African Peanut and Sweet Potato Stew

As you may have read from my last post, my fiance and I have recently moved back to Sydney and I’m in the process of setting up my new kitchen. An upcoming post will go through the process building-up my vegan pantry again, but until I’ve finished all that… we need to eat!

African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free

A few days ago, I was texting back and forth with my good friend Jodi from Toronto. (Side note: how people maintained overseas friendships before iMessage is beyond me! It’s a life-changer!) Jodi was about to make this African Stew for dinner, saying that it’s one of her all-time favorite healthy recipes. I took a look at it and fell in love instantly. Peanut butter? Beans? Sweet Potato? Stop right there… You had me at peanut butter!

African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-FreeAfrican Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Seriously though, since the recipe was already vegan and since the ingredients are fresh or really basic pantry items, it was a perfect recipe to make in my “new” but sparsely stocked kitchen.

African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free
African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free

Notes about my modifications

      • I substituted kidney beans for black beans. This is probably going to sound weird to those of you in North America, but canned black beans are almost impossible to find in Sydney. As soon as I find a place that sells them, I will buy them out and hoard every single last can of them. Sure, I know that dried black beans are available here and are “pretty easy” to prepare. But based on the amount of email I get from Australians looking for canned black beans, I know I’m not the only one looking for the convenience of cans. Maybe I should look into starting a canned black bean import business… Hmm…
      • I used vegetable broth instead of water. Feel-free to just use plain water, but I’m one of those people who thinks everything taste better with broth.
      • I used frozen peas instead of frozen corn. I got home from buying the sweet potato and the kidney beans for this recipe, only to realize that I had forgotten to pick up frozen corn. Luckily, I had just made my mom’s Minestrone Soup a few days before, so I had some frozen peas leftover. Sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got, and luckily the peas worked out beautifully.
      • I used crushed red chili flakes instead of fresh chili peppers. I don’t make a habit of using fresh chili peppers, as we’re not big spice fans in this household. I like using crushed red chili flakes because they’re consistent and I can control the heat.
      • I upped the garlic, and added fresh ginger. Before tossing the greens in at the end, I tasted the stew and thought that it was missing something. I did a quick Google search for similar stews and found that most of the recipes used more garlic, as well as fresh ginger and dried coriander. Because I’m still in the process of building my pantry, I didn’t have any ground coriander on hand, but I did have a knob of fresh ginger in the fridge. I quickly fried up some minced ginger with an additional clove of garlic and added it to the stew. It made a big difference to the overall taste, so I’ve included that in the recipe below. I’ve also included the ground coriander as optional, as I’m sure it would be even better with that if you’ve got some on hand.
African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free
African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free
African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free

African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-FreeAfrican Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-FreeAfrican Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free

4.8 from 10 reviews

African Peanut Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This delicious vegan and gluten-free stew is made of pantry staples. It’s hearty enough to hold-up on its own, or serve it with rice or quinoa and get more servings out of it.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: African
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, very finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • ½ tsp crushed red chili pepper
  • 1 – 14.5 oz (400 g) can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or almond or sunflower butter)
  • 1 tsp dried coriander (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 medium sweet potato (about 1 lb), peeled and diced
  • 1 can kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas (or frozen/canned corn)
  • 2 cups hearty leafy greens (spinach, arugula, kale, collard)
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. If you’re using a can of diced tomatoes, blend them along with their juice for a few seconds in the food processor or blender, just to break them up.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and chili and cook for about 5 minutes to soften.
  4. Add the tomatoes, stir to combine then add the peanut butter (and coriander, if using), stirring it in until smooth.
  5. Stir in the broth add sweet potatoes. Cover the pan and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add the black beans, peas/corn, greens and cook until the beans and peas/corn are heated through and the greens are wilted.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, and add additional crushed chili flakes, as per your heat preference.
Notes
Adapted from http://www.sunbutter.com/recipes-African-Stew

African Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-FreeAfrican Peanut Stew  with Sweet Potato and Beans - Vegan and Gluten-Free

47 Comments

  1. Ama says:

    Peanut butter usually grabs me too! I like it savory or sweet! What a treat this recipe is!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Ama! Great to hear from you! I need to set some time aside to visit your blog and see what you’ve been up to…!

      Reply
  2. This soup looks delicious and perfect for our current chilly weather setting in.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks so much Pamela. It was chilly here last week and totally perfect for those cooler nights. Going to visit your blog and catch up now!

