Sweet Potato, Spinach & Peanut Stew

This is a hearty vegan version of one of my favourite one-pots, peanut butter chicken stew. It’s so simple to make and yet it’s incredibly flavourful. Peanut butter is a fantastic ingredient for flavouring and thickening stews and I like to use a crunchy version so there are extra nuts in the sauce. For the series I visited the Funky Nut Company in Birkenhead and they made me a peanut butter flavoured with Scotch bonnet chilli just for this recipe – fantastic! Serve with your favourite grains (perfect with Ainsley Harriott Caribbean Couscous, Rice n’ Beans!) or roti.

Found in this book

Ainsley's Good Mood Food

Ebury Books


Heat the oil in a heavy-based lidded saucepan or Dutchie pot over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 4-6 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, spices and bay leaves and cook for a further 2 minutes, adding a splash of water if needed. Add the sweet potato and red pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes to combine the flavours. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree, black-eyed peas, peanut butter and 350ml stock until well combined. Season to taste.

Cover the pot and gently simmer over a low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender. Stir every now and then, to prevent anything sticking to the base of the pot, adding a little more stock if needed. Stir in the spinach until just wilted. Stir in the coriander and then finish with a good squeeze of lemon and check the seasoning. Remove the scotch bonnet and bay leaves before serving.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with your favourite grains or roti.



  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli, left whole (or 1 red chilli, finely chopped)
  • 1 heaped tsp sweet paprika (unsmoked)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 5 cloves, ground
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 700g sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 x 227g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 x 400g tin black-eyed peas or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 150g chunky peanut butter
  • 350-400ml vegetable stock
  • 180g baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, plus extra for serving
  • ½ lemon for squeezing
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper