Slow Cooker African Cashew Stew

by Fresh Planet Flavor

Slow Cooker African Cashew Stew (grain/dairy/sugar free, paleo) | Fresh Planet Flavor

The idea of African peanut stew has always intrigued me as a bizarre concept, and while this cashew stew goes in a different flavor direction, it really works in its own way!

I researched African “groundnut” (peanut) stew online before attempting my own variation, but most of the recipes to be found were vegetarian, if not vegan. So I decided to consult an authentic source on whether real African stew contains meat: Maddie, who works the specialty counter at my local Whole Foods Market and who hails originally from Gambia. Maddie and I got to know each other last year when I sprained my ankle. Ever tried going to the market on crutches? It’s not exactly a picnic.

Maddie took pity on me in those bleak days and appointed himself responsible for pushing my cart and loading up my selections during those missions to find some special, hand-picked ingredient for which Instacart wouldn’t make the cut. Nowadays we chat over nut cheese or dark chocolate samples, usually about our workout regimens or our latest dietary developments (he’s doing a juice cleanse this month while I’m participating in a Whole 30 + 21 Day Sugar Detox). When I mentioned that I was in need of advice regarding African peanut stew, he responded that he makes it almost every week! After another 10 minutes of answering my questions, Maddie had divulged the details of the national dish of his country: slow cooked vegetables (specifically including tomato) with chicken, seasoned simply with salt, pepper and maybe some onion and garlic powder. Habanero peppers are sometimes a special addition, and cilantro as a garnish.

Slow Cooker African Cashew Stew (grain/dairy/sugar free, paleo) | Fresh Planet FlavorI took the idea and spun it into a slow cooker cashew stew, which removes wasting time minding a bubbling pot from the equation. The cashew butter results in a thick, buttery mouth-feel and complements the sweet taste of the slow-cooked vegetables. Half a habanero gives the recipe some kick, and the remaining half is a great incentive to make a second batch and freeze it for later. Add more habanero if you can handle the heat, or omit if spicy isn’t your thing.

This is a stew that’s both rich and savory, with a flavor a bit reminiscent of curry but mostly unique to itself. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker African Cashew Stew
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Fresh Planet Flavor
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This slow-cooker cashew stew combines the thick sweetness of cashew butter with soft slow-cooked vegetables and rich, dark chicken meat.
  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1-3 bell peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • ½ cup [url href=”” title=”cashew butter”]cashew butter[/url]
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup broth
  • ½ habanero (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Whole cashews, chopped (optional)
  1. Roughly chop the onion, carrot and bell peppers. Smash and peel the garlic cloves and then load them with the chopped vegetables into a [url href=”” title=”food processor”]food processor[/url]. Pulse until finely shredded.
  2. Layer half of the shredded vegetables in a [url href=”” title=”Crock-Pot Slow Cooker”]slow cooker[/url], and then the chicken thighs. Top with the remaining half of the vegetables.
  3. Add the tomato paste, cashew butter, salt and pepper. Pour the broth in, then cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Stir the contents together, shredding the chicken into the rest of the ingredients with a fork. Mince the ½ habanero, stir into the stew, and top with fresh cilantro and chopped cashews if desired.
  5. Serve warm over riced cauliflower.

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Anu January 19, 2015 - 8:07 am

I so loved these photos, and of course recipe too! 🙂

Grok Grub January 19, 2015 - 5:05 pm

Thanks! It’s easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

Michele Spring January 19, 2015 - 3:42 pm

You’ve done it again, posted a meal I NEEEEED to make this week. (This time I carefully read through the ingredients though and I actually have everything. I promise I will follow directions this time. haha). Looks super delish!

Grok Grub January 19, 2015 - 4:59 pm

Haha, if you can make a version that works even without reading the directions, more power to ya! 😉

stacey January 19, 2015 - 8:44 pm

I can’t wait to try this one! yuminess 🙂

Trisha January 21, 2015 - 2:02 am

Rachel. You just keep killing it. Where does all your inspo come from? Super loving everything you do!!! <3

Grok Grub January 21, 2015 - 4:21 am

From you, partly! I’m glued to your Instagram, love the atmospheric shots. 🙂

Katherine January 21, 2015 - 2:24 am

This looks so tasty and I’ve pinned it for later! I think I may have some cashews on hand for the cashew butter 🙂 Love your photos!

Angela Privin at Paleo Kitchen Lab January 21, 2015 - 5:21 am

Running out to get cashew butter to make this. Let you know how it turns out.

Grok Grub January 21, 2015 - 2:44 pm

Oooooh, you can tell me when I see you in a few hours!

Vanessa January 21, 2015 - 3:48 pm

I have everything except the cashew butter to make this! Can’t wait to pick up my missing ingredient because this looks delicious!

Grok Grub January 21, 2015 - 5:08 pm

I need to pick up some more cashew butter to make a second batch!

Annie January 21, 2015 - 6:57 pm

Just saw your blog on a mutual Facebook group and I am in love with your recipes and photos! I love finding new blogs 🙂 Stop by and check mine out when you get a chance. Looking forward to seeing more from you!

xo Annie

Grok Grub January 21, 2015 - 10:07 pm

Awww, your blog is adorable!

Nora (A Clean Bake) January 21, 2015 - 8:09 pm

I have this in the slow cooker right now and it smells fantastic! I made a few tiny substitutions, most notably using peanut butter instead of cashew butter because that’s what I had on hand. I can’t wait for dinner!

Grok Grub January 21, 2015 - 10:01 pm

Peanut butter is the traditional ingredient, so I’m sure it will be tasty!

Tina @ January 22, 2015 - 5:03 am

Love me some good slow cooker recipes – this one looks DELICIOUS!

Tessa@TessaDomesticDiva January 26, 2015 - 3:22 am

This looks so good, sharing all around, and pinning!

Miz Helen January 26, 2015 - 6:39 pm

Your Slow Cooker African Cashew Stew will be a great recipe to try. Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a great week.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Caitlin January 28, 2015 - 2:58 pm

What a great idea to use cashews! That turquoise plate is beautiful with the stew.

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[…] Dinner – Slow Cooker African Cashew Stew […]

Michelle February 26, 2015 - 7:48 pm

Could this be made with Chicken breast instead of thighs?

Grok Grub February 26, 2015 - 10:09 pm

Michelle, it’s worth a try. Chicken breasts behave a little differently than chicken thighs in the slow cooker because of their different fat content.

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