Slow Cooker Chicken & Lentil Ethiopian Stew, made with sweet potatoes and carrots.


A hearty and flavorful slow cooker Ethiopian chicken stew made with Ethiopian spices, lentils and sweet potatoes.  Bring some exotic flavors to your dinner table!


Hi hi hi.  I am posting on a MONDAY, which I rarely do, mostly because I am not normally so organized on a Sunday to get a post ready.

But I have been working on this recipe for a long time, and I couldn’t wait any longer to share it with you 😉

I knew this slow cooker Ethiopian chicken stew was going to be a good idea because clearly you guys love the Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken Stew and the Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Stew recipes.

Also, I keep getting e-mails about an Ethiopian feast post that I used to have on the blog a LONG time ago (I took it down because they are not recipes I developed myself, but if you want the recipe links, e-mail me!).

So when I was thinking up ideas for more slow cooker recipes, I knew I had to revisit those bold Ethiopian flavors.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Lentil Ethiopian Stew, made with sweet potatoes and carrots.

Confession: I totally forgot to put the sweet potatoes in the slow cooker when I was taking that photo ^^.  D’oh!  Don’t skip them, they are absolutely wonderful in this recipe!

This is the part where I say I am NO expert in Ethiopian cuisine…we did order some Ethiopian take-out as research because I wanted to be sure I was in the ‘ball park’ flavor-wise.

So no, this isn’t traditional Ethiopian, and I wouldn’t dare call it Doro Wat…this is my spin on the flavors I enjoyed from Ethiopian recipes I’ve cooked in the past.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Lentil Ethiopian Stew, made with sweet potatoes and carrots.

After a couple of dud batches, we ordered Ethiopian take-out, and it was clear: it needed some cardamom, a bit more paprika, and maybe some sugar.  So I upped these ingredients and finally ended up with a batch I was happy with!

I feel like I need to say this:  WARNING!  The flavors of this slow cooker Ethiopian chicken stew are BOLD, and this stew is very hearty.  For that reason, I don’t recommend a very large serving size.  You might want 3/4 cup max, and serve with a salad or something lighter.  It’s just not the type of stew where you can eat a huge bowl.

I enjoyed mine with naan bread, Ethiopian food is traditionally served on a spongy pancake-type of thing called injera, but naan worked just great!

Alright!  Slow cooker Ethiopian chicken stew:  I can finally check you off my to-do list!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Slow Cooker Ethiopian Chicken & Lentil Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A spicy exotic slow cooker stew that contains chicken and lentils
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 8
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons berbere spice mix (*see note)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup green split lentils (dried)
  • 1 can (540mL/19oz) diced tomatoes (including juices),
  • 1 cup chicken stock
after cooking
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • salt, if needed
to serve
  • flatbread
  • greek yogurt
  1. Melt butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 5-8 minutes, until cooked through.
  2. Add the berbere, cardamom, paprika, ginger and garlic, and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Place the onion mixture in the slow cooker along with all remaining ingredients.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Gently stir in the lemon juice, brown sugar, and salt (if needed).
  6. Serve with flatbread and yogurt.
Nutritional Information: (For ⅛ servings)
Calories 228 // Fat 2 g // Saturated Fat 0 g // Cholesterol 33 mg // Sodium 486 mg // Carbohydrate 32 g // Fiber 6 g // Sugars 9 g // Protein 20 g

*Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend. You may be able to find it in specialty stores, however I made my own using the recipe below.

This stew is medium-spicy. If you don't like spice, you will need to reduce the cayenne/red pepper flakes in the berbere spice blend. If you want it SPICY!! then you will want to double the cayenne/ red pepper flakes.

This is a very hearty stew! ¾ cup is plenty for one person.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ batch Calories: 228 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 32 g Sugar: 9 g Sodium: 486 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 20 g Cholesterol: 33 mg

5.0 from 3 reviews
Berbere Spice Blend
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • ½ tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seed (or powder)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  1. Combine all ingredients, store in a sealed container.
Recipe is adapted from group recipes.

This should make around 1 cup of berbere spice.

This spice blend makes a medium-spicy Ethiopian stew. If you don't like spice, try halving the cayenne and red pepper flakes. If you like it really spicy, try doubling them!

Products used in this recipe:

More delicious Ethiopian chicken recipes to try:

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