Three Sisters Savory Cobbler Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Three Sisters Savory Cobbler

In Native American lore, the three sisters refer to corn, squash, and beans, which were traditionally grown together. The cobbler filling can be made ahead and baked with the topping just before serving.

Ingredients: 

Ingredient Set Name: 

Filling

Ingredients: 

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2 Tbs. olive oil
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3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced (4 cups)
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1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
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¼ cup all-purpose flour
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2 Tbs. tomato paste
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4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
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½ cup dried black-eyed peas
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3 Tbs. strong Dijon mustard
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6 oz. kale or Swiss chard, coarsely chopped (4 cups)
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1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
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1 ½ tsp. chipotle pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, or more to taste

Ingredient Set Name: 

Topping

Ingredients: 

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1 cup low-fat milk
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2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
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1 cup all-purpose flour
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1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
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1 ½ tsp. baking powder
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½ tsp. baking soda
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¾ tsp. salt
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1 large egg

Instructions: 

1. To make Filling: Heat oil in 5-qt. Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until very brown. Add bell pepper, and cook 3 minutes more, or until bell pepper is softened. Sprinkle mixture with flour, and stir to coat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in 6 cups water, tomato paste, and garlic. Add black-eyed peas and herb bundle; cover pan, and bring to
a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until black-eyed peas are just tender.

2. Meanwhile, to make Topping: Warm milk in small saucepan until hot to touch. Remove from heat, and stir in sage. Cool 15 minutes.

3. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Whisk together egg and cooled milk mixture in large bowl. Stir in cornmeal mixture.

4. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove herb bundle from Filling. Stir in mustard, then add kale. Cover pan, and simmer 5 minutes, or until greens are wilted. Add butternut squash, stirring to combine, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chipotle pepper sauce.

5. Remove Filling from heat. Drop Topping over Filling with 2-Tbs. cookie scoop, or roll out on floured work surface, cut into rounds, and place rounds over Filling, covering completely. Bake uncovered 15 minutes, or until Topping is golden brown.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories: 
206
Protein: 
7 g
Total Fat: 
4 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
Carbohydrates: 
37 g
Cholesterol: 
17 mg
Sodium: 
405 mg
Fiber: 
6 g
Sugar: 
6 g
Yield: 
Serves 12

Comments on this Recipe

the timing is off for the addition of the butternut squash. The recipe says for 10 minutes to simmer and then add the cornmeal mixture and put in oven for 15. However, we had to simmer for over 30 minutes before the squash was at the ready stage to even go in the oven for the final cooking portion. Perhaps it could be changed in the body of the recipe for others too or you will have a very hard squash component.

Squash needs to cook longer. Also the recipe only has 2 of the 3 sisters. The corn was left out of the recipe.

I've never made a cobbler with corn meal (the third sister :-), but it sounds delish. For ease, we plan to use frozen, cubed butternut squash, which I've found to cook rather quickly. Thank you!

After reading these comments, I changed a few things before attempting the recipe for the first time. (I also used canned black-eyed peas.) I added the squash in step 1 and simmered for 20 minutes rather than 30-45 as stated. Added the canned peas and kale at once (modified step 4) and simmered for an additional 10. With these changes, I'd make the recipe again.

I also used canned beans instead of the dried version. I added a little sugar in the topping so it would be more like corn bread. I thought the recipe was good but I wouldn't make it again, too many other things to try out there.

My partner and I really did not enjoy this recipe, which is a rarity. I substituted dried beans for canned beans, cooked the squash for longer, and tried to make some other small changes to the dish to "save" it from being a disaster. Nothing seemed to work. I hope others out there enjoy it, but we will not be eating this again.

I made this as the vegetarian entree for our Harvest Dinner at Church, and it was a real hit. Very savory. I used canned instead of dry beans, and did not add hot sauce. The next time I make this, I will add some sugar to the dumplings.