African Chicken Peanut Stew

Use chicken legs, thighs or wings for this recipe. They have more flavor and will hold up better with the flavors of the stew than breast meat.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8


  • 2-3 pounds chicken legs, thighs and/or wings
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, sliced
  • A 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 2-3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro


1 Brown the chicken. Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken pieces well, pat them dry and brown them in the oil. Don't crowd the pot, so do this in batches. Set the chicken pieces aside as they brown.

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2 Sauté the vegetables. Sauté the onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir well to combine.

3 Cook the stew. Add the chicken, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, coriander and cayenne and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt, adding more if needed.

Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes (check after an hour), or until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender.

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4 Remove bones and chop the cooked chicken. Remove the chicken pieces and set them in a bowl to cool, until cool enough to touch. Remove and discard the skin if you want, or chop it and put it back into the pot.

Shred the meat off the bones and put the meat back in the pot.

5 Adjust seasonings. Adjust the seasonings for salt and cayenne, then add as much black pepper as you think you can stand—the stew should be peppery. Stir in the cilantro and serve by itself, or with simple steamed rice.

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  • Mike

    Hank in some similar stews I have seen the local custom is to take a meat cleaver to the chicken to open up the bones a bit prior to cooking. This is said to really intensify the stock or base. Traditional Indian cooking immediately comes to mind as an example. Did your friends from Ghana use this process as well?

    Yep, they did. Hacking the bones opens up the marrow and collagen within, which will enrich your broth. By all means go for it if you want! ~Hank

    • Marsha

      just made this soup, and it is excellent!! a couple of things I will do differently next time; I’ll probably grate rather than chop the ginger because the flavor of it is very pungent. also, chop the peanuts in a blender rather than leave them whole. otherwise, a really great soup for the winter!

      • Laura ~ RYG

        Good tip on the ginger. I might cut back on the ginger too because I can’t take any heat! I know, gingers only HOT to people like me. I’m not going to lie, this looks a little difficult for me to make ~ but the rewards are definitely there. You have packed so much flavor here. This reminds me of a soup I saw in the Colonial Williamsburg village while on vacation, the peanuts/pb flavor was to DIE for. Thanks again.

    • Chris

      If I don’t hack the bones at the beginning, would enough marrow and collagen exist afterwards to make a plain stock?

  • GwenH

    The actual African name of this incredibly tasty stew is “Groundnut Stew.” There are countless versions of Groundnut Stew across Africa that vary the meats and vegetables. After tasting it at a party, I started making this stew and experimenting with the recipe.

    My version uses skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks for faster cooking. I season the chicken with cayenne, a pinch of ground ginger and salt before browning in oil. I use chunky peanut butter (use a good brand) to get both the peanut taste and bits of actual peanuts into the stew. I also use 2 garlic cloves, grated fresh ginger, chili powder, great northern beans, chopped bell peppers and whole kernel corn. In the last 10 minutes, I stir in some cooked rice. Yum!

    Next, I think I’ll try the chicken thighs, coriander and cilantro from this recipe. Every cook should experiment. As long as you keep the sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, it will be a true Groundnut Stew (or African Stew as my family likes to call it).

  • Annie

    This looks wonderful! Just one question: at what stage should the chicken be added to the pot after it’s been browned? Thanks!

    With the chicken broth, et al, after you saute the ginger and garlic. ~Hank

  • Amanda

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I studied in West Africa (Niger) in college and this dish was one of the meals we would eat on special occasions. We ate it over rice and had it with beef instead of chicken, but this version sounds delicious. I have been meaning to make this dish, but I wanted a recipe I could trust. Thanks again!

    P.s. In Niger this peanut sauce is called tigadigi. I hope that anyone googling it will now be directed here!

  • laura @ alittlebarefoot

    wow, this sounds absolutely fantastic. i might experiment with a vegetarian version for my visiting vegetarian sister, if that isn’t totally sacrilege.

    Nope, not sacrilege. Lots of people make this without chicken. ~Hank

  • Alena

    Note to anyone with a peanut allergy: We make this in our house using almond butter or 3/4 almond butter and 1/4 tahini and it is super delicious.

  • Sean

    Funny, I wrote about mafe for Leite’s Culinaria, but it hasn’t gone live yet. This is a dish I first experienced in my childhood, when my aunt was in Senegal with the Peace Corps. Delicious!

  • Anna

    I make an easy African chicken stew similar to this, too, after reading about some traditional African cuisines a while back.

    But I don’t use ever use vegetable oil (I purged veg oil from my kitchen years ago); I use Red Palm Oil, which is a healthful fat with a long tradition in African diets, adding an interesting and authentic flavor to the dish, as well as an intense red color from the high beta-carotene (Vitamin A precursor) content.

    Red palm oil is available at many natural foods stores and national chains such as Whole Foods, as well as from online retailers. A jar of Red Palm Oil remains fresh after opening for a very long time, because unlike highly processed and deodorized vegetable oil whose high PUFA content is prone to rancidity from oxidation (you know that “paint smell” and sticky plastic-y film veg oil quickly develops), red palm oil’s fatty acid profile, even though only minimally processed, is very shelf-stable and far less susceptible to oxidation and rancidity.

