Brunswick Stew

10 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Brunswick Stew is a classic Southern comfort food made with a tomato base, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, BBQ sauce, chicken, and bacon.

There’s nothing quite as comforting as delicious Soups and Stews. This hearty recipe is packed with filling chicken, thick broth, potatoes, and veggies. It’s an easy weeknight meal, and perfect served with Dinner Rolls or Southern Cornbread for dipping.

Brunswick Stew in cooking pot

Just like Classic Beef Stew, this stew recipe is filling, warming, and so delicious. It’s the ultimate comfort food made with simple ingredients like chicken broth, tomato, lima beans, potatoes, tender chicken, and crispy pork. Then the classic stew gets plenty of rich flavor and Southern soul from the Worcestershire sauce, and BBQ sauce, which give it some old-fashioned country flair. 

Easy Brunswick Stew recipes are traditionally made with simple and delicious ingredients that were readily available in the South where it came from. It’s unclear where Brunswick Stew originated. Brunswick County, Georgia, Brunswick County, North Carolina, and Brunswick County, Virginia, all lay claim to this awesome stew. The only thing that’s certain is that this delicious, comforting, hearty soup is a Southern American Classic.

Brunswick Stew collage

You can play up the Southern flavors even more by serving the stew with other traditional southern dishes. Coleslaw, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Baked Mac and Cheese will all make delicious additions to this already incredible meal. 

More Hearty Stew Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions About Brunswick Stew

What makes Brunswick Stew unique?

Brunswick Stew gets its unique flavor from the sauces and seasonings used. The cayenne pepper and barbecue sauce, along with the smoky, salty meats flavor create that ideal flavor the Stew is known for.

How do I thicken or thin out Brunswick Stew?

If your Brunswick Stew turns out a little too thick, you can just add some broth or water to the stew. To thicken your Stew mix equal parts cornstarch and water, then add to the stew and bring to a boil. Start small, maybe with one or two tablespoons, then add more one tablespoon at a time if needed.

How to Make Brunswick Stew

  • Prep Time: Cut the potatoes and onions into small pieces on a cutting board, so they’re ready to go right in the stew. Then cook and chop the bacon. 
  • Chicken: Add the chicken and bacon to a dutch oven over medium heat. Continue cooking until the chicken is browned. 
  • Cooking: Add the onion and cook until the onions are translucent, before mixing in the potatoes, corn, lima beans, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, BBQ sauce, and chicken broth. Bring the cooked chicken and soup mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and continue simmering uncovered for 1 hour. It will thicken up nicely over the hour into the perfect stew. The total time is just 1 hour and 15 minutes before you’re enjoying a delicious bowl of Brunswick Stew. 

Can Brunswick Stew be Made Ahead?

Sometimes it is so helpful to be able to make dinner ahead of time, especially when you know you have a busy day coming. You can easily make the Stew a day or two ahead. Just warm the stew up in the pot until it begins to bubble and serve it however you like.

Brunswick Stew in cooking pot

Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew

If you want to make Brunswick Stew in the slow cooker, you are in luck. It is super easy to do! Begin by cooking the bacon so it will have a firm texture in the Stew, then chop it up. You can also choose to brown just the outside of your chicken at this point. It will create a little more flavor and texture while it cooks in the slow cooker. Add the bacon and chicken in the slow cooker and then add all the other ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours. Remove the chicken, shred it, then stir it back into the Stew and serve.

Variations on Brunswick Stew

  • Garlic: You can add some extra flavor to this Georgia Stew with minced cloves of garlic. If you don’t have fresh garlic, garlic powder will do nicely. 
  • Sauces: For some spicy flavor add in hot sauce. Only add a little bit of hot sauce at a time. Mix in the hot sauce and taste test it to make sure your Brunswick Stew isn’t too hot. You can add some smoky flavor to the stew without using smoked meat. Just add in some liquid smoke. A tablespoon or 2 of liquid smoke should be plenty. 
  • Tomatoes: To add to the tomato base you can mix in some canned tomatoes. Diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, or fire-roasted tomatoes could all add lots of great flavors. 
  • Add-Ins: For some more add-ins to the original recipe try mixing in diced potatoes, green bell peppers, red bell peppers, sweet onion, or stalks of celery. In place of the fresh sweet corn kernels, you can use frozen corn. Just let it thaw a while before cooking it in the stew. 
  • Meat: Rather than cooking chicken for the stew you can use already baked Rotisserie Chicken. You could also replace the chicken with chopped beef or pork. 
Brunswick Stew in serving bowl

How to Serve Brunswick Stew

  • Bread: Brunswick Stew is so yummy, you are going to want to soak up every bit of it. A nice piece of bread will be your best tool. Choose sweet cornbread, crusty french bread, savory sourdough, buttery biscuits, or any other bread you love!
  • Crackers: Another way to soak up the broth and add some crunch is to serve it with your favorite crackers to dip or top off the Stew.
  • Rice: Spoon Brunswick Stew over fluffy white or brown rice. Choose quinoa for a more protein-filled base for your Stew. Riced cauliflower would work nicely as well.
  • Pot Pie: Use Brunswick Stew to fill your favorite pot pie crust for a warm, filling meal, especially in cold weather or a rainy day.

Side Dishes for Brunswick Stew

How to Store Brunswick Stew

  • Serve: Don’t leave Brunswick Stew at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: This Southern Soul Food can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep well for 3-4 days. 
  • Freeze: You can also freeze Brunswick Stew in an airtight container for up to 3 months. 

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Brunswick Stew

Brunswick Stew is a classic Southern comfort food made with a tomato base, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, BBQ sauce, chicken, and bacon.
Yield 10 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 8 slices bacon , cooked and chopped
  • 5 chicken thighs , boneless skinless
  • 1 yellow onion , chopped
  • 4 russet potatoes , peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups yellow sweet corn
  • 15 ounces lima beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 cups chicken stock


  • Add the chicken and bacon together in a large dutch oven on medium-high heat and cook the chicken until it's browned.
  • Add the onions and cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Add in the potatoes, corn, lima beans, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, barbecue sauce, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.


Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 957mg | Potassium: 1119mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 361IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 3mg
Brunswick Stew collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. As a Southerner, born and raised, I can honestly say that I have never heard of anyone putting bacon in their Brunswick Stew. We tend to use pulled pork in it, not bacon. But I may add some bacon to mine next time because I love bacon. 🙂
    We also usually put some roast beef in it, so that it has 3 meats. <3

  2. What is a good substitute for lima beans (entire family hates them) in the Brunswich stew?

    Also, we love dumplings for soups and stews, what is a flavorful and easy dumpling recipe??


  3. Sorry, just noticed this – listed in the ingredients is bacon, but in the instructions it says to add chicken & salt pork – so which do we use, bacon or salt pork? Thanks again!

    1. Hi Janet, thanks for bringing this typo to my attention. It should read bacon in the instructions. I just corrected the recipe.

    1. Canned, drained and rinsed.
      The 5 Best Substitutes for Lima Beans
      1 – Fava Beans.
      2 – Butter Beans.
      3 – Great Northern Beans.
      4 – Edamame Beans.
      5 – Red Kidney Beans.
      Hope you enjoyed the Stew!

  4. Made this tonight. I slightly varied your recipe in that lima beans are a hard pass for me. I did add a drained can of fire roasted tomatoes in its place. It was delicious. Wondering if maybe adding cut green beans would be tasty.