Best Stew Chicken Substitutes: Which One is the Best for You?

Stew is one of the most popular winter dishes.

It is easy to make as all you have to do is simmer it and take in plenty of vegetables, so it is a great dish for busy housewives and people who are lacking in vegetables.

Chicken is one of the most popular ingredients for such stews.

However, chicken is so expensive that we often hesitate to buy it, or forget to buy it.

Oh no! I don’t have any chicken. What should I do?

In this article, I will introduce you to “substitutes for chicken in stews.

Please refer to it if you have any problems!

Points to consider when choosing a chicken substitute

Stew is a general term for “stewed vegetables, meat, and seafood.

Therefore, there is no particular rule that says it has to be chicken, and there is no problem in substituting your own favorite food.

When choosing a substitute that goes well with stew, the following three points are important.

Tips for choosing a substitute

  • The flavor is not too strong
  • Can be stewed and still taste good
  • Goes well with milk or cream

If you can keep these points in mind, you’ll have an easier time finding a chicken substitute to use in your stew!

7 chicken substitutes for stew

Substitute for chicken in stew 1: Beef


Beef, which is commonly used in beef stew, is also delicious in the cream stew.

I especially recommend lean meat that is suitable for stewing.

Slices are fine, but if you want a more satisfying meal, use a block of beef, such as for curry, to make it easier to feel satisfied.

Beef is prone to lye, so it is best to boil it first to remove the lye before adding it to the stew.

Substitute for chicken in stew 2: Pork


Pork has a relatively light flavor, so it can be added to cream stew without interfering with the flavor.

If you use the less fatty part, you can make a light stew, and if you use the fatty part, you can add richness and flavor, making it richer.

One thing to keep in mind is that pork can become tough if it is overcooked.

If you grill it lightly and let it cook before adding it to the stew, it will be tender without being overcooked!

Substitute for chicken in stew 3: Fish


When you think of stew, you think of meat! However, fish also goes very well.

Salmon and white meat fish are especially recommended because they go well with milk and cream sauce.

One thing to keep in mind is that fish tends to fall apart during the cooking process.

By heating the fish in a frying pan and adding it at the end of the cooking process to lightly blend it, it will not fall apart and you can make a delicious stew that still retains the presence of the fish.

It is also a good idea to cut the fish into large pieces in case it falls apart.

Substitute for chicken in stew 4: Shellfish


As clam chowder is one example, shellfish is also very good with cream sauces, so it can be used in stews.

As well as clams, larger shellfish such as oysters and mussels are also recommended as they are very satisfying.

If you are bored with your usual stew, you can try making it for a special occasion.

Substitute for chicken in stew 5: Wheat Bran

Wheat Bran_2

It may come as a surprise, but wheat bran can also be used as a substitute for chicken in stew.

It is also used as a substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes and is recommended for dieters because it reduces calories.

To use it, simply soak the wheat bran in water or lukewarm water, squeeze it thoroughly, and add it to the stew.

If you use large wheat bran such as kuruma wheat bran, you can make it more filling like meat.

If you overcook the wheat bran, it will fall apart, so add it to the stew just before it is finished and let it warm up.

Substitute for chicken in stew 6: Bacon


Bacon, which is also used in carbonara and other dishes, goes well with the rich flavor of cream stew and can be used as a substitute for chicken.

Cutting block bacon or other meat into cubes and lightly browning it in a pan before adding it to the stew will add flavor and aroma while removing excess fat.

One thing to keep in mind is that bacon is very salty, so when making the stew, be sure to keep the salt content low or it will become salty.

Too much salt can cause swelling, so be careful.

Substitute for chicken in stew 7: Meatballs


Meatballs, which can be used in a wide range of dishes such as Chinese and Western food as well as ingredients for nabe, are a great match for stew.

By lightly frying the meatballs in a pan before adding them to the stew, you can keep them from falling apart during the cooking process.

The meatballs in the stew are very satisfying, making it a good choice for families with children who are eating a lot.

You can make your own meatballs by adding the carrots and onions used in the stew, or you can use store-bought meatballs or frozen meatballs.

Advantages of using substitutes

There are a variety of substitutes for chicken in stews, and there are several advantages to using these substitutes overusing chicken.

Calorie reduction

Fish, shellfish, and fu are lower in calories than meat, so using them as substitutes can reduce the calorie content of the stew, which is high in calories, to begin with.

In particular, shellfish and fu are low in calories, so even dieters can eat them without worry.

Shortening the time

Bacon and meatballs can be used to shorten the cooking time.

Bacon is a processed meat that can be eaten as it is, and meatballs are often sold pre-cooked.

You can eat them as soon as they are warmed up, so you can save time compared to using raw meat.

Great way to get out of a rut

The cold season inevitably brings more opportunities to cook warm foods such as stews.

However, if you make the same stew every time, you and your family will get bored.

By using substitutes, you can enjoy a different kind of stew without feeling like you are cutting corners while still having a delicious meal.

You can eat the same thing as those who cannot eat chicken

Some people cannot eat chicken for various reasons such as allergies, religious reasons, or because they are not fond of chicken.

Some people cannot eat chicken for various reasons, such as allergies, religious reasons, etc. When having a meal with such people, they cannot eat the same thing because it contains chicken, so they prepare a different menu, or some families may not make stew in the first place.

By using a substitute, you can share the same menu with those people, so not only you, but also those who have avoided stew because they can’t eat chicken, can enjoy the meal more.


  • Chicken is not necessary for stew.
  • Chicken can be substituted for anything that goes well with the base soup.
  • Meat and fish go well with stew, as well as fu.
  • You can shorten the cooking time by using bacon or meatballs.
  • You can reduce calories by using substitutes.
  • You can enjoy stew even if you can’t usually eat chicken.