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African Inspired Peanut Stew (Plant-Based) – Instant Pot

from 31 reader reviews

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Wholesome and spicy, this African Inspired Peanut Stew is made in a pressure cooker – I used my Instant Pot. It is oil-free, vegan, and full of flavor! The African Peanut Stew is made with wholesome vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, and canned tomatoes. Add in some spices, and creamy peanut butter and you’ve got a rich, flavorful stew.african peanut stew in white bowl with peanuts in background

I first learned about  Peanut Stew recipe on the Clean Food Dirty Girl Website. If you haven’t visited that site, you should. Lots of wisdom there…and crazy delicious food! I tweaked the recipe for my family’s taste and for the Instant Pot too:) I hope you enjoy it!

If you like this recipe try my Vegan Taco Meat with LentilsCreamy Vegetable Pasta Soup (Instant Pot), my Best Vegan Mac and Cheese, or my  Veggie Lentil Soup, – all made in the Instant Pot!

For all of my delicious vegan soups, stews, and chowders – click here! You’ll find comforting, warm, and heartwarming vegan soup served with bread, sandwiches, or salads for a complete hearty meal.


  • Start by measuring out and mixing the spices and set aside so they will be ready to go. Please note, the recipe calls for 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper. Unless you know for sure that you like it hot, start with 1/4 teaspoon. You can always add in more after it cooks.
spices for African Peanut Stew
Aren’t these spices beautiful! Go ahead and mix them up now!
  • Next, dice the onion.
  • Put the cut onions in the Instant Pot (or another pressure cooker) along with some vegetable broth and select the sauté function to get the cooking process started.
  • If your pressure cooker does not have a sauté function, you will want to do it on the stovetop. This ensures that you won’t have crunchy onions. Watch the bottom of the pan and add a little more vegetable broth if it starts to burn. If the bottom of your pan has any burn or scorch, it may not come to pressure.


  • While the onions are sautéing, you can prepare the bell pepper, carrots,  and sweet potatoes. Don’t let the onion mixture cook for more than five minutes though. If you are taking longer than that to cut the other vegetables, turn off the Instant Pot.
peeled sweet potato for African Peanut Stew
Roughly peel your sweet potato.
sweet potato cut for African Peanut Stew cut into chunks
Cut the sweet potato into slices, then strips, and dice.
  • Add in the cut sweet potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, minced garlic, and ginger. One short-cut I almost always take is to use jarred/packaged already minced garlic and ginger. Especially ginger – it’s just freakishly hard to peel and mince properly.
garlic and ginger for African Peanut Stew
Use jarred ginger and garlic for ease of preparation.
  • Continue with adding the spices, and crushed tomatoes and stir around to mix well.

Finally the Star of the Show: The Peanut Butter!

natural peanut butter nutrition facts
Use natural peanut butter that is oil-free and sugar-free.

This is called African PEANUT Stew for a reason – it’s full of peanut-y goodness. Because I don’t want to use added processed oils, I use peanut butter that is basically peanuts and a little sea salt. (Note – this recipe does indeed contain fat, the peanuts. This is a natural fat and not an added processed oil that you can get with most peanut butter.)

The Displacement Method for Measuring

Measuring out peanut butter can be messy – plus, when some is left in the measuring cup, I’m never sure I’m getting it all. Here is a trick my mamma taught me. You can measure peanut butter easily and with less mess by using the displacement method.

First, get a liquid measuring cup and fill it with 1 cup of liquid. I prefer to use the broth that will be going into my soup, but you can use water. Next, scoop out the peanut butter and put in the measuring cup until the liquid level measures 1 ¾ cup. Voila! Pour that into your soup (or just the peanut butter if you used water) and smile about not having to clean sticky peanut butter out of a measuring cup.

peanut butter being scooped into glass jar with veggie broth
Plop the peanut butter in the broth. It can be an easy way to measure it out.
glass jar with veggie broth and peanut butter
Measure out the broth first, then add peanut butter till it measures up to the total for both.
Melted peanut butter in broth.
Microwave the peanut butter along with some of the broth so that it melts and mixes in easier.

For this recipe, we will be microwaving the peanut butter along with some of the broth and mix well so that it easily pours over the other ingredients already in the Instant Pot. Finish adding all broth/peanut butter.

Pin now to save for later:african peanut stew in white bowl with pinterest text overlay


Honestly, I have never used a pressure cooker other than (affiliate link) the Instant Pot.  Why would I? I have my Instant Pot and love it so! It is multi-functional and produces consistent results Since I have never used another brand, I will assume you know how to use yours.

The following directions are for the Instant Pot 6qt. You could use the 8 qt without problems. (If you have a 3qt you might need to do an ingredient adjustment. Read your owner’s manual and do not fill to full capacity or it won’t come to pressure.)

