Feel-Good Stew Recipes for Chilly Days

We have stews that feel like a warm comforting blanket on a cold day, from filling vegetarian and vegan stews, to robust beef stews and light fish ones too.

Feel-Good Stews

Maybe it’s my Irish roots, but I’m a sucker for a good stew. I grew up on generous bowls of my mother’s tender lamb stew embellished with potatoes, carrots, and onion.

Of course, the Irish alone can’t lay claim to a good stew. Cultures across the globe boast their own spin on these belly-filling braises. Consider, for example, the curries of India, tagines of Morocco, and cassoulets of France.

What’s universal in all these dishes, no matter the origin, is that they’re cooked low and slow to develop deep flavor and a rich base, all punctuated by vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood, or some combination thereof. Stews are the epitome of comfort and with cold weather upon us, now is the time to enjoy them. 

  • Sustenance Stew with Sweet Potato and Swiss Chard

    Sustenance Stew
    Anson Smart

    Sustenance is the right word for this satisfying vegan stew. It’s loaded with vegetables, including sweet potatoes, broccoli, and swiss chard, but it also has a few surprises. The stew is enriched with almond butter, avocado, and sliced almonds, which means it's abundant in healthy fats and fiber. Very filling indeed!

  • Smoky Vegan Lentil Stew

    Vegan Stew Recipe
    Erin Alderson

    This recipe is proof that you don’t need meat to make a scrumptious, smoky stew. Instead, a combination of smoked salt and paprika lend a wallop of flavor to this immensely nutritious dish. The fact that it’s meat-free also makes it very budget friendly. A win/win.

  • Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew

    Moroccan-Spiced Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew
    Sabrina Modelle

    A gluten-free veggie stew that can be cooked in under 30 minutes checks the box for folks who want to eat healthy and don’t have a lot of time. This Moroccan-inspired dish is seasoned with ras-el-hanout, a warming spice blend of cumin, coriander, ginger, and cinnamon. A generous dollop of yogurt and a few cilantro sprigs tie it all together.

  • Hearty Roasted Vegetable and Chicken Stew

    Chicken Stew Recipe
    Sally Vargas

    If you want to warm up from the inside out, consider this creamy chicken stew. It’s thickened with blended vegetables and seasoned with cumin, harissa, and turmeric. On the side? Brush pita bread with olive oil, add a pinch of salt, and toast until barely brown. Perfect for scooping up the tasty dregs in the bowl.

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  • Chicken Stew with Tomatillo Sauce

    Tomatillo Chicken Stew with Potatoes and Corn
    Sally Vargas

    If you’re new to tomatillos, which look like tiny green tomatoes with a papery husk, this recipe is a good way to get acquainted. They have a tangy flavor that makes a bright base for this easy stovetop stew. Serve with a stack of warm corn tortillas and extra salsa to spoon over the top.

  • African Chicken Peanut Stew

    African Chicken Peanut Stew
    Elise Bauer

    Talk about flavor! This hearty West African-inspired stew of chicken legs and thighs, sweet potatoes, and peanuts is just right for a chilly day. It’s on the spicy end of the spectrum, so if you’re sensitive to heat, scale back on the cayenne.

  • Chicken Stew with Coriander, Cilantro, and Chard

    Coriander Chicken Cilantro Chard Stew
    Elise Bauer

    This might be just the thing to make when you feel a cold coming on, since it’s sort of a cross between a stew and a soup. Plus, it’s mega nourishing. The broth is infused with coriander and fresh cilantro.

  • Chicken Stew with Onions, Tomatoes, and Dijon

    Chicken Stew with Onions, Tomatoes, Dijon
    Elise Bauer

    Consider this a stew with a French twist thanks to whole-grain Dijon mustard, a bounty of red onion, and roasted garlic. It’s made with a whole chicken, cut into pieces, and cooked with a broth of tomatoes and white wine. A warm baguette on the side is practically a requirement.

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  • Slow Cooker Guinness Beef Stew

    Single serving of Slow Cooker Guinness Stew with chunky potatoes, carrots and beef
    Elise Bauer

    I’m not sure you can get more old-school than this beef stew, cooked as it is in Ireland’s beloved foam-crowned stout. The stew is done in the slow cooker, which means you can go about your business as the potatoes, parsnips, celery root, onions, and beef cook into a stick-to-your ribs kind of supper. If you want to go alcohol-free, swap in beef broth for the Guinness. If you prefer a conventional stovetop version, thiswill do the job nicely. And we’ve even got a recipe for the Instant Pot, which you’ll find here.

  • Quick Beef Stew with Mushrooms and White Beans

    Quick Beef Stew with Mushrooms and White Beans
    Elise Bauer

    If you’re looking for the warming comfort of a stew, but don’t have a whole lot of time, this might be the ticket. It’s made with top sirloin, which is a leaner, quicker-cooking cut than traditional stewing meat. Embellished with white beans, mushrooms, and tomatoes, it has a bit of an Italian accent, so consider serving it with good garlicky bread on the side.  

