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! Recipe made in partnership with Lagostina and Macy’s. I received Lagostina product in order to create this post, but as always opinions are my own. 

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research I found that Brunswick stew likely originated in Brunswick, Virginia during the 19th century and it was originally made with squirrel meat.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


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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  1. 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! 😁

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

    • 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. My favorite family recipe is a cookie recipe for the holidays that my grandmother used to make. It’s a cinnamon bar, but we used to all them Ralph cookies after my dad because he ate so many.

  10. That soup looks delicious! My fav family recipe is a salmon dish that my mom makes with a simple sauce made with soy sauce(or tamari), sesame oil, vinegar, honey, ginger, and red chili flakes.

  11. Our favorite family recipe is chicken stir fry with delicious vegetables. I can’t wait to try this recipe. It looks so delicious and healthy. Thank you for sharing.

  12. My favorite family recipe is my mom’s lasagna. It is a classic for us that we always make when cooking for a crowd or bringing a meal to a family friend.

  13. My favorite family recipe is my grandmother’s beef vegetable soup. It is so thick and comforting. every time I make it, it evokes fond memories of time I spent with her.

  14. My favorite family recipe is my Mom’s poppyseed chicken casserole! We usually had it once a week growing up 🙂

  15. My favorite family recipe is hot pot – it’s not really a recipe per se but an experience! We would all gather around the electric hot pot at the table and add in different vegetables, noodles, and meat… and eat! 🙂 It’s sort of an Asian thing (Korean) but lot’s of fun and very comforting during colder months.

  16. I would love to win. My favorite recipe is my mom’s monster cookies. I got in trouble when I was young for sneaking so many at Christmas to eat. We all still love them 30 years later!

  17. Fav family recipe has to be pork and chive dumplings! It’s always a fun time when everybody stands around the kitchen counter wrapping the dumplings and chatting.

  18. My favorite recipe is my best friend’s Lentil Soup. You can use either shredded chicken or lean ground beef or turkey or bison if in an area you have access to it. It has a lot of fiber and you stay full.

  19. My dad makes the best chili and it’s always a meal I request when I get to go home and visit. I’ve tried to recreate it, but it isn’t quite the same without the whole family around the table!

  20. Our family favorite is spaghetti and meatballs. I think it is the only dish all three kids love! We got a pasta machine for Christmas this year. we love it

  21. A cherished family recipe of mine is Swedish Rye Bread! The recipe takes only a hefty 8 hours from start to baked perfection finish, but the wait is always worth it! I learned the recipe from my mother, who had the recipe passed down to her from my great-grandmother. Needless to say this bread has been well loved in my family for years ????

  22. As always, your pictures and recipes inspire me to hurry home to the kitchen and make the dish you have posted! Can’t wait to try this one, too! It is hard to pick one favorite family recipe! I love my Mom’s Waldorf Salad as she always makes it for me on special occasions or when she wants me to know that I am special on any day! (Love-Love) Her version is made very healthy compared to the traditional recipe with more fruit and no whip cream! However, our Granny’s Spaghetti Salad ranks up there as well. I tried her recipe with zucchini noodles and it was fabulous!

      • Just had a chance to get back on my computer. Took a break over the weekend! 🙂 Will send the recipe to you. I have it in my book at home. I loved her pretzel salad, too. Please share it with me as I don’t have it! Love you!

  23. Oh man, it’s hard to pick a favorite! I always loved my mom’s hashbrown casserole at the holidays. Very nostalgic. This recipe looks awesome!

  24. I love my Dad’s vegetable beef soup, but if we’re going with traditional family dishes — it’s gotta be Ebleskiver! My Dad’s family always puts brown sugar and raisins in our version. 🙂 I was also pretty peeved when they came out with ‘puff pancakes’, which is the exact same thing — but they don’t give the original culture (Danish) any credit for a ‘new’ idea!

  25. My favorite family recipe is my grandmother’s roast beef with carrots and potatoes. It’s so good and reminds me of my grandmother everytime I make it. Thanks for sharing with us.

  26. My favorite family recipe is loaded potato soup. Definitely not the healthiest, but when the first snow hits each winter I HAVE to make a batch.

  27. I think I may have made ‘Quick Beef and Bean Chili’ a few hundred times by now. It truly is quick, but time after time it gets rave reviews. It originally came from a Cook’s Country magazine, and the recipe card is well worn. Beef (or ground turkey or crumbled meatballs or chicken sausages), beans, tomatoes, and chili powder, cumin, garlic. Totally satisfying. Perfect with a bit of plain yogurt and avocado on top…and perfect, I bet, for this lovely casserole dish you’re giving away!

