Easy Chicken Stew — You don’t need to wait all day for this one-pot comfort food chicken stew recipe that’s ready in 1 hour! It’s chock full of juicy chicken, buttery potatoes, tender carrots, celery, green beans, and seasoned to perfection with a variety of herbs and spices! EASY and great for busy weeknights, lazy weekends, chilly weather, or when you’re craving hearty COMFORT food!
Table of Contents
- Easy Chicken Stew Recipe
- Ingredients for Simple Chicken Stew
- How to Make Chicken Stew
- Tips for the Best Chicken Stew
- Storing Leftover Creamy Chicken Stew
- What to Serve With Chicken Stew
- Recipe FAQs
- More Easy Chicken Soup Recipes:
- Easy Chicken Stew Recipe
Easy Chicken Stew Recipe
You’ll find hunks of juicy chicken amidst an array of buttery potatoes, carrots, celery, and green beans. Onions, garlic, and a variety of herbs add rich depth of flavor. I finish the stew with splashes of white wine for extra flavor and heavy cream for some final creamy richness, but they’re both optional.
My easy chicken stew recipe is ready in 45 minutes and made in one pot on the stovetop which makes it great for busy weeknights or lazy weekend afternoons. It makes a big pot so you’ll have planned leftovers to start the week.
Served with a hunk of crusty bread or small salad, this is definitely a meal! No one can say well soup isn’t a meal – because this hearty stew is definitely filling!
Make sure to see below because I have some great homemade dinner roll recipes as well as quick salads to toss together if you want to round things out with either of those.
Love Homemade Stew?
If you’re beef stew fan, I’ve got two great recipes for it!
Beef Stew with Dumplings is rich, savory, and the dumplings on top add the best comfort food finishing touch.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a cold weather or rainy day favorite and so easy to make. Your Crock-Pot does most of the work!
Ingredients for Simple Chicken Stew
There are lots of ingredients in chicken stew but all of them are easy to find, and very basic and common fridge or pantry staples.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- All-purpose flour
- Chicken – thighs recommended but breasts are fine
- Olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Yellow onion
- Herbs – fresh thyme sprigs, rosemary sprigs, sage OR use dried herbs
- Spices – cumin, paprika
- Reduced sodium chicken broth
- Dry white wine – optional but recommended
- Red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes
- Fresh green beans – perhaps you can get away with frozen but I would simply not use canned for the mush factor
- Heavy cream, optional but recommended
- Fresh parsley, optional but recommended for garnishing
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
Chicken Breasts vs. Chicken Thighs for Stew
For this particular easy chicken stew recipe, I use boneless skinless chicken thighs. The reason being is that during the time the stew is simmering, thighs are less likely to dry out or become stringy than chicken breasts would be.
However, you can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts if that’s your preference or what you have on hand.
Rather than dicing and cooking your own chicken thighs or breast, an easy shortcut it to use store bought rotisserie chicken.
Shred it and add it at the end when you add the green beans, so it has just enough time to warm through and absorb the stew broth.
Important note! If you go this route, start with 3 to 3 1/2 cups of broth rather than 4 cups since you will not be dredging raw chicken in flour. Missing out on some of the flour could cause your stew to not thicken quite as well so start with less broth to begin with. You can always add more later if you need it.
How to Make Chicken Stew
Making chicken stew is simple even if you’ve never made it before! Here’s what you’ll want to do:
Step 1: Mix together some of the flour, salt, pepper, and toss bite sized pieces of chicken into it.
Step 2: Add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven or soup pot, add the dredged chicken, and brown it on the stove top. After it’s browned, remove it and set it aside.
Step 3: Add the butter, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, stir, and saute over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.
Step 4: Spread the veggies to the sides of the Dutch oven and make a well in the middle, sprinkle in flour, allow it to become coated with the butter, and cook for 1 minute.
Step 5: Add the herbs and spices and cook for 1 minute.
Step 6: Whisk in the chicken broth and wine, add the potatoes, add the chicken back in, turn the heat to medium or medium-low heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the broth level has reduced.
Step 7: Add the optional but recommended heavy cream, fresh green beans, and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
Step 8: Taste the stew, adjust the flavor to taste with the addition of more salt (see the Tips), garnish with parsley and serve!
Tips for the Best Chicken Stew
Herbs: Fresh herbs are lovely and I always prefer them if I have them on hand. However, for thyme, rosemary, and sage if you have dried in your pantry and that’s what you want to use, go for it.
In general, you want to use about half as much of a dried herb as you would fresh, since dried is theoretically more concentrated.
The one herb I would not use dried is the parsley. In garnishing with fresh parsley not only are you going to get a welcome pop of fresh herbaceous flavor, but the green turns bright and vibrant make the stew more visually appealing.
Potatoes: Any time potatoes are going to simmer such as in a soup, chili, or stew you want to select waxy potatoes. That means red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes are great choices. This isn’t a recipe for a starchy potatoes like a Russet potato, baking potatoes, nor sweet potatoes.
Broth: I always recommend reduced sodium chicken broth, that way you can control the salt level of the dish. Speaking of salt….
