15 Thanksgiving dishes that don't require an oven

  • If your oven is full on Thanksgiving or simply out of commission, oven-free recipes can help.

  • Salads, slow-cooker recipes, and pasta are all beloved dishes that don't require an oven.

  • We've found 15 Thanksgiving dishes that are completely oven-free.

Whether your oven is crammed full of turkey or it's woefully small, sometimes baking and roasting isn't an option on Thanksgiving.

This week, people all over the country will be making multiple dishes for Thanksgiving dinner, using every available cooking surface they can.

Thankfully, there are plenty of Thanksgiving staples or updated versions of the classics that don't require any oven space at all. Even the precious turkey can stay out of that fateful appliance on November 23.

Keep scrolling to see the easiest foods you can whip up this Thanksgiving — no oven required.

If you want to use your oven for other dishes, you could use a deep-fryer for your turkey.

deep fried turkey
Fried turkey.Eric Thayer/Reuters

Deep-frying a turkey is still serious business — one that can end in a fiery disaster.

Here's the best way to fry your turkey.

If your oven is full, you can leave soup simmering on the stove or in a slow cooker.

leek soup
Leek soup.HandmadePictures/Shutterstock

As part of Business Insider's ongoing taste-test series, we've tried the best canned chicken noodle soups. Any of these would be perfect to whip up on Thanksgiving.

If you're not really into chicken soup, you can also check out these soups that will keep you warm during the cold weather, and these don't even require a stove, just a slow cooker.

Mashed potatoes can be made from a mix or in the slow cooker.

yukon gold mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes.AP Photo/Larry Crowe

Instant mashed potatoes are polarizing but extremely simple. Here are the best instant mashed potatoes you can buy at the store.

If you're looking to make your mashed potatoes from scratch, BI scoured the internet for the best mashed potatoes hacks that will take this classic dish to the next level.

Alternatively, you can make delicious, creamy mashed potatoes in a slow cooker. Business Insider's Erin McDowell called it "basically a set-it-and-forget-it dish."

Spinach casserole is another dish you can make in your slow cooker.

spinach dip spinach casserole
Spinach casserole.Shutterstock

Casseroles are a favorite, especially on Thanksgiving. This slow-cooker spinach casserole is sure to be a big hit.

You could also use a slow cooker for your bird, freeing up oven space.

slow cooker turkey
Yes, a turkey can be cooked in a slow cooker.Amanda Hoychuk/Shutterstock

It's a great tool to utilize on Turkey Day.

Here are recipes for slow-cooking your turkey.

Cranberry sauce is a classic Thanksgiving side dish, and all you need to do is open a can.

cranberry sauce
Cranberry sauce.Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Another one of BI's taste tests is grocery store cranberry sauces — find out which one is best here.

And don't forget, you should always open your cranberry sauce upside down.

Stuffing is a Thanksgiving essential that doesn't need to spend time in the oven.

Stuffing.Sarah Schmalbruch/Insider

There's not one specific recipe for stuffing, and thus no one way to cook it. Here's an "everything" stuffing recipe that goes in the slow cooker, or a stove-top Thanksgiving stuffing.

BI also tried an air-fryer stuffing recipe that also ended up tasty, if not a bit time-consuming.

If you do have access to an oven, though, BI tried replicating three famous chef's stuffing recipes: Ina Garten, Paula Deen, and Ree Drummond.

Sweet potatoes are extremely versatile, and all you need to do is stick them in the microwave.

roasted sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes.Robynmac/Getty Images

Sweet potatoes are some of the healthiest vegetables out there — they are a source of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A once consumed.

All you need to do to successfully cook a sweet potato is to prick its skin with a fork and throw it in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes.

You can make candied yams in an air fryer.

candied yams
Candied yams.sasaken/Shutterstock

A reporter tried out an air-fryer recipe recipe for candied yams and called it "ridiculously easy."

There are plenty of ways to make cheesecake festive without turning on the oven.

No bake cheesecake

There are many different no-bake recipes out there, but here are some of our favorites: apple-pie cheesecake cups, caramel apple cheesecake, and pumpkin cheesecake.

Technically, we recommended Martha Stewart's no-bake cheesecake for summer, but it's a year-round dessert in our eyes.

Cauliflower, or any vegetable really, tastes great pan-fried.

Crispy cauliflower.Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Here's a recipe for pan-fried cauliflower.

Creamed corn turns corn on the cob into an autumnal side dish.

creamed corn
Creamed corn.Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post/Getty Images

Creamed corn is corn that's scraped off the cob and combined with milk, cream, or even cream cheese, depending on the recipe.

We've included a classic creamed-corn recipe, which involves simmering the corn over a stove top, and a slow-cooker variation.

Salad is a tried and true side that involves no cooking at all.

waldorf salad

Even though Thanksgiving is all about eating until your stomach gives out, that doesn't mean it has to all be unhealthy.

Salads are a solid way to consume something green this Thanksgiving. We've ranked the healthiest lettuces and leafy greens, and listed everything you need to make your salad as healthy as possible.

Green-bean casserole is another staple at the Thanksgiving table.

green beans
Green-bean casserole.Shutterstock

Green-bean casserole is even more popular than most casseroles on Turkey Day. Even though casseroles are generally baked in the oven, there are ways around that particular rule. Just check out this skillet green-bean casserole or this microwave version.

However, if you have oven space for a green-bean casserole, BI ranked recipes from chefs Alton Brown, Ree Drummond, and Alex Guarnaschelli.

Everyone's favorite pasta dish, macaroni and cheese, only requires a pot and a stove.

mac and cheese
Macaroni and cheese.Igor Dutina/Shutterstock

Whether you're making boxed mac and cheese or working from scratch, this pasta side is always a hit with adults, kids, foodies, and picky eaters alike.

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