Healthy Brunswick Stew with Shredded Chicken

This healthy Brunswick stew is just like the southern classic, but made with simple and wholesome ingredients — no ketchup or bbq sauce needed!

Brunswick stew is a Virginia classic, but it isn’t something I grew up eating. I was first introduced to the thick stew when I met Isaac in college. He and his roommates loved Mrs. Fearnow’s and they would stock up whenever it was on sale. Truth be told, Isaac still likes it and there’s a can in our pantry right now.

Staring into the pantry one night I saw the yellow can and finally decided I needed to make a homemade healthy Brunswick stew for him.

EASY & HEALTHY Brunswick Stew with Shredded Chicken

After a little research I found that Brunswick stew likely originated in Brunswick, Virginia during the 19th century and it was originally made with squirrel meat.

I looked at a couple recipes online for inspiration, but ultimately ended up using the ingredient list from a can of Mrs. Fearnow’s as my guide because it’s short and overall pretty wholesome. Some of the recipes online called for cups of ketchup, chili sauce, bbq sauce and creamed corn. I’m not a fan of using a ton of packaged products (because they usually have a lot of added sugar and preservatives) so this recipe skips those things.

The only packaged sauces you’ll need are worcestershire and hot sauce. Although if you decide you want to add a little bbq sauce, you can use my homemade healthy bbq sauce recipe.

EASY & HEALTHY Brunswick Stew with Shredded Chicken

To cook up the stew, I used a new Lagostina 5-quart casserole pan from Macy’s that I was sent to review. It worked great, providing even heat distribution and a non-stick coating for easy cooking and clean-up. The flared edges allowed for dripless pouring when transferring the leftover stew into a storage container and the pan is dishwasher safe so I was able to toss it right into the dishwasher after dinner.

Added bonus — the polished hammered stainless steel lid is really pretty. Maybe it’s just a food blogger thing, but I’m all about kitchen tools that are functional and look good. (PS – If you’re interested in trying out the pan yourself, scroll down to the bottom of this post to learn how you can win one!)

EASY & HEALTHY Brunswick Stew with Shredded Chicken

I know it’s technically spring, but if you’re looking for one last warm and comforting meal before you start gearing up for light and cooling spring meals, I highly recommend making a batch of this healthy Brunswick stew. It’s loaded with flavor and truly something the whole family will enjoy!

EASY & HEALTHY Brunswick Stew with Shredded Chicken

As you’ll notice, the recipe calls for cooked shredded chicken. I did this purposefully so that you’re able to use up leftover shredded chicken you already have on hand, but you can also make a quick batch or use shredded chicken from a store-bought or homemade rotisserie chicken. Any and all of the above will work!

This healthy Brunswick stew is just like the southern classic, but made with simple and wholesome ingredients -- no ketchup or bbq sauce needed!

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Two bowls and a large pot of Brunswick stew.

Healthy Brunswick Stew

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6


A healthy version of the southern classic loaded with and shredded chicken.


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 small red skinned potatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 32 oz carton low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
  • hot sauce, for serving


  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large casserole pan/dutch oven. Add onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until fragrant and soft.
  2. Add in carrots, celery and potatoes, canned tomatoes, broth, corn, lima beans, worcestershire sauce, parsley, bay leaf, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat simmer for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally. Remove bay leaf and add in shredded chicken, stir to combine and cook an additional 5 minutes or until chicken is heated through. If stew seems too thin, you can mash up some of the potatoes with a fork to create a thicker broth. If the stew is too thick, you can add more chicken broth or water, starting with 1/2 cup.
  3. Once stew is ready to serve, place in bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with hot sauce so everyone can add as much or as little spice as they like.


  • Serving Size: About 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 273
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Fat: 5g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 20g

This healthy Brunswick stew is just like the southern classic, but made with simple and wholesome ingredients -- no ketchup or bbq sauce needed!

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Recipe rating

    1. Ellen
      February 26, 2021 AT 11:46 pm

      This is sooo good. My husband loves it. I make it in the Instant pot and we have been eating it almost once a week.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 27, 2021 AT 1:11 pm

        So glad this recipe was a hit!! Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    2. Rick
      January 27, 2021 AT 10:22 am

      Never heard of it before seeing on your IG, so I made this Saturday night. Good reviews from my house. I added a drained can of great northern beans & used less corn. Will make it again. Like the recipes. thanks

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 27, 2021 AT 6:59 pm

        Woo!! So glad this was a hit. Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it, Rick.

    3. Eleanor Harris
      January 22, 2021 AT 8:23 am

      I scrolled down but didn’t see any information or link to win the pot you used.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 22, 2021 AT 1:24 pm

        Ahh! The giveaway has ended. Sorry for any confusion.

    4. Melissa Gentry Causby
      October 8, 2020 AT 1:35 pm

      This stew was really good, but I was raised on my Daddy’s, cooked in a big black cast iron cauldron over a fire in the backyard. His had a lot more kick to it, so I would recommend adding at least 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and at least 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. His also contained a few squirrels . . . 😜Thanks! I really enjoyed it and will be making again!

