Pinto Bean Stew with Cornbread Dumplings

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 899 Posts
April 7, 2015

stew in bowlThis 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.
  2. soak beans

  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. add beans and water
    add chili powder and cumin
    stir stew
  5. Begin preparing dumpling batter once the beans are tender.
  6. 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.
  7. add baking powder and salt
    stir dry ingredients
    cut in butter

  8. Add jalapeño and zest the lime into the bowl. Set the lime aside for juicing later. Add buttermilk, stir well.
  9. zest lime
    add buttermilk
    dumpling dough
  10. Once the beans are tender, cut lime in half and juice it into the stew. Then add salt, stirring well.
  11. add lime juice
  12. Use a small cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon to drop 8 dumplings into stew. Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 hour.
  13. add dumplings 1
    add dumplings 2
    cooked dumplings
  14. Serve stew with a dumplings and any of the optional garnishes. Enjoy!
  15. Pinto Bean Stew with Cornbread Dumplings

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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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