50 Vegan African Recipes

50 Vegan African Recipes

50 Vegan African Recipes


Africa is the most diverse continent globally, but sadly, many don’t see its many faces. Some think of the great African safari with lions, zebras, and cheetahs. Others remember Egyptian pyramids and pharaohs. In recent years, the Black Panther movie series paints a high-tech image of Africa with Wakanda, a fictional country with advanced technology and customs that incorporate traditional African cultural elements.

Unfortunately, most associate Africa with poverty due to many humanitarian commercials with malnourished children having bloated bellies (kwashiorkor). Their advertisements exclusively focus on the food and economic disparities of some regions, which is often the only view of Africa that people outside of the continent see.

In reality, Africa comprises over fifty countries ranging in wealth and resources. This continent is the home of over a billion people who speak thousands of languages.

In honor of Kwanzaa, I wanted to highlight some African dishes. The first half covers American cuisines with an African influence in honor of the American descendants of slavery. The other half is traditional African dishes for American immigrants from all African countries.

Try these vegan African recipes today.

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5 Vegan Creole Recipes

If you go down to New Orleans, Louisiana, you could visit the world-famous Creole restaurant called Dooky Chase’s. Despite their lack of vegan options, it is historic for playing a significant role in the civil rights movement, and it was the inspiration behind the 2009 Disney movie The Princess and the Frog.

If I understand correctly, Louisiana Creoles are people from a mixed racial background, a combination of African (Western African), European (French and Spanish), and Native American descent. If you want to learn more about Louisiana Creole culture, I recommend visiting New Orleans.

Try these vegan Creole recipes today.

1. Vegan Mushroom Jambalaya

I bet the most well-known Creole dish is jambalaya. Have some mushroom jambalaya from Sweet Potato Soul.

2. Vegan Dirty Rice

One classic Louisiana rice dish is dirty rice. Make vegan dirty rice with the help of Domestic Dee.

3. Vegan Oyster Mushroom Po’ Boy

If you want to get a taste of Creole food, go to a po’ boy shop while visiting New Orleans because they are filled with Creole dishes. Here’s a vegan po’ boy from Vegan With Curves.

4. Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Many believe that a vegan diet is super expensive, but my response is if they ever heard of basic pantry staples like beans and rice. Try red beans and rice from From The Comfort Of My Bowl.

5. Vegan File Okra Gumbo

Some ingredients found in Creole gumbo include file powder, okra, tomatoes, and shellfish. For a vegan version, have file okra gumbo, a recipe by Kenneth Temple.

5 Vegan Southern Recipes

If you’re interested in learning more about African American history and culture, I recommend checking out the National Museum of African American History and Culture. That was my favorite part of my last trip to Washington, DC, and it has free admission because it’s a Smithsonian institution.

Because of slavery, numerous Black individuals reside in the Southern United States. Some moved with the Great Northward Migration, but many stayed in states like Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama. Black Southerners play a considerable role in Southern cuisine.

Try these vegan Southern recipes today.

6. Vegan Chicken and Waffles

I tried chicken and waffles once and didn’t like it. I probably would like this vegan chicken and waffles dish better from Sweet Potato Soul.

7. Vegan Skillet Cornbread

If you’re not familiar with Southern cornbread, it is made in a cast iron skillet instead of a baking pan. Try vegan skillet cornbread from From The Comfort Of My Bowl.

Here are more corn recipes.

8. Vegan Southern Collard Greens

I’m from the Midwest, so I’m used to corn and green beans as my veggie side dishes. In the South, you would often have a side of collard greens, like the recipe from I Can You Can Vegan.

Try these collard green recipes.

9. Vegan Chicken and Dumplings

If you like chicken, here’s the recipe for you. Try vegan chicken and dumplings from Healthier Steps.

5 Vegan Soul Food Recipes

If you get what Southern food is, you may be able to guess what soul food is. Not all Southern food can be classified as soul food, but all soul food is technically Southern food. Millie Peartree from Delish explains that soul food is an ethnic cuisine made and eaten by African Americans in the South. Also, soul food’s flavors tend to be more intense than Southern food, similar to Cajun cuisine.

