Ghanaian Red Red Stew is a simple, heartwarming dish from Ghana. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and… it’s pretty darn delicious. Made with black-eyed peas in a rich tomato base, this Ghanaian red red stew is a good addition to your healthy lunch or dinner menu.

Other African recipes to prepare, Jollof Rice, Kachumbari, Githeri,  Sukuma WikiMukimo, and Cassava Leaf Soup


What’s for dinner?


Are you tired of the same old recipes? Same old ingredients? Boring flavors and boring textures every single time?


I have got a stew for you!


This delicious Ghanaian Red red Stew is easy to make and loaded with healthy ingredients. It is very versatile, and you can enjoy it by pairing it with different side dishes as well.

Ghana is an African country that, like any other country, has a rich culture and cuisine. However, what I really love about Ghanaian cuisine is its use of ingredients. Their dishes are simple yet tasteful. The ingredients are also very easy to find.

This hearty stew traditionally contains ripe red tomatoes, onions, spices, and palm oil, but the ingredients vary from region to region. The only constant is that it tastes delicious!

The aroma of the stew is inviting and comforting. It reminds me of home and makes me feel at ease whenever I smell it.

The taste is also delicious. The tomato sauce complements the black-eyed peas, while the spices give it a warm and rich flavor. Additionally, it is healthy because it contains a lot of protein and other nutrients.

The most common way to eat this stew is with fried plantain and a side of steamed white rice, but you can also serve it with yam or another starchy root vegetable.

red red stew in a black bowl on a grey background

What Is Red Red Stew?

Ghanaian red red stew is one of the most popular Ghanaian stews. It has a rich, spicy, and sweet taste, making it an amazing dish!

RED RED stew is made from black-eyed beans, also recognized as ‘cowpeas’ in Ghana. The main ingredients are red palm oil and black-eyed peas. These two ingredients give the stew its name (red, red).

The main spices used in this recipe include garlic, ginger, onions, tomatoes, salt, and cayenne pepper. You can use more or less depending on your spice preference.

This red red stew is very easy to prepare with simple ingredients and takes about 30 minutes to cook (if using canned peas). 

Why Is This Stew Named So?

This Ghanaian stew has a unique name. You won’t forget the name because it explains the dish’s look perfectly well. The red red stew is called so because of its red color. Although the beans used are not red in color, they are cooked with a lot of tomatoes and a tomato sauce-based stew and with red palm oil. As a result, the final product is a rich, vibrant red color that is very appealing.

What Are Black-Eyed Peas?

Black-eyed peas or beans are a variety of cowpea in the legume family. Despite being called peas, they’re actually beans. You will recognize them by the characteristic black spot on a cream-colored bean. They are filling and have an excellent texture and a slightly nutty flavor.

Black-eyed peas are extremely nutrient-dense, with each serving containing a good amount of fiber and protein. Additionally, they contain different essential micronutrients, notably folate, zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and thiamine.

Potential Health Benefits

Here are some of the black-eyed peas’ potential health benefits:

Enhance Cardiovascular Health

Eating black-eyed peas as part of a healthy diet is a great way to keep your heart strong and healthy, as they may help in reducing various risk factors of cardiovascular diseases.

Evidence shows that frequently eating legumes may be beneficial for lowering LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Lowering high cholesterol levels can help lessen your chance of developing heart disease.

Eating legumes on a regular basis has also been associated with decreased inflammation markers, which may help lessen the chance of heart disease.

Prevent From Chronic Diseases

It is a rich source of antioxidants like Thiamine and Riboflavin. Antioxidants remove the free radicals from the body, protecting the body against chronic diseases.

Helps In Weight Loss

Black-eyed peas contain complex carbs that digest more slowly than simple carbohydrates. As a result, those who use them may have longer feelings of fullness, which may help in weight loss.

Promote Optimal Digestion

Due to their high fiber content, black-eyed peas can improve digestion by facilitating regular bowel movements. This may be especially beneficial for individuals who suffer from occasional constipation. Additionally, black-eyed peas include prebiotic fiber, which provides food for good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Boost Energy Level

Black-eyed peas are enriched with magnesium and will provide you with over 21% of your daily magnesium needs with just 1 cup of cooked peas.

