Cast Iron

African Squash and Peanut Stew with Coconut Milk and Quinoa

September 17, 2013
7 Ratings
Photo by Tara Sgroi
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I honestly can't remember the first time I heard about traditional African stew that combines squash and peanuts, but I knew I had to make it! I've made many variations to the "traditional" recipe (which almost always includes meat), by using garbanzo beans, coconut milk and quinoa. As with any great stew, there are almost endless possibilities to change it up! Add chicken, beef or lamb...use kale instead of spinach...couscous instead of quinoa...almond milk or broth in place of coconut milk....add more veggies (or less!)....really, adapt it to your taste buds! —arenehart

What You'll Need
  • 1 Can Garbanzo Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1 Can (14oz) Coconut Milk
  • 1 Can (14oz) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 bunch Spinach, washed and shredded
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2-3 teaspoons Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 handful Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup Quinoa (dry), cooked according to package
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts, roughly chopped
  1. In a heavy soup pot (my favorite is enameled cast iron), sautee the onion, red bell pepper and squash over medium heat until slightly golden, about 5-10 minutes. Add the fresh ginger, garlic, jalapeno, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon, sautee for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the coconut milk, canned tomatoes and about 1 Cup of water (or broth). Bring just to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer (covered) just until the squash is tender. To test it, simply stab a piece of squash with a fork, if it seems nice and soft, then it's ready, if it's still firm, it needs to cook a little longer. Better yet, taste a small piece of butternut squash to make sure it's at your preferred consistency. For me, it usually takes about 20 minutes, but it can vary depending on how large the squash pieces are.
  3. Once the squash is ready, add the garbanzo beans and peanut butter and simmer for a couple minutes. Then add the fresh cilantro and spinach and simmer a couple minutes longer (or until the spinach reaches desired consistency).
  4. Once it's done, potion it into bowls and top with 1/3 Cup cooked quinoa and 1 Tablespoon of crushed peanuts. YUM!!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kathryn Geary Balles
    Kathryn Geary Balles
  • Sallie Taggart
    Sallie Taggart
  • Hailey7
  • Jessie Zapffe
    Jessie Zapffe

10 Reviews

Kathleen February 12, 2022
A very earthy tasting meal and I didn't miss the meat in this stew, very yummy!
Kathryn G. November 22, 2020
This recipe was delicious! I had a toothache and needed something soft but filling for dinner and this hit the spot. I didn't have a pepper on hand, and I used Ethiopian berbere spice blend for the spices and it came out great. I will definitely make it again, even without a toothache.
etsiaras November 5, 2020
When I cook, I usually make "tweaks" to a recipe or use ideas from several recipes in order to create my own dish. After reading so many good reviews, I decided to follow this recipe to the letter, and it was perfection! :)
Sallie T. November 17, 2019
Just an outstanding recipe. Delicious, nutritious, filling. Five stars!
Allison September 20, 2015
As the author points out, this is an incredibly versatile recipe. I didn't have everything the recipe called for on hand, but I was able to change it up a bit and it turned out quite nicely. I used frozen diced butternut squash (which definitely made this easier and quicker). I also used a dash of nutmeg instead of cinnamon, added 1/2 cup of canned sweet potato puree and a tablespoon of brown sugar, chicken broth instead of coconut milk, and tahini instead of peanut butter. I topped it with chopped cashews and almonds, parsley, and plain whole milk yogurt. It was fantastic! Definitely a new favorite stew.
Gayle February 16, 2015
This is a dish that when you're eating it you just never ever want it to end!
leahlaurinda December 14, 2014
I made this for dinner tonight - it was absolutely delicious. My husband loved it. We squeezed a lime over it as well. This is definitely going into rotation.
okaykate October 27, 2014
I had a peanut stew in Uganda over 20 years ago that i have never forgotten. it was vegetarian and oddly enough, purple in colour - and absolutely delicious! it was served with chopped avocado, which would be good here too. I can't wait to try this recipe, thank you!
Hailey7 October 15, 2013
This was a wonderfully filling, delicious soup. The flavors were so unique, and my family loved the warm spice and crunchy peanuts.
Jessie Z. October 5, 2013
Frankly, I am surprised more people have not saved this recipe. It is absolutely fabulous. I made a double batch and brought the rest to work with me. The flavors are incredible, and it is a real meal of a soup.