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Vegan Recipes From North Africa

Updated on September 19, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects customs, recipes, and gadgets from the past and is particularly interested in Early American and Indigenous Peoples.

A papaya tree.
A papaya tree. | Source

Vegetarian Fare in North Africa

The culture of North and West Africa are conducive to a heavy use of vegetables and vegetarian or vegan recipes. North Africa includes the countries of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Mauritania, and Sudan, although Southern Spain (Moorish Spain) is also included, having similar cultural and food traditions.

Northern African food is often quite like Middle Eastern cuisine in its ingredients and preparation methods. Travel and commerce by nomadic and modern peoples throughout the areas have made this sharing possible.

West Africa encompasses the nations of Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria, Togo, Mali, Sierra Leone, Benin, Senegal, Guinea, the Ivory Coast. The slave trade in America brought many people from these nations to what is now the US and with them, their traditions and foods that are native to these cultures. Thus, African dishes have traveled across the Atlantic Ocean as well as eastward to the Middle East and northward into Spain.

Some of African dishes and spice preparations have reached as far as the Pyrenees mountain range and become part of the Basque way of life there in Spain and France.

Vegan Recipes

Vegan recipes are completely vegetarian and contain no animal products, including milk, cheese, or eggs. Soy and tofu substitutes may be used for these ingredients, as is done in the recipes below. If you are vegetarian but not vegan, then you are able to use the milk, sour cream, and eggs; mayonnaise, butter, and margarine.

Vegans also often avoid using furs, leathers, skins, wool, down (feathers), and cosmetics or other products tested on animals.

North and West Africa
North and West Africa

Fruit Salad - Nigerian and North African

Serves 10 -12


  • 4 ripe papayas, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
  • 2 red eating apples, cored and chopped (leave skin on)
  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
  • 1, 16-oz can pineapple pieces, drained (save juice for another dish)
  • 1 Cup orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup shredded coconut


  • In large salad bowl, mix fruits, orange juice, sugar or honey, and cinnamon.
  • Toss ingredients well, cover, and chill.
  • Serve garnished with shredded coconut.

 A Tunisian Shop
A Tunisian Shop | Source

Potato Salad

Serves 8


  • 4 Cups potatoes, diced and cooked
  • 1/2 Cup grated carrots
  • 1/4 Cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 Cup tofu sour cream or soy cream
  • 1/4 Cup vegan mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip without eggs)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • 8 Grape Tomatoes
  • 1/8 Cup chopped parsley


  • Carefully combine sour cream substitute, vegan mayonnaise, and all seasonings together and stir.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix slowly until blended.
  • Garnish with parsley and grape tomatoes and chill until meal time.  

Wildlife in Kenya
Wildlife in Kenya | Source

Tomato-Lime Salad - Kenya and North Africa

Serves 4 -6


  • 3 large tomatoes, sliced to 1/4” thick
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish  


  • Arrange tomato slices and onions over top on a serving plate.
  • Combine the garlic, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and pour over salad.
  • Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Spices in a Moroccon Shop
Spices in a Moroccon Shop | Source

Cabbage and Pineapple Salad - North and West Africa

Serves 8


  • 1 Pound of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 Cup celery sliced on the diagonal
  • 1/4 Cup sliced green onion or scallion
  • 1/2 Cup green pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 Cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1 Cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 Tbsp parsley


  • 1 Cup soy yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp soy sour cream or any sour cream substitute
  • 3 Tbsp soy milk


  • Place all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl; toss lightly.
  • In a small bowl, beat together the dressing ingredients until smooth.
  • Pour dressing over salad and gently toss to coat well.

Almond Bean Salad

Serves 4


  • 1 Pound green beans, washed and dried and sliced diagonally
  • ¼ Cup slivered almonds
  • 4 Tomatoes, peeled
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegan margarine
  • ¼ Cup raisins – dark or golden
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • Salt and pepper


  • Cook sliced beans in salted water until tender-crisp. Drain and set aside.
  • Melt the margarine in a saucepan, add onion, almonds and sultanas, and sauté until onion is tender.
  • In a bowl, mix the oil, vinegar and seasoning, using the salt and pepper to taste..
  • Combine beans, onion sauté mixture, tomatoes and dressing in a large bowl and toss.
  • Chill the salad in the refrigerator and serve.

Coconut Bean Soup



  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp margarine
  • 1 Cup tomato chunks, fresh
  • 2 1/2 Cups kidney beans, canned with liquid
  • 2 Cups coconut milk
  • 3 Cups water
  • 1/2 Cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 Cup shredded coconut


  • In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onions until soft.
  • Add green peppers, curry powder, salt, pepper, margarine, and tomato; simmer 2 minutes.
  • Add kidney beans & liquid, coconut milk, and water; stir well. Simmer 10 minutes.
  • Stir in cooked rice and heat through.
  • Serve in bowls topped with 1 Tbsp shredded coconut.

Art sales in Cairo.
Art sales in Cairo. | Source

An Egyptian Stew



  • 3 Cups black-eyed peas (dry) and salted water for cooking
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil


  • Wash the black-eyed peas and boil them in a pot of salted water 45 minutes; drain.
  • In another pot put the olive oil and the onion. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the garlic, the tomatoes, the tomato paste, the parsley and the dill. Let them cook in medium heat for 30 minutes. Add some salt.
  • Add the peas to the sauce, mix and cook in low heat for 15 minutes.

Pineapple Cashew Salad



  • 3 pineapples, fresh 
  • 2/3 Cup cashews
  • 1/2 Cup shredded coconut
  • 1 Cup soy cream (a substitute for sour cream or yogurt)
  • 4 Tbsp honey or molasses
  • 2 oz. white rum


  • Peel and core the pineapples and cut into cubes.
  • In a skillet, toast cashews and remove to a plate and then toast coconut until light brown, then set aside to cool as well.
  • Mix soy cream, honey, and rum and pour over the pineapple cubes.
  • Set aside some cashews and coconut for garnish and add the rest to the pineapple cubes; toss all together, cover and place in refrigerator to chill.
  • Prior to serving, garnish salad with toasted cashews and coconut. 

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© 2009 Patty Inglish MS


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