Nigerian Red Stew Recipe

45 mins


Serves 4

Like Kimchi to Koreans, this!

The same way Koreans take out time to sit and make huge batches of Kimchi, is the same way Nigerians take time out of their weekly schedules to make huge batches of red stew to freeze for the week!




1. In a blender add: 4 chopped tomatoes, 2 chopped red bell peppers, 1 quartered onion and 1/4 cup water. Blend until smooth, add more water if not blending. 

TIP: Instead of  adding more water when the blender gets stuck, remove the jug and shake it up and down to mix the contents. Put it back on and blend, everything should blend 

2. In a deep pot, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat and add in 1 diced onion. Fry for 30 seconds and then add in the blended mixture

3. Add the seasoning: 1 tsp Salt, 1  chicken stock cube, 1 Maagi stock cube, 1 tbsp dried thyme and 1 tbsp all purpose seasoning. Cover and leave to boil on medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes

4. After 15 minutes, the stew should be thick. Stir it together (it will splatter so be careful!). Add in the 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water, stir and cover to simmer for another 15 minutes. 

5. After a total of 30 minutes your stew should be ready! Enjoy!

About This Recipe

This Nigerian red stew (or red sauce as I call it) is essential in our house! There must always be a container of ready made stew in the fridge as well as several containers ready to defrost in the freezer. The same way Koreans take time out to sit and make huge batches of Kimchi, is the same way Nigerians take time out of their weekly schedules to make huge batches of red stew to freeze for the week!

This stew is used in so many recipes, it’s used to make jollof rice (fun fact! My mum thought there was an actual spice called ‘Jollof’ for jollof rice! haha!!) but no it’s just rice made with Nigerian red stew! My mother-in-law’s jollof rice is the best I have ever had – like EVER! How you make the stew and the spices you put in it will determine how delicious your jollof rice will be! 

You’re also supposed to add scotch bonnet peppers as they’re a staple of Nigerian cuisine but I’ve got toddlers who eat with us and blending scotch bonnet is just asking for trouble! So we do not add any hot spice in our Nigerian red stew. That’s what I love about this stew, the ingredients are not set in stone, you can add or substitute with whatever seasoning you like best. For example you can use curry spice instead of all purpose seasoning, vegetable stock instead of chicken stock or even reduce the thyme if you’re not a huge fan. You can personalise it to exactly how you and your family like it. 

A good Igbo family friend told me that she adds all kinds of things when blending the vegetables for her Nigerian red stew, she said she’ll add mushrooms, carrots or other left over vegetables! So I thought, great idea! It was a disaster! My husband is so picky that when I tried to blend in leftover mushrooms, it changed the colour of the stew, he took one look at it and froze! I asked him what’s wrong and he said (in the most polite way possible) “It… looks different…” the poor guy just picked at it and barely ate it! It always hurts m feelings when he doesn’t like my food, so ever since then, I just stick to the usual peppers, tomatoes and onions!

This is also the sauce I use to make my lasagne and my Thai green curry with a twist! I’ll be putting out more recipes I make with Nigerian red stew so stay tuned and thanks for stopping by!

  • Melanie varey
    29/04/2019 at 5:34 pm

    A lovely tasty base for a stew – I love the suggestion of vegetables.

    • giveitthyme
      01/05/2019 at 11:17 pm

      Thank you!