Vegan West African Peanut Stew

I had seen recipes for West African Peanut Stew and all of it’s millions of variations around the internet for years before I finally gave it a try, and I’m only kicking myself for not trying it sooner. This stuff is seriously DE-LIC-OUS!! This unique peanut and tomato based stew is so incredibly flavorful, super comforting, and is truly a meal in a bowl. While most versions of this dish are made with chicken, I made a few subs to make it vegan, but I promise you won’t even miss the meat. You’re going to love this rich and flavorful stew!

Originally posted 8-27-14, updated 1-24-19.

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

A white bowl of Vegan West African Peanut Stew with brown rice and cilantro.

Substitutions

I love the texture and flavor of the collard greens in this Vegan West African Peanut Stew, but I’ve seen versions using all sorts of different greens, so feel free to substitute with kale, spinach, mustard greens, or whatever hearty greens you prefer.

Either chunky or smooth peanut butter will work here, but make sure it’s natural style, with no added sugar, to maximize the peanut flavor.

How to Serve West African Peanut Stew

Brown rice is my carb of choice to go with this dish because of it’s slightly nutty flavor and extra texture, so I like to scoop a bit straight into my bowl of stew. That being said, it can certainly be served without rice as well, or even with some bread (maybe some naan) for dipping. I also like my stew a bit spicy, so I like to top it off with a little drizzle of sriracha, even though that’s totally mixing and matching cultures. :) I’m all about fusion!

Meal Prep or Freeze for Later!

This recipe holds up really well both in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to pack up my bowls with rice and everything, then refrigerate for a few days or freeze for longer term storage.

 
A hand scooping up a spoonful of Vegan West African Peanut Stew with Rice
Print Recipe
4.85 from 123 votes

Vegan West African Peanut Stew

With a rich peanut and tomato sauce, sweet potatoes, collard greens, and crunchy peanuts, this Vegan West African Peanut Stew is comfort in a bowl! 
Keyword: gluten free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Total Cost: $6.38 recipe / $1.06 serving
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 6 1.5 cups each

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16)
  • 4 cloves garlic ($0.32)
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger ($0.30)
  • 1 sweet potato (about 1 lb.) ($1.47)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.21)
  • 1 tsp cumin ($0.10)
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste ($0.45)
  • 1/2 cup natural style peanut butter ($0.55)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth ($0.78)
  • 1/2 bunch collard greens (4-6 cups chopped) ($0.99)

Optional Garnishes

  • 1/4 bunch cilantro ($0.25)
  • 4.5 cups cooked brown rice ($0.53)
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts ($0.16)

Instructions

  • Peel and grate the ginger using a small holed cheese grater. Mince the garlic, and dice the onion. Sauté the onion, ginger, and garlic in a large pot with the olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion becomes soft and translucent.
  • While the onion, ginger, and garlic are sautéing, peel and dice the sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the sweet potato cubes, cumin, and red pepper to the pot and continue to sauté for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, peanut butter, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir until the peanut butter and tomato paste have mostly dissolved into the broth. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to high. Allow the stew to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very soft.
  • While the soup is simmering, prepare the collard greens. Use a sharp knife to remove each stem (cut along the side of each stem), then stack the leaves and cut them into 1/2-inch wide strips. Place the chopped collard greens in a colander and rinse very well
  • Once the stew has simmered for 15-20 minutes and the sweet potatoes are very soft, stir in the collard greens. Let the stew simmer for about 5 minutes more, then begin to smash the sweet potatoes against the side of the pot to help thicken the stew.
  • Finally, taste the stew and add salt or red pepper, if desired. Serve the stew with a scoop of cooked rice (about 3/4 cup), a few chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro, and a drizzle of sriracha, if desired.
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Scroll down for the step by step photos!

A ladleful of Vegan West African Peanut Stew with the full pot in the background

How to Make West African Peanut Stew: Step by Step Photos

Sautéed onion, garlic, and ginger in a dutch oven

Dice one onion, mince four cloves of garlic, and grate about 1 Tbsp fresh ginger. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger to a large soup pot along with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. 

Add Diced Sweet Potato Cumin and Red Pepper to Pot

While the onion, garlic, and ginger are sautéing, peel and dice one sweet potato (about 1 lb.) into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the sweet potato cubes to the pot along with 1 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Continue to sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add Peanut Butter Tomato Paste and Broth

Add 1/2 cup natural-style peanut butter, one 6oz. can of tomato paste, and 6 cups of vegetable broth to the pot. Stir until the peanut butter and tomato paste are mostly dissolved into the broth (it will look a little weird and grainy at this point). Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and bring the stew up to a boil. Once boiling, turn it down to medium-low and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very soft and mashable. 

Remove Stems from Collard Greens

While the stew is simmering, prepare the collard greens. Run a sharp knife down the side of each stem to remove the stems.

Slice Collard Greens

Stack the leaves and slice cross-wise into 1/2-inch wide strips. Place the sliced collard greens in a colander and rinse very well (they tend to be very sandy).

Add Collard Greens to Simmered Stew

Once the stew has simmered for 15-20 minutes and the sweet potatoes are very soft, add the rinsed collard greens. Stir them into the hot stew and let them simmer for about 5 minutes more.

Smash Sweet Potatoes to thicken stew

Use a large spoon to smash some of the sweet potatoes against the side of the pot to help thicken the stew. Give the peanut stew one last taste and add more salt or red pepper flakes, if desired.

West African Peanut Stew with Toppings

To serve the Vegan West African Peanut Stew, ladle about 1.5 cups of stew into a bowl, top with 3/4 cup cooked brown rice, a tablespoon or so of chopped peanuts, a light sprinkle of cilantro, and a drizzle of sriracha (if desired). Enjoy!