Manganese is a powerful antioxidant that helps shield your cells, especially those in your energy production units. Black-eyed peas’ protein content also contributes to boosting your energy levels.

Good For Eyes And Skin Health

Black-eyed peas contain a good amount of vitamin A. Black-eyed peas provide one-fourth of an adult’s daily vitamin A requirement in one serving.

Vitamin A contributes to the health of the eyes and skin by lubricating and protecting the mucous membranes that surround them.

Why Should You Try This Ghanaian Red Red Stew Recipe?

There are various reasons why you should try Ghanaian Red Red Stew.

  • One-pot recipe! This stew is easy to make and can be prepared in one pot whether you use dried or canned peas. It means you’ll be able to spend more time with your loved ones and less time cleaning up after them.
  • Budget-friendly! Although it’s a common saying, “If you eat good food and enjoy eating it, then you don’t think about how much it costs.”

Peas are commonly termed as “poor man’s meat” as they’re a low-cost, wholesome, and nutrient-dense substitute for meat. The remaining ingredients are also inexpensive and easily available.

  • It’s delicious and filling! Peas can please even picky diners. The herb and spice blend has a strong flavor that everyone will like. This stew will fill you up.
  • It’s nourishing and healthy! This plant-based stew is loaded with protein and fiber to keep you fuller longer. It also contains essential vitamins, minerals, as well as macronutrients.
  • A great option for meal prep! It’s a great option for meal prep because it stores well. You can reheat it as needed. Serve it over boiled rice or pasta, or just eat it on its own!
  • Good luck for the New Year! Black-eyed peas are a common ingredient for several Southern meals and religious dishes. In addition, the consumption of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bestow prosperity and fortune in the year ahead.

Whether or not you are a believer in this folklore, this red red stew recipe is worth adding to your holiday menu collection.

Ghanaian red red ingredients on wooden background

Ghanaian Red Red Ingredients:

Here is everything you will need to make this delicious vegan stew:

  • Black-eyed peas: Black-eyed peas are very common, also known as cowpeas. You can find them mostly in dried form at any grocery store. These also come in canned form, but I prefer using dried black-eyed peas. These are quite inexpensive and have an earthy flavor. Their texture is very creamy and is very healthy as well. When using dried black-eyed peas, make sure you soak them. This makes them cook faster and easier to handle. Also, soaking these beans allows you to get rid of compounds that may cause gas problems like bloating.
  • Palm oil: I have used organic palm oil for this recipe. Palm oil has a savory and earthy flavor. If you don’t have palm oil, no problem! You can use any vegetable oil for this recipe. However, I prefer you to use olive oil or avocado oil.
  • White onion: White onion is a good combination of sweet and savory. It sets the base for this stew adding a prominent savory flavor to it.
  • Red bell pepper: Red bell pepper offers a citrusy and sweet flavor. The prominent bright red color also aids in the visual representation of this stew, ensuring it stays “red.” If you don’t have red bell pepper, use yellow or green bell pepper.
  • Garlic: Garlic is an essential ingredient in almost every savory dish, and the same is the case with this stew. It brings in an intense savory flavor which makes this stew more tasteful.
  • Ginger: Ginger is not just aromatic but gives a prominent sweet and peppery flavor.
  • Green onion: You get a grassy yet savory flavor by adding in green onion.
  • Tomatoes: Add freshly ripe tomatoes to this stew. Tomatoes are an essential ingredient in this stew. They add flavor to the stew and give it a prominent bright red color. You can use either fresh tomatoes for this recipe, or canned tomatoes also work just fine.
  • Tomato sauce: Tomato sauce is yet another ingredient that ensures you get that depth of flavor and color. It is loaded with rich tomato-y flavor and adds to this stew’s red color.
  • Vegan bouillon cubes: These cubes are magical. They are made from vegetable stock and have a savory umami flavor. Adding bouillons means you don’t have to worry about adjusting the flavors of this stew. Instead, it is a shortcut to perfect taste.
  • Curry powder: Curry powder is a blend of different aromatic spices that make it an essential ingredient of different curries and stews. It adds a depth of flavors and makes this sew just perfect.
  • Cayenne pepper: I have used cayenne pepper to get a bit of heat from this stew. You can, however, use scotch bonnet pepper or paprika powder as per your liking.

sauteed veggies for Ghanaian red red

How To Make Ghanaian Red Red?

