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Zesty Taco Stew with Cheddar-Stuffed Cornbread Dumplings

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Serves 6 | Prep Time 25 | Cook Time 60

Why I Love This Recipe

Growing up in Arizona, I spent much of my childhood indulging in spicy Southwestern flavors. Every Friday we would gather around the kitchen for taco night, a wonderful tradition that brought us all together with warm conversation and full bellies. As a grown woman now living in the south, I wanted to bring together a local favorite and a childhood one with this dish. This recipe is my Southwestern twist on chicken and dumplings -- a taco stew covered with gooey, cheesy cornbread dumplings. It's simple, delicious, and reminds me of home.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 oz. pkg. taco seasoning
15.5 oz. can pinto beans, drained
14 oz. petite diced tomatoes
4 oz. diced green chilies
10 oz. can medium enchilada sauce
1 cup finely shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided

12 oz. cornbread mix
1/2 cup self-rising all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
4 oz. diced green chilies
10 x 1/2-inch cubes sharp cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef to hot skillet and cook, using wooden spoon to break meat up into small pieces, until meat is browned, 5-7 minutes. Add onion and red pepper to skillet with beef and cook, stirring, 3-5 minutes until vegetables are softened. Pour in taco seasoning and stir until meat and vegetables are coated. Pour in beans, tomatoes, chilies, and enchilada sauce, and stir to combine. Turn heat down to low and let simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on top of stew and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together cornbread mix and flour. Stir in milk, oil, egg, and chilies until batter is thick and smooth. To form dumplings, place one heaping tablespoon of batter onto stew. Press one cube of cheese into the middle of the batter, then top with a second heaping tablespoon of batter, ensuring cheese is entirely covered with batter. Repeat until stew is evenly covered with dumplings. Sprinkle top of dumplings with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Place skillet in preheated oven and bake 45-50 minutes, until cheese on top is browned and dumplings in center of skillet are cooked through. Remove from heat and let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.

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