The most flavorful pantry staple recipe! This West African Inspired Peanut Stew with Chicken is a perfectly satisfying meal made mostly with pantry staple (non-perishable) ingredients.West African Peanut Stew with Chicken

WOW. It’s been a week. It’s crazy to think how just one week ago businesses were still operating, people were going out to eat, using public transportation, and going to the gym.. Things have changed drastically within the past week. I decided to close my office in Boston and switch my private practice to telehealth for the time being. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means but I know it was the right and responsible thing to do.

West African Peanut Stew with ChickenSo now that the majority of folks are hunkering down and working from home, everyone is talking about what foods to stock your kitchen with. There’s an uptick in fear mongering around processed foods and influencers are using this opportunity to sell their wellness gimmicks to “boost your immune system.” Well this registered dietitian is here to tell you that the most important thing you can do right now to support your immune system is eat enough, sleep, and try to relax. It’s really okay if right now you are eating more foods from a box, can, or the freezer. They still provide plenty of nutrients and energy.

And since most of us are going to be relying more on non-perishables to make dishes for the foreseeable future, I’m going to focus my recipes right now on utilizing pantry staples. Today’s recipe is super comforting and satisfying, which is the kind of food we all need right now. It’s okay to find comfort and soothing in food always but especially during challenging times like these.West African Peanut Stew with Chicken

How to Make West African Stew with Chicken

Here are the pantry staples you’ll need:

  • tomato paste
  • can diced tomatoes
  • peanut butter
  • chicken broth
  • rice
  • sweet potatoes
  • garlic
  • onion
  • spices (cayenne, paprika, cumin – or smoked paprika)

The perishable items you’ll need:

  • chicken (but this can be frozen!)
  • jalapeno pepper
  • kale or collard greens (but frozen spinach is a perfect substitute!)

I made this on the stovetop in one pan but you could easily make this in the crockpot or Instant Pot for ease and convenience. Since many of us are working from home right now, you can pop the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and have dinner ready by evening.West African Peanut Stew with Chicken

And although this recipe calls for chicken, you could easily make it vegetarian or vegan by substituting the chicken with a plant-based protein like chickpeas or lentils.

This stew is creamy, spicy, nutty, and hearty. It’s packed with flavor and oh-so-satisfying. Challenging times call for comforting meals. And this is a great one to cozy up with. Stay well and safe, my friends. Let me know if there’s any other content I can share here that would be helpful for you right now.

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West African Peanut Stew with Chicken

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh (about 5 pieces)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stems and ribs removed, minced
  • 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1, 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (or 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cumin)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups packed kale (or other leafy green)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Rice, for serving
  • Cilantro and crushed peanuts, for garnish


  1. In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown on each side, about 5-7 minutes. Set chicken aside.
  2. Add remaining olive oil and turn down heat to medium. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about one minute. Add cubed sweet potato and stir.
  3. Add broth slowly, deglazing the pan. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, peanut butter, spices, and salt.
  4. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, for 60 minutes. Remove lid and let simmer til sweet potatoes are tender, another 30 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in kale until slightly wilted and bright green, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat. Using two forks, shred chicken in the pan.
  7. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro and crushed peanuts.


To make in the Slow Cooker:

  1. Add all ingredients except olive oil and kale to slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Stir in kale until slightly wilted and bright green. Using two forks, shred chicken in slow cooker.

To make in the Instant Pot:

  1. Set Instant Pot to sauté and brown chicken as directed above. Set aside chicken.
  2. Sauté onion, garlic and jalapeño as directed above. Add all other ingredients except kale.
  3. Secure lid onto Instant Pot. Close the steam vent (should be on sealing). Set to high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  4. After 10 minutes, use quick release valve to release steam.
  5. Once pressure is released, open lid and stir. Stir in kale until slightly wilted and bright green.
  6. Using two forks, shred chicken.

To make vegetarian or vegan:

  1. Substitute chicken with plant-based protein like chickpeas or lentils.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 90 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: One Pan
  • Cuisine: West African

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Instant Pot Vegetarian Pho (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

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  1. Pamela

    This is a fantastic recipe!

  2. Avital

    Hi! What size cam of diced tomatoes?

  3. Edith

    You mention using kale in the recipe, but it isn’t listed in the ingredients. How much kale or other green do you suggest?