Fortunately for vegans, it’s a lot easier to find vegan soul food dishes at restaurants and recipes online because it’s very vegetable-based. Try these vegan soul food recipes today.

11. Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese

One of my favorite comfort foods is mac and cheese. Have baked mac and cheese from Jessica in the Kitchen.

Here are more vegan mac and cheese recipes.

12. Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potato pie is an excellent alternative to pumpkin pie. Try vegan sweet potato pie from Orchids + Sweet Tea.

You may be interested in my blog posts on vegan sweet potato recipes and vegan pie recipes.

13. Vegan Fried Chicken

My favorite food before I became vegan was fried chicken. I can still enjoy it by creating vegan fried chicken, like the recipe from So Vegan.

14. Vegan Black-Eyed Peas

A classic Soul food side dish is black-eyed peas. Try prepping black-eyed peas in an Instant Pot with the help of Marisa Moore.

If you would rather be boring and have regular, old peas, feel free to make these pea recipes instead.

5 Vegan Afro-Caribbean Recipes

When I visited Cuba a few years ago, I learned about some of the African influences in Cuba. We visited a museum in Trinidad that talked about the history of slavery in Cuba with the sugarcane industry. We saw a couple of Afro-Cuban music performances: one in the Palenque de Los Congos Reales in Trinidad and another in Cienfuegos with Santería music.

Try these vegan Afro-Caribbean recipes today.

16. Vegan Brown Stew Chicken

Brown stew chicken is very popular in Jamaica. Try vegan brown stew chicken from Healthier Steps.

17. Trinidadian Tomato Choka

Trinidad is a Caribbean island and was one of the cities I visited in Cuba. However, this is referring to the Caribbean island. Have tomato choka from That Girl Cooks Healthy.

18. Vegan Caribbean Feast

If you would rather try an array of Caribbean foods, why not have a Caribbean feast? Make a vegan Caribbean feast with the help of Rachel Ama.

19. Vegan Cassava Pone

A typical dessert eaten in the Caribbean is cassava pone. Try this vegan cassava pone recipe by That Girl Cooks Healthy.

20. Vegan Ackee Cake

Ackee is one of the many foods introduced to the Caribbean due to slavery. One of Jamaica’s national dishes is ackee and saltfish, common for breakfast.

Have vegan ackee cake from Amazing Ackee. Then, bake more vegan cakes.

5 Vegan South American Recipes

When I was in school, I made excuses to do reports on the Amazon rainforest because I wanted to visit there, which is partially in Brazil. In other parts of Brazil, millions of African slaves contributed to Brazil’s economy, especially in the sugarcane industry. Even though slavery was officially abolished in Brazil in 1888, many Brazilians still live in what would equate to modern slavery conditions today in industries like agriculture, logging, and textiles.

South America has a decent number of African descent people, especially in Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. Try these vegan South American recipes today.

22. Brazilian-Style Black Beans

Many Afro-Brazilians practice Candomblé, and they make a lot of black bean dishes for their Bonfim festival because that is their honored god’s (Oxalá’s) favorite food.

Here are Brazilian-style black beans from the Whinery.

23. Arroz Con Coco

In Cartagena, Colombia, you may come across a Colombian rice dish called arroz con coco, literally meaning coconut rice. Make arroz con coco with the help of That Girl Cooks Healthy.

24. Venezuelan Arepas

Even though arepas originated from the Indigenous people of Venezuela and Colombia, Europeans and Africans greatly influenced this dish after colonization started. Have Venezuelan arepas from Healthier Steps.

25. Fried Sweet Plantains

A typical side dish across Latin America and in some parts of Africa is fried sweet plantains, which is made with plantains, vegetable oil, and salt. Here are some fried sweet plantains from Immaculate Bites.

5 Vegan Northern African Recipes

Egypt is probably the first country most people think of in Northern Africa because of Cairo and its pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza. Northern Africa is the most distinctive region of Africa because Europe and the Middle East heavily influence it. For example, Spain and Morocco are major trade partners less than 10 miles apart by sea. Plus, most speak Arabic and practice Islam.