  • Jamaican Beef Stew with Scotch Bonnets, Ginger and Allspice

    Two bowls of Jamaican Beef Stew served with rice.
    Kalisa Marie Martin

    This bold and spicy stew is rich in the sorts of ingredients you might expect in a Jamaican-inspired recipe: allspice, browning sauce, and scotch bonnet peppers. It’s excellent served with a side of steamed rice, which provides the perfect balance to the heat. The recipe includes instructions for making it in the slow cooker if you prefer.

  • Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms

    Beef Barley Stew
    Elise Bauer

    Consider this a bulked-up cousin to classic beef and barley soup. To serve, top it with sour cream and stir to make a rich and creamy dish. The recipe makes a great big pot, so invite friends or plan to store leftovers in the freezer for another day. 

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  • Spring Lamb Stew

    Spring Lamb Stew
    Elise Bauer

    Lamb has a reputation for being on the pricier end of the spectrum, but stew is a budget-friendly way to enjoy it. This recipe calls for more economical cuts, such as lamb shoulder and stewing meat, that are delicious when braised until very tender. Lots of garlic makes this dish pop. 

  • Spicy Pork Stew with Chickpeas and Sausage

    Spicy Pork Chickpea Sausage Stew
    Elise Bauer

    This spicy pork stew is inspired by the flavors of Spain. You’ll find chunks of pork shoulder, chorizo, chickpeas, sweet and hot paprika, and loads of garlic. It’s a good one to serve to a crowd, maybe with Spanish olives and glasses of Rioja before you sit down to dine.

  • Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash

    Spicy Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash
    Elise Bauer

    This spicy lamb stew is truly a feel-good dish. It’s packed with nourishment (hello fiber, protein, and vitamin A!) and it’s tasty, too. If you want to make things a little easier on yourself, pick up butternut squash that’s already trimmed and cubed. Figure you’ll need about 2 1/2 pounds pre-cut versus the 4 pounds if starting with a whole squash.

  • Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables

    Easy Lamb Ragu - bowl of lamb stew
    Sally Vargas

    The pressure cooker is one way to make a traditionally slow-cooked dish go a whole lot faster. Made with lamb, leeks, peas, asparagus, and turnips, this stew has a decidedly springtime spin, but can be enjoyed any time of year. 

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  • Feijoada, Brazilian Black Bean Stew

    Feijoada Brazilian Black Bean Stew
    Elise Bauer

    It’s easy to understand why this is considered the national dish of Brazil. It’s outstanding. The stew is built on a base of black beans, along with a variety of pork and beef. Included is a traditional ingredient called carne seca (dried beef) that’s sold in Latin markets. Corned beef makes a suitable substitute. Serve it as they do in Brazil, with steamed rice and hot sauce. 

  • Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew)

    Polish Hunter's Stew
    Elise Bauer

    Be sure to show up at the table with an appetite. Known as bigos, this stew is very hearty and full-flavored. The dish is made with several varieties of pork, an entire head of cabbage, mushrooms, and a generous amount of sauerkraut for good measure. 

  • Pork and Poblano Stew

    Pork and Poblano Stew
    Elise Bauer

    The south-of-the-border flavors of this stew is reminiscent of a Mexican pozole. Much of the taste comes from a combination of charred poblano peppers and smokey chilies in adobo sauce. Corn and sweet potatoes beautifully balance the spicy flavors. Finish every bowl with a spoonful of sour cream and fresh cilantro. Delish!

  • Rabbit Stew with Mushrooms

    Rabbit Stew with Mushrooms
    Elise Bauer

    Slow cooking rabbit with butter, an abundance of mushrooms, sherry, and herbs adds up to one tasty pot of goodness. If you’ve never bought rabbit before, you might find it at a specialty market or local butcher. If they don’t have it in stock, they may be able to order it for you. Feel free to substitute chicken if you prefer.

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  • Quick Easy Fish Stew

    Quick and Easy Fish Stew
    Elise Bauer

    When you want something on the lighter side, this fabulous fish stew can be on the table in 30 minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs, crunchy croutons, or even crumbled pancetta or bacon. It’s a good one if you’re having friends over, since you can make the base ahead and then add the seafood at the last minute. 

  • Brazilian Salmon Stew (Moqueca)

    Salmon Moqueca
    Elise Bauer

    Moqueca is a classic Brazilian fish stew made with local fish, peppers, tomatoes, onions, and coconut milk. This is an improvised version that uses salmon instead of the more traditional white fish. It gets marinated in garlic, lime juice, paprika and cumin, then cooked into a lip-smacking stunner of a stew.  

  • Oyster Stew

    Oyster Stew
    Elise Bauer

    If you’re from the South, you might be familiar with oyster stew. It’s traditionally eaten around the holidays, but who’s to say you can't enjoy it any time of year. It’s reminiscent of a really good cream of mushroom soup, with the little bit of luxury that comes with oysters. Feel free to use fresh or jarred oysters.