Nigerian Stew: How To Make A Classic Red Tomato Stew With Chicken

Nigerian stew is spectacular.

Nigerian red tomato stew is a classic Nigerian dish, undoubtedly, one of the most prominent Nigerian delicacies. This distinctive goodness is prepared and enjoyed differently by the hundreds of ethnic groups in Nigeria. The use of Nigerian red tomato stew goes beyond “white rice and beans.” Generally eaten with white rice, it can also be a great compliment with eba or garri (swallow), yam, beans, add a small amount to your egusi, Ogbono or okra soup and you will be in another planet. How about bread and stew, or even some red tomatoes stew on your spaghetti, YUM.

Nigerian red tomato stew is savory, not sugary at all. Growing up I have never seen my mother add sugar to her red stew o, not all. I have also carried on making my stews that way, and it doesn’t disappoint.



Stellar sauce.

When it comes to describing the delicacy of Nigerian stew in general, and my own recipe, in particular, (passed down to me from my mother). I will say, it as an exceptional offering. Nigerian stew is the first class of everything red sauce, in other words, there is nothing like it. Click To Tweet Simply ageless and classic, yet, fanciful. The basic of any Nigerian stew is fresh tomatoes, fresh pepper, and onions, and so to me, those things are non-negotiable when it comes to preparing this dish.


Fresh Tomatoes.

Tomato originated in South America, technically a fruit, they are a good source of antioxidant. Vitamins K, C, potassium, and folate. Some health benefits of tomato include the promotion of heart health, and skin health, also, studies have shown the link between tomato and low incidences of certain cancers.

Bell peppers.

On the other hand, fresh bell peppers are equally significant source of vitamins and minerals. Like the tomato, bell peppers are said to have originated from South and Central America. For this dish, I love using different colors of bell peppers including the green ones. Bell peppers are enriched with vitamins A, B6, C, E, and K1, as well as folate, potassium, etc., these peppers are particularly useful for the prevention of anemia; it helps with absorption of iron in the body. Additionally, red peppers play a significant role when it comes to eye health. This is because the compounds found in bell peppers can protect the retina from oxidative damage among other things.


Generally speaking, onion is an essential component of this dish, and it makes it more delicious and nutritious. In the meantime, here is the list of what you gain by eating lots of onion: great for the bone, regulates blood sugar, and reduced risk of certain cancers. Some of the vitamins and minerals found in onions are vitamins C, B6, folate, and potassium. As well as other compounds such as anthocyanin, thiosulfinates, and other compounds. It is important to realize that red (or purple) onions, and yellow onions are richer in antioxidants than white onions. Click To Tweet


A blend of fresh tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and garlic.


Cook plenty ahead.

I love batch cooking; it offers me the opportunity of not cooking every single day. Who doesn’t want that? In reality, this is one of those dishes that I would encourage you to make tons of it ahead because you will need it and so you don’t have literally live in the kitchen making stews. If you are going to need it all, then, why not make some more, and shut the door? So that the next 2 months you are good, like stew good. Occasionally, you can cook some rice, some yam, spaghetti or even some beans and use your stew to eat them. But you do not have to make new red stew each time. In fact, what you can do with Nigerian red tomato stew is limitless.

A big pot of my 9ja red stew bubbling away. I love love making this dish in large quantity. Blame it on the family.😃


Soulful service.

I love love this stew, and am optimistic you would too. It never disappoints, and it’s nothing you have tasted before, (well, except if you are a Nigerian, or if you eat 9ja foods😂😁). When it comes to entertaining your guest this stew never disappoint as well. Who wouldn’t take this savory plate from you?

This is a sure winner on your kitchen table any time, any day. 😊

Who wouldn’t love this plate of delightful Nigerian Stew served on rice and beans. Well, my husband walked in on this plate, and rightfully devoured it.😂😂


Are you ready to slay your stew? Let’s do it!