    I’ve also used winter squash chunks in place of the sweet potatoes in a pinch. Not authentic perhaps, but still tasty.

    • Guy Anderson

      Look at some of the food news. Palm oil is harvested in the middle of an elephant sanctuary. The farmers are killing the elephants in record kills to protect the palm trees. As a pro chef I try to keep up with sustainability etc and this just stood out. I used to use this product and until I see otherwise I will continue to boycott it. Just advising everyone, not mad at anyone, sharing the story. Have agreat week every one.

      • Jaye Peters

        I’m with you. I would rather prepare an Italian dish than harm another elephant!

  • Shortandsweet

    Does anyone think this might be just as good with almond butter? I’m allergic to peanuts!

    I’m sure it’d work with almond butter, but I’d try cashew butter instead — I think the flavor will be better with everything else in the stew. ~Hank

    • Roxanne

      Half cashew butter and half tahini paste makes a very excellent substitute.

  • Tom C.

    I made a recipe very similar to this recently for a luncheon at work. I made 6 qts and they devoured it all. The recipe I used also contained coconut milk and I thew in some cream of coconut. If your crew at home has been eating the same stuff this will really throw a wrench into it and they will definitely ask for it again!

  • Alison

    I know this as chicken moambe. I haven’t made it in a long time; thanks for the reminder!

  • Ajailyn

    So I saw this and sent the husband to the store immediately for all the supplies. I didn’t measure anything as well I have never cooked that way (probably why I can’t bake to save my life). So I think I probably would have gone with a bit more ginger I really love the flavor of this root.

    I tasted it before the potatoes are soft enough and I have to say it is fabulous! While just as much work as my homemade chicken soup (as I always use homemade stock instead of broth in a can or box), it is well worth the many steps of chopping, mincing, boiling and cooling what not!

    Now the true test is will my over picky husband enjoy it as well! Lets hope so for its now on the list of my dishes I make regularly!

  • Marie

    As soon as I saw this recipe come across my GoogleReader, I knew I was going to make this tonight. It was delicious! I couldn’t get thighs at the grocery store (they said because of the blizzard, no more chicken shipments for another 3 days!), so I had to settle on regular chicken breasts that I had in my freezer. It was still excellent and the chicken was very tender! I also added chickpeas. I recall the chickpeas in a similar African dish I had at a restaurant, and it was well suited in this dish.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Debbie

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was wonderful. My husband is taking some for lunch tomorrow and wanted to take extra so he could share with his co-worker. Love the spiciness and full flavor of the dish.

  • Nick

    you list both:
    1 Tbsp ground coriander
    1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

    I understand using both chopped and ground coriander in a recipe. However, why list the two names? Aren’t they the same herb?

    Cilantro is the leafy herb that resembles Italian parsley. Ground coriander is the ground dried seeds from the plant. ~Elise

  • JT

    Starting out, I had a roommate who’d been in the Peace Corps on the Ivory Coast. This was her signature dish. Can’t make it for awhile…but I’m so looking forward to it. I’ve been thinking about it for about a billion years or so. Talk about a memorable – tasty – meal. :) Thanks for posting!

  • Josh Baugher


    Thanks for sharing this. I just made it this morning and it was absolutely delicious! My only addition to your steps was that I toasted and fresh ground the coriander.

    The 1tsp of cayenne scared me at first but it was a nice gentle heat and not overpowering at all.

    Thanks again!

  • Ana

    I made the stew last night and it was amazing. Easy to make and big enough to feed my every hungry boyfriend. The flavors are wonderful and the kick from the pepper is great! The chicken was super tender, it was almost like a curry. A new staple for quick dinners :)

  • Christine

    I said I would and I did make this last night for my visiting son and daughter-in-law, and it was as delicious as all the other rave reveiwers are exclaiming about. My kids took the printed recipe home so they could make it again. I used a bit more ginger than called for and upped the garlic to 10 cloves, and to my taste buds it only made it better. Lucky me: cilantro grows year-round in my garden.

  • Wendy

    This looks incredible! How does it work with boneless, skinless thighs? They are so much easier than dealing with the skin and bones. As a big fan of Thai cuisine, I’m thinking of adding a blast of coconut milk because my family is so in to that flavor. It seems like it would incorporate really well into this blend. So, can I use the easy chicken? Since the meat gets shredded anyway, and the skin discarded, I think it would turn out just fine.

    Yes, you can use skinless thighs, but the bones and skin add a lot of flavor — besides, I eat the skin. ~Hank

  • Mary Johnston

    I made this stew tonight to rave reviews from even the teenagers in the house. I can’t have “hot” spicy so mine was very mildly peppered. However, I set out the cayenne for those that could spice it hotter. The taste was extraordinarily good, not common and just the right meal for a cold winter’s night. It has gone on the “comfort” food list from now on! Thanks for sharing, Mary

  • Michael G

    I was inspired by this dish and made it last night with a few modifications – it was a crowd pleaser! Since I no longer eat meat or chicken (supposedly), I used mahi mahi. This sped up the cooking process big time. I sauteed the onions, some garlic, a little fennel and the ginger. I added the cubed yams, peanuts, peanut butter, salt, pepper & cayenne then some Thai fish sauce and the tomatoes. I found I needed to add some water to keep the consistency correct as well. After about 30 minutes I was satisfied with the “stew” and added the mahi mahi in one inch slices and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until it just started to break up. I did use lots of black pepper and mixed in the cilantro at the end.

