~ These delicious Christmas Crockpot Recipes are a quick, easy, hands-off solution for stress-free holiday cooking! And, they’re a great way to save precious oven and stovetop space. Sure, we’ve got lots of festive Christmas dinner main dishes … but also all the sides, appetizers, drinks and desserts you’ll need for every holiday party! Even ultra-cozy slow cooker Christmas morning breakfasts! ~
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for ways to make Christmas easier … yet still magical and wonderful. Sound familiar? Then your trusty old crockpot has ya covered!
Pull it off that dark basement shelf and fire it up this holiday season. You’ll be glad you did!
Why Your Slow Cooker Is Pure Holiday Magic
That humble crockpot is your ticket to:
- No-stress recipes that cook merrily along while you’re free to enjoy the holiday season.
- More room in your crowded oven or pan-filled stovetop on Christmas day.
- And recipes that can stay warm and inviting, right in the slow cooker, all throughout your holiday meals.
Seem fantastic? Yeah, it is!
And you just might be surprised at all the types of recipes your slow cooker can handle.
All Kinds of Christmas Slow Cooker Recipes
I sorted through hundreds and hundreds of enticing slow cooker recipes to hand-pick this collection, filled with practically every type of holiday recipe you could possibly need. The collection below showcases (in order of appearance):
- Main dishes from turkey to Christmas ham … and much more!
- Must-have side dishes
- Party-perfect appetizers and snuggly, warm beverages
- Dessert finales to cap off the perfect Christmas dinner
- Make-ahead breakfast recipes to kick-start Christmas Day
- And even some casual, super-easy “everyday” dinners to get you through the busy evenings surrounding the big holiday event, so you’re stress-free and enjoying every special moment, all season long!
No matter what type of holiday crockpot recipe you’re looking for, you’re sure to find one here that’ll be absolutely perfect!
The Main Event!
Make your Christmas main course in your slow cooker, to free up oven or stovetop space ... and to simplify your Christmas dinner menu for a more relaxed, carefree holiday!
By using the low and slow crockpot cooking method, you'll get moist, delicious turkey that melts in your mouth! As an extra plus, the juices make an easy, flavor-packed gravy. Cranberries and seasonal herbs are a beautiful yet ultra-simple garnish.
This rotisserie-style seasoned chicken is cooked with carrots, onions and Yukon gold potatoes for fantastic flavors and a gorgeous, holiday-worthy presentation! You can optionally make an easy gravy to accompany the meal for an extra-special touch.
Incredibly rich and tender slow cooker short ribs are a celebration-worthy dinner with so little effort. The beef is prepared with a trio of mushrooms, carrots and onions that adds a nice, fresh counterbalance to the otherwise rich meal. Fabulous served over potatoes!
This tender and juicy turkey slow-cooks right along with onions and carrots – it's a main course with a built-in vegetable side dish, all in one pot! If you want, you can use the delicious cooking juices to make a gravy, too.
Besides freeing up space in your oven, this slow cooker method retains moisture to keep your ham from drying out, so you end up with a juicy, delicious Christmas ham. And, the bonus secret here is a rich, thick homemade glaze that's easy to whip up using ingredients you have on hand, yet adds tons of flavor and additional moisture!
Duck Confit may sound like a complicated dish, but it's all about time and patience, rather than complex methods – and time and patience is what crockpots do best. A unique and impressive Christmas dinner that's still low-stress and surprisingly simple to pull off!
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and just a few kitchen staples come together for an effortless main course. A great option if you don't want to cook a whole chicken, but note that you can sub thighs if you like them better than (leaner) white-meat breasts.
With just 5 minutes of prep time (no browning required!), roast is a go-to dish for easy, stress-free holiday entertaining. You can even make it ahead of time, to be re-warmed later! Serve it with plenty of veggie sides for a healthy yet special-feeling Christmas meal.
This easy slow cooker recipe takes just 10 minutes to prep, and the result is a tender roast with a lovely rosemary and thyme aroma. Rutabagas are a lower-carb stand-in for the traditional potatoes, along with green beans, red pepper, and red onion, but the author gives great suggestions for other vegetable options to cook with your pork and round out your meal.
A holiday staple in many homes, these Ukrainian-style cabbage rolls take a beloved comfort dish and make it even better, even easier! Note that, because you won't be able to drain the fat from this recipe, lean ground beef is the ideal choice.
