This easy Brunswick Stew is loaded with bbq pork, roasted chicken, canned or frozen veggies, and a rich, smokey broth. Throw the ingredients into the crock pot to have a warm bowl waiting for you after the ball game or whip it up super quick in your dutch oven on a chilly night.
Brunswick stew is a southern heirloom.
Recipes are passed down from generation to generation and, while the basic ingredients stay the same, additions and techniques on how to cook Southern Brunswick Stew vary from family to family.
From Georgia to South Carolina to Eastern North Carolina to Virginia, Brunswick Stew is a warm one-pot meal made in minutes in a dutch oven or cooked low and slow in a crock pot.
What Is Brunswick Stew?
Brunswick Stew is a thick and hearty, stick-to-your-ribs stew loaded with large pieces of bbq pork or brisket, chicken, an array of vegetables, and a rich and smoky tomato broth.
The origins of Brunswick Stew are up for debate. The small towns of Brunswick, VA & Brunswick, GA each lay claim to the name. It's safe to say one of the two is where the name came from. The traditional ingredients of wild game like rabbit, squirrel, and possum have evolved into a new Brunswick Stew made with more modern fare like bbq pork and chicken.
Brunswick Stew Ingredients
Brunswick Stew is hearty and filling, but the best part? It's super easy to make.
Throw all of the ingredients into a crock pot or dutch oven and let it simmer away!
Ingredients for the best Brunswick Stew:
- BBQ Pork: Buy a pound of bbq from your favorite local spot, use pulled pork you have left over from supper, shred up some leftover pork loin you have in your fridge, or even buy some of the premade pit-cooked kind from your grocery store! Make sure you sauce it up before adding it to the stew though. It helps develop the richness of the dish.
- Chicken: Leftover roasted chicken breast, rotisserie chicken, chicken thighs, shredded chicken, or even ground chicken would all be perfectly fine here.
- Garlic & Onion: No need to saute these up before adding to the crock pot. Buy the pre-chopped onions and jarred minced garlic to make your life even easier.
- Baby Lima Beans: Canned or frozen, whichever you prefer.
- Sweet Corn: Again, frozen or canned, whatever floats your boat.
- Green beans: ditto, yo.
- Potatoes: I love potatoes in Brunswick Stew! They add a heartiness to the soup and are such a nice compliment to the rest of the veggies. I've never had a Brunswick Stew that didn't have potatoes, but you can always leave them out. As said before, canned potatoes are just fine, but if you use fresh red ones, don't bother peeling them.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes: Crushed or diced, whichever you prefer, and pour all that juice in as well!
- Tomato Sauce: Adds just a touch of sweetness without making it overbearing. You can also sub tomato paste stirred w/ some stock.
- BBQ Sauce: The type of BBQ sauce you use is, again, up for debate. It basically depends on your preferences. If you prefer a more vinegar-based bbq sauce on your pork, use a vinegar-based sauce here, but if you like brown sugar bbq sauce, use Sweet Baby Ray's instead. You could probably even use your favorite sugar-free sauce also (let me know if you do, and tell me how it is)!
- Worchestchire Sauce: It's amazing how just one tiny tablespoon deepens the flavor of this Brunswick Stew!
- Chicken Stock: Homemade or store bought. The stock rounds out the dish and helps the stew simmer in the crock pot.
- Brown Sugar: Optional! Dependent upon the type of bbq sauce you use, you probably won't even need to add the brown sugar.
- Hot Sauce &/or Cayenne: If your family loves spice then add how you like it! The bbq sauce I use already has hot sauce in it so I just leave it at that.
What Goes Good With Brunswick Stew?
Serve your stew up with:
- BBQ Sandwiches
- Bread & butter pickles
- Cole Slaw
How to Make Brunswick Stew in the Crock Pot
This easy Brunswick Stew couldn't be any simpler! Follow these quick steps to get your stew going in the crock pot:
- Add all ingredients to the crock pot, and give them a good stir to make sure it's all mixed well.
- Cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
- Stir well and serve with rice, cornbread, or hushpuppies. We love these frozen ones from Savannah Classics!
- Brunswick Stew is one of those kitchen sink recipes so use what you have! Throw in extra vegetables like okra, celery, butter beans, or even black-eyed peas.
- If you like chicken more than pork or prefer bbq brisket more than pork bbq then change things up! Add the ratios of meat how you want them to be. Make the recipe yours. It will still be delicious.
- When re-heating the next day, add a little more liquid to the stew to help loosen it up a bit.
- This stew freezes very well! separate it into containers or plastic bags and store it in your freezer for later.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More Crock Pot Stew Recipes
- Whole30 Beef Stew
- Beef & Cabbage Soup w/ Hamburger
- Easy Minestrone Soup
- Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
- Crock Pot Pot Roast w/ Potatoes & Carrots
Crockpot Brunswick Stew with BBQ Pork and Chicken
For the Crock Pot Brunswick Stew:
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion (½ large onion)
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic (or 1 tablespoon jarred garlic)
- 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce (or 2 tablespoon tomato paste mixed with ½ cup broth)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes diced or crushed
- ½ cup vinegar based bbq sauce *see notes below
- 1 (14.5 oz) can sweet corn (or 12 oz bag frozen corn)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can baby lima beans (or 12 oz bag frozen lima baby lima benas)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can cut green beans (or 12 oz bag cut green beans)
- 2-3 cups diced red potatoes (or canned potatoes, no need to remove skins)
- 2 `½ cups chicken stock
- 2 cups bbq pork, with sauce (roughly 1 lb of pork)
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar OPTIONAL (*see notes below)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Cayenne pepper & hot sauce, to taste optional
- White rice, hushpuppies, or cornbread for serving
For the Crock Pot Brunswick Stew:
- Add all ingredients, except the optional brown sugar, cayenne, and hot sauce, to an 8 quart crock pot, and stir until everything is well mixed.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 4 hours or until the potatoes are fork tender. Give the soup a taste and add brown sugar, if needed. Adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve with rice &/or hushpuppies &/or cornbread.
Let's taco 'bout it!