Traditional Brunswick Stew With Pork and Chicken

Brunswick Stew With Pork and Chicken

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Brunswick stew is a Southern dish that features a tomato base with beans, vegetables, and meat. Early Brunswick stews were often made with squirrel, rabbit, even opossum, but these days pork, chicken, and beef are common. The original thinking was to use local ingredients and those you have on hand, which remains the same today.

This Brunswick stew is made with cooked pork shoulder or leftover pulled pork, along with shredded or chopped cooked chicken thighs and vegetables. The barbecue sauce and a touch of cayenne pepper add rich flavor to the classic stew. This recipe is a good use of leftover meat and vegetables, as well as taking advantage of what ingredients are in your pantry.

Serve this Brunswick stew with cornbread, pickles, and coleslaw or a salad on the side.


  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 or 4 cloves of garlic)
  • 3 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken thighs
  • 2 cups shredded cooked pork shoulder (or leftover pulled pork)
  • Optional: cornbread or biscuits, for serving
  • Optional: coleslaw, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Brunswick stew recipe ingredients
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  2. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent.

    Sauté onions in a Dutch oven
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  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 2 minutes longer. Add the potatoes, lima beans, corn, chicken stock, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. 

    Mix stew and bring to a simmer
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  4. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 25 minutes, ​or until the vegetables are tender.

  5. Add the barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, if using, salt, black pepper, cayenne, chicken, and pork. Mix well to combine.

    Add shredded pork to the Dutch oven
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  6. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

    Cook the stew uncovered
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  7. Serve with cornbread or biscuits, along with coleslaw on the side.

    Brunswick stew in a bowl
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  • If using prepared pulled pork with barbecue sauce, use about 1 to 1 1/4 cups of barbecue sauce instead of the full amount.
  • If you don't have all of the ingredients called for in this recipe, you can eliminate some or substitute. You may also want to consider making Georgia-style Brunswick stew, which calls for fewer ingredients.