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research I found that Brunswick stew likely originated in Brunswick, Virginia during the 19th century and it was originally made with squirrel meat.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

Healthy Brunswick Stew

5 from 30 votes
A healthy version of the southern classic loaded with and shredded chicken.
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 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


  • 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.


Calories: 273kcal Carbohydrates: 31g Protein: 20g Fat: 5g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 9g


Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!

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

      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. 🙂

    2. 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.

    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

      4 stars
      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! 🙂

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.


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