10 Gratifying African vegetarian Meals To Obsess Over

Amarachi Irobi
Amarachi Irobihttp://@Amara_ii
My name is Amarachi Irobi, a content writer and food lover who loves to explore traditional African cuisine.
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All vegetarians get in here. This article is for you all. If you are thinking about transitioning or you’re in the transition process already or want to have an idea of what the vegetarian lifestyle is all about, hold on tight cause you are going to learn a lot from this article, especially African vegetarian meals you’re likely to fall in love with.

All vegetarians get in here. This article is for you all. If you are thinking about transitioning or you’re in the transition process already or want to have an idea of what the vegetarian lifestyle is all about, hold on tight cause you are going to learn a lot from this article, especially African vegetarian meals you’re likely to fall in love with.

What Exactly Is the Vegetarian Lifestyle About?

According to Wikipedia, Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from meat consumption and may also include abstention from by-products of animal slaughter. Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons.

In other words, it is living solely upon vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and nuts, with or without adding milk products or eggs, which is generally done for ethical, ascetic, environmental, or nutritional reasons. This excludes all forms of fleshy meals (including meat and seafood).

Being vegetarian is commonly confused with veganism, a more extreme form of vegetarianism. While a vegetarian’s diet may include dairy and egg products, veganism is a form of the vegetarian lifestyle that attempts to exclude all forms of animal products from their diets.

It also includes abstinence from all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it from food, clothing, or any other purpose. So, in this case, exempting both dairy, egg products, gelatin, honey, carmine, pepsin, shellac, albumin, whey, casein, and some forms of Vitamin D3.

People become vegetarians for a variety of reasons, including health, religious convictions, worries about animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in animals, or a desire to consume food in a way that does not deplete natural resources.

Types of Vegetarians

There are about six types of vegetarians classified based on what they choose to eat;

  • Lacto-Ovo vegetarian: these refer to vegetarians who avoid all forms of animal flesh but do not consume dairy and egg products.
  • Lacto vegetarians: vegetarians who avoid animal flesh and eggs but do not consume dairy products.
  • Ovo vegetarians: vegetarians who avoid all forms of animal products except eggs.
  • Pescatarians: this division does not eat meat or poultry but consumes fish.
  • Flexitarians: these are part-time vegetarians. A semi-vegetarian diet, also called a flexitarian, is centered on plant foods with the occasional inclusion of meat. Flexitarian is a portmanteau of the words flexible and vegetarian, signifying its followers’ less strict diet pattern when compared to vegetarian pattern diets.
  • Vegan: vegetarians who avoid all forms of animal and animal-derived products.

Is There Vegetarian African Food?

Yes, there is a rich tradition of vegetarian African food. Many African countries offer a variety of delicious plant-based dishes. Examples include Ethiopian injera with a selection of lentil and vegetable stews, Moroccan tagine with vegetables and couscous, or West African jollof rice prepared with veggies and aromatic spices.

African food has a variety of fruits, grains, legumes, and vegetables, making it possible for vegetarians to enjoy a diverse range of flavors.

Vegetarianism in Africa

Africa has been at this vegetarian thing longer than most of the world. Vegan meat, dairy, and other alternatives are becoming more common in Western shops, giving the impression that plant-based diets are a relatively new concept.

However, eating little or no meat has long been a staple of national cuisine in many parts of the world. One example is Africa. Prior to European colonization, meals were frequently vegetarian.

African vegetarian meals are considered a return to tradition, especially as veganism has its roots in Africa. We have sheep and cattle, but when we butchered them in the past, it was only for exceptional occasions such as weddings, births, and funerals.” She believes that Africans began consuming more meat after colonization and the monetization of cattle and abandoned their traditional plant-based diets.

What Is the Best Vegan Food in Africa?

One common vegan dish in Africa is Ethiopian Injera with Vegetarian Stews. Injera, a sourdough flatbread with a unique, slightly tangy flavor, serves as a versatile base for different vegan stews and dishes.

This meal is a staple in Ethiopian cuisine and often includes lentil stews, such as Misir Wot (red lentil stew) and Shiro (chickpea or lentil puree), alongside a colorful assortment of vegetables.

Injera Ethiopian dishes
Image from Wikipedia

Health Benefits of Adopting the Vegetarian Lifestyle

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Eating animal fat has no health benefits. Vegetarian diets are cholesterol-free because cholesterol is only found in animal sources. Despite the fact that cholesterol is a necessary component of every human cell, vegetarians are fine with not obtaining enough because their bodies can produce all of the cholesterol they require from vegan diets.

A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide up to twice the amount of fiber as the average diet, and soluble fiber can aid with cholesterol management. Soya foods and nuts, in particular, have been demonstrated to help keep cholesterol levels in check.

