One-Pot Spicy Vegan Brunswick Stew

This vegan Brunswick stew is a one-pot meal that is open for adaptation. The origins of Brunswick stew are up for debate however, regardless of where it originated, this stew is a wonderful way to warm up on a cold day.

One major difference from the original is the fact that this is a vegan Brunswick stew. Keep reading to find out what meat alternative I used!

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Vegan Brunswick Stew prepared in a bowl served with a dinner roll and sriracha sauce

What Is Brunswick Stew?

As mentioned above there’s a big debate that can be had over where this stew originated. Some claim that this iconic Southern stew was birthed in Brunswick, Georgia. Others argue that Brunswick County, Virginia was the actual birthplace. There is even a Brunswick stew landmark located in Georgia, represented by a large pot with a plaque reading, “In this pot the first Brunswick Stew was made on St. Simon Isle July 2 1898.”

Even the period of its origins is inconsistent, with some accounts reporting it was created in colonial times. Others insist it wasn’t until sometime in the 1800’s.

If you’re interested in reading more about the origins of Brunswick stew, check out this Southern Living article, entitled “The Complicated History of Brunswick Stew“.

But I’m not here to fuss over when or who came up with this hearty stew. I’d rather talk about what Brunswick stew is made of.

What makes this stew so iconic is that it was originally made with wild game, local vegetables, and beans. There are accounts of using rabbit, squirrel, and even opossum meat along with whichever vegetables were in season. Most often you will see corn, okra, tomatoes, butter beans, and potatoes flavored with cayenne and salt.

Is Brunswick Stew Healthy?

Depending on how you make your Brunswick stew, this can be a very healthy recipe.

This recipe is my take on Brunswick stew. As you can see, I’ve chosen to make it vegan and used “no salt added” versions of all the canned ingredients to cut back on the sodium content per serving.

Feel free to adjust ingredients according to your tastes. Additionally, you can also follow in the footsteps of Brunswick stew origins by using whatever veggies are in season.

This recipe, if prepared the way it was originally, is already considered fairly heart-healthy. I say this simply because it uses minimally processed, fresh foods. In those days, meals were all about nourishment, not what it seems to be today. But that’s another debate. Let’s get back to this vegan Brunswick stew recipe.

Health Benefits of Beans

Whether you use lima beans, butter beans, or any other beans, you’re adding protein and fiber, without the added fat. FYI, that’s one reason that plant-based protein sources are better than animal sources.

Plus, beans are essential for heart health in that they help reduce blood cholesterol levels (1). In addition, a higher intake of beans and legumes is associated with a lower risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, and colorectal cancer (2).

Current Dietary Guidelines recommend that most adults eat 1 to 3 cups of beans, peas, or lentils each week.

Health Benefits of Vegetables

I think I can say with confidence that most of us are aware of the fact that vegetables are good for us.

They are high in nutrients and low in other things that we should be limiting, like cholesterol, sodium, and saturated and trans fats.

Study after study has proven the health benefits of eating vegetables in all areas of life and with all populations. A higher intake of vegetables decreases the risk of developing chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental health disorders, and overall mortality (3, 4, 5).

The health-promoting contributions of vegetables are all the result of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols that they contain (3).

The bottom line here is to make sure you eat at least 5 servings a day of vegetables and fruits to reap these health benefits.

This vegan Brunswick stew recipe uses veggie chorizo crumbles in place of wild game or other animal meats.

Morning Star Farms vegan chorizo soy crumbles
Pictured: Morning Star Farms Veggie Chorizo Crumbles for Spicy Vegan Brunswick Stew

Vegan Meat Substitutes for Soups and Stews

To make this stew vegan and still be able to satisfy the meat-lover in your family, you have to consider the options. You may not have squirrel or rabbit meat available. I generally don’t, but I will tell you, my husband does make a mean rabbit stew on occasion.

Instead, I went searching at my local market for vegan options. What I found was vegan chorizo crumbles by Morning Star Farms.* (affiliate link)

The protein source in this product is faba beans and peas.

But be wary of some meat substitutes, which can be high in fat and/or sodium. The vegan crumbles were higher in sodium than I’d like (420 mg per 1/2 cup serving). However, I still gave them a try since all the other ingredients I was using were very low in fat and sodium.

As a quick guideline, try sticking with plant-based options that contain less than 3 grams of saturated fat, no added sugars, and less than 300 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Some other great meat alternative options to try in this vegan Brunswick stew recipe are:

  • tempeh
  • seitan
  • soy burger crumbles
  • jackfruit
  • lentils
  • mushrooms

The option I’d like to try most is the jackfruit. Jackfruit is a fruit but it is known to be a wonderful meat alternative and can be found in some grocers around the nation. It shreds nicely and would give a “shredded pork-like” texture to this stew.

You can purchase shredded Jackfruit* (affiliate link) on Amazon.

shredded jackfruit for vegan Brunswick stew and other vegan dishes
Image: Courtesy of Amazon.com

Brunswick Stew Ingredients

Extra virgin olive oil– My oil of choice will forever be extra virgin olive oil. It’s perfect for sautéing vegetables and is a big part of a Mediterranean lifestyle.