Instant Pot set for 10 minutes for African Peanut Stew

  • Close the lid, making sure the vent is closed. Use the manual mode and set the timer for 10 minutes.
  • It will take some time to come to pressure. Once it is finished and the timer goes off, do a natural release for 20 minutes. If it hasn’t finished releasing pressure by then, give it a little help by carefully opening the vent to finish releasing the pressure.
  • Open the lid and add in 5 ounces of fresh baby spinach. Give it a stir and the spinach will wilt.african peanut stew with spinach in instant pot
  • Put the peanuts in a baggie and crush with a rolling pin. You will still want some big nutty chunks so the rolling pin method is perfect!

Serving Suggestions:

  • I like to top off this flavorful African Peanut Stew with some crushed peanuts for good measure! Use a rolling pin, it’s easier that way

rolling pin crushing peanuts

  • This savory spicy peanut soup is perfect for meal prep. I like to add in the nuts at the last minute though and so portion them into little containers. 
african peanut sew meal prep
All meal-prepped and ready to go. I like to keep my peanuts n a separate little container so that they will retain their crunch.
  • I took my African Peanut Stew to a work pot luck the other day. You MUST MUST MUST disclose that this recipe contains peanuts! I think I did a pretty good job of it:
African Peanut Soup
Always inform people you share with that this recipe contains peanuts.

The Recipe for African Peanut Stew (Instant Pot)

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african peanut soup

African Inspired Peanut Stew - Instant Pot (Vegan)

This Peanut Stew is made in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.  It is plant-based and is processed-oil free.  It uses sweet potatoes, carrots, onions,  and bell pepper.  The recipe includes Moroccan spices and creamy peanut butter.
from 31 reader reviews
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan African Peanut Stew Instant Pot
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Natural Release: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey



  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on taste -
  • 1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

All Other Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger peel or used prepared
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes canned
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter natural and creamy
  • 2 1/2 cup vegetable broth more to sauté onions
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup chopped peanuts for garnish


  • Mix together spices and set aside.
  • Dice onion.
  • Line the Instant Pot with a small amount of vegetable broth and sauté onions until they begin to soften - no more than 5 minutes.  Watch the bottom of the pan and add more broth so that it doesn't stick.  Turn off the pot.
  • While you are sautéing the onions, cut the other vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add the other vegetables, along with the garlic, ginger and spices and stir till well mixed and coated. 
  • Add can of tomatoes as well as the maple syrup, stirring to mix well.
  • Melt the peanut butter along with about half of the vegetable broth in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  Stir together and pour on top of the mixture along with the remaining vegetable broth.
  • Close lid and make sure the vent is closed.
  • Use the manual mode and set to 10 minutes high pressure.  It will take a while to come to pressure but will start counting down once it has. 
  • Once the timer has counted down, do a "natural release" and allow the instant pot to sit for about 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes if the pressure has not released, you may finish releasing by carefully opening the vent with an implement of some sort. 

  • Open the lid and stir in the 5 ounces of washed baby spinach.  Top with crushed peanuts if desired. 


  1. You must disclose to anyone you serve this recipe to that it contains peanuts!
  2. Unless you know you like it spicy, start with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne.  After it has cooked, you can always add in a little more. 


Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1092mg | Potassium: 957mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 12945IU | Vitamin C: 48.3mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 3.6mg

african peanut soup

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By on January 20th, 2019

About Cindy Rainey

Veggie Fun Kitchen by Cindy Rainey
Welcome to Veggie Fun Kitchen where you will learn to recreate family favorites the plant-based/vegan way! Let me know if I can help. I'm here for you.

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36 thoughts on “African Inspired Peanut Stew (Plant-Based) – Instant Pot”

    • I really hope she liked it! It’s hard when you are a non-vegan to find good food for your vegan/vegetarian family member.

  1. This is absolutely divine! I have the small size Instant Pot, so I cut the ingredients in half and that was just about exactly the right amount. I confess I omitted the cayenne and used less salt but that’s just my personal taste buds. This is a perfect choice for anyone needing to please both vegans and non-vegans. Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!

    • I am so thrilled you liked this! My husband can’t do cayenne either. I’ve tried to sneak it past him, but am convinced that some people just can’t do it. He gets in a sweat over it. So I omit it when I know he will be eating the soup too.

  2. 3 stars
    So I am making as I type. Unfortunately my instapot has said Burn twice now. I scraped the bottom twice now. I am letting it cool down and put some more broth in and try it again 😔

    • Oh no! I have made this many times and never had that happen! I have on other recipes though when I was testing . I found that I either didn’t use enough liquid or packed the bottom too tightly. If you’ve followed the recipe correctly then that shouldn’t have been the issue. I also know that if the pot has any burn whatsoever going into it – either from a previous recipe you made or even from this one if it burned while sautéing the vegetables, then that might happen. Good luck to you and I hope it works out.

