This vegetarian peanut stew recipe is the perfect budget friendly dinner! It's hearty, nutritious and tastes amazing!
We're continuing our budget friendly dinners series today with a vegetarian peanut stew recipe I'm super excited to share!
Peanut stew has its roots in Western Africa and if you haven't experienced this unique blend of flavors, you're in for a treat. The stew features sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peanut butter and peanuts. It also gets a ton of flavor from garlic, ginger, cilantro and spices.
You'll start by chopping an onion, mincing garlic and grating ginger. Next, you'll peel and dice two sweet potatoes. You'll then cook the onion, garlic and ginger, followed by the sweet potatoes. Next you'll add crushed tomatoes, creamy peanut butter (trust me on this one!), vegetable broth and seasonings. Bring the mix to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Add spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until it's wilted. Top with peanuts and cilantro, serve over rice, and you're good to go!
Make sure to check out the other two recipes in our budget friendly dinners series, Lemon Orzo Chickpea Soup and Turkey Taco Casserole.
Vegetarian Peanut Stew Recipe
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 inch ginger root
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2.5 oz spinach
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- 15 oz crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 T olive oil
- Chop 1 yellow onion.
- Mince 3 cloves of garlic and ~1T grated ginger root.
- Peel & dice 2 sweet potatoes.
- Heat 1T olive oil in a large stock pot. Add chopped yellow onion & cook ~3-4 mins.
- Add minced garlic and minced ginger. Cook for 1-2 mins. Add diced sweet potatoes & cook ~5-6 mins.
- Add 15oz crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 15oz vegetable broth, 1/2tsp salt, 1/4tsp pepper, 1tsp coriander and ¼-1/2tsp cayenne (depending on how spicy you want). Bring to a simmer and cook ~30 mins or until sweet potatoes are tender.
- Stir in ~2 cups spinach until wilted. Top w/ peanuts & cilantro. Serve over rice.
Budget Friendly Tips – How to Make Peanut Stew Even More Budget Friendly
This is honestly an incredibly budget-friendly recipe as-is. I do have a few tips for you to keep costs even lower though:
- Make your own broth. Broth is one of the staples I make in my house on a near weekly basis. Why? It's incredibly easy, tastes delicious and all I need to make it are kitchen scraps! If you haven't tried making your own broth, it's a great way to add flavor to dishes with virtually no added cost. You can make a big batch and freeze in 1 cup or 2 cup servings for future use. Souper cubes are great for this!
- Buy spices in bulk. Buying spices in bulk, whether in the bulk bins at the grocery store or online, is a great way to save money! I buy my spices in bulk and store in glass jars.
- Freeze extra ginger. If you wind up with a giant piece of ginger root (hello, online grocery shopping..) don't let it go bad in your fridge! Mince or grate the ginger and freeze in 1 tsp portions for later use. Make sure to flash freeze first – freeze in 1 tsp mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to a freezer container once it's frozen solid. Avoiding food waste is an often overlooked way to spend less on groceries!
Nutrition – What makes this a healthy peanut stew recipe?
Full of vegetarian protein, this healthy peanut stew recipe is also packed with vitamins. Here are some of the nutritional highlights you'll find in peanut stew:
Garlic (Beneficial Sulfur Compounds, Manganese, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Selenium)
Garlic has been used in homeopathic remedies for thousands of years and is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and some types of cancer. Eating garlic may also help prevent colds and other minor illnesses.
Scientists believe these substantial health benefits may stem primarily from garlic's sulfur compounds such as allicin, diallyl disulfide and sallyl cysteine.
Ginger helps with nausea and indigestion and also provides antibacterial and antioxidant benefits.
Cilantro (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Manganese)
Cilantro supports the health of your brain, possibly reducing the risk of Parkinsons and Alztheimers disease as well as anxiety. In addition, one of cilantro's biggest benefits is its prevention of blood sugar spikes. Finally, cilantro has antimicrobial elements and thus may help prevent food poisoning. It's worth noting that many studies on cilantro use cilantro extract, rather than the leaves.
Onion (Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Folate, Potassium)
Did you know that the humble onion is actually packed with antioxidants? Antioxidants help protect you from free radicals that cause things like cancer and heart disease. Onions also have beneficial sulfides and polysulfides which may help protect against cancer.
Sweet Potatoes (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper)
Possibly the most nutrient dense affordable food, sweet potatoes have a special protein that may fight cancer. Furthermore, sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins including 400% of your daily vitamin A needs!
Peanuts (Copper, Folate, Vitamin E, Magnesium)
High in protein, peanuts are legumes rather than actual nuts. They're a great source of folate and vitamin E. Make sure to get peanut butter that contains only peanuts and perhaps a bit of salt to maximize the nutrition.
Is this vegetarian peanut stew meal prep friendly?
Yes, vegetarian peanut stew is perfect for meal prep. There are several steps you can do ahead of time that will help this dish come together quickly when you're ready to serve it.
First, cook the rice ahead of time. Next, do your chopping. Chop the onion, mince the garlic, grate the ginger and dice the sweet potatoes. Finally, you can make the peanut stew “sauce” as part of your meal prep. To do this, combine your crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, vegetable broth and spices in a container and store. (<< You can read about my favorite meal prep containers here!) You can also cook the rice ahead of time if you like.
With this prep done, the stew comes together quickly and easily, making if perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. All you'll need to do is cook the onion, garlic, ginger and sweet potatoes before adding the stew sauce and simmering for about half an hour. Then you'll add the spinach to wilt and you're done! Top with peanuts and cilantro and serve over rice.
You can reheat the rice in the microwave or reheat in a 375 F oven, covered, for about 20 minutes while the stew cooks.
I want more budget friendly meal prep recipes!
I hear you! With grocery prices like they are right now, finding budget friendly meals is more important than ever. I love finding ways to serve delicious, healthy meals that won't break the bank. One of my main strategies? Getting creative with the protein source! It's important to me to buy high quality meat but there are certain cuts and types that are way less expensive. I talk more about that here.
The below recipes use simple, low cost ingredients to put together delicious, healthy meals. I hope you find a new favorite for your family table!
Tuna Salad with Grapes
Tuna is such an inexpensive source of high quality protein! Dinners don't have to be fancy or complicated to be tasty and satisfying. This meal provides such a variety of textures and flavors and, bonus, it comes together super quickly!
Corn & Black Bean Quesadillas
You know those nights when you just want to serve a dinner that no one is going to complain about? These quesadillas are perfect for such occasions! The filling is delicious and easily customizable. Older kids could also learn to make this one on their own! It's that easy.
20 Healthy Budget Dinners
I rounded up 20 of my favorite budget dinners here for you. Each recipe costs about $8-$15 to make (at the time of writing) yet each of them is healthy and delicious.