Our most popular recipe posts and stories on Instagram involve simple dinner ideas – including pouring sauce over chicken, setting the slow cooker (or Instant Pot) timer, and waiting for dinner to be made. Here are some of our favorite sauce ideas that you can experiment with to create a delicious, nourishing dinner (and maybe some leftovers for another meal)! Just pair it with 1-2 veggie sides and a starch like sweet potato, rice or pasta!
Pour at least 2 cups of sauce on the 1-2 lb. of chicken, enough to cover it thoroughly so it doesn’t dry out. You won’t eat all of the sauce; it’s there to retain moisture during the cooking process, which is super important for young eaters! Once the sauce is added, give the chicken a quick stir.
If using the crockpot, cook it on low for 4-5 hours. If using an Instant Pot, cook it on high for 9 minutes with manual release.
We like chicken thighs because they’re more tender and easier for kids to eat, plus they’re cheaper.
A few notes:
- Many of these sauces have salt/sodium added. It is recommended to limit sodium for baby; however, some salt is OK! The guidance is 400 mg of sodium a day for babies under 1. If you serve saltier foods one day, go easy on it the next. You can also opt for some of the lower sodium sauces featured above! Toddlers can also have some sodium, and the sauce may make them more interested in what could otherwise be a more plain entree. You can also remove excess sauce.
- When cooked, some of these sauces become more watery or liquid. If you’re using the IP, once the cooking is done you can use the sauté function for a few minutes to cook off excess liquid. In the crockpot, turn off the heat and let it sit for a moment – or if you have more time you can throw the sauce/chicken into a pan and cook off some liquid. Personally this isn’t a huge issue for us – we’re looking for quick, easy and a little flavor from the sauce.
- All sauces are from Sprouts except bruschetta and Marsala sauces (Trader Joe’s).
- All sauces are dairy-free except cream of mushroom, tikka masala and Marsala sauce!
- Here’s the recipe for the delicious SkinnyMs. Slow Cooker Pomegranate Chicken.