A Taste of Africa: African (Leftover) Turkey Stew

Tue, Nov 10, 2015 @ 11:20 AM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

While Canadian Thanksgiving is past, American Thanksgiving is coming up soon! There are still lots of good buys on turkey at local supermarkets.

Whether made with inexpensive turkey legs or (as we usually do) with leftover turkey, this stew is a great "warmer upper" for those nippy fall days.

We love sharing our family recipes with you but please remember you can search online and find lots of variations on this dish and other terrific African recipes.  An online recipe site we use over and over again is The Congo CookbookMy East Africa Journal is also a great source for recipes along with African Cuisine Made Easy.

Many similar recipes for this delicious stew start with turkey legs.  We use leftover turkey most of the time. If you like your stew a little "juicier", reduce the amount of turkey.  Play it by ear and vary this recipe and you will end up with a family favourite, we're sure.


  • 2 cups of leftover turkey, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 litre of chicken stock
  • 2 orange (or yellow) bell peppers
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (we use chopped garlic in oil- comes in a jar - much easier)
  • 4 hot peppers (your choice but chop them up fine and be careful handling them)
  • 6-8 plum tomatoes (cut up into chunks)  You can use canned plum tomatoes if you want.  We do and it works just fine.  We use an entire can because we like our stew with lots of juice.
  • 1 sweet onion (cut into bite size chunks)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup of olive oil (it is okay to use vegetable oil - we just prefer using olive oil)



  1. Put your leftover turkey into a big saucepan and then pour in the chicken broth.  It must cover the turkey meat.
  2. Bring it to a boil slowly over medium heat and cook until the broth has been absorbed/reduced by at least half.
  3. Cut your bell peppers into bite size chunks and blend them roughly along with the onions, hot peppers, garlic, tomato paste and tomatoes.  We use our food processor.  Don't puree them until they are a paste!  Make sure some of the pepper and onion chunks are still recognizable.
  4. Now heat up your olive oil in another big saucepan and pour in your vegetable mixture from the step above.  Watch (and stir) carefully as you simmer the mixture in the oil.  It will take about 30 minutes for this to be done.  Don't let it burn.
  5. Now add your turkey and simmer for another 15 minutes or so.  Add salt to taste.

Now, here's the nice thing about this recipe.  Sometimes we add some more chicken broth and a can of black beans.  Other times, we add more chicken broth and tomatoes to make a juicier stew - adding some beans (you can use black beans, navy beans - whatever you like).  Sometimes we don't puree the bell peppers.  This recipe really lends itself to variations. 

We often serve this recipe over rice.  And sometimes couscous. We often serve it with fresh, hot biscuits.  This is a good basic recipe to enjoy any way you want to!  It freezes fairly well so, if you find you like it, make a double batch for the next rainy fall day you need something warm in your tummy!

Enjoy!  And please let us know how you enjoy this recipe and any creative culinary modifications you make. 


 A great way to show off your African culinary skills is to present this dish at a table set with our hand-beaded Maasai Table Decor.  Each package consists of table mats, table runner, colour coordinated napkins and beautiful hand-beaded napkin rings.  

Maasai Table Decor

Currently on sale and available in a variety of gorgeous colours to match your decor.  Bring Africa into Your Home!

You might also enjoy our recipe for Sambal Slaw - A Fresh Tasting Side Dish

Photo Source:  Wikipedia (Creative Commons - Labeled for Reuse).

Mustafa Salemwalla

Written by Mustafa Salemwalla

Mustafa hails from Tanzania and spent 30 years getting to know the magnificent continent of Africa. Hence his passion for African art, sculpture, fashion and empowerment of artisans.

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