  • Mary

    SO excited to try this!! I first ate this in Ghana when I studied abroad in 2007. One of my favorite things about making this dish is how easy it is. My go-to recipe doesn’t have sweet potatoes or meat (just broth), so I am excited to try this! Because the base of the recipe is tomatoes and peanut butter, it’s very hard to mess it up. Accidentally put too much peanut butter in? Add more tomatoes!

    Since I like a smoother soup, I like to use organic unsalted peanut butter. I’ll puree everything in a food processor too.

    Thanks so much for this! Brings back lots of memories. And yes, Ghanaians LOVE LOVE their spicy foods so don’t be stingy here. :)

  • Rob McC

    I made this last night. I hadn’t intended too have freinds over, but they showed up and everyone went back for seconds…one person had a third bowl. I served it over rice, but I love the idea of having it with Naan. I actualy was out of ground coriander so I used the same aomount of Garam masala. It was delicious.

  • Judi Stevens-Spencer

    I would like to find out where Hank Shaw got the dishes used in the African chicken peanut stew display. Any chance you could let me know where they came from and (if) they could be purchased. Thanking you in advance. judi

    Hi Judi, the bowl is artisan made, the last one the shop had. It doesn’t have a mark, so I don’t know who made it. The plate underneath is some sort of copper/tin decorative plate from I think India. I purchased it at ABC Carpet, a housewares and furniture store, in New York City. They had plenty for sale at the time. ~Elise

  • Phil B

    This looks great. I have recently tried cooking in a tagine, or clay pot. Would you suggest any changes?

  • mandy

    I made this with extra firm tofu subsituted for the chicken and it is FABULOUS! :) thanks for posting such a delicious healhty recipe!

  • T

    Eating this soup now. So good and perfect for a chilly day. Perfect balance of sweet and hot.

  • Jane

    I made this because I had something similar at a restaurant in Portland, Oregon years ago & it was a favorite of mine. This ended up tasting different but was equally as good. I only made two changes: I used yams because I had them on hand and boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which was great because I could break up the meat right in the pot. My husband raved about it. This is something I plan to bring to my office annual soup cookoff next year! I won third place this year but I bet I get first place with this recipe! I personally love a really thick stew, so I also cooked it a little longer so that the yams broke down a bit and thickened it. Fantastic!

  • Beth

    Just made the dish for dinner and it was amazing, great bold flavors! I will definitely make it again. I followed the recipe as written, the only thing I will change the next time I make it is to add the sweet potatoes part way through the cooking time rather than at the beginning as instructed. After an hour of simmering they had mostly disintegrated, giving the stew a rather mushy consistency. I at least would prefer the texture of a soup with distinct sweet potato chunks floating in it.

  • squish

    I make something much like this..add coconut milk, curry and garbanzo beans.

  • Janet

    I made this tonight and thought it was such an interesting dish, and delicious. Very tasty and filling. The only thing I thought I would do different next time was add some acidic element like lemon juice or more tomato to balance the dish and cut through some of the peanut butter. But it’s a minor complaint about a very good dish. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Alexandra

    I must make a comment on a previous post re: red palm oil. It is not “healthful” and actually full of saturated fats. I have lived in Nigeria and my husband is Nigerian and we use it often in our dishes but it is not in the least healthy :) This is a great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • Carol

    I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was amazing. Delicious over fluffy jasmine rice. I did Ghana proud and used all the cayenne and pepper recommended. Although I was so excited about this dish that I completely forgot the cilantro. I will definitely make this again!

  • Rumana

    I made this dish for New Year’s – it was AMAZING. I don’t even like sweet potatoes but it was wonderful in this recipe. I loved how the chicken and sweet potatoes broke down into this awesome soft but not mushy consistency. I’m going to try this with goat or beef as per my mom’s request.

    Being desi, I subbed the cayenne pepper for red chili powder and put in 1 tbsp of that and black pepper as well as a handful of green chilis. Our whole family agreed that it could use more heat, but it wasn’t bland at all. Definitely upping the heat next time.

    More heat? Now THAT’s what I want to hear! I do the same thing at home. ~Hank

  • tommy2rs

    I’ve been making this (and variations) for years. I tend to use Sriracha (rooster sauce) in place of the cayenne. Makes an interesting background flavor and it can get the heat going.

  • mrpeey

    I made this last night and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The only change i made was a squirt of lime juice in my bowl to add some fresh acidity.

    Have you tried or considered this recipe using a different nut and nut butter? perhaps cashews or hazelnuts? I’m curious if you think that might work or not.