Prevents Type 2 Diabetes

A healthy vegetarian diet may aid in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes and its consequences. It all comes down to eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, legumes, and nuts to keep blood sugar levels stable. Vegetarians have half the risk of type 2 diabetes as non-vegetarians, according to one study. 

Lower Saturated Fat Consumption

Meat consumption can significantly reduce fat intake, particularly saturated fat, which has been related to clogged arteries and coronary heart disease. Even extra-lean minced beef contains more than four times the fat of pulses like beans, lentils, and peas, and using Quorn meat or soya mince in a bolognese or curry, for example, can cut fat by three-quarters.

The Risk of Stroke and Obesity Are Reduced

Vegetarians are much more careful of their dietary choices, rarely overeating or choosing foods based on emotions, both of which contribute significantly to obesity. Adopting a vegan diet is a smart strategy to reduce your chances of having a stroke or becoming obese.

Decreases Asthma Symptoms

Fruits and vegetables have also been demonstrated to increase lung function and alleviate asthma symptoms such as wheezing. Plant foods’ antioxidants and flavonoids, according to researchers, may have a protective effect.

Lowers the Risk of Cancer

Plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains, are nutrient-dense. Furthermore, consuming a lot of them has been related to a lower risk of cancer, according to a study.

That’s in part because plant-based foods contain phytochemicals, the nutrients that your immune system needs to fight off diseases like cancer. Plant-based foods also contain more fiber, which can help lower your cancer risk.

Promotes Bone Health

Vegetarian diets have been shown to contain lower amounts of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B-12, protein, and n–3 (ω-3) fatty acids, all of which have important roles in maintaining bone health.

Reasons People Go Vegetarian

There are a couple of solid reasons people transition to a vegetarian lifestyle. Here are a few.

Animal Welfare

People who want to avoid animal exploitation and cruelty or who have a strong commitment to nonviolence may choose to live a completely vegan lifestyle. They don’t eat meat or utilize animal by-products in food, clothing, or other products. Honey, butter, and leather are examples of such items.

Animals in today’s factory farms are not protected by the law from abuse that would be prohibited if it was done to dogs or cats. Farmed animals, on the other hand, are no less intellectual or capable of feeling pain than the dogs and cats we love as pets.

Health Reasons

A vegetarian diet has been shown in numerous studies to have various health benefits. This may be the most substantial reason people transition to a vegetarian diet.

Studies show that a vegan or vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer. A non-meat diet may also reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Numerous research papers show that a vegetarian diet is healthier. Statistics show that cancer and diabetic diseases are less frequent among vegetarian people. In addition, people eating meat each day suffer a larger share of hypertension, digestion, and heart diseases compared to those who have a semi-vegetarian diet.

Simply Enjoy the World of Vegetarian Cuisine

Vegetarian dishes can be delicious, quick, and simple. You can also use ready-made meat replacements to prepare your favorite non-vegetarian dishes. There are also a plethora of vegetarian cookbooks available. The Down to Earth all-vegetarian Deli is perfect when you don’t have time to cook but want to maintain taste and quality.

Now that vegetarianism has been fully established and differentiated from veganism let’s get into the health benefits of adopting the vegetarian lifestyle.

African Vegetarian Meals To Obsess Over

Misir Wat (Ethiopian Spiced Red Lentils)

ethopian lentils
Image from Eluxemagazine

Misir Wat, one of Ethiopia’s most famous vegetarian recipes, shows lentils in a way you’ve never seen before. The flavor is really wonderful! Even diehard carnivores won’t miss the meat because it’s vegetarian-friendly and delicious! This African vegetarian meal is filling and easy to make, these spicy red lentils are ready in about 40 minutes, vegan, high protein, and full of spice.


The ingredients needed to prepare this lovely African vegetarian dish include;

  • 4 tablespoons niter kibbeh, divided
  • Homemade Niter Kibbeh (strongly recommended)
  • 1 large yellow onion, very finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Roma tomato, very finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of  berbere, divided
  • Homemade Berbere (strongly recommended)
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups Aneto All-Natural Chicken Broth
  • vegetarians: use Aneto Vegetable Broth


  • Melt 3 tablespoons of the niter kibbeh in a medium stockpot.  Add the onions and cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon of the berbere and cook for 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat if needed to prevent burning.
  • Add the broth and salt, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cover and simmer the lentils, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes (adding more broth if needed) or until the lentils are soft.
  • Stir in the remaining tablespoon of niter kibbeh and berbere. Simmer for a couple more minutes. Add salt to taste.
  • Serve with Ethiopian injera.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 483mg | Potassium: 509mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 220IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2.8mg

Some suggestions for Amazon links to “The Ultimate Instant Pot cookbook”.

