Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe (2024)

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4.91 from 99 votes

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By: Julie Evink24 Comments

Posted: 11/02/15

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Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe ~ The Most Amazing Turkey EVER! Easy, Delicious, Flavorful and Moist Turkey that is Baked in the Oven then Slow Cooked the Day You Serve it! This is the ONLY Turkey Recipe You Need!


Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe (1)

I have a confession to make. You are looking at my very first turkey!

Yes, that’s right. I’m a food blogger and I’ve never made a turkey before. Kind of crazy, huh? I was always afraid my turkey would turn out like one of those dry, rubbery ones that every person fears at the holidays. You know that moment it comes time to load your plate with turkey and you are left going, to dig in or to go lightly? I want to dig in but yet, what if it’s dry and I have to gag it down or smother it in gravy? It’s pretty much the biggest guessing game ever.

Here’s the deal. If you go to my Thanksgiving and I’ve made the turkey you better dig in! My turkey is plump, juicy and mouthwatering. If you are also scared of making the turkey for Thanksgiving then I assure you that your fears are valid but I have the answer for you! This way of making turkey will have everyone signing you up for bringing the turkey or hosting the holidays every year. Maybe you don’t want to make the turkey so you can avoid that possibility!

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Obviously, when in doubt you go to Mom for her turkey recipe, right? That’s exactly what I did. I knew I loved her turkey and I can pretty much say it’s the only turkey I love. The other reason I knew to use her method is because you actually can make it a day or two ahead of time, warm it in the crock pot the day of the holiday while you are relaxing and enjoying a glass of wine looking like the rock star you are!

That’s right. You can relax during the holiday with this delicious turkey!

You bake it in the oven a day or two ahead of time, carve it and then put it in your crock pot insert with broth and then the day of the holiday you just pull it out and warm it up. So easy, so stress free and so delicious! You’re actually getting excited about making the turkey, aren’t you? I knew it!

And to round out this meal, be sure and make my recipe for The BEST Cranberry Sauce,Crock Pot Stuffing – your holiday will bea breeze!

If you are looking for a quick way to make turkey on Thanksgiving Day another great option is this amazing Instant Pot Turkey! Make sure to pair it with this delicious Ambrosia!

Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe (3)

Ok, let’s talk about another dreaded part of making the turkey. It’s called carving the turkey. I dread that part too. Obviously I used to just dread the whole thing so I never did it! Not any more! Can you tell I am so excited about this I kind of want to scream from the rooftop and tell everyone they need to make their turkey this way this year? If not, that’s exactly what I want to do!

So let’s talk carving. That was even simple with my favorite new secret weapon. Plus, when you make it ahead of time no one is standing in your kitchen watching you! So that’s pretty cool too.

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Want to know my secret weapon? It’s called LifeLong Cutlery. Time for another confession of mine. I have never owned a set of good knives and I’ve been longing for a set forever. In fact I told my mom she needed to put in her Will that I got her knives. Not anymore! I have my very own amazing knives. Plus, they are gorgeous. I pretty much want to put a spotlight on them and let everyone gaze at them when they come over. The handles have my last name engraved on them and the knife blade has “Julie’s Eats & Treats” engraved on it. So perfect and special. They made carving my turkey a breeze. Honestly. Amazing.

Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe (5)
Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe (6)

If you are thinking ahead to Christmas and looking for something super special I HIGHLY recommend LifeLong Cutlery knivesas a gift. They are amazing!

Did you make this? If you snap a photo, please be sure tag me on Instagram at @julieseatsandtreats or #julieseatsandtreats so I can see your yummy treat!

Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe (7)

4.91 from 99 votes

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Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe

Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe ~ The Most Amazing Turkey EVER! Easy, Delicious, Flavorful and Moist Turkey that is Baked in the Oven then Slow Cooked the Day You Serve it! This is the ONLY Turkey Recipe You Need!

Prep:15 minutes mins

Cook:3 hours hrs

Total:3 hours hrs 15 minutes mins

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  • 1 12 lb turkey (1 lb per person)
  • 2 Tbsp butter melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Oven Bag
  • 2 14.5 oz cans 99% fat-free all natural chicken broth


  • Remove the giblets from the turkey, wash and pat dry.

  • In a small bowl mix together butter, salt and pepper. Brush mixture on turkey.

  • Prepare bag according to directions. Place turkey inside and bake according to directions on the box the bag came in.

  • Remove from oven and let set 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Carve turkey and put in air tight container. Refrigerator turkey.

  • The day you would like to serve turkey place it in 6 quart slow cooker. Pour broth over turkey and bake on low for 3-4 hours or until turkey is heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 474kcal (24%), Protein: 70g (140%), Fat: 20g (31%), Saturated Fat: 5g (31%), Cholesterol: 236mg (79%), Sodium: 822mg (36%), Potassium: 776mg (22%), Vitamin A: 240IU (5%), Vitamin C: 4.8mg (6%), Calcium: 40mg (4%), Iron: 2.9mg (16%)

© Julie's Eats & Treats ®

We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box is calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.

*I received a set of knives from LifeLong Cutlery, but as always my opinions are my own!

Things You Might Need for this Recipe!

