Hearty Stew Recipes
Stews are the ultimate cold-weather comfort food. Whether you prefer something classic, like a hearty beef stew in red wine sauce, or something lighter, like Gail Simmons's chicken stew, these recipes will warm you up. Here, 40 of our heartiest stews.
Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables
Jim Clendenen's version of this classic French stew, called navarin d'agneau, was inspired by vegetables from an extraordinary organic produce purveyor, the Chef's Garden, in his native Ohio.
Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple makes his zippy cioppino with shrimp, squid, mussels and cod, then, to give it a lively Korean twist, he also includes tofu and gochujang (Korean red pepper paste).
Lamb Tagine with Green Olives and Lemon
When making most stews, cooks typically brown the meat before braising it; here, Ethan Stowell skips that step, which simplifies the Moroccan recipe and gives the lamb a buttery, melt-in-the-mouth texture. The dish is vibrantly flavored with ginger, cumin, coriander, olives and lemon; the broth is delicious over couscous.
Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
For this beef stew, Jacques Pépin uses a special piece of the shoulder called the flatiron steak. This long, narrow piece is extremely lean, tender and moist, and it makes an ideal stew. He does not use stock, demiglace or even water. He makes his stew strictly with a robust red wine. This rich, winey beef stew is always a hit with his chef friends.
Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Sausage
In the first half of Top Chef Season 4’s finale in Puerto Rico, Antonia Lofaso was eliminated after serving a stew with seriously undercooked pigeon peas. To simplify the process and save time, Gail Simmons skips the pigeon peas and uses black-eyed peas instead, which do not require overnight soaking and cook right in the pot in about an hour. The result is a thick, luscious stew loaded with tender peas and spicy Italian sausage.
Slow Cooker Ham Hock and Chickpea Stew
Marcia Kiesel credits split pea soup, one of her favorites, as the inspiration for this hearty stew. Like split peas, chickpeas need to simmer for a long time, making them great for a slow cooker.
Moroccan Lamb Stew with Noodles
Paula Wolfert learned a chicken dish called chaariya medfouna from a private cook named Karima. "Chaariya means noodles," Wolfert says. "Medfoun means a surprise or something hidden.” In Paula’s adaptation, the steamed noodles cover tender chunks of lamb spiced with cumin.
Yucatán Pork Stew with Ancho Chiles and Lime Juice
Spicy Coconut Chicken Stew with Corn
This sweet and spicy coconut milk–based stew gets lots of bright flavor from spinach, basil, chiles and lime juice.
Chickpea Stew with Spinach and Chorizo
This stew, like all those in Catalonia, starts with a sofrito, a thick sauce made with sautéed onions and tomatoes. Once you get all the ingredients in the pot, there’s not much to do besides enjoy the aroma wafting from this hearty, spicy, soupy stew as it slowly cooks.
Shellfish-Tomato Stew on Soft-Cooked Polenta
This stew, from the owner of Casa Olivi in in Treia, Italy, loves to showcase the great seafood from the nearby Adriatic Sea. Here, she makes a tomato stew with shrimp, squid and mussels over milk-enriched polenta.
Short Rib Stew
When Ethan Stowell was growing up, his father was the family cook; beef stew was one of his specialties. Unlike his dad, who favored rump roast, Stowell uses short ribs, a marbled cut that turns fabulously succulent and tender when slow-simmered.
Slow Cooker Thai-Inspired Chicken Stew
Make-ahead Tip: The chicken stew can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving.
Kale and White-Bean Stew
Combining two Portuguese favorites—kale-and-sausage soup and a bean, sausage, and tomato stew—makes a simple, sensational one-pot meal. To keep the focus on the vegetables, we’ve used just a tiny amount of fresh sausage; you can add more, if you like, or substitute dried chorizo or pepperoni.
Ed's Portuguese Fish Stew
This flavorful stew, named after chef Michael Cimarusti’s Portuguese uncle, is loaded with clams, mussels and cod as well as chunks of linguiça, a smoky, mildly hot cured Portuguese sausage.
Carbonnade à la Flamande (Flemish Beef Stew)
This classic Belgian beef stew is known for its sweet-sour combination of caramelized onions and beer. Any dark Belgian-style ale would be a good choice here. As with most stews, the dish will taste even better a day or two after it's made.
A mix of mild chiles (poblano, Anaheim) and hot ones (serrano) gives body and heat to this quick braise made with boneless pork shoulder (ask your butcher to trim it for you).
Giant Lima Beans with Stewed Tomatoes and Oregano Pesto
Tangy feta cheese, a bright herbal pesto and a crisp bread crumb topping all elevate this tomato-bean stew. It’s sensational made with meaty Rancho Gordo giant limas from Peru, silky gigantes or large limas from the grocery store.
Cornish Hen Stew with Lemongrass and Chiles
Served in the rustic northern-Thai style with the aromatics left in, this spicy, gingery stew makes a fantastic main course or starter. It’s also believed to boost energy. For an even healthier version, remove the skin from the Cornish hens before searing.
Even though Linton Hopkins’s stew is full of shrimp and sausage, the best part is the delicate lima beans, a Southern staple.
Pork and Wild Mushroom Daube
The Provençal stews called daubes are cooked in wide-bellied, narrow-necked earthenware pots (daubières). The lids are specifically designed to trap moisture during cooking. Dutch ovens or bean pots are perfect stand-ins for a daubière.
