If you take a look at the Jamaican of African cuisine, you will find several vegan recipes. That’s why I love and respect Caribbean cuisine so much. They use unique ingredients to develop dishes that are not just delicious but are vegan and super healthy. one such dish is the white yam stew.

The white yam stew is tasteful, vegan, creamy, and rich. It is made with white yams, tomatoes, bell peppers, and coconut milk. The stew brings up the natural flavors of the ingredients, making it hearty, comforting, and utterly delicious.

Whether it is lunch or dinner, you can serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy a wholesome meal. This stew is very easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of time. Plus, you can store it for later use, making it a very convenient dish.

If you like yams then you will also enjoy Jamaican Yellow Yam Stew and Yellow Yam Fries.

white yam stew straight on in a saucepan on a grey background

What is white yam?

Most people find yam to be an unusual vegetable. That’s because they are tube-shaped. Most commonly known as tubers, these are native to several African, Asian, and Caribbean lands. Having dull brown skin and a white interior, these tubers are starchy. White yams are called so because of their white flesh. They have an earthy and slightly sweet or mild flavor. Most of the time, they have a neutral flavor, so they soak up the taste of the spices and ingredients.

white yam tubers on a wooden cutting board

Are white yam and sweet potato the same?

Unfortunately, most people think yam and sweet potatoes are the same. However, it is not true. Both might seem almost the same, but they are two different things. Here are a few differences between the two:

  • Appearance: Sweet potatoes have a potato-like appearance, whereas yams are often smaller and tuber than sweet potatoes. The skin of sweet potatoes is darker as compared to that of yams. Yam’s skin is as dry as tree bark.
  • Flavor: Sweet potatoes are very sweet. However, yams can be mildly sweet. But most of the time, they have an earthy and neutral taste.
  • Texture: Where sweet potatoes have moist flesh, yams are very dry. Their flesh is very starchy as compared to sweet potatoes.

Health benefits if white yam

White yams might be underestimated, but when you come to know about their nutritious value, you will find out that they are jam-packed with health benefits. Here are a few to name:

  • White yams are rich in minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper.
  • Yams are rich in a unique naturally occurring compound called diosgenin. This compound is known to boost the brain’s functions like memory and learning.
  • It is also rich in several antioxidants that help in reducing the risks of developing cancer.
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Consuming yams help in regulating blood sugar level in the body.
  • It is high in fiber. As a result, it improves digestive health, relieves constipation, and also aids in weight loss.

peeling white yam

Ingredient breakdown

If you are planning on making white yam stew, note that the ingredients you will be needing are essential and always available in every kitchen pantry. Here is a list of everything you need for this white yam recipe:

  • White yam: The main hero of the dish is white yam. You can find it in a grocery store or a farmer’s market. Wash the yam to get rid of the dirt. Peel the skin off and dice it into equal pieces.
  • Avocado oil: Avocado oil is a healthy alternative to other cooking oi. If you don’t have avocado oil, you can use olive oil as well.
  • White onion: White onion sets the base for this stew. It brings in a savory flavor to the dish. You can also use red onions instead of white ones.
  • Garlic: Garlic is a fantastic ingredient that adds so much flavor to the dish. It brings in a strong garlicky and savory flavor to the dish.
  • Green onions: Green onions have a sharp and grassy flavor. It is responsible for bringing in a depth of flavor to the stew.
  • Tomato: Tomatoes are responsible for making the stew tangy. They bring in richness and give the stew depth of flavor.
  • Bell pepper: Bell pepper not just adds color and texture to the stew but also adds flavor.
  • Thyme: Fresh thyme sprigs bring both flavor and aroma to the stew. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use dried thyme as well.
  • Vegetable broth: Vegetable broth adds flavor and gives the stew body. Because it is a vegan recipe, you have to use vegetable broth. If you don’t have it available, you can add water and vegetable bouillon. They bring out the same umami flavor to the dish.
  • Coconut milk: Coconut milk makes the stew rich and creamy. It is an essential ingredient that makes the stew smooth and thick.
  • Bay leaf: Bay leaf adds aroma to the stew.
  • Salt: Season the stew with salt to adjust the flavors. You can use plain table salt, sea salt, or pink Himalayan salt as well. Whatever is available to you.

peel and chop white yam

How to cook white yam stew?

