With Video Tutorial!
~ Looking for a quick and easy dinner that’ll have the whole family asking for seconds? These Crock-Pot Chicken Caesar Sandwiches are a snap to make, and the homemade Caesar dressing is packed with protein! Healthy and delicious! ~
Now that the kids are out of school, summer is already in full swing. This pretty much means that we’re on the run from sun-up to sun-down. And I love it! It’s a break from school and our regular schedule … with loads of really fun things to do!!
But all the activities can leave us a little hungry, ya know? Sure, we make Snack Bites like it’s our job. Those totally keep us going during the day.
But mealtime is when we seriously refuel. Healthy, nutritious, filling. Yeah … that’s what we need! Dinner!
“Well, gosh, Gretchen! I’m so busy during the day with trips to the zoo, baseball games, hanging at the pool, day camps, family bike trips … how can I possibly provide a wholesome dinner?” you say in your head (but I can somehow hear you).
You guys!! Remember?? The slow cooker!!
No, no. I know what time of year it is. And no, I’m not crazy. (Well … I guess that depends on who you ask!)
I know a lot of you hear crock pot and you immediately think of wintertime soups and chilis and stews.
But I’m not gonna stop with the crock pot recipes until every.last.one.of.you realizes how amazing those little electric gems are! Especially in the summer!
Sure, crock pots and stews go together like a stamp on a letter. Totally awesome for those chilly winter nights!
But … crock pots and effortless summer dinners go together like … ummm … pool days and flip-flops! Or sunshine and smiles! Errr … you know what I mean. Go with me.
Before I dash out the door, I can toss some chicken and spices in – and poof! Dinner is ready when we get home! It’s … simply magical!
Oh! And, the kitchen doesn’t get all heated up from the oven being on. Hot kitchen on a hot summer day … ewwww.
And clean up is a breeze. Absolutely simple. I love that. ‘Cause we certainly don’t slow down after dinner!
Ahh … yes … summer crock pot cooking is bliss!! Are you on board now??? It’s the most perfect solution for busy summer days!!
And as if life in the summer wasn’t super fun and exciting enough, I decided it was time to really amp things up around here … and my crock pots (yes, I own multiples) will play a key role in feeding us this summer.
Are you on the edge of your seat? What could it be?? What is this super fun-ness I’m adding??
Well, I’m stoked about my upcoming … total kitchen remodel!! Gahhhh!!!! I can hardly contain myself!!
Our kitchen now, just doesn’t really work for me. Sure there are things about it I like, but there are also things that drive me cuckoo. So we are (ahem, I mean, my trusty contractor will be) totally gutting the kitchen, down to the studs and starting from scratch!
Super exciting! And a teeeeeeensy bit stressful!
Even though I’ve been dreaming about a new kitchen since we moved here five years ago, I’ve been a little, shall we say, overwhelmed with all of the decisions that needed to be made.
Did you know there are approximately 4,823,098,492 shades of white/off white/cream? Good grief! And just as many choices for flooring! It’s definitely been a big project planning everything, but we’re incredibly excited for the outcome!
But … for the five weeks or so that my kitchen will be in various phases of unbuilding and rebuilding, I really won’t be able to use the stove. So we’ll grill a lot … and I’ll be using my slow cookers a TON!!
If one thing is certain, I know my family will request these Chicken Caesar Sandwiches several times over the course of the summer. These are a fave!
My littlest even requested that I serve them at her birthday party a few years ago! That’s huge coming from a kiddo! So I made these tasty sandwiches, as well as sloppy joes. It was a fantastic family party, and everyone loved the food!
Years ago, I’d seen a really simple recipe on Pinterest for Chicken Caesar Sandwiches. There weren’t even any spices! It called for bottled Caesar dressing, but I had trouble finding one that I loved the taste of, and that I felt good serving to my family. I thought my Chicken Caesar Sandwich days were over. Then one day, I was visiting Hidden Fruits and Veggies … and Kelly shared a recipe for homemade Caesar dressing! I coulda reached through my screen and hugged her!
So I knew it could be done! I could make my own dressing for these sandwiches! One that would make Caesar himself proud! I was inspired!
The dressing for these sandwiches is creamy with just a little zing from the Dijon mustard. Best part – this dressing is made with ingredients you’ve already got on hand! So that means no anchovies (even if you’ve got those, we won’t need ’em!). Also, many Caesar dressings contain raw egg – but not mine! Nope! We keep things simple, easy, and not questionable here at THK. 🙂
So even if your kitchen won’t be in a constant state of disarray this summer, I still highly recommend becoming besties with your slow cooker over the next few months. It’s the easiest, fastest, most amazing way to get a home-cooked meal on the table! And … psssst … you just might want to start with these chicken sandwiches!
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 5.3-ounce containers nonfat plain Greek yogurt (or about a scant 1 1/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/16 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Whole wheat buns or whole wheat pita pockets
- Romaine lettuce
- Additional Parmesan cheese, if desired
- Place chicken in slow cooker and add water.
- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper on chicken.
- Cook for 4-5 hours on high, or 5-6 hours on low, until chicken is thoroughly cooked but still moist and fall-apart tender. (See note.)
- Meanwhile, stir together Greek yogurt, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/16 teaspoon pepper. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. (You can make the dressing ahead of time and cover and refrigerate it until needed.)
- Near the end of cooking (and preferably about 30 minutes before serving), check chicken to be sure it's fully cooked and then shred cooked chicken (using two forks). Stir reserved Caesar dressing into chicken in crock pot, and then continue cooking for about 30 minutes more, to allow flavors to meld. (See note.)
- Immediately before serving, stir in fresh parsley and remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
- Serve on whole wheat buns or in whole wheat pita pockets with Romaine lettuce, and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Slow cooker variations: The exact heat and speed of cooking can vary between different slow cookers. Some slow cookers, especially newer models, may cook hotter and faster than others. Our research has also led us to believe that some models allow for imperceptible evaporation of liquid (although you’d expect that no liquid would be lost when using a slow cooker), which can leave your recipes less saucy and moist. Because this particular recipe uses very little liquid, it’s particularly sensitive to these variations. No need to worry – it’s delicious even when cooked until it’s a bit drier, particularly since the creamy Caesar dressing adds moisture. The key is simply to control the cook time and temperature to yield the most juicy, fall-apart-tender result.
Adding Caesar dressing: For best results, leave the Caesar dressing and chicken in the crock pot for 30 minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to develop and meld together. You can eat the sandwiches immediately after stirring in the Caesar dressing, but the flavors may be stronger and more pronounced.
Recipe wording updated slightly for clarity 4/7/17.
Caesar dressing adapted from Hidden Fruits and Veggies