Crockpot Turkey with Garlic Butter

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings

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This easy Crockpot Turkey recipe is for those who don’t want to be bothered with roasting! It’s slathered in garlic butter and cooks all day (or night!) in the slow cooker.

It’s not that I’m afraid of roasting a turkey, I promise.

crockpot turkey in slow cooker whole with fresh parsley sprigs as garnish

It’s just that it’s not something I’ve had a lot of practice doing, and so, how do you know if it’s going to be good or bad?

In all seriousness, I should probably make an attempt to learn how to roast a turkey well, but it’s hard to find the motivation when this Crockpot Turkey turns out so incredibly well with very little fuss.

My crockpot is where I turn when I need a moist roast, or chicken, or turkey, and I don’t want to have to babysit it.

I know that it’s going to be tender and juicy, even if I don’t really know what I’m doing 😉

crockpot turkey sliced on large plate on dark grey background with parsley sprigs as garnish

Really, it’s a lot like this Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin or this Crockpot Shredded Chicken — what I like to call “stupid easy”. You can whip these up on a hectic day even with a one year old on your hip 😉

If you’re a big fan of your slow cooker, you might want to check out these Easy Crockpot Meals.

How to prep your Crockpot Turkey ahead:

Because we want things to be as easy as possible on the big day!

  • Give your turkey adequate time to thaw. Whole turkeys require one day in the refrigerate for every 4 lbs to thaw completely, which means for this recipe (since you’ll need a small turkey), you’ll likely want to give yourself about 2 days.
  • Make your garlic butter and slather it up under the skin and season the skin the day before — this will give your turkey so much flavour!
  • You can thaw and season your turkey right in your crockpot, which means little clean up!
crockpot turkey plated overhead on large light blue plate on dark grey background
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How to make a turkey in the crockpot or slow cooker:

  • Know your crockpot. All cook differently, and will hold different sizes of turkeys. For this recipe, an oval slow cooker will work best, but all cook at slightly different temperatures. I use a large 6 quart slow cooker for this recipe.
  • Because we want to be super safe when serving poultry, you always want to check the internal temperature of the turkey with a meat thermometer. It should read 180 degrees F in the thigh and 170 degrees F in the breast.
  • When cooking a turkey in the crockpot, it’s not going to dry out as easily as it would in the oven if you go past the optimal temperature somewhat, so if you end up cooking 8 or 10 hours because you’re out of the house, your turkey will still be incredibly moist and juicy.
  • If you like, you can brush on extra butter and crisp up your turkey under the broiler in the oven for 5-10 minutes (keep a close eye on it). This step is only essential if you serve the turkey with the skin on, as soggy turkey skin isn’t appetizing for anyone!

How to get crispy skin on a crockpot turkey:

There are two ways to get brown skin on a turkey made in the slow cooker:

  1. The crockpot: Follow the instructions in the recipe to drain most of the liquid, melt reserved garlic butter and brush over the turkey after it’s done cooking. Turn it to high to brown up the skin.
  2. The oven: Remove turkey from the slow cooker and place in a roasting pan. Melt reserved garlic butter and brush over turkey, then broil for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

For the sake of transparency, I’m going to tell you that I did not brown this turkey in the oven. I want you to see how golden and glorious a turkey can be straight out of the crockpot. Sure, it is not incredibly crispy but it’s not soggy either. It’s brown and beautiful and incredibly juicy.

Recipes for leftover turkey:

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Crockpot Turkey with Garlic Butter

4.98 from 88 votes
This easy Crockpot Turkey recipe is for those who don’t want to be bothered with roasting! It’s slathered in garlic butter and cooks all day (or night!) in the slow cooker. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 40 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 8 servings
Calories 559cal


  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt (I use Lawry’s)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 lb whole turkey (about 3.5-4 kg)
  • ½ cup water (optional)


  • ½ cup chicken, turkey or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • additional seasonings as desired


  • To make the garlic butter, stir together the butter, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, seasoning salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, reserve 1-2 tablespoons garlic butter and set aside.
  • Loosen the skin of the turkey and spread garlic butter under the skin and on top. If you can, do this the day before and let the turkey sit with the seasoning overnight.
  • Add the water into the bottom of the crockpot (optional, but helps to keep it moist) and cook turkey for 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low, until an internal temperature of 170 degrees F is reached in the thickest part of the breast and 180 degrees F in the thigh.
  • Move turkey to a roasting pan if desired. Melt remaining garlic butter and brush over the skin. Broil for 5-8 minutes (keep an eye on it!) for a golden exterior, or simply move to a serving platter and allow to rest.
  • Strain the juices from the slow cooker into a small to medium pot. Whisk together broth and corn starch and whisk into the drippings. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat until slightly thickened. Taste and season as necessary.
  • Let turkey rest for 10-20 minutes before slicing. Serve gravy with turkey.


*Please note that the nutritional information accounts for all of the juices and butter. As some of this is left in the pot or made into stock, the actual numbers in the calorie count will be lower.
**Estimating 1 lb of turkey per person will account for the weight of the carcass and still be good sized servings. You may find 8 lbs feeds quite a few more, but if you want to be safe or have leftovers, 1 lb per person is a good estimate.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 559cal | Protein: 69g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 262mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 736mg | Vitamin A: 545IU | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg
Keywords slow cooker turkey

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Melody says

    Hello! I’m very excited to try this recipe for thanksgiving this year! Since it’s just myself, my mom, and brother this year- I got a 5.5 lb butterball turkey. How long do you think I’ll need to cook it in my crockpot on low? Thank you so much!

