Healthy Vegetarian Mafe Recipe: Fulfill Your Cravings Today!

Are you seeking to experience the rich flavors and inspirations of West African cuisine while still sticking to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle? Then you have come to the right place! This recipe for Vegetarian Mafe, also known as West African Peanut Stew, will satisfy all your cravings for comfort food while also adhering to your dietary choices.

With a creamy peanut sauce base, featuring peanut butter and tomato sauce, coupled with an array of vegetables including sweet potatoes, cabbage, turnips and swiss chard, this stew is rich in flavor and nutrition. Inspired by traditional West African peanut stews, this recipe has been modified to appeal to those seeking a more plant-based diet without sacrificing the authentic taste of West African cooking.

Not only is Vegetarian Mafe a delicious meal that will warm your heart and soul, it is also incredibly easy to prepare. This recipe requires only one pot and basic pantry ingredients that can be found at any grocery store.

So grab your apron, put on some music and let’s get started on our culinary journey through West Africa with this delectable Vegetarian Mafe recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Mafe (African Stew)
Vegetarian Mafe (African Stew)

If you’re looking for a hearty and flavorful stew that’s both plant-based and comforting, then you came to the right place. This Vegetarian Mafe (African Stew) is just what you need.

Here’s what makes it special: peanut butter. Yes, that’s right. Peanut butter is the star ingredient in this recipe! It adds creaminess and nuttiness to the dish, while also providing a boost of protein and healthy fats.

But that’s not all. This stew is also loaded with vegetables, including swiss chard, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions, and tomatoes. Each bite is bursting with vibrant flavors and textures.

And let’s not forget about the spices. Inspired by West African cuisine, this stew features a blend of ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes that give it some heat and complexity.

But what I love the most about this recipe is its versatility. You can customize it to your liking by swapping ingredients or adjusting the spice level to your taste buds. Plus, it’s suitable for various dietary needs since it’s vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Just imagine sitting down on a chilly evening with a bowl of this warm and comforting stew in front of you. Every spoonful takes you on a journey to Africa with its rich flavors and aromas. It’s like a hug in a bowl!

Trust me; you won’t be disappointed with this recipe. It’s easy to make, filling, nutritious, and delicious – all at the same time. So go ahead and give it a try!

Ingredient List

 This hearty Vegetarian Mafe stew is packed with flavor and nutrients!
This hearty Vegetarian Mafe stew is packed with flavor and nutrients!

The ingredient list of this vegetarian mafe recipe includes a combination of flavorful vegetables and peanut butter, giving it the ideal nutty aroma. Here’s what you’ll need to prepare an African-inspired stew that’s hearty, comforting, and packed with nutrients:


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups roughly chopped Swiss chard
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium bell pepper (any color), seeded and diced
  • 2 cups diced fresh or canned tomatoes

Peanut Butter Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

The ingredients above will deliver a vegan-friendly peanut stew that’s perfect for cold winter days. However, feel free to add in your favorite seasonal vegetables or swap them with the ones mentioned. You can also use different types of greens such as kale or collard greens if you prefer.

The Recipe How-To

 A bowl of this stew will warm you up on a chilly night.
A bowl of this stew will warm you up on a chilly night.

Now, we’ll dive into making the delicious Vegetarian Mafe.

Prep Time

  • 20 minutes

Cooking Time

  • 1 hr 15 mins


  • 6


  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups of cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
  • 2 medium turnips, peeled and diced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of creamy unsweetened peanut butter
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) of tomato sauce
  • Leave from a small bunch of fresh parsley, finely minced

Step (1)

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Stir until onions are soft and translucent.

Step (2)

Add the diced sweet potato and bell pepper to the pot, stir for about two minutes.

Step (3)

Measure out peanut butter in a bowl with a measuring cup. Add water gradually and whisk with a fork till it combines into one smooth liquid.

Step (4)

Add the cabbage and sliced carrots to the pot along with the canned tomatoes, turnips, salt & pepper to taste. Give everything a good stir.

Step (5)

Pour in the peanut butter water mixture you made in step three, followed by adding tomato sauce to make it liquider for about two minutes.

Step (6)

Bring to boil over high heat while stirring frequently; reduce heat to low then let simmer until vegetables are tender for about an hour.

Step (7)

Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

That’s it! Delicious Vegetarian Mafe stew that is packed with healthy veggies!

Substitutions and Variations

 The rich, creamy peanut butter sauce is the star of this dish.
The rich, creamy peanut butter sauce is the star of this dish.

If you’re looking to mix things up with this Vegetarian Mafe, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try to make it even more delicious.

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of certain vegetables like cabbage or turnips, feel free to leave them out or swap them for something else. Other vegetables like bell peppers or sweet potatoes work well in this recipe.

For a protein boost, add in some chickpeas or tofu chunks to the stew. Both will absorb the flavors of the peanut sauce and make the dish more filling.

If you prefer a spicier kick to your food, add in some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a milder version, simply reduce the amount of ginger or garlic used in the recipe.

Lastly, consider pairing this dish with some rice or quinoa to make it more filling and nutritious. Garnish with chopped peanuts or cilantro for an added crunch and freshness.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation and adjusting according to your taste buds. So feel free to get creative with this recipe and make it your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Perfect for a weeknight dinner or a cozy night in.
Perfect for a weeknight dinner or a cozy night in.

