I’ve got a delicious recipe with chicken, cornbread, sweet potatoes, and corn waiting for you at the bottom of this page. But first, I want to take a second to talk about slow cookers. If there’s one appliance that should be in every busy household, it’s a slow cooker. We used to religiously do Slow Cooker Sundays, but since I’ve been working full-time days these past couple of months, I’ve been doing slow cooker meals more often during the week. It is my lifesaver. I drop the boys off at preschool/daycare first thing in the morning, come back home, then prep the slow cooker for dinner that night and let it cook all day long. When my husband comes home with the boys in the evening, dinner is ready, and we can enjoy ourselves as a family without the mad pre-dinner rush that happens otherwise.
The slow cooker that I have is an old model Hamilton Beach that we got for our wedding 7 years ago. It works great, has high, low, and warm settings, and has been a serious time-saver for us. But there’s one caveat with mine – you need to time things just right to get it to start cooking to be done in time for dinner . Not too early, not too late. There is a warm setting which keeps the food at a stable temperature without cooking it, but you need to make sure to manually switch it to warm when it’s done cooking. Wouldn’t it be great if I could find one that would just do that for me?
Oh wait, there is one!
There’s actually quite a few models of slow cookers out there with timers which will automatically switch to the warm after a certain amount of time, so you really can set it up first thing in the morning, be all gone, then come home to dinner which is perfectly cooked. I’ve got my eyes set on this one:
Do you have it? Do you love it? Please tell me what you think! It’s worked out pretty well since I usually am home during the day to be able to turn the switch to warm or off whenever I need to, but I’d still love this option!
One of our favorite recipes in the slow cooker is this BBQ chicken cornbread casserole (four of my favorite words all in one phrase, oh goody!). Your food is only as healthy as the ingredients you put in it, so I’ve made sure this one has the best possible: whole grain cornmeal, chicken, sweet potatoes, corn, and healthy barbecue sauce sweetened with maple syrup. It’s one of those I-might-need-two-or-three-helpings kind of meals that, if your kids are anything like mine, they will down in seconds. Plus since you have a balanced meal straight out of the slow cooker, there’s virtually no stress at dinner time getting them to eat healthy food! Win win!
So what about you? What’s your favorite go-to slow cooker meal? Any tips you have for getting the most out of your slow cooker? Share in the comments below, I’d love to hear!
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
- 1 batch BBQ sauce (recipe below)
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 3 Tbsp dried onion flakes
- 1 sweet potato , peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 batch cornbread (recipe below)
- 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp)
- 2 cups whole grain cornmeal
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs (free-range are the best)
- 5 Tbsp melted butter
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer until you get a BBQ sauce-like thickness, about 5-10 minutes.
- Whisk the cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
- Measure out the milk in a liquid measuring cup. Add eggs and melted butter to the measuring cup and whisk until mixed.
- Slowly pour into the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined.
- Mix the chicken, BBQ sauce, corn onion flakes, and sweet potato all together in the slow cooker.
- Now evenly pour the cornbread batter over the top.
- That's it! Seal the lid, turn it on low, then let it cook for 6 hours.
- If all you have is regular milk, you can 1 1/2 Tbsp of vinegar in with the 1 1/2 cups of regular milk and let it sit for a few minutes for the same equivalent of buttermilk.