Lots of people like to serve seafood for Christmas, but you might be surprised that you can cook it in your crockpot! In fact, the low, slow cooking method is ideally suited to your crockpot, producing that "poached" texture that's still flaky but also more moist, soft and tender than oven-baked. And the long cooking time offers plenty of opportunity for the salmon to be infused with flavorful seasonings.
For those of you who like serving an Italian Christmas feast, this is a wonderfully easy addition to the menu, with just 7 simple ingredients! To keep it light and lean, make sure to note that you can use chicken or turkey sausages instead of the typical pork.
Easy Crockpot Side Dishes
Next, you'll need some great side dishes! Fire up a second slow cooker alongside the one cooking your main dish, or use just one crockpot to free up some room on the stove.
This super-easy side dish calls for a flavorful combination of paprika, garlic and oregano. But, there are lots of ideas for switching up the flavors and customizing your slow cooker potatoes to pair perfectly with the rest of your Christmas menu!
You only need 10 minutes of prep time and a few pantry staples for this must-have holiday side dish. Includes lots of great ideas for flavor variations, but start by trying it with the highly recommended combo of toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and a homemade balsamic reduction made from light brown sugar and balsamic vinegar.
When it comes to Christmas side dishes, Green Bean Casserole just might be the iconic king. This updated, slow cooker version of the holiday classic is made with fresh beans and doesn’t use canned soup. It’s a yummy, easy upgrade, and making it in your slow cooker frees up precious oven space!
Crockpots cook stuffing really well, since the bread pieces on the bottom get nice and crispy, just like they would in the oven. This version is made with mushrooms for that meaty, savory umami bomb that you want out of a stuffing. And it’s got walnuts to add nutty flavor and a little crunch to break up the "bread-y" stuffing texture. Yum!
Lusciously creamy and oh-so satisfying! The author suggests lots of variations and add-ins, but most of all, I love her tips for lightening up a dish that is sometimes a bit too heavy. As an added bonus, this great side dish recipe can be made 2-3 days in advance, or even frozen!
“Roasting” beets in the crockpot is one of the absolute best ways to prepare them! These are perfectly tender and incredibly flavorful, with just a few simple ingredients. Try serving them with crumbled goat cheese and pumpkin seeds for extra flavors and great texture.
Made almost entirely from vegetables, this easy soup recipe is filled with carrots, onion, apples, sweet potato, and butternut squash (of course!), and is flavored with fresh garlic cloves and ginger. Cozy and delicious, creamy and nourishing ... and so good alongside practically any type of main course. You can even leave out the splash of half-and-half to keep it healthier.
A Christmastime favorite that's a snap to make in your crockpot! With the addition of orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup, and a crunchy pecan topping, this lightened-up spin on a beloved side dish is sure to make your family and guests happy!
We're talkin' easy homemade applesauce with none of the work or hassles (no peeling!) and no added sugar. Mix in some cinnamon and holiday spices, or keep it plain as an accompaniment to roasted meats. The final product is up to you, but will always be delicious!
Slow Cooker Appetizers and Drinks
Whether you're hosting a potluck party, or just looking for crockpot recipe ideas to help kick off your holiday dinner menu, these easy recipes are a great way to keep your appetizer nibbles (and drinks) warm and at-the-ready!
Remember those old-school meatballs with grape jelly sauce? This is a similar concept, expect the cranberry sauce is so much more holiday-ish! The author notes she prefers to use turkey meatballs since turkey and cranberry are a classic combo, and since turkey meatballs are a little lighter and healthier.
This pretty winter sipper starts with apple cider and cranberry juice, then kicks up the flavor with sliced oranges, apples, fresh cranberries, and aromatic spices. It takes just 10 minutes to prep and will stay warm in your slow cooker as long as you like!
Perhaps the #1 most quintessential party dip, this appetizer just never gets old! Ideal for Christmas potlucks, holiday football parties, or even to kick off a casual family dinner party. (Psssst ... for more appetizer ideas along this line, check out our collection of Appetizers for a Christmas Potluck.)
This ultra rich and creamy recipe is a terrific alternative to "typical" hot chocolates since it can be enjoyed even by guests with certain dietary restrictions. It's actually dairy free, gluten free, paleo, and can be made keto ... but nobody would ever guess! Plus, it's so easy – simply dump everything in your slow cooker, whisk it up, then set it on high and you're good to go!
Made with lean ground turkey, parmesan cheese, herbs and spices, these party meatballs are slow simmered to tender perfection in an easy tomato sauce, right in your crockpot. Set out festive toothpicks for a simple but hearty appetizer everyone will love!
