In traditional Ghana food, we have beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes… all the good stuff for a balanced and fulfilling diet. Even as a no meat food, their vegetarian African food is sustaining. Especially when it has some of that gooood red stuff. Yes, I’m talking about our favorite red palm oil recipes! In this red red Ghana stew, you’ll discover an easy meal that you might just want to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But as tempting as that is, don’t do it. We have plenty of recipes for you. Join our Humblevege family.

Red oil stew is popular in West African food recipes.
red oil recipes

Why we love red palm oil recipes

If you enter a West African household and don’t find red palm oil then politely excuse yourself. Kidding, but this oil is very popular. It is basically a traditional Ghana food on its own, and it’s also loved in countries like Liberia. As for amounts, just add until you hear your ancestors tell you to stop.

The oil may just seem like the base, but our traditional red palm oil soup article will tell you all about how it brings flavor. It has a unique earthy taste and brings color and nutrients. This dry rice article explains how it has lots of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant for your immune system. It also has vitamin A which is good for your eyes. And the best part, no cholesterol! Major thank you to the Liberian Kissi tribe for sharing this oil. 

You can see how traditional Ghana food has healthy fat. And it may be a no meat food but the protein is present in the legumes.

Why is it called Red red? 

As hinted above, red red has black eyed peas. This is the other star of the show, as West Africans love their beans

Beans in Benin- West African staples.
Examples of Beans in Benin

It makes for good vegetarian African food, but fun fact, some believe red palm oil adds to the name of the Ghana stew we are talking about today. The orangey-red of it is shown in red palm oil recipes. Some say the other ‘red’ comes from the addition of tomato sauce. Others believe it is because the Ghana stew is often paired with fried plantain that takes on an orange color after frying. What reason makes more sense to you? Comment below!

Ghana stew… with no meat?

Yes, Africans love their meat. But you can make lots of traditional Ghana food as vegetarian African food. Some recipes don’t even need the modification, they are just like that. 

gari fufu ghana red-red stew. Traditional Ghana food amps up vegetarian African food. Red palm oil recipes like this makes no meat food trendy. A simple Ghana stew to try.
Gari fufu with Ghana red red stew

In today’s no meat food, you aren’t lacking anything. The beans add great texture and bring some protein to the table. For more, you can pair it with food like rice or gari fufu. In this Chouo touru recipe, you’ll find that black eyed peas originate from the West, and they are packed with fiber, carbs, and goodness. Now pair them with red palm oil and you’ll have this amazing Ghana stew. No meat food doesn’t mean you have to deprive your palate of good food, there is so much good in vegetarian African food. It is traditional for a reason. Meat wasn’t and isn’t always easily available or affordable, but all the nutrients needed are still found in our soils. 

Are you ready for Ghana stew?

Let me be honest. I think red red sounds like a cartoon character’s name. But that’s great! And I’ll tell you why. It’s an easy and catchy name for the kids to remember when they want to ask you to make it for them again. Or for when they ask for seconds. I’m warning you! It’ll be a big hit. Don’t forget to subscribe for more amazing recipes, and leave a like! Curious about a no-meat food lifestyle? Check out our Instagram page for real-life inspirations 😊.


Notable Red Red- Ghana Stew

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Ghana Red Red stew is simple to make and impactful in nourishment. Have a delicious side dish or main meal that you can dress up or keep it simply traditional.


  • 12.5oz Can chunky tomatoes
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper dice
  • Quarter purple Onion diced
  • 1 veggie cube
  • Half cup of palm oil
  • 24.20 oz of cooked cowpeas/ Black eyed-peas
  • 1 tsp Salt & half tsp Salt


    In a medium saucepan, add the red palm to the cooking pot and turn the heat to low. Add in the onion, and pepper and cook until fragrant, 3mins.african-palm-oil-with-onion_humblevege

    Next, add in the tomatoes along with the water that is in the tomatoes; do not drain the water. Turn up the heat to medium and stir your Ghana red red mixture to combine. Some people pure their tomatoes for a smoother consistency but I prefer to see the tomatoes in my red red stew. Do as you like. Allow the tomatoes, palm oil-onion mixture to cook for 5

    After that, add in black-eyed peas. You could use canned black-eyed peas or use the raw one, ensuring it is precooked for this recipe. Once you’ve added the black-eyed peas, stir to combine and add in 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover your cooking pot and cook the beans on low heat for 20 mins. Beans tend to burn so monitor it and stir

    Following that, taste your Ghana red red and if it needs more salt, add in half teaspoon of salt and stir to combine. You can allow it to cook for 3 more minutes and after that, your food is ready!

    What can you eat red red with? Ghana fluffy bread, banku, rice or cooked plantain. Some people eat it as-is.



Note, the beans will absorb the red oil and the stew will look compact, but do not worry, it is still moist and delicious. You don’t need to add more red oil and you don’t need to add more water.

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