African Side Dish Recipes

Beyond well-known African side dishes like couscous and rice, browse 30+ trusted recipes, rated and reviewed by home cooks like you.

Staff Picks

Tastira (Tunisian Fried Peppers and Eggs)

Rating: 4.5 stars 10
I learned this recipe from my mother-in-law in Tunisia. Serve it on four separate plates or on one large platter. Serve with sliced French bread.

Algerian Flafla (Bell Pepper Salad)

Rating: 4 stars 7
This dish is great for summer meals. Bell peppers are roasted and then twice-cooked with other vegetables to make a sweet and rich treat. Serve with a baguette, and use the bread as your fork, Algerian-style.

Ethiopian Cabbage Dish

Rating: 4.5 stars 883
My Ethiopian friend brought this dish to a potluck and I've been making it ever since. It is healthy and delicious. Do not add liquid. The cabbage and potatoes release enough moisture on their own.


Rating: 4 stars 11
A classic African dish which can be served as an accompaniment to dishes such as Egusi Soup. Traditionally this dish is eaten communally using the hands. A small amount is rolled in the hand, then dipped into the soup before being eaten.

Sweet and Nutty Moroccan Couscous

Rating: 4.5 stars 118
I've simplified this recipe for Couscous Mesfouf without losing any of its deliciously complex flavor. Prepare all the mix-ins ahead of time and it takes only minutes to make. Enjoy!

Green Banana Fries

Rating: 4.5 stars 65
I learned about this when I was in Kenya. I've never tasted better fries nor more nutritious fries. Potatoes aren't that common in Kenya but bananas and roots are. They taste as good as any fast food French fries and are healthier. Green bananas are the healthiest because they have all their vitamins where ripe ones lose most of them because they're too ripe. Green bananas do not have a strong banana flavor at all. It's very deceptive and very healthy. I couldn't stop eating them.
By Victoria MH

Guinean Peanut Sauce with Butternut Squash

Rating: 4 stars 20
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.


Rating: 4 stars 7
This is an excellent vegetable dish from Sierra Leone. A tantalizing marinated eggplant and tomato salad tossed with coconut and peanuts just before serving for an exotic crunch.
By dakota kelly

Moroccan Couscous

Rating: 4.5 stars 149
This dish is great served with my Lamb Tagine and Cucumber Raita also on this site.

South African Yellow Rice

Rating: 4 stars 58
This is a traditional South African recipe, which comes from the great culinary tradition of the Cape Malays -- originally brought in as slaves in the 17th century. It's easy and plain, but great with meats like venison, corned beef tongue or any meat with gravy. Also usually served with Bobotie: There is a good recipe by Caryn on this site.

Middle Eastern White Beans

Rating: 4.5 stars 19
For a nutritious and wholesome meal, yet not lacking in flavour, look no further. You would probably not find this dish in a Middle Eastern restaurant. It is the type of everyday dish served to the family. White kidney beans are slowly cooked in a tomato based sauce. Serve it over plain white rice.

Gomen Wat

Rating: 4.5 stars 55
Traditional Ethiopian vegetarian dish. I've cut down the amount of oil that is used in the dish and added some different spices to complement the collards.

Inspiration and Ideas

Liberian Style Collard Greens
Rating: Unrated 11
"It was one of the first times everyone ate their veggies before anything else. A shockingly great recipe that may seem unusual but is well worth trying." – veggievixen4worldpeas
Egyptian Green Beans with Carrots
Rating: Unrated 7
It doesn’t get much easier to try a traditional Egyptian recipe than this. Try it with fresh green beans!
Ethiopian Cabbage and Potato Dish (Atkilt)
Rating: 4.5 stars 41

This is my favorite Ethiopian vegetable dish. I created it by mixing together a few different recipes I found. Hope you like it! Serve as a side dish with injera and other Ethiopian dishes. I recommend Doro Wat - an Ethiopian chicken dish.