This African Bean Stew is an easy, comforting, and filling 30-minute meal! Warm spices are simmered together with kidney beans, plantain, okra, and hearty vegetables in just one pot. Naturally gluten free and vegan!

Just like my Brazilian beef stew, this African Bean Stew is filled with comforting, rich, and hearty flavors. Both of these one-pot dishes are packed with colorful veggies and fun international spices to make every spoonful a unique experience. This African stew in particular is an easy 30-minute meal that comes together in one pot and features bold and fresh African-inspired flavors.

One of the best things about this vegetarian stew recipe is that it feeds 4 people but can easily be doubled to feed a large crowd. All you need is a large Dutch oven or soup pot to throw it together. The leftovers are just as good days later and can even be frozen and reheated for a healthy, protein-packed dinner in a pinch!

Vegetarian bean stew ingredients

  • Kidney beans – Precooked or canned beans are the easiest. You can easily swap the kidney beans for black, pinto, red, or cannellini beans if you prefer!
  • Vegetables – Onion, garlic, celery, carrots, tomatoes, and tomato paste are combined to create a flavorful stew base. 
  • Plantain – Also known as a cooking banana, this banana-looking green fruit is very starchy and becomes sweeter once it’s cooked.
  • Okra – This fuzzy green vegetable has an earthy and sweet flavor. It’s also a great natural stew thickener!
  • Vegetable broth – Use vegetable broth to keep this recipe vegetarian/vegan or replace it with beef, chicken, or bone broth.
  • Spices – Paprika, cumin, coriander, chili, curry powder, salt, and pepper help this soup taste extra savory, warm, and a little spicy.

How to make African bean stew

This 30-minute stew is simple to make, packed with nutritious veggies, and is a delicious one-pot dinner! I recommend making it in a Dutch oven, but it can also be made in a large soup pot on the stove.

Step 1: Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until softened. 

Step 2: Next, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Give everything a good stir.

Step 3: Once the tomatoes have been incorporated, add the vegetable broth, kidney beans, okra, and plantains to the pot. Stir well before covering with a lid and letting the stew simmer.

Step 4: You’ll know the African bean stew is done when all of the individual ingredients have been warmed through. Serve each bowl with a sprinkling of fresh coriander or cilantro and enjoy!

Serving suggestions

This vegetarian stew is really hearty and comforting, which is why I recommend you eat it alongside some lighter sides. I like serving each bowl with French bread dinner rolls, kale pomegranate salad, and sweet potato steak fries to really make the meal complete. 


You can easily make this African bean stew recipe your own by including your favorite veggies or toppings, just like most other vegetarian soups and stews. Try adding any of these to customize each serving:

  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Spinach or kale
  • Bell peppers
  • Black beans
  • Beef
  • Chuck or short rib
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lamb

As for toppings, go ahead and add a dollop of sour cream or shredded cheese on top, or bake the stew in a baking dish with a layer of mashed potatoes or even puff pastry.

Storing and freezing bean stew

To store, allow the leftovers to cool before transferring them to an airtight container. The soup will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days.

To freeze, place the cooled soup into an airtight container or ziploc bag. Keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

To reheat, add the refrigerated or thawed African bean stew to a large pot and heat over medium heat until the stew reaches your desired temperature. 

Looking for more hearty stew recipes?

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get great new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
African bean and okra stew

African Bean Stew

by Silvia Dunnirvine
This African Bean Stew is an easy, comforting, and filling 30-minute meal! Loaded with beans, plantains, okra, and warm spices, this naturally gluten free and vegan stew is so hearty and delicious.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 28 minutes
Total: 33 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stick celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped or diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 1 can 15oz organic kidney beans
  • 1 cup okra, sliced
  • 1 plantain, sliced and quartered


  • 1/2 tsp each, paprika, cumin, coriander and chili
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • pinch of sea salt and pepper, to taste


  • Start by heating up the oil in a soup pot or dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery and sauté the veggies stirring often until they have softened (about 8 minutews)
    African bean and okra stew
  • Add in tomatoes and tomato paste along with all seasoning and spices, and stir.
    vegetarian stew with okra
  • Add the broth, beans, okra and plantains. Stir well, cover and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    bean and okra stew
  • When done garnish with fresh coriander or cilantro and serve.
    African bean and okra stew

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: African Stew, Bean Stew, Vegetarian Stew
Course: Dinner, Soup, Stew
Cuisine: African
Like this? Leave a comment below!

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating