With the holidays in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about all the delicious food to make for those family gatherings and fun dinner parties. My favorite part about any big holiday meal is loading up on the side dishes. I can never decide on just one, so I love having a variety of options for my guests to choose from.
I always use my KitchenAid® Slow Cooker whenever I need help freeing up some oven space. This Slow Cooker works like a dream and is perfect for taking the stress out of prepping multiple recipes since it has 24-hour programability and an automatic keep warm mode.
Our friends over at Melissa’s were kind enough to send us a beautiful shipment of their fresh produce to help us make these side dishes. They have a wonderful selection, so if you’re looking for good quality produce that you can get conveniently delivered right to your doorstep, be sure to check them out!
First up are these Parmesan Sage Mashed Sweet Potatoes. They are creamy and delicious and just perfect for serving a crowd. The sweet potatoes cook up nice and tender in my Slow Cooker. I love that there are several options for the temperature and the easy-to-read timer makes it a cinch to keep track of when your food is ready.
Once the potatoes are done, I mash them directly in the Slow Cooker along with some butter, garlic powder, milk, sage, salt, and black pepper using my KitchenAid® 2-Speed Hand Blender. I love how effortless it is to blend all the ingredients so smoothly directly in the Slow Cooker. It takes the expression “one pot meal” to another level.
You can make these mashed sweet potatoes the night before your big holiday gathering and heat them up again right before serving!
Melissa’s sent a bundle of carrots in the shipment, which I transformed into Orange Ginger Glazed Carrots. Slice them up and cook them in the KitchenAid® Multi-Cooker using the SLOW COOK-LOW setting. I love using my Multi-Cooker because it has over 10 settings, from slow cook high and low to boil/steam. It acts as a rice cooker too! Plus, it has such a sleek design and will make any counter shine.
While the carrots are cooking, you’re free to walk away and continue on with preparing the rest of your feast. They get soft and tender after 5-6 hours and are infused with a sweet and flavorful orange, ginger and honey glaze.
These Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Pecans might just be my favorite. Trim and halve the Brussels sprouts and then dress with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and Parmesan cheese.
They are so easy to prep in advance and you can cook them on the low slow cooker setting for 2 1/2 hours or high for 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on your timing.
I like to cook them just until they are done and then I move them right away to a serving dish. This way, they still maintain that slight bit of crunch as well as that roasted caramelized flavor you usually get from the oven.
The sweet tang of the balsamic vinegar livens up these little mini cabbages and the sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and crunch pecans make them extra tasty.
All of these side dishes are easy set-and-forget recipes that can be made ahead of time, making day-of holiday meal prep a breeze. What’s your favorite way to reduce your prep time in the kitchen before a holiday feast?
Share your take on these Holiday Slow Cooker Sides on Instagram using #MadeWithKitchenAid for a chance to be featured.
Parmesan Sage Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Makes 8 servings
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks or rounds
2-4 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil, softened
3 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh sage, parsley or chopped pecans, for serving
Add the sweet potatoes to the KitchenAid® Slow Cooker. Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or LOW for 4-6 hours, until the potatoes are soft and tender.
Add butter, garlic powder, sage, Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mash with the KitchenAid® 2-Speed Hand Blender until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and mix in additional milk as needed to reach desired creaminess.
Serve warm topped with fresh sage, parsley or chopped pecans if desired.
Orange Ginger Glazed Carrots
Makes 8 servings
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 2 teaspoons ginger, freshly grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ thick rounds
Add the melted butter, honey, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, and salt to the KitchenAid® Multi-Cooker and whisk to combine. Stir in the carrots and toss to coat well.
Cover and set to the SLOW COOK LOW setting for 4-6 hours or until carrots are tender, stirring once halfway through.
Remove the carrots, using a slotted spoon, and place in a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
Makes 8 servings
3 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Add the Brussels sprouts to the KitchenAid® Slow Cooker. Stir in the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Cover with the lid and cook on HIGH for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or LOW for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, until the sprouts are tender, but still have a slight crunch. Stir in pecans, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and transfer to a serving platter.
Serve warm and drizzle with additional balsamic glaze from slow cooker, if desired.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*