Slow-Cooker Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeño-Corn Dumplings

March/April 2013

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This healthy slow-cooker pinto bean stew recipe is bursting with veggies—onion, bell pepper, celery and corn—and topped with crunchy bits of radish and chile- and lime-flecked cornbread dumplings. If you’re pressed for time, skip the dumplings and serve this pinto bean stew straight out of the crock pot, topped with crushed tortilla chips and a sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese. Make sure to soak your dried beans before using them in the slow cooker to ensure even cooking.

Slow-Cooker Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeño-Corn Dumplings

19 Reviews for Slow-Cooker Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeño-Corn Dumplings


After reading the reviews, I used half the beans and half the water - everything else stayed the same. I don't think it would have had any flavor had I used the full amount of beans and water.

Undercooked beans, no flavor!

The picture looks so good but I made this recipe two times in a row--both were fails even though I tweaked it the second time to try to save the recipe. I am an experienced cook and I have to say this was a big waste of effort and ingredients. Beans were undercooked even though I presoaked them 23 hours and cooked longer than recipe called for to try to get them done. I've never had trouble with pinto beans in the crockpot, I make them all the time! But something about this recipe left them with a bite. And the broth was so bland! The second night, to compensate, I used canned beans and chicken broth. Still terribly bland, only this time it was soupy as well--I guess you need the starch from dried soaked beans to make it into a stew. The dumplings were pretty good the first night, cooked up beautifully (although didn't have a ton of flavor) but the second night in the soupy broth, they just didn't stand a chance and disintegrated a bit. I might still play around with this recipe but please don't waste your ingredients and time making it as written. I will be adding tomatoes, slow cooking on the stovetop (which kind of defeats the purpose of a quick recipe), and upping the spices.

healthy, slow cooker
Tasty recipe!

After reading some of the reviews I was a little hesitant to taste this but I'm so glad I didn't judge until I tasted. The stew looked just like the picture and both my husband and I enjoyed it.

I used Hatch Medium Chili Powder so maybe that made a difference since so many said it was lacking flavor. I did add a little more salt and instead of plain frozen corn I had some frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's but other than that I didn't add anything else spice wise. The jalapeno corn dumplings complimented the spice of the stew.

I will definitely make this recipe again.

Easy to make

I read the reviews and decided to add a lot more seasoning. I also swapped the water for chicken broth & I had already put in a chopped anaheim chile & a poblano pepper. Even with the added seasoning (a lot more cumin & some cayenne) I thought it was really mediocre. I did like the dumplings, however. I would make those again.


I really liked this recipe, though I did make a few substitutions (yeah, I'm gonna be one of those people haha). First, I used vegetable broth instead of water (I never use water in anything if I can add more flavor with broth). I also added more spices than the recipe called for. I just kept adding until it tasted good to me. Finally, at the last minute as I was about to put the lid on and let the stew cook, I added a little chopped turkey bacon for extra smokiness. All of these additions were really simple, and really, I find cooking is more about finding the flavors *you* like than following a recipe to the letter, but I digress.

The only complaint I have is I feel the dumplings had a little too much lime flavor, and little else. I followed the instructions for the dumplings exactly, so next time I make this I might half the amount of lime and increase the amount of salt in the dumplings.

Overall, this recipe turned out a delicious, hearty stew that you can make even in the summer and not worry about heating up the kitchen by turning on the stove. It's very filling, too - my boyfriend, who eats like a horse lol, was stuffed after one bowl. I will definitely make this again.


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