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    Brunswick Stew

    I adore Brunswick Stew. It’s such a comforting Southern dish, especially on chilly nights. With its rich barbecue flavors and hearty ingredients like smoked meats and veggies, it’s definitely a favorite of mine.

    And the best part? It’s incredibly easy to make. Just a few minutes of hands-on time, and you’re all set to enjoy a delicious, satisfying meal. Trust me, once you try my version of Brunswick stew, it’ll become a regular on your dinner menu!

    Brunswick stew in a red dutch oven.

    We love Southern flavors here at GypsyPlate. From our popular Shrimp and Grits to Southern Squash Casserole and Smothered Chicken, some of our most delicious recipes come from the South.

    We’ve even uncovered some very regional gems like Grillades and Yakamein. Today, we’ve cooked up another cracker of a dish for you!

    A few years back, I was in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, just craving some good old-fashioned barbecue. I strolled into this cozy little restaurant, and there it is on the menu, Brunswick stew. Now, I had heard about it before, but never actually tried it. So, I figured, why not give it a shot?

    The server brought out this steaming bowl of stew, and as soon as I took that first spoonful, I was hooked. The rich aroma of smoked meats, the hearty veggies, and those incredible barbecue flavors, it was like a warm hug on a chilly day.

    Ever since, Brunswick stew has had a special place in my heart and I’ve been wanting to cook it for GypsyPlate.

    What is Brunswick Stew?

    Brunswick stew is a tomato based stew with meat and veggies that’s flavored with barbecue sauce. It’s exact origins are unknown, but both Georgia and Virginia claim it as their own.

    A plaque on an old iron pot in Brunswick, Georgia, says the first Brunswick stew was made in it on July 2, 1898. Virginia, meanwhile, has stories that say it was invented there before the Civil War.

    Whatever the case, someone somewhere sure came up with one tasty pot of stew!

    Overhead shot of a bowl of Brunswick stew.

    Recipes vary greatly, some have different veggies depending on what’s available, some use only one meat and some use several. Some are thinner, some are thicker. But they all share the same soul.

    Ingredients Needed

    A plate of smoked chicken, pork and beef.

    As I mentioned, these can vary quite a bit, but here is what I used today:

    • Smoked Meat – I got pulled chicken, pulled pork and beef brisket from a local BBQ restaurant.
    • Butter
    • Aromatics – Onion and garlic.
    • Veggies – Frozen corn, lima beans and okra, along with canned tomatoes.
    • Chicken stock or broth
    • Sauces – BBQ, Worcestershire and hot sauce.
    • Spices – Freshly cracked black pepper and cayenne powder.

    How to make Brunswick Stew

    This stew is super easy to make, especially if you have already cooked meats.

    I start by heating up some butter in a big soup pot on medium-high heat. Once it’s melted, I add in the chopped onion and cook it until it starts to get brown.

    Then, I toss in the garlic, stir it up, and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes.

    Next, I add all the other stuff: tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, pepper, cayenne, and the meats. I give it all a good mix.

    Once everything’s in there, I bring it to a boil. After that, I reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it cook for about 30-40 minutes. It’s that simple!

    Close up of this delicious barbecue flavored stew.

    Crockpot Method

    Absolutely! This is the ultimate “just dump everything in the crockpot and turn it on” meal. Seriously. Give everything a good mix, cover and cook for 3 hours on high or 5 hours on low. Go run some errands and come back to some amazing aromas.

    Brunswick stew in a slow cooker.


    • If you want to use only one or two types of meat, that’s fine. Just use the same total amount. It was originally cooked with small game like squirrel and possum!
    • I use whatever veggies I have on hand that day.
    • Some days I add a dash of liquid smoke to enhance the smokiness (or if I don’t have access to smoked meat).
    • Some variations have potatoes, which make it even thicker.
    Angled view of the bowl of Brunswick stew.

    Serving Suggestions

    As it’s loaded with meats and veggies, this makes for a great meal all on it’s own. Personally though, I like it with a side of cornbread. Try my Cheddar Bacon Jalapeño Cornbread, it goes great with this stew.

    Sometimes I also like a nice fresh salad on the side.

    The bowl with the dutch oven in the background.

    I hope you enjoy this Brunswick stew as much as we do. If your craving great Southern flavors, or just need something warm and hearty on a winter day, this recipe is sure to be a hit.

    Give it a try, and please leave a comment and review, I love hearing from you!

    And be sure to subscribe to the GypsyPlate mailing list, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!

    Brunswick Stew, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    The bowl of Brunswick stew atop the Gypsy Plate.

    Try these other cozy stews!
    Guinness Beef Stew
    Maafe (African Peanut Stew)
    Dominican Chicken Stew
    Meatball Stew
    Carne Guisada
    Persian Fesenjan
    Beef Tagine

    Featured image for Brunswick stew post.

    Brunswick Stew

    Yield: 8-10 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 40 minutes

    My Brunswick stew is a hearty Southern dish that’s perfect for chilly nights. If you love barbecue flavors, this is sure to become one of your new favorites.


    • 4 Tbsp butter
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 cups frozen corn
    • 2 cups frozen lima beans
    • 1.5 cups frozen okra
    • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 1 cup barbecue sauce
    • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1-2 tsp hot sauce
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
    • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
    • 2 cups cooked pulled chicken
    • 2 cups cooked pulled pork
    • 2 cups cooked beef brisket


    Stovetop Method

    1. Heat butter in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until it starts to brown up.
    2. Add in garlic, stir and cook 1-2 minutes.
    3. Add remaining ingredients: tomatoes, chicken stock, worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, pepper, cayenne and meats. Mix well.
    4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30-40 minutes.

    Slow Cooker Method

    1. Add all ingredients into 6qt or larger slow cooker. Mix well.
    2. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours.

    Instant Pot Method

    1. Set instant pot to the Saute setting. Add butter and, once hot, add chopped onions. Sauté a few minutes until they start to brown up.
    2. Stir in garlic and cook one to two minutes. Turn off the pressure cooker.
    3. Add remaining ingredients into pressure cooker and stir well.
    4. Seal the lid, press Manual/Pressure Cook, and set timer to 5 minutes on High (it will take 10-15 minutes for pressure to build up). When time is up, allow 10 minute natural release.


    1. Leftovers: As with any stew, this makes great leftovers, as the flavors seem to get accentuated as it rests. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat in a pan on the stovetop. You may want to add a little extra water when reheating.
    2. You can also freeze this stew in an airtight container for 2-3 months, for best quality.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 10 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 466Total Fat 17gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 96mgSodium 1327mgCarbohydrates 49gFiber 6gSugar 28gProtein 30g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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