  28. My favorite family recipe is a tie between my Dad’s turkey chili and my Mom’s Italian turkey cutlets! Mmm I can taste them both right now 🙂

  29. I think I may have made ‘Quick Beef and Bean Chili’ a few hundred times by now. It truly is quick and easy, but time after time it gets rave reviews. It originally came from a Cook’s Country magazine, and the recipe card is well worn. Beef (or ground turkey or crumbled meatballs or chicken sausages), beans, tomatoes, and chili powder, cumin, garlic. Totally satisfying. Perfect with a bit of plain yogurt and avocado on top…and perfect, I bet, for this lovely casserole dish you’re giving away!

  30. My favorite family recipe is my mom’s Beef barley soup with meatballs and veggies! SOOOO YUMMY!!!

  31. My family favorite is my grandma’s brownies which no one has been able to perfect since my grandma passed away with the special touch. We also love the many dessert recipes passed on through the years. A delicious sweet potato chicken stew with popovers and is a family favorite meal!

  32. Hi Brittany, I’m new here. I just signed up for your newsletter yesterday! My favorite family recipe is a corn chowder soup my dad makes. It’s a hearty dish that helps keep me warm throughout our chilly Wisconsin winters. It was the first recipe I cooked for my roommates in college and one of my staples now 🙂

  33. Oh my goodness this is most defiantly going to be my new favorite recipe now.thanks so very much for sharing.

  34. My favorite family recipe is mushroom barley soup. My mom used to make it with beef broth, but she has more recently made a vegan version to accommodate me 🙂

  35. My favorite family recipe is Shrimp & Grits. It is an all time family favorite. It is especially requested at family gatherings and tops the list for our family Christmas Brunch. It is all the warmth and love in one dish!!

  36. My family favorite is my mom’s mushroom soup.. mushrooms straight from the forrests of Poland in a brothy, flavorful, amaaaazing soup <3

  37. My favorite family recipe is strawberry bread. Every Father’s day we would go strawberry picking then go home and make the bread and fresh strawberry jam. After I left the nest, my mom would send me care packages at college with some and my roommates would love it!

  38. This looks absolutely delicious! So rustic and comforting too. My favorite family dish is sweet potato breakfast hash because it reminds me of good family memories over brunch 🙂

  39. My most cherished memory was coming home from school to a traditional German menu of sauerkraut and bratwurst with a side of thickly sliced rye bread and European butter. Since her passing I’ve tried to uphold this tradition!

  40. My favorite family recipe is baked beans my mom used to make. I make them and now my daughter makes them. It is just pork and beans, onion, brown sugar, tomato sauce and bacon.

  41. I have never made Brunswick stew. My first time sampling it was at the VA State Fair years ago. Your recipe looks so amazing that I will have to try making it soon!

  42. My fav family recipe is tourlou. It’s a greek dish. You basically throw green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, a ton of garlic and some oregano in a roasting dish and cook it for a long time – the house will smell amazing!

  43. My favorite family recipe is pumpkin-beef curry. The beef provides a hearty meat taste and the pumpkin adds the sweet texture to the curry. Love it! And this meal looks good, I might prepare it during a school break ???????? I can’t give this recipe five stars for some reason on an iPhone.

  44. My favorite family recipe is my mother’s homemade challah. It’s not made in a pot but since the question asked about your “favorite” I figured my answer was okay 🙂

  45. This looks delicious! My favorite family recipe is my great grandmother’s macaroni & cheese. It’s so decadent that it is a holiday-only dish 🙂 but it’s something’s I look forward to in holidays!

  46. I love brunswick stew! It was very interesting to learn where the name came from. We love it down here in NC with our famous BBQ! My favorite family recipe is my mom’s chicken and pastry that she makes in a flash using a pressure cooker.

  47. My favorite family recipe is stuffed peppers! So easy and delicious and you can really eat the rainbow!

    The stew recipe looks fabulous! I think I’ll try it with sweet potatoes! I love that you aim to not use any processed ingredients! Thank you!

  48. My favorite family recipe is sweet corn soup. It reminds me of my great grandma who used to make it for me whenever I visited her!

  49. One of my favorites is Frittata. It’s easy to make & you can use different ingredients and change it up each time you make it. My husband likes it with prosciutto, smoked paprika, cheddar cheese and chives.

  50. My favorite family recipe is without question, “Friendship Soup!” Many years ago, when I was a child, one day my mom told my family and I we would be having Friendship Soup and asked if I’d like to help. It was a recipe passed down to my mom by her mom (my grandmother) which simply involves a very large sampling of fresh vegetables, spices and herbs in a thick, tomato-based broth. It might seem simple, but it was heartwarming and fun to be able to prepare and enjoy it together.

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