14 Thanksgiving dishes that don't require an oven

Eric Thayer/ReutersDeep fried turkey.
  • Whether your oven is stuffed with turkey, or you don’t have access to an oven for any number of reasons, there are still plenty of dishes you can make without one.
  • Salads, slow-cooker casseroles, and pasta are all beloved side dishes that don’t require an oven.
  • We’ve found 14 of the best Thanksgiving recipes that are completely oven-free.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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

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 28.

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

While your oven is full, you can leave soup simmering on the stove.

HandmadePictures/ShutterstockLeek soup.

As part of 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.

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

Eric Thayer/ReutersFried turkey.

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.

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

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

Even though slow cookers have been getting a rough go of it recently, it’s still a great tool to utilise 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.

Brent Hofacker/ShutterstockCranberry sauce.

Another one of Insider’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.

Sarah Schmalbruch/INSIDERStuffing.

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.

Just add water and stir instant mashed potatoes on the stove.

AP Photo/Larry CroweMashed potatoes.

Instant mashed potatoes are polarising 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, Insider scoured the internet for the best mashed potatoes hacks that will take this classic dish to the next level.

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

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 throw it in the microwave for eight minutes (four minutes on each side).

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


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

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

Pixel-Shot/ShutterstockCrispy cauliflower.

Here’s a recipe for pan-fried cauliflower. And for good measure, here are 17 other recipes that utilise pan frying.

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

jantroyka / iStockCreamed corn.

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.


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

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

ShutterstockSpinach casserole.

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

Green bean casserole is another staple at the Thanksgiving table.

ShutterstockGreen bean casserole.

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.

Everyone’s favourite pasta dish, macaroni and cheese, only requires a pot and a stove.

Igor Dutina/ShutterstockMacaroni and cheese.

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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