West African Red Beans

Total Time
1hr 45mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

This is a great bean recipe, with it's origins in Africa. I really love the layers of flavor. The original recipe called for 1/2 Cup of peanut oil, but I just reduced it to 1/4 Cup, which I think is plenty. You can always cook the beans longer if they are not tender enough. Recipe by chef Angela Shelf Medearis. *Cook time does not include the overnight soaking of beans.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak the beans overnight in 2 quarts of water. OR you could quick soak them by putting the beans into a heavy pot and cover with 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the beans soak, uncovered for 1 hour.
  2. Bring the pot of soaked beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add 1/4 C of the onion and simmer, partly covered, about 1 hour, or until the beans are tender but not mushy. Drain the beans and set them aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil until it is hot but not smoking. Saute the remaining cup of onions until soft and translucent but not brown. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, cayenne pepper, white pepper and salt. Stirring frequently, simmer the mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the beans and cook, uncovered, for about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Most Helpful

Really tasty beans - they remind me of a dish my mom used to make! I plan to serve them over rice; although they are plenty delicious on their own. I added a wee bit more cayenne to give them a little more "kick". These beans would make a great vegetarian meal or a side dish to a meat. Made for the 1-2-3 Tag, May, 2012.

Nancy's Pantry May 26, 2012

I already had some beans cooked up so I used those and I also cut back on the oil by half. This recipe was delicious and it would be perfect served over creamy mashed potatoes! Made for ZWT 7 (The Hot Pink Ladies)

KristinV May 29, 2011