Hearty Rabbit Stew With Vegetables

Hearty rabbit stew with vegetables recipe in a large bowl

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 45 mins
Total: 3 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
952 Calories
23g Fat
115g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 952
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 1822mg 79%
Total Carbohydrate 115g 42%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 24mg 121%
Calcium 282mg 22%
Iron 8mg 44%
Potassium 1975mg 42%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rabbit meat has been around for centuries in cuisines around the world, from Moroccan tagines to European soups and stews. Deliciously sweet with a flavorful, slightly gamey character, rabbit has been a staple in traditional cuisines because hunters could easily catch them during the warm months of the year. A great meat to braise or roast, rabbit meat needs a good amount of liquid to retain moisture, so a stew is also the the perfect way to cook this protein. When it's cooked slowly, as this recipe does, you'll sit down to a tender, juicy, and delicious meal.

This rabbit stew honors the flavors of traditional cuisines that used humble ingredients to make great dishes. Flavored with red wine, vegetables, and mushrooms, this stew requires patience, but not a lot of work. Red wine, along with a variety of aromatic vegetables, gives the stew a rich flavor. Farmed rabbits are delicious, but if you can get your hands on a wild rabbit, their flavor is superior, as they feed on a diversity of plants that farmed rabbits don't have access to.

Our recipe includes the instructions for sage dumplings, but if you'd rather skip this step, serve the stew with your favorite biscuits or crusty bread and a nice, crunchy green salad. This stew keeps well in the fridge for two to three days—refrigerate within two hours of making.


For the Stew:

  • 1 whole rabbit (about 3 pounds), cut up

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 cups water, or low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

  • 4 cups dry red wine

  • 2 cups diced carrots

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in oil

  • 1/3 cup cold water

For the Optional Sage Dumplings:

  • 2 cups biscuit mix

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Steps to Make It

Make the Rabbit Stew

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for hearty rabbit stew gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Dredge the rabbit pieces with 1/2 cup of flour.

    Rabbit pieces dredged in flour on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, and brown the rabbit pieces on all sides.

    Butter melted in a pot with rabbit pieces browning on all sides

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add celery, onion, seasoned salt, salt, pepper, bay leaf, the water or broth, and red wine. Bring to a boil.

    Add celery, onion and spices in a pot with browned rabbit legs

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 2 hours.

    Pot of rabbit legs reducing

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender.

    Add carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms in pot with rabbit

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup flour with 1/3 cup of cold water; stir until well blended and free of lumps.

    Combine flour and water in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Stir the flour mixture into the broth. Cook and stir until the broth has thickened. If making the optional dumplings, start the process at this stage. Alternatively, serve the stew as is.

    Stir flour mixture into the broth with vegetables and rabbit

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Make the Optional Sage Dumplings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sage dumplings gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Stir with a fork until the ingredients are well combined.

    Ingredients stirred together to form a dough for sage dumplings

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Drop spoonfuls of the dough over the simmering stew and cook for 10 minutes.

    Sage dumpling dough batter dolloped on top of rabbit stew

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Cover the pan and continue simmering for 10 minutes longer, gently stirring occasionally to keep the stew from scorching.

    Rabbit stew in a covered pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Serve and enjoy!

    Hearty rabbit stew with sage dumplings on a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

How to Choose a Rabbit

When buying a whole rabbit you have to keep in mind a few key notes:

  • Buy your rabbits with your eyes and your nose. The flesh of the animal should be pink and appear plump, and the smell should be sweet. Anything that looks off probably is.
  • The eyes of the rabbit need to have a shine and be clear. Cloudy eyes are a sign of rabbit meat that is past its prime.
  • If the animal still has some organs, check the kidneys for the surrounding fat. The more fat, the healthier the animal was when alive.
  • If you are afraid that the taste could be too gamey for your liking, soak the animal in cold water in the fridge for 3 hours. Rinse well and disinfect the sink and counter surfaces that might have been splashed during the cleaning process.