Making this Ghanaian red red stew is quite easy and straightforward. The cooking is divided into two parts, i.e., Firstly, you have to cook the black-eyed peas, and secondly, you have to prepare the stew. Here are the steps you have to follow to make this tasteful stew:

Step 1: First of all, you have to soak the black-eyed peas. You can do that by washing the dried beans and then soaking them for about 8 hours overnight.

Step 2: Once they are soaked long enough, drain the black-eyed peas and wash them again with water. Place the black-eyed peas in a medium-sized pot and pour enough water to cover them, and the water level is about two inches above the black-eyed peas. Place the pot over medium heat and let the black-eyed peas cook for about 60 minutes or until they are tender. Once done, set them aside.

Step 3: Heat two tablespoons of palm oil in a large pot. Add chopped onion and cook for about 3 minutes until they are soft.

Step 4: Add grated ginger, minced garlic, bell pepper, and green onion. Sauté for a minute or two. Next, add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, bouillon, cayenne pepper, curry powder, black-eyed peas, and black pepper.

Cooking Ghanaian red red

Step 5: Mix well and let it cook for about 10 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash black-eyed peas slightly so that the stew gets creamy.

Step 6: Add two tablespoons of palm oil and Season it with salt.

Step 7: Garnish with gari powder if you like. Serve with either baked or fried plantains.

What To Serve Ghanaian Red Red Stew With?

Here are a few side dishes that really go well with this Ghanaian stew:

  • Plantains: This stew is traditionally served with either baked or fried plantains. Plantains look a bit like bananas; however, they are quite different in flavor. They are mostly used as snacks. However, you can serve them with this stew and enjoy.
  • Roasted vegetables: If you don’t have plantains, no problem. You can switch it with any other vegetable and serve this stew with it. Serve it with roasted potatoes, asparagus, or butternut squash. You will look at the combination.
  • Rice: This stew goes really well with white or brown rice. It is a perfectly wholesome meal.
  • Mashed potatoes: Serve with fluffy and buttery vegan mashed potatoes.
  • Bread: Lastly, a piece of freshly baked vegan bread goes well with almost every stew. Whether it is garlic bread or cheesy bread, you can get creative and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This is a really really really long list of things that I hope will help you make the perfect red red stew. It’s basically a compilation of my experiences made over the years of making this stew and my research on different variations of it. Feel free to skip to the recipe if you’re not interested in going through all of the information.

  • Don’t skip onion and garlic; they’ll bring out and boost the flavor of your dish!
  • You can substitute equal portions of fresh (cooked from dry), canned, or frozen Black-eyed peas, as per your choice & availability.
  • If using tinned/canned black-eyed peas, drain, rinse, and add to the stew as instructed.
  • You can substitute red palm oil with olive oil if you don’t want to use red palm.
  • You may make a red oil without buying palm oil by heating up some olive oil with annatto seeds or dried red chilies, depending on your taste.
  • The green onion is optional; you can omit it if you don’t have it.
  • In this dish, you may easily add other veggies. For example, Zucchini, potato, spinach, and carrots would be fantastic additions!
  • If you don’t like spicy food, adjust the amount.
  • Don’t like or can’t find black-eyed peas? Not to worry, you may substitute black, red, or any other variety of beans for these. Adjust seasonings and cooking times as necessary.
  • If you are feeling adventurous, you can add some chopped Scotch bonnet pepper to really make this red red stew spicy!
  • This recipe is for the vegetarian version cooked with black-eyed peas. However, you can make this recipe into a meaty dish by adding some protein of your choice, such as chicken, beef, pork, or fish.

More Black-Eyed Peas Recipes:

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Can You Make This Stew In An Instant Pot?

Absolutely! In fact, cooking it in an instant pot will decrease the cooking time significantly. So, if you happen to have an instant pot in your kitchen, use it and cook this delicious stew in less time.

Can I Boil The Black-Eyed Peas Ahead Of Time?

Yes. You can boil the black-eyed peas ahead of time and store them as well. They will last in the fridge for two days and in the freezer for 15 days.

How To Store Leftover Ghanaian Red Red Stew?