The Ultimate Instant Pot cookbookProject Overview Docs Banner in Light Green Blue Vibrant Professional Style 1

Spiced Cauliflower and Almond Soup

Spiced Cauliflower and Almond Soup - African vegetarian meal
Image from Pinterest

This African vegetarian meal – spiced roasted cauliflower soup – is described as “perfectly spiced,” “super creamy,” and “thick and fluffy,” It also contains almonds, which make it more healthful and delicious! It’s vegan, gluten-free, and healthy.


  • 1 Cauliflower (gobi)
  • 1/2 cup Whole Almonds (Badam), blanched
  • 3 tablespoon Harissa paste
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder (Jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder (Dhania)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon Powder (Dalchini)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups Vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Black pepper powder, to taste.


  • To begin making the Spiced Cauliflower And Almond Soup recipe, rinse and wash cauliflower. Chop roughly. (I have used blanched almonds here, you can use plain almonds too.)
  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add cauliflower florets and roast until the florets start to brown.
  • Now add harissa paste, all the spice powder, and salt to taste, mix. Cook for a minute.
  • Add blanched almonds and cook for another minute. Add vegetable stock (or even chicken stock if you are non-vegetarian), cover the pan with lid, and bring it to boil.
  • When the cauliflower florets get cooked fully, use a hand blender blend until smooth.
  • Add pepper powder, mix. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Pour the soups into serving bowls and serve hot.
  • Serve Spiced Cauliflower And Almond Soup with herbed garlic bread for a weeknight dinner.

Your delicious African vegetarian meal is ready to be served.

Some suggestions links of Amazon to the “Blue Diamond Almonds Almond Flour”, you must buy.

Blue Diamond Almonds Almond FlourProject Overview Docs Banner in Light Green Blue Vibrant Professional Style 1

Atakilt Wat (Spiced Cabbage, Carrot & Potatoes)

Atakilt Wat (Spiced Cabbage, Carrot & Potatoes) - African vegetarian meal
Image from Wanderlust kitchen

This African vegetarian meal is a popular side dish for any Ethiopian meal, whereas can also be eaten as a whole meal. Made from cabbage, carrots, and potatoes that have been spiced with fragrant berbere seasoning, it’s packed with flavor. Serve this alongside some simmered lentils and Ethiopian flatbread for a quick and totally satisfying dinner.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons berbere seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste (or 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh ginger)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped boiling potatoes (such as Yukon gold)
  • 4 cups roughly chopped green cabbage (about 1/2 a medium head)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes until the onions have softened. Add the berbere seasoning and ginger paste; fry for 60 seconds until fragrant.
  • In a large skillet, combine the carrots, potato, cabbage, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 10 minutes with the lid on, stirring halfway through and adding a splash of vegetable broth or water if needed.
  • Give it ten minutes more, then add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, stir, and turn the heat down to low. Recover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender about 10-15 minutes. Garnish with black pepper and cilantro.

The third African vegetarian meal on our list is ready to be served. Over to the next.

Akara-Nigerian Black-Eyed Pea Fritters

Akara-Black-Eyed Pea Fritters - African vegetarian meal
Image from Mydiasporakitchen

Akara is a popular delicacy among Nigerians. Akara can be served as a snack, also as a whole course African vegetarian meal. It is made from grounded beans mixed with onions, pepper, and other spices as desired.

It is usually deep-fried and can be taken with Agege bread. To prepare this African vegetarian meal, most people suggest that peeled brown beans should be used.

Akara and bread is a very popular combination and is also highly nutritious. Akara itself is usually light and contains a lot of protein. Combining it with bread makes it a very nutritious meal and perfect African street food.

For the complete recipe on how to prepare this African vegetarian meal, click the link below.

Click to view recipe

Vegan Jollof Rice

Vegan Jollof rice - African vegetarian meal
Image from HealthierSteps

Jollof rice is a popular dish prepared in many African countries and each recipe differs depending on the country. There are different methods used in preparing this meal but this recipe captures how it’s prepared as an African vegetarian meal.


  • 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Hunt’s® Tomato Paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked, rinsed
  • fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, for garnish


  • In a blender, puree bell peppers, diced tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, and diced onions.
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sliced onions and sauté for about 3 minutes until soft. Add tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and bay leaves and cook about 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
  • Add tomato and pepper pureé and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until sauce thickens. Stir in salt, thyme, curry powder, and cayenne.
  • Stir in rice and coat well with the sauce. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil; stir. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for about 30 to 40 minutes until done and rice is desired texture.

Vegan Efo Riro

Vegan Efo Riro - African vegetarian meal
Image from Urban Famie

Efo riro is a Yoruba spinach stew made with leaf vegetables and stockfish, palm oil, red onion, crayfish, tatashe pepper (a type of red bell pepper), locust bean (also known as carob bean), and other ingredients. It can also include meat and other ingredients, but since this article is about African vegetarian meals, here’s a vegetarian version.


For the stock:

  • 6 cups of water
  • ½ Medium Onion, sliced
  • 7-9 Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tsp Veggie Bouillon
  • 1 tsp salt

For the stew:

  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 habanero Pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 10oz packs of frozen spinach
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbsp of locust beans (optional)


  • Boil water, then add the sliced onions and mushrooms into a pot, add salt and bouillon. Boil for 15 minutes or until mushrooms begin to get translucent.
  • Separate the mushrooms and onions from the broth.
  • Blend peppers, onions, garlic with 2 cups of water.
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a dutch oven pot.
  • Pour in blended peppers, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Let fry for 15-20 minutes or until oil starts to peek through, add salt and bouillon.
  • Add in the separated mushrooms, onions, and locust beans.
  • Squeeze out excess water from thawed spinach, add to the stew, stir.
  • Add 1 cup of veggie stock, cover for 10 minutes, adjust salt for taste
  • Uncover and reduce heat to a simmer for another 10 minutes.


You can serve this African vegetarian meal with fufu, rice, and plantains or eat it alone.

African Peanut Stew

Vegan African Peanut Stew - African vegetarian meal
Image from Buzzfeed

Peanut stew or groundnut stew also called maafe, sauce d’arachide, tigadèguèna, or domoda, is a stew that is a staple food in Western Africa. This  African vegetarian meal originates from the Mandinka and Bambara people of Mali. The proper name for it in the Mandinka language is domodah or tigadegena in Bamanankan.

Here’s how to prepare this African vegetarian meal.


  • 2 tablespoons organic canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 serrano or jalapeno peppers, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 28-ounce can tomatoes in juice, diced (reserve the juice)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (use a gluten-free variety if you are gluten-sensitive)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, leaves well chopped
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges.


  • Heat the oil in a large heavy pot. Saute the onion, garlic, peppers, and ginger over medium heat for 7-8 minutes. Add the cumin and cayenne, and cook one minute more. Add the tomatoes and their juice, broth, sweet potatoes, and greens. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Add peanut butter and black-eyed peas and gently simmer 10 minutes longer, uncovered. Add the cilantro and season to taste. Garnish with peanuts and a squeeze of lime.

There you have it. Your delicious African vegetarian meal is ready, and you’re going to love every single taste of it.

East African Breakfast Wraps:

East African Breakfast Wraps - African vegetarian meal
Image from Eluxe Magazine

The original East African Breakfast Wraps is made from omelets, but this article is centered on African vegetarian meals, so here’s the vegetarian edition.

This dish is given a vegan makeover using tofu, which has been blended up with chickpea flour, spices and is then laced with lots of veggie goodness.

Roast Jerk Plantains

Roast Jerk Plantains African vegetarian meal
Image from Immaculate Bites

This is one lovely African vegetarian meal you wouldn’t want to miss out on. This dish is purely vegan and highly nutritious. Here’s how to prepare this delicious African vegetarian meal.


  • 2-3 Plantains
  • Jerk Seasoning adjust according to preference
  • Oil for drizzling
  • Stir-Fried Onions and Bell pepper (optional)
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 Bell pepper green or red


  • Cut both ends off the plantain and slit a shallow line down the long seam of the plantain; peel only as deep as the peel.
  • If plantains are straight from the fridge, you can run it through hot water, to facilitate peeling
  • Cut in half crossway, then cut in half lengthways and cut further into desired uniform strips.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and place the plantains in a single layer.
  • Bake in a 425-degree oven for minutes for 20 minutes or until slightly brown, turning once
  • Add the sliced onion in hot oil in a skillet for about one minute.
  • Then add strips of bell pepper.

Coconut & Turmeric Roast Potatoes

This African vegetarian meal comes with a twist though of coconut flour! It gives these roast potatoes a delicious coating, while the turmeric adds a golden hue and a burst of antioxidants making the potatoes crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Here is how to prepare this African vegetarian meal.


  • 2 large potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube


  • Place the potato wedges in a saucepan and cover with water. Allow the water to reach boiling point then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  • To make the coating, place the coconut flour, turmeric, olive oil, and vegetable bouillon cube in a large bowl and mix until you have a paste.
  • Drop the potatoes into the paste and mix to coat them completely.
  • Spread the potatoes out on a lightly greased roasting tin. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil and cover with foil (poke the foil and create some holes to allow any steam to escape).
  • Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, at 400 degrees. Remove the foil 3/4 of the way through the cooking time and turn the potatoes over once.
  • Serve as a side dish or have as a meal with your favorite tomato sauce (aka ketchup).
  • One of the most important health benefits of this African vegetarian meal is that it’s is gluten-free.

And there you have them, 10 African vegetarian meals you’d obsess over once you’ve tried them.

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Amarachi Irobi
Amarachi Irobihttp://@Amara_ii
My name is Amarachi Irobi, a content writer and food lover who loves to explore traditional African cuisine.

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