Salt: Make sure to salt your stew to taste. I use low-sodium chicken broth and add a fair amount of salt, some midway through, and then again at the end once I check the final flavor after simmering and concentrating the flavors. Since the saltiness of low-sodium broth (and regular chicken broth too) varies among brands, and more importantly, everyone’s personal preference for salt varies, so salt to taste.
Major tip – If your stew tastes at all flat, boring, or just not quite “right”, it likely needs more salt. You’re flavoring about 9 pounds of food quite literally. It needs salt to bring out the best!
Stew Thickness and Broth Level – We all have different preferences for stew recipes and chili recipes for just how much broth, or lack thereof, is ideal. As written, the stew is thick, but not so thick that it borders on the thickness of White Chicken Chili. It’s “just right” for us anyway!
If you want it thicker, you can start by only adding 3 cups of broth rather than 4 cups. Or simmer it longer. However you do run the risk of drying out the chicken more.
If you want it thinner and brothier, just add more.
Also, everyone’s carrots, celery, potatoes, and exact size of vegeteable are going to vary. And as is the case with potatoes, how much broth the will actually absorb. So adjust the liquid level to your personal taste preferences towards the end.
Storing Leftover Creamy Chicken Stew
Stews and soups tend to make a lot so no doubt you’ll wind up with leftover stew. Simply store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 4 months.
Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop as desired.
Storing Single Serve Portions
I always store my leftovers, but especially soups and stews, in individual microwave-safe containers in the fridge. That way when I’m working from home and want some lunch the next day, I just pop one container in the micro.
Kid (or spouse) coming home tired and cranky from a long day at at school or sports practice (or work)? They can pop a container into the microwave themselves and it’s less intimidating than dealing with a big ‘ole container and soup ladle.
What to Serve With Chicken Stew
This chicken thigh stew is loaded with carbs, veggies, and protein so it’s a complete meal indeed.
To round things out, and for some dunking action, a nice crusty loaf of French bread or hunk of baguette is always a win with soups and stews.
Some awesome homemade bread and rolls include:
- No-Knead Make-Ahead Rolls
- Honey Dinner Rolls
- Texas Roadhouse Rolls
- Parker House Rolls
- Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread
If you’re more of the “soup and salad” mentality, try these complementary salads:
- Classic House Salad with Vinaigrette
- BLT Chopped Salad with Homemade Buttermilk Dressing
- Kale Caesar Salad
- Easy Chopped Salad (has chicken but you can omit)
Making slow cooker chicken stew is definitely possible. It would be ideal if you could saute the mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery) first in a skillet on the stove, transfer it to the slow cooker, and carry on.
Although potentially it’s not necessary and you can use the ‘dump it all in at once method’. I would slow cook for at least 3-4 hours on high, or 4-6 hours on low.
However, I haven’t personally tested this and I am merely guessing on both the methodology and the cook time estimates. If you make it this way, please let me know in the comments!
For recipes with many ingredients, using dry wine often helps to marry them, and add depth of flavor. It’s just 1/4 cup in the entire big batch of stew so we’re not talking much at all – just 4 tablespoons. Apart from that, the tiny amount of alcohol easily simmers off.
However, if you don’t want to use it for some reason, you can simply omit it.
In this simple chicken stew recipe, use a dry white wine like chardonnay, pinot grigio, or sauvignon blanc.
If you’re a wine drinker and have a white open, whatever it is will probably be just fine. However, make sure not to accidentally select a sweet white wine like a riesling!
If you’re trying to reduce fat and calories, or perhaps you want to keep the recipe dairy-free (in that case use olive oil rather than butter), you may omit the heavy cream.
Obviously your stovetop chicken stew won’t be as creamy but it’s amazing how creamy it will be from just the potatoes. They have a way of fooling you into thinking there was some cream added!
Anytime you’re going to be heating, boiling, or simmering a dairy product, the more fat it has in it – such as heavy cream – the more resistant it is to breaking or splitting.
Therefore, if you don’t want to use heavy cream and have half-and-half on hand, you can use it. It doesn’t give quite the pop of true creaminess that heavy cream does, but it’s something.
However, don’t use milk. It’s not going to lend anything positive to the dish, and could actually cause you more trouble because it’s thin, there’s not enough fat, and it could break, ruining your stew in the final minute which would be devastating!
Yes of course you can. Not all vegetables cook at the same rate so that’s something to take into account.
Some decent candidates that will mesh well with the overall flavor of stewed chicken include corn, cauliflower, turnips, or rutabaga. Hearty root vegetables like that do well in stews because the long simmer time gives them a chance to properly soften.
If you happen to have any extra fresh spinach or kale on hand that you’re trying to use up, you can feel free to add a few big handfuls at the end. It takes just a few minutes to wilt down. While not totally traditional, it’s a nice way to get greens into your diet and add some color.
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- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more later for seasoning the stew
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more later for seasoning the stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes (chicken breasts may be substituted)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium to large yellow onion, diced small
- 3 ribs celery, trimmed and diced small
- 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 sprig fresh thyme OR 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary OR 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 fresh sage leaf OR 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2to 1 teaspoon paprika
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (such as chardonnay, pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc), optional but recommended
- 1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (not too big or they won't cook through, not too small or they'll disintegrate; peeling optional)
- 1 heaping cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature; optional or as desired
- Fresh parsley, finely minced; optional but recommended for garnishing
- In a large, shallow bowl, add 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, add the chicken, and toss to evenly coat and dredge it.