    Never tried it with cashews, but I bet that would be tasty! ~Hank

  • Adam

    I made this in a stainless steel pot. Delicious, but I am still working on cleaning the pot. Be sure to use non-stick for this

  • Brad

    Just made this tonight. It was fantastic. The chicken was soo good. Thanks for sharing!

  • ad

    We invited two of my co-workers for dinner last night and today this stew is the talk of the office. I’m not sure what was better the rich flavor or the aroma wafting through our house.

  • WineCanine

    Made this tonight, am eating it right now, and it’s fabulous! I definitely will make this for this year’s Soup Bowl Sunday.

  • Nina

    I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! The stew was full of flavor and the chicken thighs were so tender and perfect. I did add a bit more cayenne and black pepper to my serving as I’m a huge fan of spicy dishes. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!

  • Sarah

    We made this meal tonight and it was AMAZING!! I modified it slightly by doubling the garlic and ginger, and using regular potatoes (as it is difficult to find sweet potatoes here in Japan). It is now going to be a regular fixture on our winter menu :D Thank you so much and keep the great recipes coming!

  • Shan

    I made this the night before last. So good and a nice change up after the holidays. The only changes I made were that I added some sriracha and doubled the cilantro (we are cilantro hounds). I used leg quarters. The meat just fell off the bone so I had to be careful not to lose a knob of cartilage in the stew. YUM! Dark meat for sure in this. It was even better the next day. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Michelle

    Hi – So, after several trips to the grocery store by my husband (I know, these are all common items, shouldn’t require a single trip, usually I have them in my pantry, but anyway) I thought I had everything on hand. Unfortunately, I openned the can of tomatoes my husband brought home and added them to the soup – only to find out after adding everything that I added 29 oz. of tomatoe PUREE. Would I need to double everything else in the recipe to balance it out? Any other fix? I didn’t have quite enough chicken for a single recipe so two isn’t gonna cut it…

  • Michelle

    Update – we’re having groundnut stew for dinner two nights in a row! Yep, I doubled all the ingredients, except the chicken thighs, and WOW it was worth it. Since previous commenters had mentioned making groundnut stew without meat, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to not add more chicken. Thankfully my family really enjoyed it, as there was enough to feed an army. Hardly any cayenne or pepper because of the young ones, but we all squeezed lemon wedges into our jasmine rice covered with groundnut stew bowls and found it really brightened the flavour. Hubby and I added our own peppers and tabasco. Thanks for providing the recipe for my first homemade African meal :)

  • Vivian

    Just wondering if anyone has any tips for adapting this as a slow cooker recipe?

    Sorry, but I don’t normally use a slow cooker. Anyone out there have any suggestions? ~Hank

  • sarah, simply cooked

    Lovely. Any recipe with peanut butter is a keeper for me. And since I always have most of these things in the pantry, it’s a great standby recipe. I like peanut stew made with thickly sliced cabbage.

  • Ale

    “Perfect for chilly weather”. After trying today the recipe here in Edmonton (Alberta) with -22C (-7.6F) and wind chill of -32C (-22F) I can confirm that it truly is! Wonderful flavour!

  • kaori

    As soon as I saw your photo of the stew I knew I had to try, it looks so good. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I halved it and it still came out wonderful.

  • susan

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I was a little afraid of the heat, so I toned the seasoning down a bit but my husband added it back in and we both loved it:) Thanks for sharing.

  • Vivian

    Made this tonight with chicken breast, because it’s what I had – and it turned out great. I’ll go with dark meat next time when I’ve got it on hand, but this is definitely a make again recipe. (Only needed 60 minutes of simmering too!)

  • Sherry

    I’ve always loved a vegetable/peanut butter soup recipe shared with me years ago, so this looked delicious as well, couldn’t wait to try it. Made it yesterday using chicken thighs (with bone and skin), increased the amount of garlic slightly, and used an all-natural creamy peanut butter that was on hand, rather than conventional sweetened kinds. I let it simmer a long while and was not chintzy with the cayenne or black peppers – it was VERY good, served with plain steamed basmati rice. I might increase the heat factor next time and boost the garlic and ginger slightly, but the balance worked nicely as it stood. Can’t wait to reheat it for dinner tonight, as it will probably be even better a day later after the flavours have “married”. Thank you so much for a definite keeper!

  • Vega Delvia'Rose

    WOW! I was a bit off-standish on this at first, but this is a INCREDIBLE recipe!! My family cant get enough of this thank you soo much for posting. PS, I love this sight

  • Adrian

    This was awesome! Whole family including our 1 year old loved it. I have made it twice and added garbanzo beans the second time. Was great! Served over rice and had some chile garlic sauce on the side for those that wanted to add.

  • Fleeps

    I absolutely love this stew. The peanut butter (I use crunchy) and chilly combination is fantastic. I often make a vegetarian version which is my easy budget recipe which includes sweet potatoes and spinach. This makes a really healthy, tasty meal for less than £1/serving (just over $1).

  • Robin

    sounds absolutely delicious…question: do you think this would work in a slow cooker? if so, any idea how long to let it cook in there? thanks.

    Yes, I am sure it would work. No, I have no idea how long you would cook it. Sorry! ~Hank

  • Penny

    This was definitely better the second day, especially since it’s a cold day! Am eating leftovers now over a bowl of warm quinoa. Great and easy high-protein meal.

  • Maria

    Can this be frozen after making?

    Yep. ~Hank

  • The Other Elise

    I LOVE this recipe! I’ve prepared it about six times this winter and I’m making it again tonight. I never ate yams before either. Thank you so much!

  • Hayley

    I made this recipe last night and it was almost perfect. Here’s how I adapted to suit what I wanted:

    I added 300ml of lite coconut milk and while I loved it flavour-wise, it made the stew a little too rich. I wish I would have reduced the amount of peanut butter to make up for the addition of coconut. I also added chickpeas and they complimented the stew perfectly. I’ve made about 5 things from this website and I have to say that this turned out the best!

    This recipes makes enough to feed a small army and there were only two of us eating. We’ll be eating leftovers all week!

  • faeriehazel

    Delicious! I upped the garlic, ginger, and pepper the second time I made it and turned out even better. One way to be lazy about it is to use chunky peanut butter and skip the peanuts. (Lazy because my local store only sells them unshelled and I really can’t be bothered.)

  • Saadia

    I was looking for a recipe for this dish and approached my internet search with hesitation b/c you never know what you’ll find on the www. After reading the ingredients, I backed up to read the storyline and realized that the stew I was craving (what I used to get in Madison, WI) was the exact source of this version. I am already eager to cook up a batch! thanks

  • Annamarie Jewel

    My parents are from Ghana, and they make this at home with Ghanaian rice balls. Super yummy!!!

  • Rick

    I made a stew similar to this before, but instead of the sweet potatoes, I used plantains. It tasted great!

  • Liesel

    HOLY DELICIOUS! I made this tonight (ahem, still making it, but can’t wait to eat it based on taste testing…) and will keep this recipe around. I did add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice and some extra dried Thai chilies, but those were my only variations. Wonderfully flavorful and the skin on your bird is a definite must. I did take a cleaver to my bird, and it was kind of fun/probably made it richer. Oh, I used pheasant. I wonder how this would taste with lamb? I’m hoping this freezes well because I have LEFTOVERS.

  • Kris

    A little spicy, a little sweet, a little earthy ~ absolutely delicious! I was nervous that it would be too peanut-y as I was cooking it, but after it simmered for awhile, all the flavors melded together wonderfully! I used boneless skinless chicken breast because it is healthier, and it worked out just fine. Great recipe – I will definitely be making this again!

  • paulocordonbleu

    Fantastic recipe for a cool autumn night. I made the recipe as is and it turned out very well. We ate it with some North african flat bread ( Excellent!

  • keaaka

    Unlike everyone else in America, my parents hated cooking. So at 11, my mom handed me ‘Betty Crocker’s dinner in a dish’ (1965) and pointed me to her avocado kitchen. I LOVE cooking, of course, I love eating my cooking and at 50, 5’3″ and 250 lbs, not good. So I lost 100lbs,over the next 2 years by eating right and exercising (walk, swim, bike ride), no big mystery, and I’ve kept it off for 3 yrs.
    One of the first dishes I made was Gold coast stew. Peppers (grn and red), onion,garlic, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, peanut butter, broth, chili powder, sugar, nutmeg,allspice, chicken (beef and pork also work) and rice. served with pineapple, shred coconut, and tomato salad with papaya seed dressing.I made it for a home economics class, made it for my kids (they used to ask for peanut butter stew when I would get a new foster child, LOL) and I made it recently for friends. always a hit.

  • keaaka

    Unlike everyone else in America, my parents hated cooking. So at 11, my mom handed me ‘Betty Crocker’s dinner in a dish’ (1965) and pointed me to her avocado kitchen. I LOVE cooking, of course, I love eating my cooking and at 50, 5’3″ and 250 lbs, not good. So I lost 100lbs,over the next 2 years by eating right and exercising (walk, swim, bike ride), no big mystery, and I’ve kept it off for 3 yrs.
    One of the first dishes I made was Gold coast stew. Peppers (grn and red), onion,garlic, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, peanut butter, broth, chili powder, sugar, nutmeg,allspice, chicken (beef and pork also work) and rice. served with pineapple, shred coconut, and tomato salad with papaya seed dressing.I made it for a home economics class, made it for my kids (they used to ask for peanut butter stew when I would get a new foster child, LOL) and I made it recently for friends. always a hit.

  • tommyboy

    I don’t think I can eat groundnut soup without fufu.

  • Valerie

    I made this in a crockpot (simmering something for 90 minutes in the heat of summer? No thank you!) and it was delicious. I bet it’s better with all the flavor-building of the stove, but I’ll find out this winter!

  • Dalia

    HI. This sounds very good but I am curious as how peanut buttery the overall dish tastes like?????

  • Hillary

    Elise, er, Hank, I am excited to make this for such a dreary October day we are suffering through over here on the east coast. But you should also file this under gluten-free…because it is!