  2. Marcie Roberts says

    I just fixed a 14 pound turkey and cooked it on high for 7 hours. It was so tender, the meat fell off the bones and I had to carve it in the crock pot. I took one stick of butter and mixed it with about 3 tablespoons of turkey seasoning and slathered the turkey under the skin, on top, on the legs, and inside the cavity. I added 1 cup of chicken broth to the crockpot. I also took a small ramekin and filled it with apple cider and placed it in the cavity. I have fixed some tender, juicy turkeys in my lifetime but this was the best ever. I will always fix a turkey in the crockpot. Also, like other readers, my turkey was so big, I couldn’t close the lid so I covered the crockpot with 2 layers of foil and then placed the lid on top- worked perfectly! Thank you.

  3. Felicia Cox says

    Hi , I’ve made this turkey 2 times before with a breast cavity and it was great. Today I did it with a butterball 8 pounds for high 5 hours and it’s not as juicy . The meat is actually kind of dry . Is it possible to overcook?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      It is possible to overcook in the slow cooker! I don’t think 5 hours on high is too long though. I would try cooking with the breast down next time and that might make it juicier!

  4. Hector Espudo says

    Tried this out on a 12 lb turkey. I’ve deep fried, smoked used a roaster oven and cooked it traditionally in the oven, and he best I got was the roaster oven until now I may never do this any other way. I substituted lemon pepper for regular pepper but the smell as it was cooking made everyone appreciate the wait. I’m going to do another one for Christmas.

  5. Lori brennan says

    What if my crockpot lid is just shy of sealing ~ about a 1/4” on one side? I’ve tried everything to get it down all the way. Should I wrap foil around the the top lid and pot!? Help!

  6. Kris says

    I’m making this on Thursday. My Turkey is 11lbs a little closer to 12lbs. How much longer should I cook it in the crockpot pot ? I’ll be slow cooking and do I need to make any adjustments on the seasonings? Thank you! I’m so excited to make this.

    • Meg says

      I’m with Kris on this question; our grocer only had 13 lb turkey. Curiously what I could need to adjust and cooking times 😅

    • Jane says

      I’m guessing an hour per pound based on the recipe if cooked on low. I have done 7 lbs chickens on low for 7 hours, simply amazing. I too have a 11 Turkey. My plan it to estimate 11 hours and at the end pop in broiler to crisp it up. But if it’s anything like the chicken it will fall off the bone and be amazing. No more dry turkey for sure!

  7. Sarah says

    Hey Ashley!

    Quick question – can you substitute broth of some sort for the water or does it not matter? I just was thinking it might add a little something compared to just water? Thanks so much for this recipe, I’m excited to try it!

  8. Thomas McNett says

    I will be trying this recipe this Thanksgiving just wish I had known about this years ago. I love Thanksgiving turkey but absolutely hate cooking it in the oven as it required constant attention witch took away from football as well as heating up the house as live in deep south Mississippi. I just bought my fist crockpot this year and stared learning how to cook in it, and keep getting surprised at all the different things that you can cook with it, I’ve done bbq ribs that came out better than they ever did on the grill, I’ve done lasagna, cook whole chickens for chicken noodle soup and tons more, and had wondered if I could cook a turkey in it and found this recipe that is going to be such a relief with the little prep and almost no babysitting ( thank God ). Actually looking forward to cooking my turkey this year, and more important watching football. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Barbara Cooper says

    Fixed it today and loved how simple it was! The turkey is super moist and flavorful. My husband said, “This is the best turkey I’ve ever had!” I cooked a 12# turkey – started on high and then switched to low while I was away from home and then back to high for a bit. Not quite sure how long it cooked as I just waited for the button to pop and then checked it – probably about 6 1/2 hours. Will definitely use this recipe again and again!!!

  10. Lynda Lawrence says

    I am about to try this tonight but what about stuffing can you put that in the turkey in the crock pot or not?

  11. JoAnn says

    Oops, my last Comment contained a typo. I “crisped” the skin in my oven for 5 minutes, NOT 15! I also forgot to mention that I used Xanthan Gum rather than flour to thicken the Gravy. No Carbs, but even better: no LUMPS!

  12. JoAnn says

    I made this yesterday as a “practice run” for Thursday’s Dinner. And it was WONDERFUL! Mine was an 11 lb. bird, but it fit in my 6 quart crock-pot/slow-cooker nevertheless. I didn’t have either Lawry’s Seasoning Salt or Italian seasoning (I never buy either), so I Googled them and created my own. I was surprised to learn that I had ALL but 1 (the Onion Powder) of the recommended herbs and spices — Basil, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary Leaves, Thyme Leaves, Marjoram, Turmeric, Paprika, Black Pepper, and Sugar (I used Splenda); a 1/2 tsp. of each — on hand. I did have Garlic Powder on hand, also, but, as a personal preference, I used 4 tsp. of minced Garlic (from the jar) in my baste instead. To compensate for my lack of Onion Powder, I quartered a medium-sized Yellow Onion and stuffed it into the Turkey’s cavity. Since mine was a larger bird than yours, I let it cook on High for 6 hours instead of 4. I took your advice and let the skin “crisp” in the oven for 15 minutes; I made Gravy from the Liquids in the crockpot in the meantime. We (4 of us) each had 2 servings (along side of steamed Broccoli and Zucchini Boats stuffed with Sweet Italian Sausage, Bacon and Mushrooms and topped with Provolone Cheese). I did say “wonderful”, didn’t I?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      I hadn’t specified unsalted butter in the recipe and now that I did, it dropped a bit. Honestly, I’m not quite sure that the sodium amount listed is correct as it is auto generated. 1/4 teaspoon of seasoning salt is 320 mg of sodium, which is what would be in one serving. I will adjust the amount manually. Sorry about the confusion!

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