West African Nut Stew

Nut Stew 1West African nut stew is usually West African peanut stew. Peanut butter is whisked into the broth to give the stew a rich texture and slightly sweet, nutty flavor. Although a little peanut butter isn’t something that most people, even those following a Primal diet, need to avoid at all costs, it’s good to have options.

You could leave the nut butter out entirely, and the stew is still good, but the nut butter is what makes this stew unique and gives it a really satisfying flavor and texture. In place of peanut butter, almond butter can be whisked into West African stew with little noticeable difference in flavor. Cashew butter or sunflower butter can also be used.

“Stew” often means thick chunks of meat, but West African stew is all about vegetables. Sweet potato, bell pepper and dark greens of some sort (spinach, kale, collards) fill the bowl with different flavors and textures. In this version, chicken thighs add protein and heft, but are optional. Without meat, West African stew is still flavorsome, nutrient-dense comfort food.

Servings: 6

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour



  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (15 ml)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound (2 or 3 thighs) skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch chunks (230 g)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (5 ml)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2-inches ginger, peeled and finely chopped (5 cm)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ to 1-inch pieces (13mm to 2.5 cm)
  • 1 28-ounce jar chopped or diced tomatoes (794 g)
  • 1/3 cup raw, unsalted almond butter (80 g)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (950 ml)
  • 3 ounces (a few handfuls) fresh baby spinach leaves or other dark leafy greens (85 g)

Optional: Cayenne, red pepper flakes, chiles de arbol, or your favorite hot sauce, to taste. Cilantro, for garnish.


Heat coconut oil in a wide soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, 8 minutes.

Add chicken and cook until browned on the outside. Season with salt, and the coriander.

Add garlic and ginger, cook 1 minute more.

Add the bell pepper, sweet potato, and tomatoes.

Heat the chicken broth. Whisk in the almond butter. Pour into the soup pot. Add cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or chiles de arbol to taste if using.

Cover and simmer 25 – 35 minutes, until sweet potato is soft. Spinach can be added during the last few minutes of cooking. Heavier greens, like kale or collards, should be added in the last 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve with chopped cilantro and hot sauce.

Nut Stew 2

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12 thoughts on “West African Nut Stew”

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  1. I had been craven some chicken thighs (my favorite part of the bird), and this looks like a divergence from Coq au vin and Carolina Bog. Heck, I think it is really nifty to add almond/peanut butter to a stew. I never really thought about that before. Good find.

  2. I just made this, using chicken breasts instead of thighs because I had them on hand. Delicious!

  3. Going to have to give this a shot considering most of the ingredients are foods we eat regularly. Looks like a good way to spice it up a bit. I’m in full agreement that peanut butter is not a food to be avoided at all costs. I stay in great health eating it as a staple food. I suppose it depends on how your body processes it.

    Thanks for a new recipe,

  4. Wow – I have every one of these ingredients in my kitchen/pantry right now .How cool is that? Already started dinner for tonight, but this is on the menu for tomorrow.

  5. There’s another delicious paste you can use instead of peanut butter. It’s called cream of palm nuts. It’s basically the pulp of oil palm fruits stewed and put into a can, You want to get the kind that still has all the oil if you can, i.e. is made from whole palm nut fruits, not pulp left over from oil extraction. These have a special kind of vitamin E, and make a better tasting stew. You can get it in African and West Indian specialty stores.

  6. Made this tonight. Only changes were greens (forgot to buy at the store) and added hot sauce and cinnamon. It was fantastic! Thank you so much for this very unique dish!!

  7. Just made this. Really, really, really good. I used cashew butter and csyenne. Also mixed in GL gelatin for a nutrient boost. Try it!

  8. made last night with cashew butter AND peanut butter – kale instead of spinach – used crushed red for the optional heat component, added extra coriander and about 1.5 tsp mitmita (an ethiopian spice) – WOW – so amazingly good!!!!