On those blustery days when tomato bisque or chicken noodle just won’t cut it, it’s time to break out our dutch ovens and let meats, seafood, rice, and vegetables simmer down to their most tender states. It’s stew season.
Our favorite Southern stew recipes combine old school traditions with new school takes from the region’s chefs. You’ll find hearty gumbo and rich oyster stew. But we’re also cooking up vegan sweet potato-harissa stew and and reaching for chicken and dumplings that we can pull together on a weeknight (can you imagine?). Check out these winter stew recipes, and let your Crock-Pots, slow cookers, Instant Pots, and dutch ovens cook low and slow for the rest of the day.
Cook These Winter Stews Low and Slow
Make store-bought rotisserie chickens your secret weapon for weeknight meal prep. It saves the time of dressing and roasting a chicken and adds additional seasoning to whatever stock you’re using. Add the dumpling batter to the stew in the last twenty minutes, and let them steam into fluffy nuggets.
Every coastal state needs an oyster stew recipe up its sleeve. Creamy broth and soft oysters are matched by crispy bacon pieces and Yukon gold potatoes for a bowl of varied textures.
A black iron pot sits atop a stone foundation in Brunswick County, Georgia, with a placard that reads, “In this pot the first brunswick stew was made on St. Simons Isle July 2, 1898.” While not from that historic pot, this brunswick stew recipe does comes from Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island.
This stew from Leah & Louise is for the seafood fanatics. Complete with oysters, crabmeat, and topped with crispy catfish filets, the elevated flavor and presentation makes it a compelling option to serve at a winter dinner party. We make it especially Southern by serving it over Carolina Gold Rice.
Don’t throw out those post-holiday turkey scraps. Keep them in the freezer, and use them to add deep flavor and delicious, meaty bits to soups and stews, such as this gumbo. A long simmering time for this winter stew makes it an ideal weekend cooking project. Assemble during the mid-afternoon and enjoy for dinner with a side of cornbread.
This New Orleans stew contains all the elements of French bouillabaisse—meaty fish pieces, eye-catching shellfish swimming in a brothy sauce—and turns it Southern. Shrimp, littleneck clams, and chorizo get cooked in a tomato-fennel broth, creating an umami-rich, protein-packed stew that will give you a taste of the beach on a winter night. Be sure to serve it with plenty of bread to soak up all the sauce.
This plant-based stew is the answer when you need hearty comfort food that’s still somewhat healthy. We love the warm, deep flavor harissa paste adds to humble sweet potatoes and chickpeas.
For a winter stew that actually bursts with fresh (not stewed) vegetables, try this West African-style recipe from Heirloom Café in Athens, Georgia. Loaded with cherry tomatoes, basil, cilantro, and green onions, this dish isn’t just for the winter.
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