Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Here's a story about Thanksgiving ... and tradition. 

Every year Thanksgiving comes around, and every year my grandma (we call her Bunn ... long story) makes the stuffing. That's the rule. Bunn makes the stuffing and the pie. And you don't mess with that. 

Bunn's stuffing always had raisins in it - I love her stuffing, but I don't really like raisins. And one year, when I was about 4 years old, as we were passing delicious dishes around the table, Bunn said, "Now Anna, there aren't any raisins in the stuffing this year."

My mom looked really confused. Then Bunn told her a story. You see, I hated raisins so much, I thought it was necessary to call Bunn up and tell her so.

My mother was HORRIFIED. How could her daughter do something so insulting? My 4-year-old self clearly didn't understand what the big deal was - sneaking behind my parents' backs to call my dear, sweet grandma and tell her something she'd been making for years was horribly disgusting. (This was also how my mom found out I could use the phone on my own! Ha!)

Anyway, I hear about that phone call EVERY Thanksgiving. But you know what? There hasn't been a raisin in the stuffing ever since! 

Why am I telling you this story? Well, mostly just because I think it's funny. And partly because I know every family has some similar traditions each holiday. Every once in a while, it's nice to switch up those traditions, which leads me to our recipe.

The other day I felt like experimenting and thought our Caramelized Onion Dip Starter might be a nice change from the typical Thanksgiving candied yams. Rather than rich sweetness, how about a more savory dish with hints of garlic and bell pepper? YUM!

And the best part - they're made in the slow cooker! So while your oven is CRAMMED on Thanksgiving day, your sweet potatoes can be cooking away on the countertop! You'll need about five minutes in the oven JUST before serving, but that's doable!

So this year, don't be afraid to switch up a tradition!

- Anna

Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lbs. sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup Caramelized Onion Dip Starter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2-3 cups french fried onions

Directions

Slice sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes; place in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine Caramelized Onion Dip Starter, brown sugar and vanilla. Pour mixture over sweet potatoes; toss to coat. Sprinkle salt over potatoes. Cover; cook on high for about 3 hours. Leave the potatoes in the slow cooker and mash. Add milk, using mixer to combine. Transfer potatoes to a casserole dish; top with french fried onions. Place in a pre-heated oven (350°) for 5-10 minutes - just long enough to heat topping. Serve immediately.

Tips and Hints

  • You can make these ahead of time - but it will greatly increase your oven time. Prep the potatoes, but don't put the french fried onions on top; refrigerate. Preheat your oven to 375°. Bake, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or until heated through. Add topping and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • French fried onions are great as a topper on this dish, but if you don't like them, simply omit them.
  • For whatever reason, my grocery store only had GIGANTIC sweet potatoes this time around. I typically try to write recipes stating how many medium-sized sweet potatoes I use, but because I only used three of these enormous spuds, pounds was a better measure.

Hosting Thanksgiving this year? This always helps keep things a bit simpler - and guests can choose what they want! Like - a double serving of delicious potatoes. 
TS Tip - Hosting Turkey Day

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