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Nigerian Stew: How To Make A Classic Red Tomato Stew With Chicken
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Cook Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Category: Entree

Cuisine: Nigerian

Author: Nkechi Ajaeroh, MPH

Servings: 15 - 16

Nigerian Stew: How To Make A Classic Red Tomato Stew With Chicken

The basic of this stew is fresh tomatoes, fresh bell peppers, and onions. These fresh vegetables compliment each other to give this stew a distinctive taste.


  • 10 lbs. of chicken
  • 12 cups of fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and garlic blend.
  • 2 big bulbs of onions; 1½ for the blend; ½ for sautéing
  • 5 cloves of garlic to add to the blend
  • 12 (oz.) or 340g tin of tomato paste
  • 2 pair of knorr cubes or 1 tablespoon of knorr powder
  • 3 cubes of Maggi
  • 1 cup of peanut oil (for this amount of stew you do need up to this amount of oil)
  • 2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dry thyme
  • 1-teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of water (optional but necessary)


  1. Boil, and fry chicken; set aside.
  2. Add tomatoes, onions, fresh bell pepper, and garlic in the blender and blend away. Ensure that the blend is up 12 cups (wow, that sounds like a lot; yep!) Cut the other half of the onion and set aside.
  3. Open the can of tomatoes paste, put it into a bowl and add 2 cups of chicken broth, mix well and set aside.
  4. Place a clean pot on the stove, set your stove to medium-high. Add oil, allow to heat up then add 1 teaspoon of salt and chopped onions. Sauté onions until translucent, about 3-5 minutes depending on the quantity. After the onions are ready add the tomato blend, give a good stir and place the lid on the pot.
  5. Allow to cook for about 20 – 25 minutes depending on the quantity of the tomatoes. Ensure to stir every 5-7 minutes as it is cooking to avoid burning; also, lower heat before opening the lid to avoid hot splashes.
  6. After the said time, stir very well, and add the remaining ingredients: the already mixed tomato paste and chicken broth, ground red pepper, dry thyme, nutmeg, Maggi, and Knorr cubes, curry powder, and the remaining salt, mix very well and cover the pot to cook for another 25-30 minutes.
  7. Add the remaining 2 cups of chicken broth after the said time, and stir again. You may also add additional one cup of water if you do not wish to have a very thick stew. Cover, turn the heat up to medium and allow to cook for 10 more minutes.
  8. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat, and open the pot; then gently add the already fried chicken. Ensure that the chicken and stew combines very well, taste for flavor (and add more so salt, pepper or Maggi if so desire.)
  9. Allow to simmer for additional 10 – 12 minutes on low - medium heat, and your Nigerian tomato stew is ready. Serve with rice or any other thing.


Personally I don't like adding crayfish to this stew. I like adding Nigerian ground red pepper for a burst of spiciness. Total cook time of 1hour 40 minutes does not include the length of time used to prepare the chicken. I suggest preparing your chicken ahead of time (chicken preparation includes boiling, and frying.) And if you do not like fried chicken, then bake it. Make this dish vegetarian by not adding the chicken at all.



Do you eat tomato stew? How do you make them? Please, tell me in the comment. Or would you instead prefer light and easier to make dishes? Check out my kitchen and see what’s hot.

One more thing; please share this post!


With love,


Nkechi Ajaeroh, MPH

Hi, I'm Nkechi "Kechi" Ajaeroh, a Public Health professional turned Inspirational author slash exceptional home cook. A 2x International Best Selling Author of Elevate Your Life with the Power of Positive Perception and Gratefully Growing. African, (specifically, Nigerian) Food Enthusiast, watermelon connoisseur, on my to finessing my fitness. This blog is all about loving food, living life, practicing gratitude, and inspiring you to use your wings. Join the journey.

  1. Have used this recipe several times this summer to make variations of this stew. Thank you!! I’m not Nigerian but have gotten used to West African dishes since many are similar to the Caribbean dishes I’ve grown up with. So far, my Nigerian boyfriend has given my variations a grade of “B” (up from my first try which was “B-” lol).

    1. Wow! That is really cool, Natasha.
      I am happy to hear that you enjoyed this recipe, and that your is appreciating it too!
      Don’t worry about the “grades,” am sure your variations were dope!
      Thanks so much for your kind words.


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