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The Best Brunswick Stew (+Video)

The Best Brunswick Stew recipe is a thick barbecue-flavored stew made with ground beef, potatoes, corn, beans and tomatoes.

A THICK AND HEARTY OLD-FASHIONED SOUP

The story is told that this stew was invented in Brunswick County, Virginia. So most folks here in Virginia lay claim to this hearty stew. Although, I’ve had the discussion with some friends in Georgia who believe wholeheartedly it was invented there. It’s a great, hearty, rib-sticking stew. Like any good, old recipe with lots of history, it has many, many variations. Wherever you believe it was invented, it’s good no matter what!

Brunswick Stew shown in a large stock pot with a ladle holding a serving of the stew

WHAT IS BRUNSWICK STEW?

Brunswick Stew is a tomato-based soup that contains different types of vegetables and beans. It usually has a smoky flavor from the barbecue sauce and contains one or more types of meat. It’s really a thick vegetable soup with meat.

TIPS FOR MAKING BRUNSWICK STEW

  • When it comes to the veggies in this, I’ll say that I really love it with okra. However, I still haven’t quite gotten my hubby to enjoy okra as much as I do.
  • This is delicious with leftover pulled pork which is how you’ll usually find it served in Virginia.
  • If you want to use chicken or other white meat with this, just substitute the beef broth with chicken broth.
  • You can make this stew then transfer over to a 7-quart crock pot to keep warm.
The Best Brunswick Stew recipe from The Country Cook, shown served in a white bowl with a silver spoon

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • ground beef
  • onion
  • crushed tomatoes
  • barbecue sauce
  • potatoes
  • canned corn
  • canned northern beans
  • canned pinto beans
  • beef broth (or stock)
ground beef, onion, crushed tomatoes barbecue sauce potatoes, canned corn, canned northern beans, canned pinto beans, beef broth

HOW TO MAKE BRUNSWICK STEW:

In a large stock pot, brown and crumble ground beef along with diced onions over medium heat. When the ground beef is cooked, drain excess grease. Put ground beef back into large pot and start adding all the other ingredients. Add in crushed tomatoes pinto beans, northern beans, corn, beef broth, diced potatoes and barbecue sauce. Give it all a good stir. 

all of the stew ingredients in a large gray stock pot

Cover pot and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes (until your potatoes are fork tender.)

BRUNSWICK STEW in a bowl with a spoon

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The Best Brunswick Stew recipe

The Best Brunswick Stew (+Video)

The Best Brunswick Stew recipe is a thick barbecue-flavored stew made with ground beef, potatoes, corn, beans and tomatoes.
5 from 27 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 20 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 18 ounce bottle barbecue sauce
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans corn, drained well
  • 15 ounce can northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 ounce can pinto beans, undrained
  • 5 cups beef broth (or stock)

Instructions

  • In a large stock pot, brown and crumble ground beef along with diced onions over medium heat. When the ground beef is cooked, drain excess grease.
  • Put ground beef back into large pot.
  • Add in can of crushed tomatoes, pinto beans, drained northern beans and corn.
  • Next add 5 cups of beef broth along with diced potatoes and bottle of barbecue sauce.
  • Give it all a good stir.
  • Cover pot and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes (until your potatoes are fork tender).

Video

Notes

  • Serve with crackers.
  • If you want to use chicken or other white meat with this, just substitute the beef broth with chicken broth.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Sodium: 424mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Originally published: November 2012
Updated & republished: October 2020

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Recipe Rating




50 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is such an easy and delicious recipe! With the weather turning cooler, soups and stews have been my go to lately. I had not tried a Brunswick Stew before, boy was I missing out! Everyone loved it, including my 2 year old grandson. I served with a crusty bread for dipping. I also like that it makes a lot and could be easily frozen for later. Thank you for a great recipe!

  2. I would love to make this soup. However, my husband is a diabetic and I’m concerned about all the sugar in the BBQ sauce. Can someone help me out, please? Thank you! 🙂

    1. 5 stars
      Sweet Baby Ray’s now makes a NO SUGAR ADDED BBQ sauce. Used it to make Hawaiian meatballs and it was a big hit.

  3. 5 stars
    I made a pot of this yesterday and we all LOVED IT!!! I had also added in a can of peas & carrots (we all love them). I will definitely be making it again soon!

  4. 5 stars
    I used some leftover pork loin and shredded. This was an excellent recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  5. 5 stars
    Really good! The only type of beans I had on hand was a can of BBQ beans. So I put in 1 can of corn and 1 can of the BBQ beans with the tomatoes and the BBQ sauce. Really good! Everyone liked it. Will be making it again!

  6. 5 stars
    I live in NC and we have been making Brunswick Stew all my life I am now 62. The last batch I made came out to be I qt shy of 6 gallons!! I have Mother’s large pot which is what I always use to be this stew. I make what I call a deluxe version, I cook a roast with potatoes, onions and baby carrots, a rotisserie chicken and a quart of chopped bbq. I add canned corn, creamed corn, baby Lima’s, sweet early peas, veg all, string beans, fire roasted tomatoes, stick of butter and condensed tomato soup. Once the roast is done I shred the meat and dumb everything in the stew pot. Deboned the chicken and shred the meat. Stir which help blend everything and shreds the meat more. I use at least 2 cans on each vegetable. I then add Boar and Castle sauce (the Boar and Castle was a local drive in located in Greensboro NC which closed in the 70’s but they still make the sauce which you can purchase in local stores or on line). I have a connection with the manufacturer so I purchase it by the case. I usually use 2 bottles on the stew. Cook until good and hot and everything has had time to get flavored. Once it has cooled some I put in quart freezer containers and freeze. Great for those cold rainy or snowy nights!!

    1. Not a dumb question at all. You could double up on the pinto beans or replace with a bean that your family enjoys. Hope that helps and enjoy!

  7. 5 stars
    Loved, loved, love this soup. It was a huge hit with Everyone! Thank you for a wonderful recipe. I’m anxious to try more of them!

  8. Thanks Brandie for a delicious recipe! Made this tonight for Sunday dinner and ate it while we all watched football. Big hit, made it exactly as you wrote it, will be having this again.

  9. Oh my! Another delicious recipe from you! Made this today and it is sooooo good! I wasn’t so sure at first about this recipe but my hubby requested I make Brunswick stew and I’m so glad I did!