Pinto Bean Stew with Cornbread Dumplings

This easy slow cooker recipe is unique and delicious!

Source: Based on recipe found in Eating Well cookbook.


  • Pinto Bean Stew:
  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 stalks celery, optional
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • lime juice (1 lime) or 2 Tbsp.
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cornbread Dumplings:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, finely diced
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Optional Garnishes:
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro


  1. Rinse and drain beans. Soak overnight in cold water (24 hours is best). NOTE: To quick soak, place beans in a large pot of cold water, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour.
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  3. Place soaked beans in large crockpot with 6 cups of water. Add onions, bell peppers, corn, celery (optional), chili powder, and cumin. Cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Check beans for tenderness and cook longer if necessary.
  4. Begin preparing dumpling batter once the beans are tender.
  5. For dumplings: In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add cubed butter and cut into dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two knives. The dry ingredients should resemble course meal when butter has been throughly worked in.
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  7. Add jalapeño and zest the lime into the bowl. Set the lime aside for juicing later. Add buttermilk, stir well.
  8. Once the beans are tender, cut lime in half and juice it into the stew. Then add salt, stirring well.
  9. Use a small cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon to drop 8 dumplings into stew. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour.
  10. Serve stew with a dumplings and any of the optional garnishes. Enjoy!
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August 9, 2016

The cornbread cooks right in the rich and hearty pinto bean stew. Learn how to make it in this short video.

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