"Grown Up" Green Bean Casserole and Savory Sweet Potato Bake slow cooker recipes

I went to New York for 22 hours this week, and got to cook with Rachael Ray! We talked Thanksgiving in the slow cooker, and how slow cooking is the best thing ever when in comes to Thanksgiving (or any Holiday, really) because the cookers do all the work while you get to enjoy your guests.

I'm so happy I got to go --- it was a great experience, and Rachael couldn't have been any nicer. And! I didn't cry!

It'll air on Monday, November 18th, right in time for you to plan your Thanksgiving dinner. Oh! and Whoopie Goldberg was in the dressing room next to mine and I saw her in the hall but I didn't want to be the freak who hunts down celebrities so I just did a little nod like a cool, calm, collected person would.

I want to share the recipes with you that I made on the show. I came up with them last Saturday after talking with their culinary crew --- they wanted something a bit different. I think you're going to love these, but I must admit that I never took any pictures at all when I recipe-tested. I was too pumped up on adrenaline and our house is in absolute chaos right now because we are moving.


(more on that later, but it's a house that is 5 houses away and it doesn't have a kitchen except for one from 1947 and that doesn't count because there is no dishwasher or even a garbage disposal. BUT! It's bigger than this one and I get to have an office for the first time ever and now I have a picture of me and Rachael to hang in it!)

"Grown Up" Green Bean Casserole
serves 8-10

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 1/2 pounds sliced white button mushrooms
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp of each)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup chicken broth
2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces 
1 cup French’s onion topping, optional (to add before serving, optional, NOT gluten free)

[just learned on Facebook that a good GF alternative are FunYuns! :-) ]

Heat butter in a large skillet until it has just begun to brown. Add mushrooms and stir. Cover, and cook on medium heat for a good ten minutes, stirring every so often, until mushrooms have shrunk in size and have wilted. Add 2 turns of the pepper grinder to the pan. This will take longer than you think it should – but don’t rush the mushrooms!
Add the onion to the mushrooms, along with a few more turns of the pepper grinder and a light sprinkling of kosher salt. Stir. Cook on med-high heat until the onions are translucent. Drop in the cream cheese and chicken broth. Cover the skillet again, and cook on medium heat until the cheese has melted fully. Turn off the stove.
Put the trimmed and rinsed green beans into an empty 6-quart slow cooker insert, and pour the mushroom mixture evenly over the top. Stir to disperse ingredients. Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for about 2 hours. Stir again, and serve as-is, or top with a cup of French Fried onions or the smashed FunYuns.

Savory Sweet Potato Bake
serves 8 to 10

1 tablespoon salted butter
5 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, and sliced in 2-inch rounds that are about 1/4-inch thick.
2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
14 to 16 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese, divided
2 cups heavy cream

Smear the  butter all over the 6-quart insert of your slow cooker. Put 1/3 of the sweet potato rounds into your slow cooker, and sprinkle on 1/3 teaspoon of chipotle chile powder and a 1/3 teaspoon of kosher salt. Add 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Repeat layers until you have run out of ingredients. Pour heavy cream evenly over the top.
Cover, and cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for about 2 hours.

 The Verdict.

They are both so tasty!! I know there's some work to do with the green beans in that you've got to brown the mushrooms and then the onion, but the end effect is amazing. Don't put the onions into the pan until the mushrooms are brown, though, because evidently the mushrooms won't brown because of some reason I can't remember. And I'm kind of jet-lagged and may have had an $8 bottle of Sutter Home wine on the plane.
Anyway. VERY GOOD. The sweet potatoes have a mellow heat that sneaks up the back of your tongue and the salty flavor of the gruyere is to die for. But, Adam didn't really like them. He sort of wants his sweet potatoes to remain sweet. But that's okay because I can make them that way, too!

Have a wonderful day!
Here are some more Thanksgiving Recipes if you need them!:
Round up 1 
Round up 2
Holiday Food

Do you love this article?

Please share it with your friends!

Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at November 14, 2013

Sign up for the A Year of Slow Cooking newsletter and get the Top Ten Reader Favorite Recipes sent directly to your inbox!

What they say about this article

  1. you're moving?! i don't even know how to process this!

  2. :-) just down the street, Laura! And the couch is coming with us and you can sleep on it whenever you'd like! always, always.

  3. The green bean recipe was looking promising by we have dairy allergy and sensitivities in our family. I was going to omit the french fried onion for gluten free...
    We have a wedding supper the Sat of Thanksgiving. Any suggestions on doing a more plain green beans in crockpot.....we have 5 lbs of them to do for 25 people?

  4. Hi Sandra, the brown butter mushrooms provide lots of flavor and I'd suggest cooking them the same way and you can either simply omit the cream cheese or make a roux with soy or rice milk to add with the broth.
    This is how I've done it in the past without cream cheese:
    in a small sauce pan, melt
    1 tablespoon butter
    whisk in 3 tablespoons flour (rice or gf baking mix)
    1/2 cup milk (soy, rice, hemp)
    1/2 cup chicken broth (this will be the broth, don't add the other 1/2 cup from the original recipe)
    bit of salt bit of pepper

    whisk until combined, then take it off the stove and whisk a bit more so there aren't any lumps. Now pour this into the pan with the mushrooms and onion. You'll have a beautiful creamy sauce!

  5. Stephanie! Congrats on the new house. And, congrats on your appearance on Rachael Ray! I'm literally watching her show right now, as a peruse my favorite blogs. =) I can't wait to see Monday's show!!


  6. Congrats, Stephanie! So happy for you and all of your many successes!

  7. Wow, Steph! You've been busy! I wondered where you were flying off to the other day when I saw your tweet! Can't wait to see the show and thanks for these new recipes. :-)


  8. "mushrooms won't brown because of some reason I can't remember ... "

    Stephanie. You are such a real person and I just love it. When I saw that comment about the muchrooms I just wanted to reach over and give you a hug!!

    Consider yourself hugged!

  9. You are AMAZING Stephanie! No one more deserving than you of all this success.

  10. I was sooooo excited to see you on Rachael Ray again!! I feel like I knew you "way back when" I started following your blog only a week or so after you started. It's still the first place I look when looking for slow cooker recipes. Congrats on all your success!

  11. i really like this blog but i'm from UK and a newbie when it comes to cooking but it just takes me too long to decipher what certain things are in the UK - 1, cream cheese? i have never heard of this over here haha - it takes me SO long to get the UK alternative to any US recipe ... i think i'll go back to beans on toast