Refrigerate any leftover Ghanaian Red Red Stew for up to three days in an airtight container.

When you want to eat, reheat them in the pan on the stovetop over medium heat or in the microwave until thoroughly heated. Add a splash of water or broth if needed. 

Can I Freeze This Red Red Stew?

Yes, this stew stores nicely, so you may prepare a large quantity and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Then, when you want to eat it, take it out of the freezer, thaw it and reheat it as directed above.

To make thawing easier, I suggest freezing in individual parts.

Can I Make This Ghanaian Red Red Stew Ahead?

Yes. This is one of my favorite make-ahead dishes! I like to make a large batch of Ghanaian Red Red Stew over the weekend so that I have quick and easy meals on hand anytime I need them!

Should I Use Canned Or Dried Beans?

I prefer to use dried peas; I find the flavor to be bolder. Also, you get to control the amount of salt that is added because canned peas contain lots of added salt. However, I do use canned beans at times for convenience.

Is It Possible To Substitute The Yellow Onion For The White Onion?

To be sure, yes. I had white onion, so I used it. However, you can use yellow onions in place of white onions. White onions are gentler and crispier than yellow onions; therefore, we use them in salads, pico de gallo, or other raw recipes. Yellow onions have yellow skin with a strong sulfur flavor that mellows out when cooked, becoming sweet and tasty.

What Is Palm Oil?

Vegetable oil extracted from Palm fruit is known as Palm Oil. The oil palm tree originated in West Africa and is currently most typically grown in Southeast Asia’s tropics.

Palm oil is the most widely produced vegetable oil in the world and is used in various products, including a wide variety of foods, cosmetics, and biofuels.

Is Palm Oil Healthy?

Saturated fat content is higher in Palm Oil than in Olive Oil (& about the same as butter) but lower than in other tropical oils like Coconut Oil. Palm oil is high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, both of which are good for you.

What Is Garri?

Garri is a creamy, granular flour made from freshly harvested cassava roots.

The powdery granules made from processing various crops such as maize, guinea corn, rice, yam, plantain, and millet are referred to as ‘garri’ in Hausa.

Where Can I Buy These Ingredients?

The ingredients used in this recipe are now commonly available in local marketplaces. They can also be ordered online or from local Afro Caribbean stores in the USA.

Some of the ingredients can be hard to find, but substitutes can always be used instead( As discussed above in recipe notes)! So don’t give up if you don’t find everything right away.

In the end, I’d want to say, take some time from your busy routine to sit, dine, and enjoy life with one another. Make this Ghanaian Red Red Stew, and let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment on this post! I’d love to hear your feedback…  Have fun cooking!

Overlay Ghanaian red red stew in a black bowl with plantain and avocado

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Ghanaian Red Red

Ghanaian Red Red

This rich Ghanaian red red stew is a simple yet delicious vegan stew perfect for Sunday brunch or holiday dinner.
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Stew
Cuisine: African, Ghanaian
Keyword: Ghanaian Red Red
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 238kcal


  • 1 1/2 cup dried black eyed peas
  • 1/4 cup palm oil divided in half
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 vegan bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste


  • In a pot, add black-eyed peas and pour cold water on them. Wash the dried black-eyed peas twice. Drain the water each time. Soak the black-eyed peas for about 8 hours or overnight.
  • Once they are soaked long enough, drain the black-eyed peas and wash them again with water.
  • Place the black-eyed peas in a medium-sized pot, and pour enough water so that they are covered, and the water level is about 2 inches above the black-eyed peas.
  • Place the pot over medium heat and let the black-eyed peas cook for about 60 minutes, or until they are tender. Once done, set them aside.
  • In a large pot, heat two tablespoons of palm oil. Add chopped onion and cook for about 3 minutes until they are translucent.
  • Add grated ginger, minced garlic, bell pepper, and green onion. Sauté for a minute or two.
  • Next, add chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, bouillon, cayenne pepper, curry powder, black-eyed peas, and black pepper.
  • Mix well, then let the mixture cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Using a potato masher, mash black-eyed peas slightly so that the stew gets creamy.
  • Add two tablespoons of palm oil, and season it with salt to taste. Serve this stew with either baked or fried plantains.


Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 621mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 4mg