Let’s tuck in with hearty Chicken Stew! With tender potatoes and veggies, a creamy broth, and just a bit of Parmesan for extra deliciousness, this is the best chicken stew to warm your soul on a cold wintry evening.
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Why You’ll Love This Simple Chicken Stew Recipe
- Comfort Food Goodness. This chicken stew recipe has an undeniable comfort factor to it. It’s basically the culinary equivalent of a warm hug on a cold night, sure to make you feel cozy and cared for.
- Meal Prep Friendly. You can make all or part of this creamy chicken stew entirely in advance because, as with Crockpot White Chicken Chili, it reheats beautifully and the leftovers taste even better because the flavors have more time to mix and mingle.
- Super Flavorful. Chicken stew has the potential to fall flat, particularly when made with chicken breast. This recipe has you build layers of flavor, starting with browned chicken, continuing with lots of veggies and fresh herbs, and ending with Parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten things up.
- Hearty and Filling. While you can definitely make a meal out of Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup, Broccoli Cauliflower Soup, or Chicken Gnocchi Soup, some soup recipes leave you hungry for more. Stews are practically guaranteed to be satisfying because they’re chunkier, creamier, and more substantive. (See this Instant Pot Beef Stew or Crockpot Beef Stew for more examples.)
5 Star Review
“Soooo delicious, my whole family loved it! We devoured it.”— Marie —
How to Make Chicken Stew
- Chicken. The star of this healthy, hearty stew. Bite-sized pieces of chicken breasts (or boneless skinless chicken thighs) are browned in the pot first, building essential flavor and adding lean protein.
- Mirepoix. The classic blend of carrots, celery, and onion builds must-have chicken soup savoriness.
- Butter + Flour. The secret to good stew. Butter adds scrumptious flavor and teams up with the flour to thicken the stew.
- Chicken Stock. As Ina says “store bought is fine.“ I recommend unsalted stock (or low sodium chicken broth) so your soup doesn’t become too salty.
- Milk. Adds creaminess to the stew.
- Potatoes. I used a mix of Yukon gold potatoes and sweet potatoes. They help make the stew more satisfying and add a creamy, chunky element. You can swap the Yukon gold potatoes for russet potatoes if you prefer.
- Red Bell Pepper. For sweetness, nutrition, and a pop of color. Bell peppers are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
- Herbs. Fresh thyme and bay leaf give the stew earthiness and fresh herb flavor. You could even top this with fresh parsley.
- Parmesan. For crowd-pleasing savory, cheesy goodness.
- Lemon Juice. A final squirt of lemon juice wakes up the other flavors in the best way.
- Cook the Chicken. Brown the chicken and remove it to a plate.
- Soften the Veggies. Sauté the mirepoix in butter.
- Cook the Flour. Stir in the flour. Add the garlic.
- Simmer. Pour in the stock and milk, stirring constantly. Add the potatoes, red pepper, herbs, and salt. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Finish. Add the chicken back to the pot and simmer the chicken stew 15 minutes more. Stir in the lemon juice, Parmesan, and remaining thyme. Discard the bay leaf. Serve hot in your bowl of choice. Garnish with herbs. ENJOY!
- Skip the Milk. If you want to make this recipe without milk, you could try swapping it for Guinness to make an Irish chicken stew or use more chicken stock. Note that your soup will not be as creamy. If you decide to try the Irish version, I recommend swapping the sweet potato for an additional white potato.
- Make It Spicy. Prefer your chicken stew with a bit of kick? Crank up the heat by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper, or top your serving with a dash of hot sauce.
- Change Up the Veggies. Add frozen green peas for added protein and fiber. They’ll thaw right away in the hot soup. You could also try making this as a chicken stew with tomatoes. Use 1 can of drained diced tomatoes and stir it in with the chicken stock. for a lighter take with tomatoes, check out this Spanish Chicken Stew.
- To Store. Refrigerate chicken stew in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze stew in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, brown the chicken and chop the vegetables. Refrigerate each ingredient separately in airtight storage containers.
What to Serve with Chicken Stew
- Bread. Because you’ll want to soak up every last bit of broth! Try Beer Bread, English Muffin Bread, or Homemade Dinner Rolls. This Drop Biscuit Recipe or Skillet Cornbread are excellent choices for a more Southern vibe.
- Salad. Round out your dinner with Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad, Beet Salad, or Green Goddess Salad.
- Grilled Cheese. To stretch this chicken stew for a few days, pair it with Air Fryer Grilled Cheese for double the comfort food.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Dutch Oven. Perfect for making chicken stew recipes.
- Ladle. My favorite tool to use for serving this southern chicken stew recipe.
- Peeler. Ideal for peeling vegetables and fruits.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Scaling Down. Because this recipe is so freezer friendly, if you are cooking chicken stew for two or one, I would make the whole batch, then portion and freeze the leftovers. That said, you can certainly cut this recipe in half if you wish.
- Start With Cooked Chicken. Cut this recipe time even further by making this a shredded chicken stew. Stir in store bought rotisserie chicken, or use cooked chicken. Baked Chicken Breast or Baked Bone-In Chicken Breast are super easy options, or try Shredded Chicken, Crock Pot Shredded Chicken, or Instant Pot Chicken. Air Fryer Chicken Breast or Grilled Chicken Breast would also work.
- Brown the Flour. You want it to be a nice golden brown before you start adding in liquids. This keeps the chicken stew from having an unpleasant raw flour flavor to it.
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt plus additional to taste, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus additional to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick diagonal slices (halve the slices if your carrots are very large)
- 4 medium celery stalks cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 3 to 4 cups unsalted chicken stock if using salted, reduce the amount of salt in the recipe
- 2 cups lowfat milk plus additional as needed (I used 1%)
- 1 medium Yukon gold or russet potato peeled and 1/2-inch diced
- 1 medium sweet potato peeled and 1/2-inch diced
- 1 red bell pepper cored and 1/2-inch diced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- In a large Dutch oven or similar thick, sturdy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Saute until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the butter, carrots, celery, and onion. Saute until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the top. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. The flour should turn golden and no white bits should remain.
- Stir in the garlic. Let cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
- Slowly add 3 cups of the stock and milk, stirring constantly to deter lumps from forming.
- Add the potato, sweet potato, red pepper, 1 teaspoon thyme, bay leaf, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer.
- Let the soup simmer gently, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed so that the soup simmers but does not rapidly boil. Stir it periodically to prevent sticking.
- After 15 minutes have passed, stir in the browned chicken. Continue simmering until the vegetables are tender and the stew has slightly thickened, about 15 minutes more, stirring from time to time. If you’d like the soup thinner, add additional chicken stock as needed to reach your desired consistency.
- Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice, Parmesan, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve hot, with a sprinkle of Parmesan and black pepper.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate stew in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze stew in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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