Try these vegan Northern African recipes today.

26. Vegan Fasolia

Fasolia is an Egyptian green bean stew. Make some fasolia with the help of One Arab Vegan.

27. Couscous

In Maghreb (aka Northwest Africa), many enjoy having couscous that’s made with meat and/or veggies. Try this vegan couscous salad from Chenée Today.

28. Vegan Shakshuka

Another famous Maghrebi dish is shakshuka, which is served at breakfast time. Try vegan shakshuka from Jessica in the Kitchen.

Here are more vegan breakfast ideas.

29. Doubara

A famous soup that you may come across in Algeria is doubara. Have some doubara from Keesha’s Kitchen.

30. Vegan Tagine

Tagine has two meanings: 1) the Moroccan pot used to make stews and 2) the Moroccan stew made with this same pot. Make vegan tagine with the help of Cuisinicity.

5 Vegan East African Recipes

In my intro to anthropology class, I learned that the first Homo sapiens originated in Ethiopia. All humans today are part of a subspecies called Homo sapiens sapiens. Technically, from an anthropological standpoint, all humans descended from Africa. Therefore, every human is African to some degree, but saying that from a cultural and racial standpoint is entirely inaccurate.

Try these vegan East African recipes today.

31. Swala

Swala is a traditional okra soup with kombo (salt) from South Sudan. Try vegan swala from Taste of South Sudan.

You may like these soup recipes.

32. Vegan Firfir

One common Ethiopian breakfast food is firfir, created with old injera. Make vegan firfir thanks to Just One Gursha.

33. Ugali

Ugali is a flour porridge that many East Africans eat, made out of cornmeal and water. Make this ugali recipe from Mayuri’s Jikoni.

34. Mukimo

Mukimo is a vegan mashed potatoes and greens dish, a Kikuyu staple in Central Kenya. Here’s some mukimo from Food For The Soul.

35. Pilau

Pilau is a popular rice dish in East Africa, especially along the Swahili coast. Make vegan East African pilau from Immaculate Bites.

  • The recipe lets you choose between cooking oil, butter, and ghee to heat the pan before adding the cashews. Make sure you use a type of vegetable oil to keep the recipe vegan because butter and ghee aren’t vegan due to containing dairy.
  • This recipe calls for 4 cups (1 quart) of liquid, which could be broth, water, and/or coconut milk, as suggested by this recipe’s author. Use vegetable broth, water, or coconut milk to keep the recipe vegan. Avoid chicken and bone broth if you want this dish to be vegetarian or vegan.

5 Vegan Central African Recipes

When I started volunteering for my local YWCA for one of my Spanish classes, I met a decent amount of Congolese American immigrants who spoke French. I wasn’t that familiar with their native country at the time, but I was surprised to learn that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous French-speaking country, instead of France. French is also spoken in over half of the countries of Africa, so if you’re interested in doing business in Sub-Saharan Africa, you may want to learn some French.

Try these vegan Central African recipes today.

36. Vegan Puff Puffs

Puff puffs are traditional snacks made out of deep-fried dough balls found in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, including Cameroon. Try vegan puff puffs from Recipes from a Pantry.

37. Vegan Pondu

Pondu is a Congolese cassava leaf stew. Have vegan pondu from The Canadian African.

38. Peanut Stew

Peanut stew is widespread in West Africa and Central Africa. Make vegan peanut stew from Sweet & Sorrel.

39. Miondo and Ndolé

Two typical Cameroonian dishes are miondo and ndolé. Learn how to make them with the help of Nathan-Josias on LIVEKINDLY.

40. Vegan Matoke

If you would be in Rwanda or parts of East Africa, they have a cooked banana dish that goes by various names depending on where you are. Make vegan matoke from eat well abi.

Try these banana recipes.

5 Vegan Southern African Recipes

When I was in high school, my best friend’s first cousin did presentations in school on what it was like to live in Zimbabwe. If you looked at her, you would have never guessed she was of African descent unless she said so, and most people who would hear that wouldn’t take her seriously. She was very white, had a slight, British-sounding accent, and talked about school in terms used in Harry Potter, like having dormitories.