Onion– You can use white, yellow, or sweet onion in this recipe.

Garlic– This aromatic bulb adds flavor and health benefits to this stew. I always keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge.

Fire-roasted tomatoes– There’s something about the fire-roasted tomatoes that I just love in recipes. If you can find a no-added-salt variety, choose that!

Lima beans– As I mentioned above, beans are an amazingly healthy food that we need more of. This recipe is a great way to sneak some in. You can use prepared dry lima beans or no-salt-added canned lima beans.

Tomato paste– Adding tomato paste helps thicken up this vegan Brunswick stew. Use a no-added-salt tomato paste to reduce the sodium content.

Cayenne pepper– This is an optional ingredient for more heat if that’s your thing. If not, no worries, you can forget this ingredient.

Brown sugar– A little sweetness compliments the spice in this stew.

Corn– Using frozen corn is so convenient and cost-effective. There’s also no need to defrost it beforehand.

Vegetable stock– A good low-sodium vegetable broth or stock serves as the perfect brothy base for this recipe.

Vegan Chorizo Crumbles– This vegan protein source is what makes this vegan Brunswick stew shine. I used Morning Star Farms vegan chorizo crumbles (found in the freezer section of grocery stores). It adds heat, tons of flavor, and a great meaty texture.

Barbecue sauce– I opted for a no sugar added barbecue sauce. There are so many different types of barbecue sauce out there. I suggest using what you know you like.

Sriracha– This is optional to add when it’s time to eat. This stew is spicy enough in my opinion, but for those who enjoy even more spice, go for it!

spicy vegan Brunswick stew ingredients
Pictured: One-Pot Spicy Vegan Brunswick Stew ingredients

How To Make Vegan Brunswick Stew

This vegan Brunswick stew is a one-pot meal. It uses mostly canned or bottled ingredients, making it quick and convenient. Here are the step-by-step instructions to make it tonight!

Step 1: Sauté Onion and Garlic

Start by heating a large soup pot over medium heat on the stove. Add the olive oil, chopped onion, and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes or until the onion becomes translucent. Be careful not to burn the garlic or it will become bitter.

Step 2: Add Next 7 Ingredients

Once the onion is translucent, add the next seven ingredients to the pot- fire-roasted tomatoes, lima beans, tomato paste, brown sugar, frozen corn, cayenne pepper (if using), and vegetable stock.

Cover your pot and bring this mixture to a boil.

Step 3: Add Vegan Crumbles and BBQ Sauce

Next, add the vegan chorizo crumbles. These are already cooked so all that is needed is some reheating which is done once you add the crumbles to the hot stew pot. Add the barbecue sauce as well. Stir and simmer for a few more minutes.

Once everything is incorporated you can enjoy your vegan Brunswick stew!

What To Serve With Brunswick Stew

Since this vegan Brunswick stew is a one-pot meal, you don’t NEED to serve it with anything else. But in case you do, here are a few great suggestions.

Starchy Side Dishes to Serve with Stew

  • Addicting Garlic Bread
  • Crusty French or Italian bread
  • Homemade rolls or biscuits
  • Cornbread
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Creamy polenta or grits

Vegetable Side Dishes to Serve with Stew

Other Soups and Stews To Warm You Up

Vegan Brunswick Stew prepared in a bowl served with a dinner roll and sriracha sauce

One-Pot Spicy Vegan Brunswick Stew

This quick stew is a one-pot meal that will warm your insides on cold days and nourish your body with a vegan source of protein, heart-healthy beans, and vitamin and mineral-packed vegetables simmered in a tomato base.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 184 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes no salt added
  • 1 (15.25 oz) can lima beans drained
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste no salt added
  • tsp cayenne pepper optional
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup corn frozen
  • 32 oz vegetable stock no salt added
  • 1 (13.5 oz) package Morning Star Farms Veggie Chorizo Crumbles
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce no sugar added
  • sriracha optional for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic and sauté until onion is slightly translucent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, lima beans, tomato paste, brown sugar, cayenne pepper (if using), vegetable stock, and frozen corn. Cook about 5 minutes, bringing the mixture to a boil.
  • Add the vegan chorizo crumbles and barbecue sauce. Bring the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Serve with am optional drizzle of sriracha and enjoy!

Video

Notes

Additional Suggestions:
  • Feel free to use any of the suggestions I mentioned for a vegan protein source in this recipe: tempeh, mushrooms, tofu crumbles, jackfruit, etc.
  • And I highly recommend finding as many ingredients as possible that are lower in sodium or labeled as “no added salt” in order to keep the overall sodium content reasonable per serving. 
  • Many vegan meat alternatives can be high in sodium so try to find one that is less than  575 mg/serving if possible. FYI, all the options I just listed will definitely meet the criteria.
 
Nutritional Information Per 1 Cup Serving:
184 calories, 7.3 gm total fat, 1 gm saturated fat, 27.1 gm carbohydrates, 8.3 gm protein, 7.6 gm fiber, 541 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol
Keyword dairy-free, easy, fall, quick, soup, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian

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