Roasted Garlic Spoonbread Slow Cooker Recipe

Hello, there! I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

We sure did----we laid kind of low and played in the backyard and went to the park.

The weather finally cooperated long enough for me to get some vegetables into the ground, and my fingers are crossed that I actually remember to water them this year.

Adam barbecued on Saturday (because it would be un-American to not barbecue during Memorial Day weekend!), and I played around with a spoonbread recipe I was given and made a really savory and delicious side dish in the crockpot.

There's a LOT Of garlic in here---enough to ward off a pack of vampires.

The Ingredients.

serves 4-6
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used the stuff in the can)
  • 1 head garlic, cloves peeled but intact (about 15 cloves)

The Directions.

Use a 2-quart slow cooker (1.5 quarts is fine, just cook a bit longer---I used one of the sections of the crockpot trio).

In a large mixing bowl, combine cornmeal, sugar, pepper, milk, melted butter, and eggs until you've got a nice batter. No need to use a mixer---just whisk it together until there aren't any big lumps.

Stir in Parmesan cheese and garlic cloves. Pour the batter into a greased slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or on high for 2 to 3.

Your spoonbread is finished when the center is set and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

We had ours alongside salmon patties (frozen, from Costco--no filler, totally gluten free, yay!) Adam barbecued. It'd pair nicely with roasted chicken or pork chops, too.

The Verdict.

The garlic roasts inside the cornbread, creating a moist and savory side dish.

The girls picked the garlic out (they were huge cloves, and a bit much for them), but ate all the cornbread. I liked the tiny hint of spice from the cayenne.

I sprinkled paprika on for the picture. In retrospect, I should have used smoked paprika---it would have added a nice hint of smokiness.

super good.

On a side note:

I'm thinking of doing a summer book club, if you're interested. At first I thought I could swing a book a month (3 books), but I think that's too much.

Maybe 2--and discuss on twitter in mid-July and then the end of August? I'm not sure---just thinking/typing out loud...

if you have any ideas for good books, I'd love to hear them!

only 8 more days of school!!

Do you love this recipe?

Please share it with your friends!

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at June 02, 2010

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What they say about this recipe

  1. Ya know, I was planning on making chili with oven baked fries tonight but I may have to make chili and this instead because that sounds way too good to not make....

  2. Oh, let's read "The Help" - I've heard it's fabulous!!

  3. I just read The Help and it was GREAT! It's what I was going to suggest. It's what we're doing for our June book club book. Author is Kathryn Stockett.

  4. I only have a 3 (or is it 4?) quart slow cooker. Will that work for this?

  5. ooh, I'll look into The Help.

    Vicky, yes, it'll cook just fine in a 3-4 quart, but will cook faster.
    Keep an eye on it after a few hours.

  6. I read the Help. it was good. I would suggest the Hunger Games series, though. we could read book 1(the Hunger Games) and 2 (Catching Fire). the 3rd and last book (Mockingjay) comes out mid August, so everyone would be ready to go!

  7. I'm definitely going to try this (I love garlic!) but maybe with a few ingredient variations. One thing I'd suggest is not using fat free milk for anything. It's a fake food, and besides, healthy fats are good for us! Fats are especially needed for our kids' brains to grow right. :) Sorry to get going, that's just a little pet-peeve of mine!


  8. There is a new book that sounds interesting that I am hoping to pick up this week. "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake". Its supposedly about a young girl who discovers that she can feel the emotions of a person through tasting the food that they have made.

  9. Do you know how to convert this to make in a dutch oven? I know this is a slow-cooker blog, but this recipe sounds great (especially for my brother-in-law who is gluten intolerant), and we're supposed to bring something to a dutch oven dinner-- I'm always on the lookout for good GF bread recipes.

  10. Anything with garlic gets my vote! This looks great! Thanks!

  11. Spoonbread is always a favorite. I swear one restaurant near here stays open just because of its spoonbread! I've never seen such savory spoonbread though--love the garlic aspect. I'll use coconut milk and maybe some almond flour in place of the Parmesan. It will be different, but I bet it will be good. :-)

    I agree that The Help is excellent!

    Thanks, Steph!


  12. I just tried this, and have one question -- should it separate? There was a really dense layer of cornmealbread at the bottom, and then a layer of egg/milk mixture at the top. It was cooked - skewer came out nice and clean, and the garlic was yummy.

    I think my two teenagers at a total of 1 tsp of it.

  13. Hi Carolyn--I think what you describe is what differentiates cornbread from spoonbread.
    LOL on the teenagers!

  14. Just noticed Kelly's comment up there about the fat free milk...I, too, noticed that you always use low-fat or fat-free milk in your book (which I LOVE, by the way!). I usually substitute whole milk since this is what we use (I agree with Kelly on the good fats for kids' brains, and all 4 of my kids are slim, so no weight issues to be concerned with). The recipes have all turned out fine with the substitution.

