Slow cooker peanut stew is vegan comfort food at it’s finest! With chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and peanut butter, it’s inspired by the West African peanut stew maafe. You can assemble this ahead and freeze as a crockpot freezer meal.
This is the time of year that I just want to curl up by the fire with something warm and cozy…and this slow cooker peanut stew is oh so cozy!
Not only is it warm and cozy, but hearty and delicious! With sweet potatoes, chickpeas, peanut butter and spices…I know, that probably sounds like the most random assortment of ingredients but I promise you it all works together in this soup!
After cooking through, I mashed the sweet potatoes and it ended up thick and almost creamy. So delicious!
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We love this slow cooker peanut stew because
- it is made with wholesome, clean pantry ingredients
- you can assemble it ahead and freeze
- it is healthy, hearty and delicious!
- it also happens to be vegan and gluten-free
What is Maafe?
Maafe is a popular West African stew that originated in Mali (1), but is also prepared in many other countries including (but not limited to) Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria and Mauritania (2). With a base consisting of tomatoes and ground nuts, maafe typically also contains meat, and is served with rice, couscous or sweet potatoes. Recipes vary greatly by chef and region, and can also include corn, peppers, paprika, carrots, onions and leafy vegetables.
For a traditional Maafe recipe + story on the cultural significance of this dish, check out this article.
My goal with this slow cooker peanut stew was to honor the traditional flavors, while making it meat-free and slow cooker-friendly, making it easy to prepare in North American (US/Canada) kitchens. I hope this recipe can help introduce the story and flavors to new home cooks!
How to make peanut stew
This is a ‘no cook’ slow cooker recipe, which means it’s perfect as a crockpot freezer meal. It also means you don’t need to pre-cook any ingredients, simply dump them all in the slow cooker and press start!
How to assemble ahead and freeze
Crockpot freezer meals are a staple in my freezer and are an absolute lifesaver during busy weeks! Here’s how you can turn this vegan African peanut stew into a freezer pack:
- assemble all ingredients except for the stock in a good quality gallon-sized freezer bag
- squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze flat
- freeze for up to 3 months
- thaw completely before dumping into the slow cooker, adding the stock, and cooking as directed
What can I serve with West African-inspired peanut soup? This goes really well with some toasted bread. Alternatively you can serve it with rice, in fact it would be great portioned out into some meal prep containers with rice, then frozen.
Can I add chicken to this recipe? Sure, you can add chicken, I’d recommend sticking to boneless skinless chicken thighs as chicken breast may overcook during the 6 hour cook time.
Can I freeze this soup after cooking? Yes! You can definitely freeze it after cooking, and it should keep for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Tips & equipment
- I used my favorite 6 quart slow cooker to make this recipe
- stick to an all natural nut butter; creamy or crunchy works
- Looking for more Vegan Crockpot Freezer Recipes? Check out this Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Lentil Curry, this Slow Cooker Black Bean, Quinoa and Sweet Potato Stew and this Slow Cooker Chickpea Tortilla Soup
Vegan Slow Cooker Peanut Stew (Maafe-Inspired)
- 15 oz can of chickpeas (drained & rinsed)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (including juices)
- 4-5 cups sweet potatoes (cut into 2 inch cubes; roughly 2 medium sweet potatoes)
- 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 1 onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 inch ginger (finely grated)
Just before serving
- 4 handfulls spinach (chopped)
- Combine all ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for 15 minutes.
- Mash the sweet potato until the stew is thickened. Enjoy!
To assemble ahead and freeze
- Combine all ingredients except for the stock and spinach in a large freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze flat. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw completely and cook according to the directions above.