Once you have a piping hot bowl of African Mafe stew in front of you, the question arises: what’s the best way to serve and enjoy it? There are several options, but here are some classic suggestions.

First things first: try pairing the stew with something that can soak up all the delicious sauce. Many people in Africa serve their Mafe over rice or couscous, which is perfect for maintaining the hearty consistency of the stew, while also adding nutritional values. Most restaurants even serve it with a side of crusty bread, which can be used for dipping into the creamy peanut sauce.

If you want to keep it simple, you can also add some fresh greens to your plate. A green salad or a simple side dish of steamed greens such as Swiss chard or spinach can provide a refreshing contrast to the stew’s earthiness.

A little bit of crunch goes a long way in livening up this rich and creamy stew. A sprinkle of chopped peanuts or almonds on top of your bowl will give it a nutty twist that will add texture and undoubtedly enhance the taste.

If you’re going the vegan route, follow up with a glass of fruity red wine or refreshing ice tea to help balance out the spices in the African Mafe stew. You could also go for a cold beer if that is more your style.

So there you have it – how to experience one of West Africa’s favorite stews like a true local! With these flavor-packed serving and pairing tips, any mealtime can become an explosion of flavors that is both comforting and exotic.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This African-inspired stew is vegan and gluten-free.
This African-inspired stew is vegan and gluten-free.

Vegetarian Mafe is the epitome of comfort food, and it’s a dish that can easily be made ahead of time. If you’re cooking for a crowd or prefer to prepare meals in advance, this African peanut stew recipe is the perfect option.

To make this recipe ahead of time, allow the stew to cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. You can store the stew in the refrigerator for up to three days or freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat it on the stovetop or in a microwave until hot.

When reheating, you may notice that the stew has thickened as the ingredients have continued to meld together over time. If necessary, simply add a bit of water to thin it out until it has reached your desired consistency.

It’s also worth noting that this peanut stew recipe tastes even better after being reheated, as the flavors will have had more time to infuse together. Plus, having leftovers on hand means you won’t have to cook every night.

Overall, preparing Vegetarian Mafe in advance allows for a hassle-free mealtime experience without sacrificing on flavor or quality.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Served over a bed of fluffy white rice, it's comfort food at its finest.
Served over a bed of fluffy white rice, it’s comfort food at its finest.

Now that you have all the ingredients for this delicious Vegetarian Mafe (African Stew), you may be wondering how to make it perfect every time. Here are a few tips to help you achieve the best results.

First, consider cooking your vegetables separately. While this may take more time and effort, it will allow you to cook each vegetable based on its specific need. For example, swiss chard cooks faster than turnips or potatoes, so separating them will ensure that they are all cooked perfectly.

Secondly, don’t hesitate to add more seasoning than the recipe calls for. African stews often have bold and spicy flavors, so adding extra herbs and spices can enhance the overall taste.

Another tip is to use a high-quality peanut butter. The creamy texture of peanut butter is what gives this stew its unique taste and texture. Opt for natural peanut butter with minimal additional ingredients or additives.

Make sure to thoroughly cook your onions and garlic before adding other ingredients. This helps soften their flavors and meld them better into the stew.

When it comes time to serve, garnish with fresh cilantro, scallions or lime wedges. They add an extra pop of flavor that complements the richness of the stew.

Lastly, be patient when cooking. This is a slow-cooking recipe that yields tender vegetables coated in a thick peanut sauce. Cooking it on low heat ensures that all of the flavors are well-incorporated into the dish.

With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a successful outcome with this vegan Peanut Stew Maafe inspired by West African cuisine!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this vegetarian Mafe recipe is an excellent twist to the traditional African peanut stew. By combining a variety of veggies with creamy peanut butter sauce, you can easily satisfy your cravings for comfort food without sacrificing your vegan lifestyle. The dish is packed with flavor, nutrients and healthy fats that will keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day.

Moreover, this recipe is incredibly versatile, as you can make it ahead of time and easily store it in the freezer for later use. You can also customize it based on your preferences or try different variations of this stew from different African countries, such as Senegalese peanut stew or Gambian peanut butter soup.

Overall, whether you’re a vegan or simply looking to add more plant-based dishes into your diet, this African vegetable stew is a must-try. So gather your ingredients, put on some music and enjoy the flavors of West Africa right in your own kitchen!

Vegetarian Mafe (African Stew)

Vegetarian Mafe (African Stew) Recipe

A vegetarian version of the African chicken stew. Serve over cooked rice, if desired.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine African
Calories 826.2 kcal


  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil (or Canola)
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 small turnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 head cabbage, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped
  • 2 small jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • water, as needed
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)


  • Heat oil in Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until beginning to brown.
  • Add vegetables one at a time, sauteing each one for a minute or two before adding the next.
  • Stir in tomato sauce and about one cup of water (depending on thickness of stew you desire). Reduce heat & simmer until all the vegetables are tender (15-30 minutes).
  • Spoon out half a cup of the broth & mix it with the peanut butter to make a smooth paste. Return to the pot & simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Serve over cooked, hot rice (optional).

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 736gCalories: 826.2kcalCarbohydrates: 108.3gProtein: 26.1gFat: 39.2gSaturated Fat: 7.7gSodium: 1184.2mgFiber: 23gSugar: 30.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, African, Peanut Butter, Stew, Vegetable
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