Healthy Brunswick Stew


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 this 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

Origin of Brunswick Stew

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research I found that Brunswick stew likely originated in Brunswick, Virginia during the 19th century and it was originally made with squirrel meat.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

If you’re looking for a warm and comforting meal, 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

Shredded Chicken for This Stew

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 using my slow cooker shredded chicken recipe or making shredded chicken using a rotisserie chicken. Any and all of the above will work!

More Tasty Soups and Stews

Healthy Brunswick Stew

4 from 38 votes
This healthy Brunswick stew is just like the southern classic, but made with simple and wholesome ingredients – no ketchup or BBQ sauce needed!
Two bowls and a large pot of Brunswick stew.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • 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 ½ cups shredded chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
  • hot sauce, for serving


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 1.5cups Calories: 273kcal Carbohydrates: 31g Protein: 20g Fat: 5g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 9g
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Brunswick stew


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Recipe Rating

    1. Frances
      October 5, 2021 AT 5:56 pm

      5 stars
      We thought this was great. I followed pretty much except left out potato as I had a bit more of the corn and lima to use and also added some chopped frozen Okra. Had all fresh veggies from Farmers Market and had fun making this. I also thought no potato in case we freeze it as there are just two of us and it might be nice to have some later too, and I never think a potato benefits from freezer time. It is so good though it may not make it to the freezer. Reminds me of a Willamsburg trip long ago when we had this there.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 6, 2021 AT 12:42 am

        So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Frances! Thanks for making it and for the review. I so appreciate it!

    2. Peggy Howard
      September 20, 2021 AT 3:19 pm

      5 stars
      Delicious!! I love this type Brunswick Stew. Never cared for mushy stew. I found this one and decided to try it. I didn’t use celery or bay leaf cause I didn’t have any. Added some Williamson Barbecue sauce. I have found my stew. Thank you!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 20, 2021 AT 7:07 pm

        So glad you loved this recipe, Peggy! Thanks for the review. I so appreciate it!

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

      5 stars
      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. 🙂

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

      5 stars
      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.

    5. 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.

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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