- To a large Dutch oven or large soup or stock pot, add the oiive oil, chicken, and saute over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes to brown the chicken; stir and flip intermittently to brown it evenly. Remove the chicken and set it aside on a plate or bowl. Tips - The chicken doesn't have to be completely cooked through (although it will be somewhat close) because it goes back into the pot and simmers for 30 minutes later. Make sure not to crowd it and saute in batches if you need to based on the size of your pot.
- Add the butter, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and saute for 3 minutes; stir and toss nearly constantly with a wooden spoon to ensure even cooking and so the garlic doesn't burn.
- Using your wooden spoon, spread the vegetables out to the perimeter of the Dutch oven, creating a well in the center.
- Add the remaining 3 tablespoons flour into the center well, and push any butter into the flour, and cook for 1 minutes. Tip - this isn't an exact science, don't overthink it too much. The purpose of the additional flour is to help the stew thicken later on. You simply need to cook it at this point so that later on you don't have any raw flour flavor.
- Add the herbs, spices, stir to combine, and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth, optional wine, potatoes, add the chicken back in, turn the heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for about 20 to 23 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the broth level has reduced and thickened a bit. Tips - I recommend the wine for depth of flavor; the alcohol burns off during the cooking and simmering, but you can simply omit if desired. There's no need to 'replace' it with anything else other than a splash more broth if you'd like. Regarding the potatoes, as mentioned in the ingredients, make sure to slice them into bite-sized pieces, about 3/4-inch cubes is ideal. They're going to be the thing that is "holding up" the cooking process because you can't move on until they're tender.
- Add the fresh green beans. Tip - I strongly recommend fresh. Frozen may be okay but I think canned will just turn super mushy and not be appetizing.
- If desired, you can slowly add the heavy cream. Tips - Half-and-half may be substituted but do not use milk. Whisk continually the whole time as you're adding it. Make sure it's at room temperature so it's less likely to curdle when it hits the hot pot of stew.
- Simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the green beans are as tender as desired, noting they will continue to soften even off the heat due to the warm stew broth continuing to cook them.
- Make sure the broth level is where you like it. See Notes for more info.*
- If you used fresh herbs, remove the sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and sage leaf.
- Taste the stew and check for salt balance, pepper, etc. Tips - You're going to need to add salt now. How much will depend on the broth you used and your general preference for saltiness. I add about 2 to 3 teaspoons at this point but it's up to you. Add slowly and keep going until you get it to where you like it. If the stew tastes at all flat or boring, it likely means it needs more salt. You have literally 10 pounds of food between the chicken and vegetables and it needs salt so don't be shy about adding it. Pepper too!
- Optionally garnish with fresh parsley (if you don't have fresh, I personally wouldn't even add dried parsley but it's up to you) or other optional fresh herbs, ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread, dinner rolls, or a salad (See Blog Post for homemade dinner rolls and easy salad recipes), and serve immediately. Stew will keep airight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Reheat gently in the microwave. I recommend individually-sized containers for ease with serving leftovers later.
*Broth Level - Everyone has a different idea for just how brothy, or not, stew should be.
For thinner stews with more broth, you may want to add an extra half cup or more of broth at the end based on how it looks.
For thicker stews with less broth, you may wish to start with 3 to 3 1/2 cups broth at the beginning. And/or use an extra 1/2 pound of potatoes. Not only will they naturally thicken the stew as they disintegrate into it, you'll have more potaotes making it seem like they're less broth.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 479Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 770mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 38g
More Easy Chicken Soup Recipes:
Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup — Classic, comforting, and tastes just like grandma made but way easier and faster!! This soup is AMAZING and it’ll be your new favorite recipe!!
Easy 30-Minute CREAMY Chicken Noodle Soup — Why have regular chicken noodle soup when you can have CREAMY instead? Pure comfort food at its finest! Ready in 30 minutes, an instant family favorite, and PERFECT for chilly weather!!
Easy 30-Minute Homemade White Chicken Chili – Hearty, healthy, loaded with tender chicken, and packed with bold flavor! Fast and easy comfort food that everyone loves! It’ll be on rotation all winter!
Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup – Chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and addictively crunchy tortilla strips! Fast, easy weeknight meal, and better than from a restaurant!
Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortellini Soup – An fun spin on classic chicken noodle soup using cheese tortellini! Fast, easy, comfort food that just hits the spot! You’ll make it over and over again!
Chicken Pot Pie Soup — All the comfort food feels of pot pie, but in soup form! Rich, hearty, creamy and ready in just 30 minutes! Use canned biscuit dough to save time on busy weeknights when you’re craving a hot homemade meal!
Loaded Cheesy Chicken Chowder — Potatoes, chicken, carrots, corn and more!! Thick, creamy, rich, and wonderfully cheesy!! Fast and easy comfort food that everyone loves!!