Guinean Peanut Sauce with Butternut Squash


This peanut butter and butternut squash recipe is from the village of Cansamange in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. I learned it while I was in the Peace Corps; it quickly became my favorite dish! The authentic West African preparation requires squishing this by hand until the mixture is fairly uniform - a food processor also works. Serve over medium-grained rice. Okra sauce (folere) is a traditional accompaniment.

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
6 cups


  • 1 butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes

  • ½ cup natural peanut butter

  • 1 small tomato, chopped

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced lengthwise

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ground black pepper to taste

  • salt, or to taste

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Place the butternut squash in a saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

  2. Combine the peanut butter, tomato, and warm water in a bowl. The authentic way to prepare this is to squish it together by hand -- but a food processor works, too.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion slices and cook for 2 minutes. Add the peanut butter mixture, the minced garlic, the bay leaf, black pepper, and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the peanut sauce, adding the reserved cooking liquid as needed, for 15 minutes. The consistency should be similar to a thick soup.

  5. Stir in the butternut squash and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice, and taste to adjust the seasoning.

Cook's Note

Serve with Guinean Okra Sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

396 Calories
24g Fat
42g Carbs
11g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 396
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Sodium 391mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 61mg 305%
Calcium 158mg 12%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 1243mg 26%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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