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.
West African Peanut Stew made Vegan:
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.
How to Make West African Peanut Stew:
You can find peanut stews across West Africa, however many will have slight variations depending on region. Some are thick and served over grains, while others are more soup-y. This recipe lies somewhere in between, so you can choose to serve it with or without grains.
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:
Serve this stew as is, or with a spoonful of white or brown rice. If you’re craving something ultra hearty, I recommend adding the grains. 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. For example, this Blueberry Kale Caesar (minus the chickpeas) or this 10-Minute Brussels Salad. For garnish, I suggest fresh parsley and crushed peanuts.
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:
- 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.