  • Stephanie

    I thought this recipe was just okay. I put in about 2 hours making this and it did not live up to the time.

  • sean

    did not like at all!

  • Andrea Kearney

    Hello, made this recipe as directed, but next time would like to avoid the sweet potato disintegration problem–it neutralized the flavors and textures which had tasted great in earlier cooking stages. Love bold, spicy foods. A staffer at my daughter’s school, who is from Ghana, recommends cooking the potatoes separately and mixing in only at serving time. She also says that the sauteingand browning stages are not followed in Ghana; they just throw it all together in the stewpot and thus avoid the extra oil. Any other suggestions? I think this has great potential and is the first of about two dozen recipes I’ve used from this site that did not turn out better than I’d hoped!

  • Rose

    I made this with boneless skinless chicken breasts, so I didn’t have a problem with my sweet potatoes disintegrating. I did use homemade broth, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have wanted to skip the long simmer of the bones. I found it quite delicious and something I will definitely make again. I didn’t think it needed any extra acid or anything. I also stirred in some chopped kale towards the end, and served with steamed millet.

  • Erin

    I am on a little crusade of authenticity here: the translation from “ghanaian yam” to “sweet potato” is botanically and culinarily incorrect. I have been going to Ghana for more than ten years now and I have never seen a sweet potato there outside of the commissary at the US embassy at Thanksgiving.

    The true African yam is a large, white fleshed tuber that is starchy and dry (similar to a dry baked potato). It is not botanically related to the sweet potato that we sometimes (incorrectly) call “yam” here.

    Every Ghanaian cook prepares Groundnut stew (or “Nkatenkwan”) somewhat differently, but typically the soup is prepared without the starch, the starches are prepared separately and then served with the stew at the end, usually as a large doughy ball in the center of the soup that is used to scoop the soup up while eating with ones hands.

    • Jaye Peters

      I’m glad you pointed out the discrepancy. I am from Trinidad and I made the stew today and while making it I thought that the orange American sweet potato is not the same as the African yam which is also found in the Caribbean. The stew is delicious as is but I will make it with the African yam next time.

      • Roxanne

        Well, it is very difficult to get African yams here in the states, so white sweet potatoes make a good substitute; they are a bit more starchy then the garnet or jewel yams. When I can find frozen cassava root (also very common in African cooking), I will use half cassava and half white sweet potatoes; this combo makes a very good, very close flavor and texture profile similar to African yam.

  • Barb

    I loved this recipe and so did the family. I added brown rice to the stew instead of serving it with. I added 1/3 cup if brown rice. Tasted great and loved getting the peanut surprises.

  • Beth C

    I have always loved this dish when it was cooked by West African friends, but never dared try it myself. Your recipe was clear and easy to follow. I used “Japanese yams” (or at least that is what they were called in the store), and they held up well and did not dissolve despite two hours of simmering. The pepper and cayenne are great in combination with the other flavors. This is a terrific winter dish.

  • Lauren

    This is so, so tasty, but so so fattening! I’m happy to splurge sometimes, but I think next time I’ll remove all the skin before browning, add less peanut butter and leave out the peanuts entirely, just to lighten it up just a bit. Very delicious and filling, though.

  • Monique Bradford

    I’m cooking this right now and it smells soooooo good! Thank you so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to serve it to my family! God Bless~

  • Kendra

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! My 17 yr. old daughter said, “Mom, does this have peanut butter in it?” and I nodded with a smile. She’s my guinea pig-lol! We also served it over Jasmine rice.

    Anyway, aside from being a little time consuming, as I did start from a whole chicken at 7pm, a quick scare due to lack of coriander, or so I thought, and maybe needing to add a little more heat to it next time, this was an overall adventure! I’ll keep experimenting with it til I’ve made it my own. Thanks, Elise and Hank, for a wonderful start to an exceptional finish. :)


  • Jessica @ Blog-Inspired Cooking

    I’m glad I tried this out! I’ve never had peanut stew and thought it would be a fun experiment. Thank you for the recipe!

    I posted my experiences making this recipe on my blog at

  • Carrie

    Could anyone tell me if they have tried this in a slow cooker and if so, what are the adjustments for the liquids?

  • Marry

    Your simple recipes make our days delicious and sweet and salty :D

  • Cam

    I do not use the sweet potatoes and therefore create a thinner sauce rather than stew. The sauce is great on steamed rice as a base, much in the same way that a chilli sauce can be balanced by the rice. I also use fresh chillis in the recipe as the combination of peanuts, chicken, chilli and the other ingredients mentioned are delicious…

  • Ann Marie Kelly

    Do I use sweetened or unsweetened peanut butter?

    • Elise

      That’s an interesting question. I usually get some sort of organic peanut butter that only has peanuts in it, and maybe some salt. But I don’t see why this recipe wouldn’t work with a regular brand of peanut butter, and those usually have a little sugar in them. But if you are asking about a “sweet” peanut butter, as in peanut butter that tastes sweet because it has quite a bit of sugar in it, I would avoid using that.

  • moon

    I just made this tonight. I didn’t have enough peanut butter on hand, but it was still delish! I also used white meat instead of dark. I loved it and will make this again.

