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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

YouTube 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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50 Comments

  1. I made this and everyone loved it! I had extra shredded chicken in the fridge and added that in addition to the ground meat. It made so much I got to freeze half of it 🙂 thanks for posting!!!

  2. Made this tonight with a few changes, used tomato paste, only half of the BBQ sauce, Bushes baked beans and a dash of hot sauce. I left out the northern/pinto beans my hubby doesn't like them. It was yummy! Thanks for the wonderful meal ideas.

  3. I made this and messed up by putting too much BBQ sauce it says on the recipe list to use 28 oz BBQ sauce and I used a little more than that (oops) when it really means to say 18oz!

  4. I made this tonight and it was beyond amazing. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. My husband is a picky eater and he had two huge bowls of this!!!

  5. This looks so good but my husband is picky about tomatoes. Could. Use tomato paste or sauce as a substitute?

  6. I made this for supper tonight. Slow cooked it all day in my crock pot. It was sooo warm and comforting on a cold day as today. I agree it definitely has a smokey flavor. The only difference I made was added a green pepper. My husband and I loved it. A super stew recipe for a cold Winter day. Thanks 🙂

  7. I made this and it was very good. The only changes I made was I added lima beans and used chicken instead of ground beef.

  8. 5 stars
    YOU know what I like about your recipes? they are MEGA EASY – my Brunswick stew recipes take ALL DAY LONG to make and are expensive to make – this is the time of year when I live off soups and stews – that with some cornbread or homemade biscuits & honey – this is PERFECT when I don't have one planned and want something to just throw together (and Sweet Baby Rays is the ONLY bbq sauce served in this house) another of my winter favorites is baked potato soup OMG – artery hardening and delicious on a cold winter day … I use milk, butter sour cream, cream cheese, grated cheddar, chives sauteed onions vegan bacon flavored bits and potatoes chunked and lightly smashed (meat eaters can use real bacon) a loaf of homemade cheddar onion bread – seriously to die for

  9. 5 stars
    We made this tonight and I thought it was scrumptious!! The potatoes needed a little extra boiling time because they were not done after 30 minutes. My husband has been eating this for years from a restaurant in GA and he said it is supposed to look like hash…? Mine wasn't too "hashy." I love your site and your recipes are so great and easy to follow. Thank you for sharing your gift!! <3

  10. This looks like a great quick and easy recipe. I am from Georgia and Brunswick Stew is definitely a southern thing. I LOVE it and am therefore VERY snobby about my Brunswick Stew. I use cooked chopped chicken, smoked pork butt, ground pork, and ground chuck. I use baby lima's in mine but would never add okra.

    1. Yeah, We are from Georgia. It’s a Brunswick, Ga dish. I cook mine like yours but add corn and Lima’s. No beans or okra in our stew. Even though I love okra and beans! A little liquid smoke if not smoked flavor not in the dish!

  11. as you stated early on , we used Rabbit ( taste like sweet chicken ) , an Squirrel ( sweet pork ) ,,, an homemade biscuits , an Granny was from Georgia…… my my it was good we would eat till we felt like we would be sick ,,, She would just laugh ….

  12. This looks so yummy – going on my Sunday Soup Supper list STAT. Can't wait to try it this weekend.

    I never heard of it – maybe it's a southern (like you said Virginia) thing? Def. not a Minnesota thing – though a hearty warm soup is just what we need in the winter! 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    Yummy!
    I really love the recipes in your blog. They look delicious and easy to follow.
    This stew stuns me. I will do it tonight.

  14. 5 stars
    I used baby ray's honey BBQ sauce and it is goood, taste like a slow cooked BBQ stew. My sister liked it, but my brother could only taste the BBQ sauce. I see original was used here. So is honey BBQ too strong or is it suppose to be that way?

    I need to try it with a steak or roast for shredded instead of ground beef now. ^_^

  15. 5 stars
    I found your website by searching for potato soup then couldn't stop looking at all the poke cake recipes! 😀 I needed a recipe for ground beef for dinner tonight cause I know my family was getting tired of spaghetti! I knew this was the recipe for me when I saw the Sweet Baby Ray's!! I've got it in the crockpot now and it looks, smells and tastes delicious!

  16. 5 stars
    Oh YUMMM! Comfort food at its finest. I love every one of these flavors…mixed together would make it awesome.

  17. 5 stars
    Oh yummy! This was amazing! It makes a lot so we had plenty for leftovers. A huge hit – I wouldn’t change a thing!