top down view of a bowl with serving of rice and vegan African peanut stew.

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5 from 31 reviews

Thick, hearty and delicious this vegan West African Peanut Stew is made in one pot and ready in about 30 minutes making it a perfect weeknight meal!


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/3 cup water (for water saute)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 56 cloves garlic, minced
  • 23 tablespoons ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 12 chili peppers (jalapeno, serrano, scotch bonnet or habanero peppers), diced*
  • 23 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can (15oz.) diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water (or combo)
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter (creamy or smooth)
  • 5 oz. fresh spinach, chopped if not using baby spinach**
  • 2 small lemons, juice of
  • mineral salt & pepper, to taste

To serve

  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • peanuts, crushed or whole
  • dash of hot sauce (sriracha, franks hot sauce or red pepper flakes), optional
  • grain of choice (rice, quinoa or couscous), optional


Saute: In a large pot, heat oil or water over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers and saute for 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Boil and simmer: Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spices and liquids, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are fork tender.

Add final ingredients: Turn off heat and stir in the peanut butter, and finish with the spinach and lemon juice. Soup will thicken upon cooling. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serves 4 – 6

Serve in individual bowls with optional grain of choice (this cilantro lime rice would be great) and garnish with cilantro and peanuts. Soup pairs wonderfully with naan bread for soaking and dipping!

Store: Leftovers will keep for 5 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. To store longer, keep in the freezer for up to 2 months in freezer friendly containers or baggies.


*Traditional West African peanut stew is VERY spicy, adjust peppers to your taste. The order of peppers listed above are from least hot (jalapeno) to most hot (habanero). Be careful when cutting hot peppers, the oils of these peppers will stay on your fingers so don’t rub your eyes. If you don’t have peppers on hand, use up to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne powder. Also, 1 to 2 teaspoons of crushed red peppers will work too. Use your best judgement on how much spicy heat to add. For more info on intensity of peppers: Scoville Scale

**Feel free to use kale or collard greens. If using full grown kale and collards you’ll want to remove the thick center stems and chop the remaining leafs.

In place of sweet potatoes, use regular potatoes, or a combo of both. For extra fiber, leave the skin on the potatoes, just be sure to scrub them well before dicing. Parsnips would be great here too!

If you don’t have diced tomatoes, use one 6oz. can of tomato paste, stirring in with the veggie broth.

Nut allergies: Those with peanut allergies can still make this flavorful soup using almond butter, cashew butter or sunbutter. Even a mix of tahini with any of these butters would be delicious!

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: For grating the ginger I love using my microplane. Also, the small holes of a box grater will work well too (affiliate links).

Nutritional information is calculated using 2 cups veggie broth. I usually prefer to dilute my veggie broth using a combo of broth and water.