It’s getting chilly, isn’t it? This is one of my very favorite stews, all year round, but especially in the cooler months. It is hearty, comforting and will please your vegetarian and vegan friends too. It is brimming with chickpeas, savory with peanut butter and creamy with sweet potatoes. Read on to see how to make it and why it is so versatile.
A Very Versatile Stew
As noted, this stew is a crowd pleaser. Vegans, vegetarians and even carnivores will love it.The vegan can eat it as is, when made with vegetable broth. The vegetarian can enjoy it with fried eggs and sour cream or cheese on top. And the carnivore can cook up some bacon or sausage to crumble on top.
I have been making a version of this stew for many years now. I have made it on the stove top and in the slow cooker, both with excellent results. It can also be made in the Instant Pot for a faster, hands off approach.
Straight From the Pantry & Freezer
The ingredients are ones that I almost always have on hand. The recipe uses kale, and did you know you can freeze fresh kale if you plan to use it in a stew? Take it straight from the freezer and add it to the recipe. You don’t even have to cook or blanche it before freezing it.
The other ingredients are chickpeas, canned tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, onion, garlic, spices…they are all things I usually have ready to go. Chicken broth is in my freezer, as are any extra proteins I want to add on top.
I always double the recipe because it freezes well. Once recipe makes enough for four to six people, depending on how you eat it. If you serve it over rice, you would get more servings. If you have just the stew, it’s closer to four servings. But it’s easy enough to double the recipe and have some on hand for next week.
Note: when I double the recipe, I only have room for one batch in the slow cooker or instant pot, and I cook the other batch on the stove top. So keep this in mind if you were hoping to fit it all into a slow cooker or instant pot. Your slow cooker may be big enough to handle it. Mine is not.
Toppings and Base
You can dress this stew up or down however you like. Toppings I enjoy are cilantro, lime juice, chopped peanuts, sour cream, and extra chili powder. If I want more protein, I add bacon, shredded chicken, eggs or sausage on top.
Serve it over rice, serve it as it is. Serve it over polenta or with a side of bread. It’s an any time, any way you like it stew. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
West African Peanut Stew
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: In a slow cooker, 8 hours. On a stove top, 30 minutes. In an Instant Pot, 30 minutes.
Total time: 8 hours and 15 minutes, or 45 minutes
Serves 4 – 6
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (use vegetable for vegetarians or vegans)
14 oz. whole canned tomatoes (can use diced also)
1/4 cup (heaping) creamy peanut butter (salted, without added sugar or oil)
2 teaspoons chili powder (I use this blend so it’s not too spicy for my kids)
1 teaspoon salt
14 oz. (1 can, or just under 2 cups) chickpeas
2 cups kale, chopped, with thick stems removed
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Extra salt as needed
Optional toppings: cilantro, sour cream, chopped peanuts, lime, fried egg or chicken
Optional proteins: sausage, bacon, egg or chicken
Rice or polenta, as needed, if you’d like to serve the stew over one of these
In a Slow Cooker
1. Combine all ingredients except kale and vinegar in a slow cooker, mix, and turn on high. Cook for 6-8 hours.
2. Thirty minutes before you plan to serve it, add kale.
3. When ready to serve, turn off heat and stir in apple cider vinegar. Add salt if needed. Serve with above toppings.
On a Stovetop
1. Heat oil over medium to medium high heat in a large Dutch oven or pot with lid. Saute onion for about 5 minutes until soft, then add in garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes.
2. Add sweet potato, tomatoes, broth, peanut butter, chili powder and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium or medium low heat until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in kale and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
4. Turn off heat and add apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve with above toppings.
In An Instant Pot
1. Set Instant Pot to sauté. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients except apple cider vinegar. Lock lid and set vent to “sealing.”
3. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally.
4. Unlock lid and stir in apple cider vinegar. Serve with toppings.