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Two Bean Chipotle Chili and Cornbread Dumplings

Two Bean Chipotle Chili and Cornbread Dumplings
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Pinto beans and deep dark kidney beans team up to make this meal a Fall favorite. Using Ro-Tel tomatoes makes sense since there is a whole lot of flavor going on in that little can. The chipotle chili chimes in with its smoky heat (be careful!) and little cornmeal dumplings eliminate the need for anything extra.

It’s that easy. Chipotle chiles are hot, hot, hot, so if you’re sensitive, just add a tiny bit to get started and then add more if you want it spicier. Remember, you can’t take it out once it’s in there!

Start to finish: 40 minutes
Hands on time: 20 minutes

Two Bean Chipotle Chili and Cornbread Dumplings


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil]
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 small poblano chili, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 chipotle chili, minced
  • 1 lb sausage of your choice
  • One 15 oz can pinto beans, drained
  • One 15 oz can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes with chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus 1/4 teaspoon
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Sour cream
  • Crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Chopped cilantro


1. Heat a medium pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.  When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook for 2 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add the poblano, garlic, chili powder, oregano and chipotle and sauté, stirring until the peppers are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, breaking it up and stirring until no pink remains.

2. Add the pinto beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, vegetable stock and vinegar to the pot, turn the heat to medium-low and simmer the chili while you make the dumpling dough.

3. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, butter and milk together in a medium bowl. Mix with a fork just until moistened. Be careful not to over mix or your dumplings will be tough.

4. Drop the dumplings into the simmering chili in heaping tablespoonfuls around the circumference of the pot, leaving a little space between them as they will expand. Return the lid and continue to simmer the chili for another 15 minutes or until the dumplings are cooked through. Don’t peek or they won’t rise as nicely! Test with a toothpick. It should come out clean.

5. To serve, ladle the chili and dumplings into heated bowls and garnish with the sour cream, cheese and cilantro if desired.

In the glass: A beer. A really nice cold one.

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Two Bean Chipotle Chili and Cornbread Dumplings

Two Bean Chipotle Chili and Cornbread Dumplings

Two Bean Chipotle Chili and Cornbread Dumplings

Carla Snyder

By Carla Snyder

Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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