Craving More Holiday Dishes?

Crock Pot Stuffing ~ Slow Cooked Stuffing Stuffed with Herbs & Seasonings! So Easy and Delicious!

Crock Pot Bacon Green Beans ~ Quick and Easy Slow Cooked Side Dish Perfect for the Holidays!

Crock Pot Brown Sugar Pineapple Ham ~ Savory ham with a brown sugar glaze and pineapple!

We’ve round up our favorite quick and easy Thanksgiving Side Dish recipes that will make this holiday stress-free and enjoyable!

Meet Julie Evink

I'm here to help you win in the kitchen again! Life is Busy, Life is Crazy, but that doesn't mean you can't make your family dinner! Julie's goal is to provide you with easy, family, friendly recipes that use pantry staples. Dinnertime will be stress free again!


Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe (11)


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Reader Interactions

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  1. Jackie says

    Crock Pot Make Ahead Turkey Recipe (16)
    I am using a butterball precooked turkey breast. So I would cover the cut of turkey breast with chicken broth and than put on low? How long since it’s just a turkey breast? Thx!!


  2. Tammy says

    I am using Cracker Barrel precooked turkey breasts (their Thanksgiving meal)that just needs to be reheated. Instead of reheating in the oven, I want to cut the turkey breast up Thanksgiving morning and use your idea of heating the pieces up in the crockpot. Do you think that will work? Also, do you cut the skin off when you put the meat in the crock pot or leave the skin on? Thank you!


    • Julie says

      Yes! That should work just fine, just make sure to add the chicken broth so it doesn’t get dry. We left the skin on but that is up to you, you can remove it if you’d like!


  3. Julie Chambers says

    I may use my crock pot after I cook the turkey in the oven. I’m thinking to save the legs crispy. Cut up the rest and but in a combination of brothy gravy. Then when I drive over to our daughter’s house a mile away with the turkey, it will still be warm. When I serve it on a platter with the crispy legs it will still look like a turkey.


  4. Audrey Geisen says

    I want to do a buffet style thanksgiving. If I keep the crockpot on warm for the gathering, will it dry the turkey out?


    • Julie says

      The chicken broth should help keep the turkey moist during the day, it shouldn’t dry out.


  5. Cynthia Koel says

    Will this work with a 20 pound turkey? Will it fit in a 6 qt crock pot? Want to have everything done the day before. Thank You.


    • Julie says

      I am not sure if a 20lb turkey will fit in a 6 qt crockpot, I haven’t tried it. You might want to have another crock pot handy in case all the meat does not fit!


      • Martha says

        Would you use more broth for a 20 lb Turkey?

      • Julie Evink says

        You could add a little more! I’d rather have a little to much than not enough and have dry turkey 🙂

    • Jenna says

      Did this yesterday. My 18 lb turkey fit in a 6qt with a little room to spare.


  6. Jason says

    How much broth?


    • Julie says

      Two 14.5 oz cans


  7. Jeff Aldridge says

    I have done the crock pot method for the past several years. It is my favorite method for numerous r3asons.


    • Julie says

      Less work in the kitchen is the best policy!


  8. Maggie says

    I’m really excited about this method for my Thanksgiving get together. I only have one question. What is the broth made of? Is it just turkey broth, or do you add onion, celery, garlic or other seasonings to enhance the broth? Also how do you make your gravy?


    • Julie Evink says

      Hi Maggie! I just use broth but please feel free to add any of those things as they would provide a wonderful extra boost to the flavor of your turkey! You can see how I made my turkey gravy here – Let me know if you have any other questions!


  9. Jean says

    Haven’t tried this yet, but my problem would be that there would be no nice brown skin which my family loves. From the looks of it the turkey does not brown when cooked in a plastic bag. Also, what about gravy? If turkey doesn’t brown then neither does the gravy. Doesn’t sound too appealing to me.


    • Julie Evink says

      Jean, The skin is very nice and brown and if you like it browner you can always take it out of the bag and broil it a little at the end. I actually have a gravy recipe that I made from the drippings that was fabulous and I’m posting that next week. This turkey is an EXCELLENT and EASY option for a lot of cooks out there that get overwhelmed with the idea of making a turkey. If you prefer a different method of baking a turkey then please go ahead and stick with that method of course.


  10. Kelly says

    This turkey looks perfect! I love the idea of warming it up in the slow cooker! Anything to make the big day easier. Those knives are gorgeous too 🙂


  11. Malinda @ Countryside Cravings says

    Great idea for cooking the turkey!! There are a lot of things I have yet to go outside of my box and make 🙂 And I love those knives, beautiful!


  12. Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says

    I’m pretty sure I’m weird because I love roasting and carving turkey! There is some sort of pleasure in watching everyone’s eyes light up at the sight of big bird being carved 😉 But im loving this crock pot turkey! I’ve never seen a turkey cooked like this before, and it’s pretty gosh darn clever! Plus if you are having a huge gathering for the big day, this would be perfect! Cheers and thanks for sharing the YUM!!


  13. Danielle | The Creative Bite says

    I’m thinking I seriously need to try this method if I host Thanksgiving this year. There is just too much to do on the big day, this would make life soooo much easier!


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