  • Phil

    This recipe looks really good but I fear it won’t be spicy enough. Is there a preferred chili or pepper that could be added? Preferably one that I don’t need to get all the way from Africa.

  • Thorunn Sleight

    I’ve been making this recipe for the past two years, but as my husband spent 14 years in southern Africa, I followed his suggestion instead of rice, to serve it with maize pap, which is what an earlier commenter may have meant by referring to fufu, as this can be made out of a number of foods, including cassava and maize. I use maize, which is typical for southern Africa, and it complements the stew wonderfully.

  • Beth Schott

    This is fabulous!! I had to change a few things because of what was available, but loved it…reminds me of chicken madras, but soup instead of sauce. I used Palm Oil ~ definitely recommend! Added 1qt. plus 1 13.5oz can of coconut milk to take out some of the heat. I used natural peanut butter, and pre roasted chicken (out of our freezer) that I added at the end. I did not want to taste a lot of pepper, even though that is what’s recommended. YUUM!!

  • Anna

    This has become a family favorite and the most requested soup for Teacher Appreciation meals! I love that it is GF and Dairy free. :) I breakdown a whole chicken for the recipe and sometimes add coconut milk and serve it over rice. DELICIOUS!!! Thank you so much for sharing. We LOVE this recipe.

  • Ranell

    Made this last year because I wanted something different. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by just how delicious this is. What was even better was my boyfriend really liked it too! Right now I have it simmering on the stove for tonight’s supper, and leftovers that will get fought over! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!!

  • Linda

    This was delicious. I didn’t find it spicy enough so I will for sure be adding more cayenne next time but over all an amazing dish.

  • tina vial

    This is simmering on my stove right now and it smells divine! Can’t wait to savor this!

  • sara

    This is probably the best thing I have ever made.

  • Vicki Wilson

    I initially sent the recipe to my son (a frequent traveler to S. Africa) and loved it so much when he made it for me that I had to make it myself on a cold, dreary Sunday. I made it as directed and the stew was AMAZING – even my 83 year old mother loved it! Will either add more cayenne next time, or just serve with hot sauce on the side. The flavors were so warm and comforting, and even better the second day. Both my son and I opted to mix some roasted, chopped peanuts with the cilantro to sprinkle on top when served – it gave a extra texture to the dish.

    PS – I don’t normally like sweet potatoes, but had no problems with them in this dish; perhaps because I cut them into smallish chunks and they “melted” into the stock/tomato puree. Yum!

  • Melanie | Melanie Makes

    We share the same last name AND we recently moved from Madison – small world! Elise, this stew looks absolutely amazing and actually reminds me of something similar that the Great Dane served that I loved. Obviously yours is much more traditional and I have no doubt, even more tasty!

  • Krissy

    My dad and I made this stew and just about died over how good it was. Did not. Change. A thing!!!! Unbelievable.

  • Dorothy

    Love this dish.

    Someone asked about sweet peanut butter. I would use it. I’ve had success with Skippy type stuff that’s loaded with sugar (though usually I use peanut/salt peanut butter because it’s what I have on hand).

    Good tomatoes are naturally sweet, and when my canned tomatoes are a little acidic (happens a lot) I always balance it out with some sugar. So much stuff it in has added hidden sugar now a days that most of our palates are accustomed to it. (Not saying this is a good thing, just that this dish is really yummy with extra sugar).

    • Ann Marie K

      That was me. Thanks! I haven’t tried this yet, but I will soon.

  • Karen Gravatt

    I added Berber seasoning and used cashew butter to make it Paleo friendly. So good on this 7 degree day!

  • Krystle

    I didn’t love this recipe, but it is due to my own personal preferences rather than any failing of the recipe. When I was cooking it, I started getting grossed out – tomatoes + chicken stock + peanut butter + peanuts? Noooooo….but I needn’t have worried. The texture of the stew married together during the simmer time, and the flavors really do meld together as well. I did find the peanut butter to be the most dominant flavor. For me, the reason that I didn’t love it was twofold: 1) I wish it had had more chicken (my fault – my pot wasn’t big enough to hold everything, so I had to leave out some chicken and some sweet potato). 2) it was too spicy for me. One thing I know about myself is that I don’t like spicy food because I don’t tolerate it well, but I did use the one teaspoon of cayenne hoping that it would be just a very subtle heat. It was more than subtle (my mouth is still burning as I write this), so that’s why it wasn’t my favorite. However, for someone with a stronger palate, this is a great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • Jaye Peters

    I followed the recipe to the T and it turned out delicioso! I did not have to adjust anything. I’ve added it as one of my Sunday meals (yes, it’s that good) and I can hardly wait to serve to my summertime guests.

  • nr

    I really hope you find this question: I have a jar of Almond Butter that has pretty much solidified. I have to use it. The whole jar. Do you think it will work for this soup? I know Peanut Butter is more flavourful, but I gotta use this Almond Butter.

    (Or cookies. Maybe I can make Not Peanut Butter Cookies?)

    Thank you.

    • Elise

      Hi nr, I think almond butter cookies sound great! Less risky too, than trying to make this recipe with almond butter.

    • jayep

      Try the recipe with some the almond butter and let us know how it came out and you can use the remaining almond butter to make a smoothie.

  • nr

    Thanks. I look around for possible recipes, starting here.

  • Michele

    I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious!

  • Jessi

    Do you think this could be made without peanuts? What other nuts and nut butters do you think would have a good depth of flavor?

  • Kacie Morgan

    This looks delicious! I love peanuts and as the weather starts to get colder and the nights draw in, this is just the sort of meal I need to warm me up :)

    Thanks for the list, great reading material :) I already follow some of the bloggers on here. I blog about food and travel, I cover mainly South Wales but I have also written a few posts about my time spent in Jamaica.

    Kacie – The Rare Welsh Bit

  • Mollie Vargas

    I am currently enjoying this amazing dish. Turned out wonderfully!! It is just the right amount of sweet and savory. My entire family loves it and I will be making it again! I used boneless chicken thighs and left out the cayenne pepper mostly because I didn’t have any on hand. I just shredded the chicken with two forks right in the pot. I’m going to get my second serving!!

  • Sree

    I took some liberties to simplify the cooking steps based on Indian curry techniques- first, OK to saute the onion w ginger, garlic mixture before adding the chicken and other ingredients. Also have tried the same recipe w pork shoulder and it was DELICIOUS- my whole family raved about this version! Also instead of sweet potato I have substituted everything from kale to cauliflower. All so delicious! Nuts and Curry and tender meat and veggies are always a winning combination!

  • Louise

    I live in China and it’s really easy to find all these ingredients in the market my small town. Thank you so much for all your simple recipes, they are really great for western expats anywhere I think.

  • Sandy S

    Shocking how hungry I am for this stew!??! It just sounds so divine! Will absolutely be made today!
    BTW- Thank you for so many wonderful recipes the past two months! Wowza! A true Santa’s bag of great holiday recipes!

    • Sandy S

      Absolutely love this combination of flavors! Will certainly be making this recipe again. It makes me want to play with spices. Just like your wonderful Mulligatawny woke-up my latent desire for curry, this wonderful recipe has me wanting to buy some fresh coriander and cayenne! (Who knows when I bought the spices that I was using!?! ) I want to try them on some classics now, like baked potatoes/sweet potatoes and potato salad. And of course, to have them on hand for when I make this vibrant recipe, again!

  • Emily

    This. Was. So. Good. Was ready to lick the bowl clean. Perfect for our wet, cold winter here in Pacific NW. Improvised with what hubs and I had at home, butternut squash and potatoes as well as ghee.

  • Julie

    If I am using chicken breast instead of thighs, do you think 2 breasts would be adequate? Thank you.

  • edseeger

    Most recently devoured a Chicken Peanut Stew (well, anyhow, a serving…) in Bolgatanga, Upper East, Ghana, last January. I will fix this at home here in Central Texas early this winter. Thanks!

  • K

    Hey, fellow UW alum! Will definitely be trying this.

  • Jen

    Hello! Would this recipe work with a slow cooker? I don’t think I have a stock pot big enough, but maybe if I brown the meat in a pan and reserve the drippings? Just wondering thank you!

    • Elise

      Hi Jen, I haven’t tried making it in a slow cooker, but if you do, please let us know what you do and how it turns out for you!

  • Sandra Cook

    Has anyone pureed the stew rather than leaving the chunks?

  • Ryan

    This is a solid dish. I made it two months ago, took two weeks to eat it all. Found muself craving it again which is rare. Family loved it too. Will keep coming back to this dish

  • Ami

    I had this years ago and fell in love with it. Sadly I was never able to recreate it and the person that made it for me moved away before I could get her recipe. I’m so happy I’ve finally found a similar looking recipe and I can’t wait to try it!!

  • Lindsay

    Made this recipe last night for a dinner with close friends. It was so yummy and warmed all of our souls. Thank you.

  • sree

    Very yummy. I simplified by using boneless chicken and added it after sautéing the onions and cooking it covered on low-medium heat over an hour. Added chopped kale during the last 15 min which worked great! Somewhat healthier version but still very tender! Thanks for another inspirational recipe Elise!

  • Sandra McMurdo

    This recipe has been a favorite in our house for years. My daughter would request it on days when she had her braces tightened and wanted a “soft food dinner”. I’ve made it in a Dutch oven, crock pot and pressure cooker, and it turns out great every time. Last night, I made a ‘deconstructed’ version, by roasting the sweet potatoes, cutting the ‘stew’ down to a pan sauce and simmering the chicken thighs in it after browning, and making a pesto out of the peanuts and cilantro. It was a big hit! Thanks for such a great recipe and a wonderful blog.

  • Eva J.

    Hi Elise, this recipe sounds gorgeous; we love sweet potatoes, and I sometimes make a similar enough, though vegetarian, spicy sweet potato & peanut soup which has carrots and peppers. In my experience though the sweet potatoes do not take very long to soften, how do you avoid them turning to mush after 90 minutes?