      Reply
  3. Hannah says:

    You moved back to my home country before I could say hi to you in your home city!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hannah! What a whirlwind summer I had, trying to wrap up my job of 10 years and move (back) to Sydney. I’m going to go catch up on your blog now. I hate that we missed each other but hopefully we can meet up someday soon :)

      Reply
  4. Mia says:

    Hi Angela,

    Yes, canned black beans are extremely hard to find! They do sell them at Harris Farm Markets at Broadway Shopping Centre and i’ve heard that Fiji Market on King Street in Newtown also sells them.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thanks so much for that info! I have a Harris Farm Market near my place, so I’ll keep an eye out for them there too!

      Reply
  5. Jodi says:

    I’ve never made something like this with the PB, but wow, this recipe totally surprised me! I doubled it, included the black beans (as they are easy to find in the US) and added lots of spinach and a whole bag of frozen peas to the mix. I was going to make quinoa to serve it over but it’s perfect without. And this was such an easy meal to make! Thanks for the delicious recipe!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      You’re so welcome – I’m glad you liked it :)

      Reply
  6. Lexie says:

    Hi Angela!

    Exciting to see you’re back in Sydney. This recipe looks delicious! I’m always looking for African inspired dishes.

    Canned black beans: I see someone else has found them in Sydney from the above comments! For years I complained about not being able to find them, and then I discovered the fruit and veg shop near my parents stocks them! (Mount Colah – about 40 mins out of city centre if you’re ever heading North and want to stock up).

    Reply
  7. Justine says:

    This was so delicious and easy to make! I didn’t see when to add the ginger, so I just used my best judgement. Maybe I missed it?

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Whoops! Thanks for catching that… fixing now :)

      Reply
  8. This was delicious. I used a combination dried black beans and dried kidney beans. Will definitely make this again and shared this recipe with our Facebook fans as well. Thank you, Angela.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      I’m so glad to hear it! Going to add your facebook page to my page’s “likes” right now :)

      Reply
  9. Maree says:

    Made this tonight- YUM!!!!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Yay! Thanks for taking the time to comment :D

      Reply
  10. April says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was so amazingly delicious! The only changes I made were to replace half of the peas with okra and to add millet. I used 1 cup of millet and an extra 3 cups of water to cook the millet (added when the sweet potatoes were put in).

    Thanks for another wonderful recipe. (:

    Reply
  11. Hristiana says:

    Another Masterpiece. I really loved the sauce and the multi-level taste – the subtlety of the chilli. My bf’s also in love with it.

    I didn’t have spinach but I added rice on the side + sprinkled a bit of lime. Super yummy.

    You are making my vegan cooking life really interesting & way easier :))) Thanks!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words and for taking the time to comment on all the recipes you’ve tried. It means the world to me!
      Glad to hear that this was a hit with your mister. My man likes it too :)

      Reply
  12. Jill says:

    I just wanted you to know how much I love your website and I loved this recipe. I made a batch of it up and even my non-veggie husband loved it. I made a big batch of this and put it in freezer containers and grab for a quick lunch at work. It tastes just as amazing from the freezer state than it did on the day I made it! This has to be my all time favorite recipe. I also loved the mexican quinoa casserole dish that you had on here. I also freeze that. Since I’m the only vegetarian in the family I’m learning to fill my freezer full of meals for just me, and I am finding that my hubby is raiding my meals because they taste so good. Thanks so much for all you do! I really appreciate you!!! Not to mention I have several cookbooks and I keep coming to this site as I know it’s good stuff.. we must have the same taste preferences.. numminess!!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Hi Jill! Thank you SO much for the kind words. It totally made my day! I’m glad that you guys liked this recipe as well as my Mexican Quinoa Casserole. Please stay in touch and let me know what else you’re trying. Have a great day!

      Reply
  13. Katie says:

    Just made this and I love it. I used stewed tomatos since it is what I had on hand and actual red chili peppers. I also added 2 t yellow curry and it made it soooo good.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      YUM! I love the idea of adding curry powder to this. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  14. Alex says:

    Thanks for a delicious recipe. I cooked this today and shredded some coconut over the dish before serving :) Great stuff and super easy!

