3-Ingredient Crockpot Turkey

Three ingredient crockpot turkey

​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 7 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 7 hrs
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
621 Calories
16g Fat
50g Carbs
68g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 621
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 240mg 80%
Sodium 3005mg 131%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 68g
Calcium 63mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This wonderful recipe is perfect any time of year, but is especially good for a Thanksgiving dinner for just a few people. There's no point in cooking a huge turkey for only two or three people unless you like having pounds of leftover meat (and some people do!).

The turkey is cooked from the frozen state in this recipe. If you have someone in your family who is in a group that is high risk for food poisoning (elderly, very young, pregnant, or with a chronic illness), this may not be the one for you. Food safety experts recommend that frozen meats should not be cooked in the slow cooker because the meat can warm up too gradually and bacteria can grow in the product. 

Please note the different cooking times if you're using a bone-in or boneless breast. And whenever you are serving any type of poultry, always check the final internal temperature with a reliable meat thermometer; it should be 165 F at the thickest part.

Serve this wonderful recipe with hot mashed potatoes, some green vegetable such as steamed green beans or roasted asparagus, and a special homemade pie for dessert.


  • 1 frozen turkey breast (now thawed, about 5 pounds for bone-in or 3 pounds for boneless)
  • 1 (16-ounce) can cranberry sauce
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup mix

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for crockpot turkey
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  2. For a bone-in turkey, put all of the ingredients into a 5 to 6-quart crockpot.

    Crockpot turkey
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Cover and cook for 2 hours on high. This helps the meat get through the danger zone of 40 F to 140 F more quickly.

    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the turkey for 4 to 5 hours or until the turkey registers 165 F on an instant-read meat thermometer. (Note: if you have a boneless turkey breast, when you reduce the crockpot heat to low, start checking the turkey after 1 to 2 hours. It may only need that much time to reach 165 F.)

    Reduce heat
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Slice the turkey breast and serve it with the sauce that forms in the slow cooker.

    Cut turkey
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck 
  6. Enjoy! 

    Crockpot turkey
    ​The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

  • Think about using different types of fruit sauces in this super easy three-ingredient crockpot turkey entrée recipe. You could use mango chutney instead of the cranberry sauce, or try a combination of crushed pineapple and pineapple jam.
  • Use your own homemade dry onion soup mix for better flavor and much less sodium.