Although this popular party dip can also be prepared in the microwave or oven, the crockpot is a great way to keep it warm and perfectly dip-able all throughout the party. With all the classic flavors you want, plus sneaky tweaks to keep it lighter and more waistline-friendly, too!
Slow Cooker Christmas Desserts
Your slow cooker is a fabulous way to cook your dessert and have it perfectly warm, ready and waiting ... whenever dessert time rolls around!
A delicious, rustic dessert that'll feed a crowd and is such a snap to make – with no need to even turn on the oven! Sweet apples are cooked until tender with cinnamon and sugar, and finished with a crumbly oat topping. It’s a perfect dessert for entertaining and makes a wonderful addition to your holiday menu!
This bread pudding makes the typical holiday pumpkin pie look BOR-ING. Plus, this clever recipe substitutes half of the usual heavy cream with Greek yogurt, and also cuts back on the sugar a bit, for a nice, lightened-up treat at the end of a heavy Christmas meal!
Crockpot Christmas Breakfast Ideas
Toss breakfast together in the slow cooker, and you'll be free to relax and enjoy Christmas morning, without having to fuss in the kitchen and miss all the action 'round the tree!
Why wait until dessert time to enjoy your Christmas pie?!? This recipe takes the flavors of maple and brown sugar and pairs them with creamy steel cut oats. Add in crunchy pecans on top for some texture and crunch, and you've got a yummy breakfast you can prep the night before, for a low-stress Christmas morning!
This egg casserole frees you up to do something else while it's cooking, which is fantastic when you're busy entertaining holiday houseguests. And this type of crockpot “baking” infuses the egg with the flavors of the other ingredients a bit more than simply cooking it in the oven.
Dinner Recipes for Busy Holiday-Season Weeknights
Although we're mostly focusing here on festive recipes specifically for holiday parties, buffets and the big, main-event Christmas dinner, I thought all you crockpot lovers out there might need a few gems to serve up on the other "normal" nights of the busy holiday season, too. Below are some of my own family's favorite, easy slow cooker dinners, to help make the whole bustling season a little simpler (and a lot more delicious)!
Just toss everything in the slow cooker ... so ridiculously easy! This creamy, satisfying soup has the sweetness of corn and just a hint of smoky bacon. It's warm and hearty for blustery winter evenings. A perfect way to welcome your family to the dinner table this Christmas season!
This dump-and-go recipe totally doesn’t taste like it only took 10 minutes of effort! Offer rice and lots of different toppings, and your whole family will be happy customizing their own Mexican dinner masterpieces (and you'll be stress-free and enjoying every moment of the holidays)!
This contest-winning chili recipe has an amazing flavor twist that people go crazy over!
Lean into pantry staples you can easily keep on hand, and you can throw this dinner together any time. Tender chicken, potatoes, and carrots and a rich, creamy, tomato-based sauce add up to a comforting dinner with virtually no effort at all!
Featuring a quick homemade Caesar dressing, these popular sandwiches are both delicious and healthy. Great for weeknight dinners!
This is my family’s go-to, classic chili recipe! It's boldly flavored without being too spicy (but don’t worry – we’ve got tips for you if you like it hot).
One of the most popular dinner recipes I've ever shared here on my site, these super-easy, super-yummy tacos are a true family favorite and absolutely perfect for busy nights. Let everyone top 'em any way they like ... even set out a taco bar for a casual, Christmas season get-together!
Need Some NON-Crock-Pot Christmas Recipes?
Oh, don’t you worry … we’ve got lots and lots of delicious ideas for you!
- We have plenty of suggestions for holiday-shaped, CUTE Christmas Appetizers, including our popular Christmas Tree Dip and Easy Hummus Wreath. We’ve also got lots of fast, last-minute, Easy Christmas Appetizers, like our 5-Minute Pomegranate Salsa and 7-Minute Cranberry Salsa.
- And if you need some impressive holiday sides with major WOW factor, try our wreath-shaped Christmas Salad or our adorable Christmas Tree Holiday Salad.
- Our layered Christmas Fruit Salad is gorgeous for holiday brunches, and as a refreshing, light, dinner side dish option, too
Make your life a little easier this holiday season and let your slow cooker do some of the heavy lifting … while you sit back, relax and actually ENJOY the holidays!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! I hope it’s your most wonderful and your very most delicious ever!