Chicken and Barley Stew with Dill and Lemon
This one-pot dinner from F&W’s Gail Simmons is an enriched take on classic chicken soup with rice; at once flavorful, hearty and comforting.
Ethiopian Spiced Lamb Stew
Made with tender, boneless leg of lamb, this quick-cooking staple of Ethiopian home cooking is called awaze tibs and is flavored with awaze sauce, a kicky blend of berbere spices, smoked paprika, lemon juice and wine. Some cooks like it dry, but Hiyaw Gebreyohannes prefers it saucy—all the better for mopping up with Ethiopia’s crêpe-like bread, injera.
Creamy Oyster Stew with Fennel and Brown Bread Toasts
Instead of serving this luxurious stew with oyster crackers, Jeremy Sewall brushes brown bread with rosemary butter, toasts it until crisp and dunks a piece in each bowl.
Hunter's Stew with Braised Beef and Wild Rice
David Ansel makes this stew with venison and venison stock, but it’s equally delicious prepared with beef chuck. The meat is slowly braised in Madeira to bring out its rich flavor, then it’s combined with beef-based broth and nutty, slightly crunchy wild rice.
Pork and Tomatillo Stew
This spicy Mexican-style stew is loaded with vegetables, including carrots, an excellent source of vitamins A and K. Andrew Murray makes it for his employees around harvest time. “It’s our comfort food at the winery,” he says. *“And it’s a nice excuse to stop for a few minutes and eat together, even when we're busy.”
North African Fish Stew
Cat Cora’s Moroccan-spiced stew is a great showcase for farmed catfish or tilapia.
Hungarian Sausage Stew with Ale
This recipe for lecsó “LEH-tcho”, a traditional sausage, tomato and bell pepper stew from Hungary, is made with beer for a deep, rich flavor.
Veal Stew with Spring Greens
This lemony stew has a delicious mix of spinach, sorrel, watercress, romaine and herbs.
Beef Rib Eye and Vegetable Stew
This incredibly hearty stew can be on the table in less than half an hour.
Lamb Stew with Swiss Chard and Garlic-Parsley Toasts
This robust, satisfying stew is made with lamb shank, a relatively lean cut with marvelous lamb flavor. The Swiss chard here adds a mild earthiness as well as vitamin K and calcium.
This gumbo is rich and toasty thanks to the dark roux. It’s wonderful with oysters, shrimp and crab, but New Orleans chef Slade Rushing of Brennan’s says you can substitute what’s good in your area: clams, for instance, or even chicken. Filé powder is traditional in gumbo (you can find it at amazon.com). It’s made from ground sassafras leaves and adds an earthy, vegetal flavor.
Fisherman's-Style Seafood Stew
Chef Fabio Trabocchi of Casa Luca in Washington, DC, says the key to this brodetto-inspired recipe is to cook to fish and shellfish in stages. The crusty ciabatta toasts make this Fisherman’s-Style Seafood Stew warming winter meal.
Hominy Stew with Bacon
Chef JJ Johnson makes hominy the star in this humble, delicious stew. The maize kernels absorb flavor as they simmer while retaining a slight chew. Aromatics sauté in the rendered fat from crispy bacon, which is later used a garnish for each serving.
Oxtail and White Sweet Potato Stew
A red wine braise, complete with other mulling ingredients like fresh orange and whole spices, makes the oxtails in this stew fall-apart tender and flavorful. The longer the braise, the better, says New York chef JJ Johnson. “I forgot about it in the oven and returned to find it perfectly cooked,” he says.
Hunter’s Sausage-and-Sauerkraut Stew
This Polish “hunter’s stew” typically combines at least three different meats, from wild game to pork ribs, sausages, and veal. Chef Andrew Zimmern uses lightly smoked bacon, chicken thighs, and kielbasa in his version. He also adds roasted bell peppers for depth, buttery chanterelles, and crisp-tender fennel. The stew simmers with fermented sauerkraut, another traditional element. “Thankfully,” says Zimmern, “[the sauerkraut] is available in almost any supermarket you walk into.”
Hungarian paprika and caraway seeds jump-start the flavor development of this comforting stew.
Million Dollar Stew
It’s said that eating collards and black-eyed peas on New Year’s will bring good luck, so Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple includes both in his hearty and rich pork stew.
Viet Beef Stew with Star Anise and Lemongrass
Baguette and bo kho are great friends, but you also can serve the stew over pasta—try it over boiled egg noodles or rice noodles (select pappardelle-size noodles, such as A Taste of Thai brand). Add a green salad for a complete meal. If fresh lemongrass isn’t available where you shop, substitute 1/4 cup store-bought lemongrass paste, which is more widely available. Unlike fresh lemongrass, which is very tough and fibrous, you don’t have to remove the paste version before serving. Crushed tomatoes are usually available in 28-ounce cans, which each contain about 3 1/2 cups. No use for the leftovers? Start from a 28-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes; strain and save the juices for Bloody Marys, pulse the tomatoes in a food processor, and measure out the 1 1/2 cups needed for the recipe.
Oven-Braised Veal Stew with Black Pepper and Cherries
If you'd rather not use veal, you can substitute pork shoulder in this rich, tangy stew. The addition of sour cherries gives it an unusual bite.