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Challenge: Slow Cooker to the Rescue

Slow-Cooker Sweet and Smoky Corn and Pinto Bean Stew

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This smoky, sweet stew has endless variations. It can be served over rice, inside of a tortilla, or simply in a bowl topped with Cheddar cheese or crushed tortilla chips. Now that I’ve learned that there’s no need to soak dry beans before cooking them, I’m going to be making them a lot more often instead of using canned beans.

Slow-Cooker Sweet and Smoky Corn and Pinto Bean Stew

  • Servings: 1 ½ cups
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cooking Time: 6 hr


  • 16 oz. dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 16 oz. frozen roasted corn, or use regular frozen corn kernels
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium white or sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • ½ lb. smoked ham or soy chorizo, chopped
  • 16 oz. medium or spicy salsa
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic, (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, with a little of the sauce (optional)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, for serving (optional)
  • 1 cup tortilla chips, crushed, for serving (optional)


  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the cheese and chips in the slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
  2. Serve it immediately topped with the cheese and chips, if desired, or refrigerate it for up to 4 days.

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