Converting a stove top recipe to an Instant Pot – African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

December 10, 2018

Please note, this post does contain affiliate links. If you do click through them and buy something, we will get a small commission that helps pay for costs involved in running a website. And we do appreciate it!

So you've got an Instant Pot - now what? Does this mean you need a whole new set of cookbooks? Not necessarily. This African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew is one that I converted from stovetop to Instant Pot.

african sweet potato and peanut stew in a white bowl.

The original recipe was in Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet.

ingredients for african sweet potato and peanut stew.

Converting a recipe for the Instant Pot

Converting some of your favorite recipes can be easy. The two main things to consider are:

  • Cook time
  • Amount of liquid

Cook time

In the case of this African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew, the bulk of the original cook time was 30 minutes. Looking at all the ingredients, everything is mostly cooked except the sweet potatoes. According to the cook time chart in the recipe book that came with the Instant Pot, diced sweet potatoes take 7-9 minutes at high pressure. So I chose 8 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.

Amount of liquid

Pressure cooked food doesn't lose as much moisture to evaporation as food cooked on the stovetop. In fact, it will lose very little. So when converting a recipe, you might need to reduce the liquid in the recipe to keep the consistency the same.

Most sources online say that you need 1 1/2 cups of liquid for the Instant Pot to get up to pressure. This recipe called for one can of crushed tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock. The can of crushed tomatoes will have at least 1/2 a cup of liquid in it. So I decided to reduce the vegetable broth to one cup.

african sweet potato and peanut stew made in the instant pot.

Both of these changes worked perfectly. When altering a recipe, I'd err on the side of leaving too much liquid on the first try. You can always let it simmer after the pressure comes down if it's too juicy.

Do you have gluten-free friends? This African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew recipe just happens to be gluten-free too!

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew in the Instant Pot

Fast, nourishing, and cheap! Perfect for a weeknight meal.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: African
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 439kcal


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
  • 1/2 teaspooon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz. can red kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts chopped
  • chopped fresh cilantro optional


  • Turn on the saute function to the middle setting, "normal" on my duo60. Saute the onion in about a tablespoon of water or stock covered for about 5 minutes until it begins to soften.
  • Add the bell pepper and garlic, cover, and saute a couple more minutes.
  • Add in the ginger, spices, sweet potato, tomatoes, stock, and kidney beans. Stir together. Turn of saute function, place and seal lid, make sure vent is set to "sealing". Set cooker to 8 minutes on high pressure. When cycle is finished, let pressure release naturally.
  • When pressure indicator drops, remove the lid. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine peanut butter with 1/3-1/2 cup of liquid from the pot. Stir until combined and then add back into the pot.
  • Taste for seasoning. Add salt to the pot or serving if needed. Top with a sprinkling of the chopped peanuts and cilantro, if using.



Serves 4-6 as a main dish or 6-8 as a side.
Laura Nunemaker

About the Author

Laura Nunemaker

vegan. full-time traveler. rv dweller. food lover. cow petter.

Follow Laura Nunemaker: