Skip the sheet pan this holiday season.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Garlic
Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

If Brussels sprouts are on your Thanksgiving or Christmas sideboard this year, chances are you will roast them in the oven on a sheet pan. Roasting is a fantastic way to cook Brussels sprouts, but around the holidays, oven space is the only thing more valuable than your grandmother's Spode turkey plates. So free up some oven space for the turkey, and pies, and casseroles, and rolls, and let your trusty slow cooker handle the Brussels sprouts this year.

If you've never slow cooked Brussels sprouts before, you are in for a treat. The slow cooker makes them wonderfully tender through and through with little hands-on cooking. The key is to combine fresh Brussels sprouts with some liquid, like vegetable or chicken stock. For two pounds of sprouts, you'll need about ½ cup of liquid. Then, you can add whatever flavorings strike your fancy. Some ideas: Dried or fresh herbs, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, fresh lemon zest, maple syrup, a ham hock—the more flavor, the better because they will absorb all of that liquid. Cook on HIGH until the Brussels sprouts are tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Watch: How to Make Brussels Sprouts With Cornbread Croutons

If your favorite part of a roasted Brussels sprout is crispy, charred edges, you can still get that if you prepare them in a slow cooker. Transfer the cooked Brussels sprouts to a sheet pan covered in aluminum foil and broil them until they start to brown.