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      You’re so welcome! I love the addition of shredded coconut. Thanks for sharing ;)

      Reply
  15. Lynne says:

    Hi Angela! I just found your web site while looking for a recipe for peanut stew. I’m making it right now and I can’t stop myself from tasting and tasting (it’s got another 5-10 minutes and then we’re eating!!

    Thanks so much. This web site is AMAZING.

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Yay! Thanks so much for the kind words and for taking the time to comment in mid-cooking session :)

      Reply
  16. Bob says:

    This recipe is simply wonderful. Today is the typical damp winter day in New York City and this is the perfect meal to make it all seem so much better.

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Bob

    Reply
    • vegangela says:

      Agreed, it’s the perfect rainy day meal. I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for taking the time to write!

      Reply
  17. Sophie says:

    A healthy, tasty & very appetizing dinner, A big bowl for me, please! xx

    Reply
  18. Stephan says:

    This looks good. I think I’ll make this tonight, I have most of the ingredients home and I think I can get the rest for less than $5. I just have a silly question. Did you use crunchy or creamy peanut butter?

    Reply
    • I actually used sunflower butter, so it was smooth. I think either kind of peanut butter would work though. Let me know how you like the recipe :)

      Reply
  19. Morgan says:

    Thank you for a unique and yummy recipe! I made this stew a while ago when I was iced in due to polar vortex madness. I went online searching for a soup I could make with the ingredients I had on hand, and this is what I found.
    I made a couple of modifications- I was really craving an extremely thick, rich, hearty stew after being out in the snow with my dogs all morning, so I tripled the amount of peanut butter and used a can of kidney beans and a can of black beans. It was delicious and filling, but next time I make it I’ll try following the recipe exactly.
    I really like your site- lots of recipes I’m planning to try. Tonight’s dinner is going to be broccoli and potato soup!

    Reply
    • You’re so welcome! That stew is definitely a good cold-weather recipe. Hope you like the broccoli soup as much :)

      Reply
  20. Stephan says:

    Okay, so something came up ad I couldn’t make it when I wanted to; however, I just made it tonight and it came out great. Good recipe. I didn’t use ginger because I’m not a fan of it. But I had some vegetable broth lying around.I made a big pot of it to eat on all week. I”m a poor single guy, so this helps save money on food. Anyway, thank for this recipe. I”m going to try some others soon.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you liked it! Try some of my other bean recipes (http://vegangela.com/tag/bean/) – they’re all pretty cheap and you should get a lot of portions from them :)

      Reply
      • Stephan says:

        I’ve tried a couple already. They’re pretty good. I shared the stew with my co-workers and it was a hit.

        Reply
  21. margaret says:

    This was a real hit with the family. At the first two bites they weren’t certain, but on bite three everyone declared it to be a winner. Next time (and there will certainly be a next time) I’ll make it a tad spicier.

    Reply
    • Glad to hear it! Thanks for writing ;)

      Reply
  22. Rose Jen says:

    I really love this recipe because it is so full of goodness. There are a couple of modifications that I tried that worked. I used home made vegetable broth. This is the recipe I usually use: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/basic-vegetable-stock/. A little time consuming, but really makes for a fresh tasting soup. The left over veggies from making broth make a great, light and cleansing side dish to meat or beans. If you use this vegetable broth you don’t need to add as much garlic or onions. I also made fresh beans instead of canned. This will reduce the sodium/gas in the soup and cheaper! Lastly, I love the thickness of this soup, but if you want to make it stretch further, it still tastes amazing. Those peanut and ginger flavors are intense! You could add one more cup of vegetable broth (or more).

    Reply
    • Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. I really do need to start making my own broth so thanks for sharing your recipe. Good to know that the recipe can be stretched out and still taste great :)

      Reply
  23. Dana says:

    Hi there,

    went on a cooking spree last night and prepared this stew and the Quick and & Easy Indian Quinoa Curry to re-stock my freezer.
    Both were absolutely delicious!

    I stuck to the recipe pretty much, using black beans, corn, kale & sun flower and peanut butter. Never in a million years I would thought to combine these ingredients and get something this tasty – so thanks for the recipe.

    Furthermore, it was my first time using fresh kale…even though kale stew is a popular dish in Germany, I’d never tried fresh one. Hm, it even works as a salat…never would have guessed.

    So far I haven’t tried anything from your blog that I didn’t like, so I’ll definitely be back:-)

    Reply
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