literally melting in your mouth. If you have a small crockpot or don’t intend on having many guests, or a small family, you may prefer to use just a bone-in breast. If you have a large crockpot, you can use whatever sized turkey will fit in it. I use two crockpots and a whole turkey – I divide my turkey into white and dark meat, one for each pot – and my oven is left vacant for other dishes.

Cranberry Crockpot Turkey

  • Cooking spray
  • Turkey (either bone-in breast or whole; I use this recipe for my white meat)
  • 1 can jellied whole berry cranberry sauce (you can add some orange zest for a tangy zip, if desired)


  1. Spray the liner of the crockpot generously.
  2. Place thawed turkey breast (or pieces) flat on the bottom and cover with cranberry sauce.
  3. Place lid back on and cook on high for 2 hours, then low for 6 – 8 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees farenheit.
  4. At that point, the turkey may be served or kept on low to keep it hot until it is ready to serve.

Onion Crockpot Turkey

  • Cooking spray
  • Turkey (I use this recipe for my dark meat, but it can be used with any meat)
  • 1-2 pkgs. Onion soup mix (poultry seasoning can be mixed in, if desired)


  1. Spray the liner of the crockpot generously.
  2. Rub turkey thoroughly inside and out with the dried onion soup mix.
  3. Place pieces in crockpot (or whole turkey, if it fits), and cook on high for 2 hours, then low for 6-8 hours, until the internal temperature reads 180 degrees farenheit.
  4. The turkey can then be served or kept warm in the crockpot for later serving.

These two recipes can also be combined by mixing the soup mix with the cranberry sauce and pouring the mixture over the turkey, but it’s fun to have two completely different kinds of turkeys with different flavors presiding over your Thanksgiving table. Crockpot turkey cooking is convenient, in that it frees up your oven for rolls or casseroles or anything your heart desires. However, if you prefer a crispy golden skin on your turkey, then the crockpot method may not be for you (keep in mind that the skin carries quite a bit of fat and calories).

If you want to try air frying a turkey, check out our recommended best oil less turkey fryer reviews.

Be sure to checkout our Ultimate Guide to the Best Turkey Fryers and other reviews!

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