    Thank you for all of your great recipes! And this looks like another yummy one...

  15. I just tried this for dinner and had the same results as Carolyn. There was an egg layer on top and a corn meal layer on the bottom. We tried to it eat but we had to pitch the entire thing because no one would touch it. Not sure what went wrong!

  16. C in FL6/03/2010

    Sign me up for the book club!!!!

  17. I'm in on the book club. Love books.

  18. I really enjoy your blog, but I have a tip to any adventurers out there: cutting this recipe in half and using the Little Dipper doesn't work. :( I'll have to try it the real way another day.

  19. I've been reading "Little Bee." It's from the perspective of two different women. Very engaging.

    I also recently finished "my name is nujood, aged 10 & divorced." It's based on a true story.

  20. Hi Stephanie,
    I just bought your book...I know, better late than never, tho, right? I went through the book and marked all the recipes I want to try and let's just say that I hope my crockpot is up to it! Wednesday is my grocery day and then let the fun begin!

  21. Anonymous6/07/2010

    Ugggggggggh I'm with shaocat and Carolyn, I tried it today and it sepparated into 2 layers. Not very yummy.

  22. Brenda James6/07/2010

    Made this twice over the weekend: delish.

    I wonder if one of the problems with separation is if the crock is too big or not sealing properly? My crockneeds a layer of foil to seal properly, and then the bread is super moist and pudding-like. Just like my grandfather used to make it.

  23. So is this meant to seperate then? Mine did into an eggy omlete with roasted garlic in it and a thick polenta type layer. My daughter and hubs wouldn't touch it but I had a go at the cornmeal bit and it was fairly nice. If this *is* how spoonbread is meant to come out I think it might be a bit too different for my British tastebuds!

  24. Anonymous10/19/2010

    After reading other recipes for spoonbread, I wonder if the recipe needs additional steps to prevent the layering everyone mentioned.

    1. "Pre-heat" the slow cooker on high while completing step 2.
    2. Mix the liquid & corn meal & cook on top of the stove. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes stirring/wisking continually. Then, wisk all remaining items and the pre-cooked mixture together.
    3. Pour into slow cooker & cook according to the current recipe.

    I will try this tomorrow & post back.


  25. When I mixed everything together, I could definitely see the split that everyone has been talking about. I tried blending it with a hand mixer and it was still split.
    I tried the above comment from Anonymous - cooking it on the stove for 5 minutes. Good news - it combined! When I poured it in the slow cooker, there wasn't a layer of corn meal on the bottom. The only problem was, it turned out dense as mud! :( I'm trying it now and it's inedible.
    If anyone else has tips, please let us know!

  26. MadisonHomeCooker1/29/2011

    This was super easy and delish! I cut larger garlic cloves in half or quarters, which helped them get tender. The garlic infused the rest of the spoonbread with a gentle and lovely garlic flavor. I was glad for that because I was worried about it being too sweet, which wasn't a problem. I served it as a side dish with chili, but I ate it first because I didn't want the chili flavors to overpower the subtle goodness of the spoonbread. My kids ate it (at first with some skepticism), but we took out the chunks of garlic. It was also very tasty leftover for lunch the next day. I'll be making this again when I need some easy comfort food! Would be good as a side dish with roasted meat or a variety of roasted veggies.

  27. Mine turned out fine but cooked very quickly. I didn't follow the recipe exactly, either. I don't have a mini cooker, so I used a 4-quart crockpot. I doubled the dry ingredients but not the wet ingredients. I used 2 cups of coconut milk (thinking that the higher fat content would be less likely to curdle or separate) and only 4 eggs (I thought 8 was way too many to put in the small amount of dry ingredients). I used Stephanie's wording of "nice batter" to guide my judgment of the mixture of ingredients. I did double the cheese and garlic. Yum! It could have used a little more wet stuff--either milk or egg or both. I also cooked it on high because I didn't want a slow cooking time to throw off the mixture, and I stirred it a few times also. It didn't separate at all, and it was a huge hit at our pig roast. This amount of batter in the 4-quart cooker filled it less than halfway, so I would have liked to have more bread, but I was happy with the results.

  28. Did anyone figure out the separation issue and yield good results?

  29. Anonymous7/01/2015

    Recipe sounds delicious, but I do have one question before I try it: why do you leave the garlic cloves whole?

  30. Hi anon, great question. You don't need to, but I like how they steam and roast right in the bread which mellows out the flavor substantially and creates a mushy garlicky surprise.

    if you chop them up, the flavor is all there, but you don't get the differentiation with the texture.

    I hope this helps a bit!!