Main Meals/ Recipes/ Slow Cooker/Instant Pot

Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey

slow cooker holiday turkey

I’m going to be completely honest with you all, I’m not a turkey lover. I have never liked turkey that is cooked up and served for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There’s just something about holiday turkey that I have never liked, but this Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey is the best turkey I’ve ever made or ate. It was so tender and flavorful, and so juicy! Oh, and did I mention, it didn’t even taste like turkey! This Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey actually tastes like rotisserie chicken.

I started out with a 5lb turkey breast half (Not the entire turkey or even the entire breast) but my turkey breast did have the rib cage and carcus. You’ll also want to make sure you have an oval 6 quart or larger slow cooker to cook this bird up in. Anything smaller and your bird probably won’t fit. One last thing about this Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey, you want to make sure this bird is completely thawed. Follow the thawing instructions on the package of the turkey. It took mine about 3 days in the fridge to thaw this turkey completely. I also did not brine this turkey since it came already brined.

slow cooker holiday turkey

Remove the turkey from the packaging, remove the turkey gravy packet from inside of the chest cavity, and rinse the bird all over.

slow cooker holiday turkey

Once the turkey is rinsed in water, place it in the slow cooker, chest cavity down.

slow cooker holiday turkey

Now it’s time to get out your arsenal of spices. I use all of these liberally because, the more the merrier! I didn’t measure these either.

slow cooker holiday turkey

Notice, I also didn’t use any salt. The Creole seasoning has sodium in it and the turkey was brined in salt water so no additional salt was needed. I liberally seasoning all sides of the turkey and the top with the seasonings you see pictured above.

slow cooker holiday turkey

Now that the seasonings are added, step back, take a good look at the bird, and add some parsley flakes like I did. It just felt right to give this bird a little extra flare. Once the parsley flakes have been added, pour in 1 1/2 cups of water into the bottom of the slow cooker. Don’t pour the water directly over the Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey or you will wash off all of the seasoning.

slow cooker holiday turkey

Wash 4 large stalks of celery, cut the ends and leaves off, then slice into halves or thirds and add in around the turkey. I like to add in a few veggies when cooking a whole chicken or turkey because it adds a nice flavor to the meat. Vegetables also serve to make the best bone broth and stock with the carcus after the turkey has cooked and the meat has been removed.

slow cooker holiday turkey

Once the celery has been added, wash and peel 4 large carrots and cut them in half. Add the carrots to the slow cooker along with the turkey.

slow cooker holiday turkey

After adding the seasonings, water, and vegetables, it’s time to cook this Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey! Place the lid on the slow cooker and set the time for 11 hours on low. I like to cook this Christmas turkey low and slow because it gives the meat such a wonderful flavor and leaves the turkey juicy and tender.

slow cooker holiday turkey

Now that the Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey is set to cook, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the rest of your day – or go to bed and wake up to lunch already ready and waiting on you (that’s what I did!)

slow cooker holiday turkey

When the turkey is finished cooking in the slow cooker, I like to brown mine in the oven on 450F for about 5-10 minutes. This isn’t necessary, I just love the slightly roasted flavor it gives the turkey.

Carefully remove from the slow cooker using  a spatula on each end to lever it out of the slow cooker. I grabbed my husband to get him to help with this! Be careful because the turkey will be extremely hot and extremely tender. It may even try to fall apart on you when you remove it!

slow cooker holiday turkey

Now isn’t that a beautiful Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey? This turkey also smells soooo wonderful! You and your family will absolutely love this, I can assure you!

slow cooker holiday turkey

I hope this recipe brings you and your family around the table this Christmas to share delicious food and wonderful memories together.

Merry Christmas, Friends!


slow cooker holiday turkey
5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Holiday Turkey

A slow cooked, bone-in turkey breast seasoned with herbs and vegetables.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 11 hours
Total Time 11 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8
Author Amy - The Speedy Spatula


  • 1 5lb bone in turkey breast
  • 4 celery stalks halved
  • 4 carrots peeled and halved
  • Old Bay Spice to taste
  • parsley flakes to taste
  • Toney's Creole Seasoning to taste
  • onion powder to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups water


  1. Thaw turkey out according to packaging directions, remove from packaging and rinse.

  2. Place turkey, chest cavity side down, into a 6 quart or larger slow cooker.

  3. Season the top and both sides of the turkey liberally with all of the seasonings. You can't have too much seasoning so get wild with it.

  4. Pour water into the slow cooker, to the side of the turkey - not on top or you will wash away all of your seasoning.

  5. Wash your celery, remove very bottom and leaves and cut in half. Place the halves around the turkey

  6. Wash and peel the carrots, cut in half and place around the turkey.

  7. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 11 hours. Once cooked, remove carefully with two spatulas, on either end of the turkey. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe comes to 0 Smart Points per serving. Yields 10 servings, or 80 ounces of meat for a 5lb turkey breast.

Shared at Meal Plan Monday

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    December 20, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Thank you ! Love your post! My slow cooker is smaller so I would make a much smaller one but yours looks amazing!

    • Reply
      December 20, 2017 at 5:08 pm

      You’re so welcome! I hope you love this as much as we did!

    Leave a Reply