Recipe Lists

14 Authentic and Flavorful African Dishes

By Jess

While Africa is a vast continent with a wide array of cuisines, some favorites have made their way into mainstream global enjoyment for their savory spicy flavors using a variety of ingredients. These paleo African and African-inspired dishes are sure to become favorites if you’ll just give them a try.

african recipes

1. Sese Plantains
This plantain stew is really simple to make, but has flavors everyone will love from the crayfish and cayenne pepper. Make sure you use plantains that are green or just slightly yellow. If you like a lot of heat in your stews, you can add more cayenne pepper!

African Beef Stew
Photo: Only Gluten Free Recipes

2. African Beef Stew
With deliciously savory flavors of tomato, cinnamon, black pepper, curry, and paprika, this well-seasoned stew is full of good fats and vegetables, and it would make an amazing comfort food dish on a chilly evening. I love the addition of coconut milk for creaminess.

3. Grilled Chicken Drumsticks With Spicy Garlic Harissa Marinade
The Moroccan-inspired flavors of this dish come from garlicky harissa marinade made with dried thyme, sumac, nutmeg, lime juice, and more. You’ll love the unique flavors, and these drumsticks go really well with grilled vegetables or cauliflower rice.

4. Slow Cooker African Cashew Stew
This stew has a rich and creamy flavor from the cashew butter and tomato paste, and lots of vegetables with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Optionally, you can add habanero peppers, fresh cilantro, and chopped cashews on top, depending on what flavors and textures you like.

5. Make Ahead Harissa Shakshuka
Shakshuka is a spicy tomato and egg skillet that you’ll love to enjoy in the morning if you like savory breakfasts. This version can be prepared ahead of time so you’re not doing the chopping and mixing first thing in the morning, and you can leave out the cheese if you want to.

Deconstructed Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Photo: Worthy Pause

6. Deconstructed Moroccan Chicken Tagine
Tagine is a vegetable-and-meat dish that’s cooked in a clay pot. You don’t have to use a clay pot for this deconstructed version, though, with amazing flavors like cinnamon, preserved lemon, and green olives. Add a pinch of saffron to the chicken if you want to get fancy!

7. West African Chicken Stew
This regionally-styled dish is heavily seasoned and cooked with brown onion, fresh ginger, garlic, and cashew butter, with the unique addition of vanilla extract—yes, really, vanilla extract! Try this stew and you’ll never want to make chicken stew any other way.

8. Doro Wat, Take Two
I wanted to share this specific doro wat recipe with you because of its use of the traditional seasoning berbere. Now, we have an Ethiopian restaurant where I live and I cannot even eat this dish because it’s so spicy. If you want fire in your mouth, this is the amazingly-tasty-but-so-hot recipe you want to make.

9. West African Chicken Stew, Take Two
This nut-free version of west African chicken stew is made with coconut oil, ground black pepper, onion, ginger, garlic, coriander, cayenne, bay leaves, crushed tomatoes, sunflower seed butter, vanilla extract, and fresh parsley with sunflower seeds.

North African Chicken Stew With Sweet Potatoes, Apricots, and Kale
Photo: Panning the Globe

10. North African Chicken Stew With Sweet Potatoes, Apricots, and Kale
The extra-tender chicken in this stew soaks up all of the amazing spices like cinnamon, cumin, sweet paprika, and red pepper flakes. The vegetables are made with garlic and ginger, and sweet dried apricots give this stew a gourmet flavor and texture.

11. Ethiopian Berbere Beef
Here’s that berbere seasoning in a beef dish with macadamia oil, beef mince, brown or red onion, cayenne pepper, coconut aminos (to replace the soy sauce) and honey (to replace the rice malt syrup). Even with the paleo adjustments, this dish is delicious.

12. Chakalaka (Spicy Tomato Pepper Relish)
This spicy tomato pepper relish is tradition to South Africa and is made with onions, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, curry powder, chili powder, sea salt, and mixed herbs. Serve it hot or cold as a dip with paleo crackers or veggies, or as a sauce of grilled meat.

13. Harissa Chicken Skewers
I’ve said before that everything is better on a stick, and I especially love these chicken skewers with a homemade Moroccan harissa paste and extra virgin olive oil. There’s a paleo-friendly harissa paste recipe linked on this page by the blogger.

Doro Wat
Photo: Eat More Food Project

14. Doro Wat
Doro Wat is a spicy Ethiopian chicken stew made with lots of seasonings and good fats. This paleo version uses cayenne pepper, paprika, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, fenugreek, and more with a whole stick of delicious butter, fresh ginger, and onions.


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