16 slow cooker Christmas recipes that'll free you up for more time with family

Damn Delicious

Spend this Christmas out of the kitchen and in front of the tree. With some quick prep work (enlist some elves for help) and the flip of a switch, your Christmas meal can make itself in a slow cooker while you're actually enjoying the day. Sound too good to be true? Check out these tantalizing holiday recipes — all made in a slow cooker! 

Slow cooker butternut squash soup

Slow cooker butternut squash soupSource: Gimme Some Oven
Slow cooker butternut squash soup  Gimme Some Oven

Start your Christmas right with a comforting squash soup that can easily be made long before Christmas dinner and reheated in time for the meal. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker bacon-wrapped pork loin

Slow cooker bacon-wrapped pork loinSource: Damn Delicious
Slow cooker bacon-wrapped pork loin  Damn Delicious

Bacon makes everything better, especially when it practically cooks itself. Just imagine the smell that will be filling your kitchen while this baby cooks. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker pear and raisin pork loin roast

Slow cooker pear and raisin pork loin roastSource: The Healthy Foodie
Slow cooker pear and raisin pork loin roast  The Healthy Foodie

Something about slow-cooked meat and fruits is just so perfectly Christmas-y. And it's even better when you can just throw the ingredients together and let the appliance do its magic. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker honey garlic beef tenderloin

Slow cooker honey garlic beef tenderloinSource: A Spicy Perspective
Slow cooker honey garlic beef tenderloin  A Spicy Perspective

It's sweet, it's spicy and it's your new favorite Christmas dish. Oh, and it's wrapped in bacon. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker Swedish meatballs

Slow cooker Swedish meatballsSource: Whitney Bond
Slow cooker Swedish meatballs  Whitney Bond

Hungry before dinner? There's a slow cooker app for that! These meatballs are packed with flavor and best enjoyed on toothpicks, of course. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker cider-braised short ribs with sage butter mashed potatoes

Slow cooker cider-braised short ribs with sage butter mashed potatoesSource: Half Baked Harvest
Slow cooker cider-braised short ribs with sage butter mashed potatoes  Half Baked Harvest

Make an elegant, savory and comforting Christmas meal stress-free with this simple short ribs recipe. Get the recipe here.

Farmhouse ham with a honey, mustard and fennel glaze 

Farmhouse hamSource: food52
Farmhouse ham  food52

Let the holiday ham slow cook while you binge watch holiday movies — just make sure you have a slow cooker large enough to fit your whole ham! Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker turkey breast with gravy

Slow cooker turkey breastSource: Skinny Taste
Slow cooker turkey breast  Skinny Taste

If you're not feeding a huge family, or just trying to appease a few ham-hating turkey lovers, go with this easy turkey breast recipe that you can set and forget about until it's time to carve the meat and eat. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker whole chicken

Slow cooker chickenSource: Foodie Crush
Slow cooker chicken  Foodie Crush

If a roast chicken brings you Christmas joy, give yourself the gift of even more joyfulness with a slow cooker chicken that you may like even better than the labor-intensive original. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker lamb shanks

Slow cooker lamb shacksSource: Healthy Recipes Blogs
Slow cooker lamb shacks  Healthy Recipes Blogs

Some high-quality lamb will go far in this five-ingredient recipe that makes a fantastic Christmas entree. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker mashed potatoes

Slow cooker mashed potatoesSource: Sweet C's Designs
Slow cooker mashed potatoes  Sweet C's Designs

The best part of the meal just got even better with these creamy mashed potatoes that practically mash themselves (you'll only need to help them a bit) just in time for dinner. Get the recipe here.

Creamy garlic mac and cheese

Creamy garlic mac and cheeseSource: A Beautiful Mess
Creamy garlic mac and cheese  A Beautiful Mess

Mac and cheese for Christmas? Why not! Set up a mix-ins bar or just serve this gooey mac as a holiday side for an unforgettable Christmas meal. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker balsamic brussels sprouts

Slow cooker balsamic brussels sproutsSource: SkinnyMs
Slow cooker balsamic brussels sprouts  SkinnyMs

These sprouts get seasonal with the addition of cranberries and pine nuts. Get the recipe here.

Quick slow cooker fondue

Slow cooker fondueSource: Wanderlust Kitchen
Slow cooker fondue  Wanderlust Kitchen

Kick off your Christmas meal with some gooey, melty cheese that will transport you to the Alps with just enough time to bring your appetite back home for dinner. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker apple cider wassail

Slow cooker apple cider wassailSource: A Spicy Perspective
Slow cooker apple cider wassail  A Spicy Perspective

This spiced beverage can be sipped all through Christmas Day and even spiked at night for a little extra holiday fun. Get the recipe here.

Slow cooker pumpkin pecan bread pudding

Slow cooker pumpkin pecan bread puddingSource: The Gunny Sack
Slow cooker pumpkin pecan bread pudding  The Gunny Sack

Put the holiday baking on hold and opt for a steamy, slow-cooked dessert this Christmas. You won't regret it, especially with a scoop of ice cream on top. Get the recipe here.