Vegetarian West African-Inspired Peanut Stew with chickpeas, sweet potato, and fire-roasted tomatoes. This hearty plant-based stew comes together in one pot for a streamlined, satisfying weeknight dinner.
Why You'll Love this Chickpea Peanut Stew:
This hearty plant-based stew boasts a rich, creamy broth with accents of floral ginger and earthy peanuts. In lieu of chicken, which you'll find in many similar stews, this version calls for chickpeas. Not only do the beans punch up the protein, but they also add hearty texture and fiber.
Also in the mix is sweet potato, fire-roasted tomatoes, and other bright foils to enhance the stew's richness. The peanut butter, however, is what gives the stew its quintessential earthy character.
Serve this stew as is, or with white or brown rice to soak up the extra broth. I also love adding fresh parsley to brighten it up, plus some crushed peanuts for crunch. And, since this stew is plant-based, it will last up to 5 days refrigerated, making it a great contender for meal prep. It's truly the definition of a hug-in-a-bowl, and has become one of my winter favorites.
Origins of Peanut Stew:
Peanut stew has its origins in West Africa and is made with a base of ground nuts (typically peanuts) or nut butter, tomatoes, and spices. It’s more traditionally known as Nkate Nkaway, Maafe, and Ghanaian groundnut stew. You can learn more about the history and origins of peanut stew here.
The Makings of Chickpea Peanut Stew:
In this version, the broth starts with an aromatic mix of onion, garlic, and ginger. Next comes the tomato paste, which offers a ton of bright umami flavor and savory depth. The key to unlock its full flavor potential, however, is to caramelize it. This is why the tomato paste cooks for four to five minutes before the liquid is added. You’ll know it’s good-to-go when its bright hue turns more brick red. Once it goes dark and starts sticking to the pan, it’s time to deglaze by adding broth and crushed tomatoes.
Once the stew simmers and the sweet potato is tender, it's time to add the star ingredient: peanut butter! You may notice, however, that the nut butter "breaks" once added to the hot broth. Though after it simmers for about 15 minutes, the stew will become creamy and cohesive, so no need to worry.
At this point, I like to stir in a couple teaspoons of hot sauce to cut through the richness of the broth. My go-to is Sriracha, however use whatever you have on hand! Next, ladle the stew into bowls and add your garnishes of choice.
What to Serve with Peanut Stew:
Typically, peanut stew is served with some kind of starch, such as rice or fufu.
If you're craving something ultra hearty, I recommend adding a starch. However if you're simply in the mood for cozy without extra flair, enjoy as is! I personally love serving it alongside a crisp salad for brightness and crunch.
Regardless, you'll be enjoying an easy and comforting meal that comes together in ONE PAN. And, one that's brimming with heart-healthy fats, fiber, and essential micronutrients. Now that's a weeknight win.
Other Favorite Vegetarian Soups to Try:
Vegetarian West African Peanut Stew with Chickpeas
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 4 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato from 2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp. each sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 14-oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup natural salted peanut butter
- 1 13.5-oz. can lite coconut milk
- 1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Hot sauce to taste I use 2 to 3 tsp. Sriracha
- Cooked white or brown rice for serving optional
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Roasted and salted peanuts for garnish chopped
- Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium. Add onion; cook 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Add sweet potato, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, ginger, and tomato paste; cook 4 to 5 minutes, until tomato paste caramelizes and turns brick red.
- Add broth and diced tomatoes; bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Stir in peanut butter, coconut milk, and chickpeas. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in hot sauce. Ladle stew into bowls and serve with rice, if desired. Garnish with parsley and peanuts.