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West African Peanut Soup with Chicken is spicy, rich and deeply flavorful. A mixture of tender sweet potatoes and buttery chicken simmered in a comforting mixture of broth, coconut milk, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, coriander and cayenne.

West African Peanut Soup with Chicken served in white bowls

A steaming bowl of this West African Peanut Soup with Chicken is the perfect meal to curl up with on a chilly evening. Whether you’re alone, with someone you love or with a couple of close friends, as Keith and I were recently when I made this soup.

It’s unusual for Keith and I to be out on a walk after midnight. We’re in our 40s now, after all, and really need our beauty sleep. But last night was different, there was to be a meteor shower, a big one, from the tail of Hailey’s comet. Our good friends were visiting from out of town and we spent the evening playing Texas Hold’em for terribly valuable wooden toothpicks, trying to stay awake for the promised celestial show. So at midnight we headed out for a walk, a pretty long walk, in the 33 degree air.

West African Peanut Soup with Chicken served in white bowls

Stars winked at us from an ebony background; planets shimmered in blues and greens; the moon and clouds had the night off. We oohed and awwed, but saw not. a. single. shooting star.

But I don’t mind. I love this time of year, when the chill is back and the sky is crisp. I love it partly because it makes me think of soup.

Have you had West African Peanut Soup with Chicken before? Thank you, Africa! It’s delicious – at once spicy, sweet, fresh, hearty, decadent. If the combination of ingredients seems strange, don’t worry. Please try it anyway – I promise you’ll love it.

And if you love sweet potatoes as much as I do, don’t miss these Sweet Potato Hash Browns, this Sweet Potato Bread, this Vegan Corn Chowder, or this Sweet Potato Hash. And for other comforting soup ideas, try Delicata Squash Soup, Winter Squash SoupCaldo Verde, Albondigas Soup, Tom Kha Gai, and Pasta e Fagioli!

West African Peanut Soup Recipe Video

West African Peanut Soup with Chicken

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: West African
Calories: 399
Servings: 10 people
When you make this, start at least 2 hours before plan to eat. There is not a lot of active time, but the stew needs time to simmer. If you prefer a vegetarian version of, swap in vegetable broth and perhaps kick up the spice.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 inch piece of ginger peeled and minced (a microplane makes quick work of this)
  • 5 large cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes scrubbed and diced (peeled if you like)
  • 1 28 ounce jar chopped tomatoes with juice (or can)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 14 ounce can coconut milk (I used full-fat)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut in half lengthwise
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts for garnish
  • fresh chopped cilantro for garnish


  • Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add ginger and garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Add the next 7 ingredients – sweet potatoes through coconut milk. Stir until well combined and peanut butter is distributed. Stir in chicken thighs and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cover; simmer for one hour.
  • Remove the chicken thighs and set them aside for a few moments until they’re cool enough to handle. Use two forks to shred chicken, then return to stew. 
  • Add salt, freshly ground black pepper, and more cayenne to taste. Ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve.


Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 808mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 9756IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg

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

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  1. Ruth says:

    Probably one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten! I accidentally added way too much cayenne but I also sort of love the spice!!
    Thank you!

    1. Marissa says:

      That’s fantastic, Ruth! Thank you for letting me know… 🙂

  2. Krista says:

    Now that the weather is finally cooling off…I can’t wait to try this out. Just printed it off! Love the caricature 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      So excited for you to try it, Krista!

  3. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen says:

    Everything about this soup is fantastic! Peanuts, coconut, chicken, spices.. I had heard something about it on tv, I think it was master chef, and this recipes is perfect Marissa! I love the kind of night you described, absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Marissa says:

      Thank you so much, Paula!

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite NIgella says:

    I really want to make this now! It looks so rich and delicious 😀 I’m putting the ingredients on my shopping list now 🙂

    1. Marissa says:

      When you say that, I believe you! + LOVE your Halloween party post. You’re a maniac!

      1. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

        Hi Marissa! A pot of this is bubbling away on my stove and it smells wonderful! 😀 I can’t until it finishes 😀