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Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken on Sweet Potato Cornbread

Pulled Chicken Sandwich on a white plate with sweet potatoes in background.

Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken served on Sweet Potato Cornbread and topped with Pickled Peppers and Onions AND Coleslaw. Boy, that’s a mouthful! This recipe has a whole lot going on. It’s definitely a little bit of an involved recipe, but the end result is a huge quantity of food and you can use each individual component in several different meals.

This was the first recipe that really jumped out at me in the new Southern Living The Official SEC Tailgating Cookbook. I ended up adapting the pulled chicken and coleslaw quite a bit to suit my preferences. There’s a whole bunch of flavor and contrast going on here. Sweetness from the cornbread, tangy spiciness from the pulled chicken, and a bunch of tang from the pickled peppers and onions, plus some crunch and creaminess from the slaw.

Love the concept of the peppered peppers and onions. They definitely add a little something unexpected to this meal and would be fabulous added to a variety of different sandwiches.

Pulled Chicken Sandwich topped with coleslaw on plate.

I thought the sweet potato cornbread tasted a little eggy, and it does have 5 eggs in it which seems like a lot of eggs for cornbread. I was going to redo the recipe using another sweet potato cornbread recipe, but both my husband and son remarked that they really liked it. So I thought maybe it was just me.

For the coleslaw I used some Bourbon Honey from Cloister Honey. It is so much fun to cook with and really has a front and center bourbon taste. If you’re a bourbon lover, you have to get your hands on some of this stuff.

One thing I picked up from this recipe that I really like is placing lemon slices on top of the uncooked chicken. As it slow cooks, the chicken really picks up an amazing lemon flavor.

These sandwiches may be a little messy and complicated for tailgating, but they’re definitely perfect for having a bunch of friends over for game day.

Open- Faced Pulled Chicken Sandwich on white plate.

BBQ Chicken on Sweet Potato Cornbread

Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken on Sweet Potato Cornbread

Slow-cooked BBQ Chicken served over sweet potato cornbread and topped with pickled peppers and onions and creamy coleslaw. It's one heck of a meal!


  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup coke
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 lemon slices

Pickled Peppers and Onions

  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Ice water
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, but into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Sweet Potato Cornbread

  • 2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes, about 3 small or 2 medium
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Simple Slaw

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey, I used bourbon honey
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 (16-ounce) package shredded coleslaw mix


  • In a small bowl, stir together first 6 ingredients. Place chicken in a slow cooker and sprinkle spice mixture on top of chicken.
  • Whisk together Coke and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Carefully pour mixture between chicken pieces so as to not wash the spice mixture off the chicken.
  • Place a lemon slice on top of each piece of chicken.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours (or on LOW 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours).
  • Remove chicken from slow cooker. Discard lemon slices, chicken skin, and chicken bones. Using 2 forks, shred chicken. Skim fat from sauce in slow cooker. Return chicken to sauce.
  • For Pickled Peppers and Onions, Soak onions in ice water 10 minutes to remove some of their bite. Drain.
  • Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes and 1 cup water to boil in a small saucepan. Stir occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.
  • Place onions and peppers in a large Mason jar and pour hot vinegar mixture over them. Let stand uncovered on the counter for 1 hour. Cover and chill 24 hours.
  • For the cornbread: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in center.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, mashed sweet potato, sour cream, and melted butter. Add into well in cornmeal mixture. Stir just until the cornmeal is moistened.
  • Spoon batter into lightly greased 9-inch square pan. Bake 35 minutes, or until golden.
  • For the Slaw: Whisk together all ingredients except coleslaw mix in a large bowl. Stir in coleslaw mix and chill at least 30 minutes.
  • To assemble. cut cornbread into rectangles and then slice each piece. Top bottom half with pulled chicken, then pickled peppers and onions and coleslaw.


The Pickled Peppers and Onions need to be made 24 hours in advance of serving.
Course: Main Dish

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19 thoughts on “Slow-Cooked BBQ Chicken on Sweet Potato Cornbread”

  1. Anna Wilson

    I’ve read a few posts here and I can actually relate. I am in love with Marie Callender’s cornbread.
    They are simple to make and super yummy, especially with honey butter. I’ve been a fan of MC’s ever since I was a little girl, and have fond memories of eating it with my family back in San Jose, CA. Check out their website http://www.mccornbread.com to order your cornbread mix. They also stock a variety of gourmet products I’m sure you will enjoy.

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      Thank you for sharing this link Anna! I had no idea you could buy Marie Callender cornbread mix. I will have to order some.

  2. Amy @ Elephant Eats

    I’ve been seeing so many amazing things being done to cornbread lately! i never thought to do anything besides eat it plain (preferably hot out of the pan) before. This sounds so yummy!

  3. I can just imagine how much flavor and punch just one bite of this sandwich is packed with – looks incredibly tasty and totally worth the effort! Serving all of this on top of sweet potato cornbread is such an amazing idea!

  4. This does look involved, but it looks worth every minute to enjoy — especially as it will be around for a few days! I love the sound of sweet potato cornbread, too — gotta try that!

  5. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    I never thought about putting bbq on cornbread, it’s basically the greatest idea ever. I’m so hungry now!

  6. Vicky and Ruth

    really like all the spices in this dish and the contrast in flavor and textures. Looks really great!

  7. Cailee @ hellohealthyeating.com

    I love slow cooker bbq chicken! My mom makes it 🙂 And I love corn bread… I make mine gluten free! Great idea of having them together!

  8. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    That list of ingredients oh WOW. Everything on that list sounds amazing, so I’m assuming that these sandwiches would be the best thing ever!
    Cornbread + sweet potato + chicken + bbq + coleslaw + lemon + honey?? I want to cry because this isn’t my dinner. Oh well, it looks excellent! x

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      You’re so sweet Consuelo! Hope you’ve had a great weekend and that you got some rest!

  9. holly ; the hobbit kitchen

    oh my gosh, honestly, it’s like you post with me in mind. you always combine my very favourite flavours, and this is no exception! sweet potato? barbeque chicken? coleslaw?! honestly, stop. so impressed, as always!
    the hobbit kitchen x

  10. What a great idea to serve a sandwich on cornbread! All the flavors in this meal sound just about perfect to me! I do agree that 5 eggs sounds like a bit much though!

  11. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

    Sweet potato corn bread, how awesome! I miss corn bread. I need this whole thing in my life! I love that the slow cooked chicken as well

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