      • I made this tonight and the Insta Pot shut off with a burn error. There was plenty of liquid inside after I released the pressure. Everything was well stirred and the onion wasn’t burned after sautéing. I licked the spoon after stirring and can tell it’s going to be a winner once the Insta Pot finishes cooking.

  3. Whhatabadly designed page with too many advertisments. I can’t even see the ingredients list. I’ll make sure to tell my plant based friends not to bother with your page.

    • Hello dear, the ingredient list is on the recipe card which is at the bottom of the page.Let me know if you can’t see the recipe card and I’ll happily mail it to you. I’m sorry if those ads are overwhelming to you right now. I am running a few extra BLM ads for free – meaning I don’t make any money on them but I’m happy to run them because as a vegan I deeply care about humanity as well. I do know that too many can be pesky though and I’m sorry for that. In the meantime, try the recipe out (again, I’ll be happy to send you the ingredients personally if you can’t find them.) It’s truly delicious and I think you’ll enjoy it. Everybody does! Have a great rest of your day. It’s July and the sun is out and shining where I am:) Cindy

  4. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! Couldn’t quite fit all the ingredients in because I have a Mini, so I left out maybe half the tomatoes (I always put the tomatoes in last anyway to avoid getting the dreaded burn message) and it still had plenty of tomato flavor. The combination of sweet potatoes, peanut butter, and tomatoes was irresistible, and I love how chock full of veggies this recipe is. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m making this for the first time and wondering how many pounds of sweet potatoes to use? In my grocery store, they come in such a large variety of sizes, it would be helpful to have a weight.

    Also, how large is a serving? 1 cup? 1-1/2 cups?

    • That’s a great question and I will update with more specific answers when I make it again. I find that this recipe is really forgiving with ingredients. Just choose the average-size sweet potatoes and you will be fine. I portion my soup into meal-prep containers. Each one hols 1 1/2 cups.

  6. 5 stars
    Wow! I didn’t know what to expect with a stew that features peanuts and peanut butter but I had to give it a try. Excellent stew. Super nutritious. Perfect spice. Everyone loved it. Comes together very easily. I had burn issues with the IP so ended up turning it off after the third notice and pronounced it ‘done.’ It was probably because the pot was at the max line as I halved-again the recipe to get 6 servings. Next time I’ll just cook it on the stove. My husband has been working 12-15 hour days and came home tired and cold. He said the stew was the perfect warm, comfort food after his long day. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe.

  7. I’ve made it twice now. Both time my 8 qt IP scorched on the bottom and made it unable to seal. Followed directions exactly from turning it off after onions to cooking on manual. When I checked at 5 minute mark to make sure it had sealed, nope. All scorched on the bottom. Grrrr. Great flavor but this will be a stovetop for me in the future.

  8. I had the same issue with the burn message. I didn’t get it until I added the tomatoes and syrup. I turn it off three times, but when I checked it , the stew was done. So I added the spinach and left the instant pot on warm and it was truly delicious. BTW, I did follow the instructions and still got the burn.

  9. 4 stars
    I had the burn issue too, even though I added extra liquid. I think if I had used whole tomatoes in thin liquid instead of chopped ones (thicker consistency), the burn might have been avoided. As it was, I ended up transferring to the stovetop. The flavor was intriguing, but a little too acidic for us, so I added some cashews blended with coconut oil to simulate coconut milk and some extra peanut butter. Now it’s truly scrumptious. (My son said it was a “dialed-in little recipe,” which he meant as a compliment.) We ate it over millet, which added a nice texture. I will make it again, for sure, but probably use the stovetop from the get-go. Thanks for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    Good Day,
    Made this on Wednesday & love it. Needed to add just a little more/dash of salt & enjoying it! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    After reading the comments on the burn issue I remembered another peanut soup that added the tomatoes and peanut butter after the soup was cooked, so I added the tomatoes and peanut butter at the end instead of while cooking the vegetables and I found the flavor great! I also had no spinach so I put cabbage in with the other vegetables. Thanks for this excellent recipe!

  12. 5 stars
    Easy to prepare and customize, delicious and filling! Thanks for a great recipe!

    Disclaimer: We were exposed to COVID, so hoped I could get ‘close enough’ with what I had at home. I used a bag of frozen sweet potato shreds, onion powder since I didn’t have one to chop, and julienned kale as a sub for the spinach, and still this was wonderful! I’m already imagining how fabulous it will be when I make this again according to your suggestions.

  13. How can this be made on the stovetop, or in a conventional oven? I have a small kitchenette and the rule is, no bulky appliances!

    • Hmmm good question. I’ve not tried that yet. I’d say to add the ingredients to a very large soup pan and follow the directions (except for the IP directions). Bring to a boil and simmer, checking often for doneness. Your sweet potatoes should be fork tender. Let me know if you did this and the timing you used.


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