    5. Jenny Baker
      January 30, 2020 AT 9:36 pm

      I’m from Brunswick Co., Virginia, and have helped peel potatoes with my family for my grandfather’s VFW’s Brunswick Stew… I stumbled upon your recipe in a story on soups, can’t wait to make your version! 😁

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 1, 2020 AT 7:10 pm

        Definitely come back and let me know what you think once you try this recipe, Jenny! 🙂

    6. Mina
      January 27, 2020 AT 7:56 pm

      I subbed the lima beans for canned white kidney beans and canned corn instead of frozen, it was delicious! My new weekday go to recipe! It is soooo easy to make!

      TIP: IF you’re not using left over chicken, boil a package of chicken breasts and use the broth for the soup! Much healthier! Shred the chicken while the soup is cooking and add to the pot! Easy peezy!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 28, 2020 AT 4:50 pm

        Yay!! I’m so glad this recipe turned out for you, Mina! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it. <3

    7. Judy
      January 19, 2020 AT 7:04 pm

      Outstanding. Love it! Easy and so so good. Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 20, 2020 AT 7:52 pm

        Yay!! So glad you loved it, Judy. Thanks for leaving a comment and star rating, I appreciate you. <3

    8. Elizabeth
      November 25, 2019 AT 1:45 pm

      I made this — without the limas, which I didn’t have, so I made without and didn’t sub anything either — and it was EXCELLENT. I thought I was the only one who would like it — 10 YO picky about things with ‘too many parts’ spouse just plain picky — both everyone LOVED it! Adding this recipe to the permanent rotation!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 2, 2019 AT 4:01 pm

        Oh yay!! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe was a hit with the family. It’s definitely a win when that happens. 🙂 Thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment + star rating, Elizabeth. I so appreciate it! <3

    9. anne
      January 13, 2018 AT 11:17 pm

      The recipe for this sounds great except for the Lima beans. Any suggestions on another type of legume I could sub in?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 15, 2018 AT 4:15 pm

        Hi Anne! I think cannellini beans would be great instead of the lima beans. I hope you get a chance to try the recipe.

    10. Dorilea Phillips
      December 7, 2017 AT 4:26 am

      EXCELLENT! I cooked the Brunswick Stew last night as instructed with two modifications. Instead of boxed broth, I slow-boiled 3 lbs chicken thighs in 5 cups of water and used the broth from that. I also used 2 Bay leaves. My husband and I both loved it. Thank you so much.

    11. Kristen
      March 30, 2017 AT 6:48 pm

      We love baked yams stuffed with either carnitas or carne asada, and black beans, salsa, cheese and avocado.

    12. Danielle D
      March 30, 2017 AT 10:13 am

      my favorite recipe is chicken pot pies!

    13. Carol Mueller
      March 30, 2017 AT 9:54 am

      My family’s favorite meal is my Grandmother’s Easter ham with Corn Pudding!

    14. denise
      March 28, 2017 AT 2:02 pm

      My familys favorite recipe is pot roast.

    15. jberry
      March 27, 2017 AT 8:45 pm

      My favorite family recipe is Stuffed Cabbage, looks like I’m not the only pol here.

    16. Linda
      March 27, 2017 AT 5:18 pm

      My favorite family recipe is a delicious Chicken Cacciatore!

    17. KElly M.
      March 27, 2017 AT 1:18 pm

      My favorite family recipe is my dad’s pancakes!

    18. Brenda Haines
      March 27, 2017 AT 12:09 pm

      Potatoes and cabbage is a great one. Cook bacon and onion in a large pot, cut golden yukon potatoes in half and toss in the pot. Thinly cut cabbage and fill the pot with it. Pour in a can of chicken broth, bring to a boil, cover and bring down to a simmer. COok for around 20 mins.

    19. Christina Free
      March 27, 2017 AT 4:37 am

      My famous homemade zucchini bread!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 27, 2017 AT 9:42 am

        Ohh!!! I bet your zucchini bread is delicious.

    20. Dee Johnson
      March 26, 2017 AT 5:39 pm

      My family loves black beans quesadillas.

    21. Emily
      March 26, 2017 AT 9:58 am

      I love my family’s Seven Layer Salad recipe!

    22. Catherine
      March 26, 2017 AT 8:37 am

      My favorite “new” family recipe is taco salad! My family just chops fresh vegetables, cooks some form of protein, and tops it off with fresh avocado and salsa! It is simple, but so good every time! But, my favorite family recipe that has been passed down is definitely homemade dumplings!

    23. bianca roman
      March 26, 2017 AT 8:36 am

      I am super sad to say that I do not have a favorite family dish 🙁 my parents rarely made things from scratch or using a grandmother’s recipe or whatnot. And I am not a very good cook myself, so I can’t even say that I’ve made anything “family recipe/dinner” worthy! But that’s my goal for this year and years to come – to learn how to cook more and to actually have a disengaged family recipe night!

    24. Jenny S
      March 26, 2017 AT 6:19 am

      Favorite family recipe?? Hmmmm…I’d have to say it’s homemade green beans with bacon. Now that I’m health conscientious, I tried to use turkey bacon but it was almost an insult to this classic homemade recipe. I love this one you posted! Can’t wait to try it!

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