African cuisine is flavorful and unique, reflecting the complex history of the continent. Many regions put their own unique spin on common dishes, creating a rich tapestry of flavors. Local ingredients, historical foreign influences, longstanding traditions, and religious guidelines have helped to shape each region’s most beloved dishes into what they are today. Looking to learn more about African cuisine? What better way than to experience it for yourself? Whether you’re looking for some authentic recipes to reconnect to your roots or just curious about African cuisine, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to see all of our favorite African recipes to cook at home!
#1 Nigeria — Ewa Riro (Nigerian Stewed Beans)
Ewa Riro is a vegetarian-friendly dish from Nigeria. Beans are cooked with onions, Scotch bonnet peppers, palm oil, and a bouillon cube until soft and stew-like. You can serve your Ewa Riro along with some dodo (fried plantain), rice, or bread for an authentic Nigerian feast!
#2 Ethiopia - Ye’abesha Gomen
This traditional Ethiopian side dish is made with collard greens, niter kibbeh (Ethiopian spiced clarified butter), garlic, ginger, and spices. The dish elevates simple greens to a richly flavored dish that pairs perfectly with other Ethiopian specialties. It’s a must-try for vegetarians and vegans; it is also ideal for those looking to add more vegetables to their diet!
#3 Ghana — Red Red
Red Red is a Ghanaian classic and one of our favorite African recipes to make at home. The flavorful red-hued stew is made from black-eyed peas cooked with tomato, hot peppers, and palm oil. Fried plantains are traditionally served alongside Red Red. If you are interested in making Ghanaian food at home, we highly recommend trying out this recipe!
#4 Somalia — Bariis Iskukaris
Bariis Iskukaris is considered the national dish of Somalia. It’s an elevated rice dish that contains a blend of spices called xawaash. It’s topped with fried onions and raisins and often served alongside roasted lamb or goat. Aromatic and colorful, this Somali dish is a must-try!
#5 Zimbabwe – Nhopi
This Zimbabwean porridge combines peanut paste (or peanut butter), cornmeal, pumpkin (or butternut squash), and plenty of spices. Warming, indulgent, and nutritious, Nhopi makes a great breakfast or snack and is one of our very favorite African recipes. We highly recommend making this Zimbabwean dish in your home kitchen!
#6 Ghana —Waakye (Ghanaian Rice & Beans)
Black eye beans (also known as black-eyed peas) are cooked with rice, salt, and waakye leaves, which gives them a beautiful burgundy color. Simple and nutritious, this hearty meal is delicious at any time of day. Ready to learn how to make Waakye in your home kitchen?
#7 Sierra Leone – Peanut Soup
Peanut soup is popular throughout West Africa. This recipe is based on the Sierra Leone regional version. The base ingredients include hearty staples like ground peanuts (or peanut butter), tomato paste, and spices. We highly recommend that you try this creamy, filling, and absolutely delicious African recipe at home!
#8 Senegal - Chicken Yassa
This classic Senegalese dish is popular throughout West Africa, and it’s not hard to see why. The chicken is marinated overnight and cooked with lots of onions, mustard, hot peppers, spices, and lemon juice until savory, spicy, and succulent. We recommend serving yours with some green olives over a bed of rice for an authentic, delicious Senegalese meal!
#9 Mali — Tiguadege Na (Meat in Peanut Sauce)
This dish from Mali combines your choice of meat (beef, lamb, or goat) with a flavorful, filling peanut sauce. The recipe is surprisingly easy to make and is perfect for feeding a large group (or meal-prepping!). If you’re interested in getting a taste of Mali from your home kitchen, we highly recommend trying out this dish!
#10 South Africa — Bobotie
Often considered the national dish of South Africa, bobotie combines meat, fruit, nuts, curry, and custard into one dish. The result? A sweet, savory, and satisfying bake that’s incredibly hearty and heartwarming. Ready to learn how to make this classic South African dish in your own kitchen?
#11 Cameroon — Koki Corn
Savory and filling, this steamed corn cake recipe makes the perfect lunch, dinner, or snack. To make it, fresh corn, onion, spinach, palm oil, corn flour, and salt are combined and steamed to perfection. Want to learn how to cook this vegetarian-friendly Cameroonian classic at home?
#12 Ghana — Kelewele
To make Kelewele, plantains are drenched in spices like cayenne and ginger to give them a fiery-hot kick before being fried. The spicy heat balances out the plantains’ natural sweetness and works well with the slightly crispy, fried texture. If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable snack, appetizer, or dessert, why not try this Ghanaian recipe?
South Africa — South African Banana Bread
Dense, moist, and delicious, this banana bread recipe is made with olive oil instead of butter. It’s perfect for a quick breakfast or snack and is often paired with peanut butter. Want to learn how to make this delicious South African-style banana bread at home?