September 25, 2011

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

african sweet potato and peanut stew

If you’re craving something hearty and comforting to warm you up on a fall day, this is the recipe for you! I made this many times to get me through last winter and plan to make it many times again this winter. This is my kind of comfort food, and unlike many traditional comfort foods, this one is really good for you too - while still managing to taste rich.

The recipe comes from Janet at the the taste space, a blog (by a fellow Canadian!) that’s full of really unique and healthy recipes that are so different from anything I see anywhere else, and I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from there.

I didn’t want to change much about the recipe because I knew it was perfect as is, but you could definitely mix things up with other ingredients if you want. Janet mentions that the peanut butter taste is not very dominant, so I doubled the peanut butter because I really wanted to be able to taste it. I wrote the recipe with the amount I used below, which I thought gave it a perfect hint of peanut butter, but if you’re not crazy about peanut butter then feel free to halve that amount back down to 2 tablespoons.

I’m also not a big fan of peppers in stews, so I decided to switch the pepper for carrots, which I thought would work well in this dish. I bought one of those ginormous bags of carrots at the grocery store, lugged it home on the bus along with all my other groceries, and when I finally went to take my first spoonful of the completed dish I realized I’d completely forgotten to put the carrots in. Urggh. Unless I write something down, I never remember it - does anyone else have that problem?

Anyways, if you have a better memory than me, you could try adding some chopped carrots in at the same time as the sweet potatoes. But even without any extra vegetables, this stew was still amazing. It also makes great leftovers for a filling lunch later in the week, so make lots!

african sweet potato and peanut stew

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Adapted from the taste space

Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper (green or red), deseeded and chopped (optional – I omitted)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon peeled and grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds sweet potato (about 2 medium or 1 ½ large potatoes), peeled and cut into small chunks
1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes (I couldn’t find a can in this size so I just used half of a 28oz can)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 (19-oz) can red kidney beans
1/4 cup peanut butter


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion (and pepper if using) and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger, and spices and briefly sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds to one minute.

Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock, followed by the sweet potatoes. Cover and let simmer gently on medium-low for 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.

Add kidney beans, stir and heat through. Add the peanut butter and stir until completely incorporated into the sauce. Serve warm.


  1. Thanks for the shout-out! This was definitely one of my favourite stews last winter, so thanks for the reminder. :) I am so happy that it has warmed up a bit because I am not prepared for winter just yet. Where are you located in Ontario?

  2. @janet @ the taste space
    Thank YOU for the recipe :) I'm in Kitchener-Waterloo so I think I have similar weather to you.. I actually made this last week when it was a little cooler out so it was perfect, but I'm loving the warmer weather this week too!

  3. @Natalie

    Lovely! I am actually slightly jealous because my fave resto is in Waterloo. Have you been to Thrive?

  4. @janet @ the taste space
    No but my sister has been there once and loved it so I'll have to go along with her soon now that I've heard a second recommendation! Maybe it can be lunch tomorrow :)

  5. I just found this recipe today and your photo looked so good I went to the grocer to get ingredients to make it! :) I am eating a bowl right now and it is scrumptious! Will be delicious lunches at work this week. Thanks so much for posting the recipe.

  6. @Becky
    I'm so happy to hear that! This reheats really well so it's great for filling lunches for the rest of the week. I just noticed you wrote about your version so I'm excited to read your post!

  7. Natalie, this dish is absolutely superb.  I have been trying to eat vegetarian/vegan dishes for a few weeks now and had remembered that a friend had made me a dish last summer which combined sweet potatoes, peppers natural peanut butter and other ingredients.  So I searched the web and found your excellent website.  (I know you are a grad student, perhaps in a discipline other than nutrition, but you are really gifted in the field of nutrition and food!)  Anyways, we made the dish tonight and it is a superb fall dinner.  Served with a side mixed salad, you really have an incredibly nutritious meal.  Thank you and I'll be a regular reader!

  8. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, it really made my day!  I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe - I have a few other sweet potato + peanut butter recipes on my blog if you like that combo!  Happy to have you as a reader :)


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