The truth was her father was white and was born and raised in small-town Iowa. Meanwhile, her mother was born and raised in what we call Zimbabwe today, and if I remember correctly, she came from Southern Rhodesia, which is now a part of modern-day Zimbabwe.

Please remember that South Africa is a country while Southern Africa is an African region. Try these vegan Southern African recipes today.

41. Vegan Bobotie

Bobotie is the national dish of South Africa. Try vegan bobotie from My Burnt Orange.

42. Vegan Chakalaka

Chakalaka is a South African vegetable relish. Here’s some vegan chakalaka from Recipes from a Pantry.

43. Kachumbari Salad

A great salad that you can find in the African Great Lakes region is kachumbari (a tomato and onion salad). Make a kachumbari salad with the help of Food For The Soul.

44. Lasary Legioma

Lasary legioma is a Malagasy tomato relish, similar to pico de gallo in Mexico. Try this lasary legioma recipe by Hawa Hassan.

45. Vegan Malva Pudding

Malva pudding is a typical dessert found in South Africa. Here’s a vegan malva pudding recipe by The Good Roots, a South African food blog.

5 Vegan West African Recipes

When I was attending UNI, I took a non-Western cultures course on Africa because I was the most clueless on that part of the world. My professor was from Ghana, and he taught us about the different countries and cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa. One of the first things that confused me was he had the best English skills in the class with a vast and advanced English vocabulary.

In case you are unaware, Ghana’s official language is English, which made a lot more sense on why my professor’s first name was John. He was taught English in school just like Americans usually do, except he also learned his parents’ mother tongues at home. Unfortunately, Ghana is one of the many African countries that speak European languages as its first language due to the Scramble for Africa.

Since I’m not a historian, you can find more information on the colonization of Africa on your own. I would rather share a few vegan West African recipes with you.

46. Vegan Akara

Akara is a dish of black-eyed pea fritters, which is West Africa’s equivalent of falafel. Make vegan akara thanks to ChopBellehFull.

The akara recipe is vegan if you use a vegetable bouillon cube over a meat-based one. Still, the mentioned custard pudding is vegetarian due to containing eggs and dairy.

47. Accra Banana

You can find accra banana (banana fritters) in many West African homes. Make accra banana with the help of Immaculate Bites.

48. Efo Riro

If you’re familiar with the Yoruba people that reside in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo, you may have heard of a spinach stew called efo riro. Make vegan efo riro from The Vegan Nigerian.

49. Vegan Jollof Rice

Jollof rice is a popular rice side from West Africa. Make vegan jollof rice from Whisk It Real Gud.

50. Vegan Yassa Tofu

In Senegal, they have a grilled chicken dish called yassa. To make it vegan, have yassa tofu from The Canadian African.


I feel weird for writing about vegan African recipes when I’m white and not celebrating Kwanzaa. My college speech coaches always reminded us never to be afraid to speak for the voiceless. Even with over a billion people living in Africa and hundreds of millions of people of African descent outside of Africa, there should be enough people to explain the significance of Africa to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, many people get caught up in what they’re used to and aren’t that willing to learn about different countries, cultures, and cuisines.

Too many believe that Africa is a single country instead of a continent containing various countries. A lot don’t realize that Africa has more things going for it besides poverty, the Sahara desert, and the jungle. For example, Nigeria is prominent in the film industry with Nollywood. Plus, Egypt is known for tourism of its pyramids, the Nile, and mummies. Besides, where would we be without Madagascar’s lemurs? Zoboomafoo (old PBS show) and Madagascar (2005 movie) would never have been made without them.

If you’re interested in following more Black food bloggers, follow any recipe authors listed in this blog post. If you want to try other cuisines, I have past blog posts on vegan American recipes and vegan Mexican recipes, and I will write about vegan Chinese recipes, vegan Cajun recipes, and vegan Italian recipes.

Megan McFadden

Megan McFadden

Megan is the owner of Mischievous Monsters. She has been vegan since March 2017 and likes making jigsaw puzzles, cooking, gardening, watching telenovelas, and biking in her spare time.
United States