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overhead photo: large pot of peanut stew; wooden spoon stirring fresh herbs in

African Peanut Stew (Stove Top, Crock Pot, or Instant Pot)

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4.8 from 22 reviews

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 5-7 1x


This peanut stew is a wholesome dairy free and gluten free meal that’s packed with nourishment and warming flavors. It’s delicious over rice and feeds a crowd. Freezer friendly and made with healthy, real food ingredients!


Units Scale

Sauce (for crock pot, Instant Pot, and stove top methods)

  • 1 cup tomato sauce or plain diced canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter (no stir work best)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (adjust as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Remaining Ingredients for stew

  • 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon cooking oil as needed – Use 1 Tablespoon if you are not browning meat.
  • 1 lb diced stew meat (chicken, beef, or pork), optional
  • 2 cups broth (2 1/2 cups if adding meat)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (3 small cloves)
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 10 ounces (2 small) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 2/3 cup peeled and sliced carrot, optional
  • 2 cups spinach leaves or 3 cups baby spinach


Make the Sauce

  1. Add all the sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse to combine. Alternatively, you can place them in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Stove Top Instructions

  1. Notes before you begin. If you are using meat, brown it in the pan first, before adding the other ingredients.
  2. Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add the meat and brown for 5 minutes, turn meat once to evenly cook. When meat is almost cooked through, remove from pan and place on a large plate or bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add 1/2 tbsp to 1 tbsp oil and onions. Sauté the onions 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.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, peanut butter, spices, spinach, and broth. Stir to combine. Simmer and cover for 1 hour or until sweet potatoes are tender and meat is cooked through.

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Set your Instant Pot to sauté and add cooking oil. When oil is hot, add onion and garlic, and sauté until onions are brown, about 2 minutes. NOTE: If adding meat, first brown the meat in the oil, then add onion and garlic, and continue to sauté until onions are brown, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients (minus toppings) and sauce, then stir to combine. Pressure cook on high power for 20 minutes, then allow a natural release of the pressure.
  3. After pressure is released, remove the lid and transfer contents to bowls for serving.

Crock Pot – Slow Cooker Instructions:

  1. Place diced sweet potatoes, carrots, and broth into the crock pot. Set on low while you make the rest of the stew.
  2. OPTIONAL STEP (if adding meat). Place meat of choice in frying pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Brown for 5 minutes, then add onion and garlic. Continue to saute until onions are brown, about 2 minutes. Place browned meat and onion to the crock pot with the veggies and broth. Mix to combine.
  3. Make the sauce by placing all sauce ingredients listed into a blender or food processor. Alternatively, use a whisk to mix by hand. Blend until creamy and smooth.
  4. Add sauce to the crock pot, along with spinach and remaining seasonings, then stir to combine.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2 to 5 hrs or high for 3 hours. Note: If you cook on high, check for doneness after 2 hours
  6. When the stew is ready, ladle it over individual bowls of hot rice. Garnish with cilantro, chopped roasted peanuts, and optional spicy peppers of choice.


  • If you don’t have ground coriander, you may use 3/4 tsp ground cumin.
  • You can make this with beef, chicken, pork, or turkey. Or, to make it vegetarian/vegan without meat, simply add in chickpeas.

Nutritional Information

  • Nutrition shown below is for 1 serving, without meat or rice
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: main
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: African


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 264
  • Sugar: 9.3 g
  • Sodium: 396.9 mg
  • Fat: 14.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25.3 g
  • Fiber: 5.4 g
  • Protein: 12.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 8.4 mg