Making white yam stew is pretty straightforward. The cooking process is straightforward. In just 30 minutes, and you can enjoy rich and delicious stew. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make this tasteful stew:

Step 1: In a saucepan, add avocado oil and place it on medium heat.

2: Once the oil is hot, add chopped white onions and sauté for about two to three minutes or until they get soft and turn translucent.

3: Next, add minced garlic and sauté for a minute until the garlic releases its aroma.

4: Add bell peppers and sauté for further two minutes by constantly stirring so that the ingredients mix well together. 

5: Next, add chopped tomatoes, green onions, fresh thyme sprigs, vegetable broth, coconut milk, bay leaf, and diced white yam.

6: Stir the ingredients well and bring the mixture to a boil.

7: Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the yams are tender.

8: Using a fork, check if the yams are cooked through. Once they are done, remove thyme sprig and bay leaf and season the stew with salt.

9: Serve the stew hot.

cooking white yam stew in saucepan

Can you cook white yam stew in an instant pot?

Yes, you can definitely cook the white yam stew in an instant pot. in fact, if you are in a hurry or too tired and hungry to wait, you can cook it in an instant pot. Once you sauté the ingredients and add the rest of them, seal the lid tightly and cook at high pressure for about 5 minutes. Quick-release the pressure, and the yam stew is ready to be served.

What to serve with white yam stew?

Because of its flavor and creaminess, you can enjoy it without any side dish. It tastes so rich on its own. However, if you are looking for some side dishes to go with this stew. Here are a few ideas you might like:

  • Rice: whether you serve it with garlic rice, coconut rice, or jollof rice, this stew goes very well with it.
  • Flatbread: serve this stew alongside flatbread, and you can enjoy the flavors of both. You can also make gluten-free flatbread and indulge in healthy eating.
  • Bread bowl: serve it in a bread bowl and enjoy a fancy meal.

How to store white yam stew?

You can store the leftover white yam stew by keeping it in an airtight container and placing it in the refrigerator. It will last for up to 3 days. Furthermore, you can also freeze the stew. Place it in single-serving containers or zip-lock plastic bags and freeze. It will last for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stovetop and enjoy.

Other Vegan Stew Recipes To Prepare

  1. Vegan Lentil Stew
  2. Chickpea Stew
  3. Vegan Brown Stew ‘Chicken’
  4. Black Bean Butternut Squash Stew
  5. Jackfruit Stew
  6. Stew Plantain Dumplings
  7. Cauliflower Coconut Stew
  8. White Acre Peas Stew
  9. Ital Stew
  10. Jamaican Stew Peas

yam stew cooking in saucepan


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White yam stew in a stainless steel saucepan over a grey background

White Yam Stew

If you take a look at the Jamaican of African cuisine, you will find several vegan recipes. That’s why I love and respect Caribbean cuisine so much. They use unique ingredients to develop dishes that are not just delicious but are vegan and super healthy. one such dish is the white yam stew.
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entrée, Main Course
Cuisine: Jamaican
Keyword: white yam stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 204kcal




  • Place a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add avocado oil. Once it is heated, add chopped onions and sauté for about 2 minutes or until they turn translucent.
  • Once they are soft, add minced garlic and sauté for a minute.
  • Next, add diced bell peppers and cook for another minute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, green onions, fresh thyme springs, vegetable broth, coconut milk, bay leaf, and diced white yam.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the white yam is tender.
  • Season with salt and serve.


Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 462mg | Potassium: 816mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 727IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg