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Ethiopian Chicken Stew

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This super flavorful Ethiopian Chicken Stew with bell pepper and baby spinach will fill your house with an amazing aroma as the delicious sauce thickens on the stove top. One bite of the tender chicken and you will be in love with this dish!

Serve over your favorite rice or grain or with freshly made injera bread.

Ethiopian Chicken Stew with bell peppers and baby spinach cooked in delicious berbere seasoning.

Soooo, you know that house we put an offer on that I mentioned in my other post? The inspection found so many problems with the house that I don’t even know how that house is still standing. So we are continuing our house search. Alas.

This delicious Ethiopian Chicken Stew was a good way to drown our house sorrows!

Ethiopian food is one of my favorite cuisines because of its hearty, delicious spicy flavors, so I wanted to cook something that I find very comforting. This Ethiopian Chicken Stew is very flavorful with a lovely heat coming from the Ethiopian spice mixture called berbere.

Berbere is pretty spicy, so definitely start on the conservative side and add just a little bit. You can always stir more in later as the stew is cooking!

Ethiopian Chicken Stew with bell peppers and baby spinach cooked in delicious berbere seasoning.

Why you should make this stew

It is so nice to have a comforting, aromatic dish simmering on the stove during the colder weather. This stew is tasty, hearty, healthy, and super easy to make. It’s spicy, in a warming and comforting way.

This chicken stew requires prepping just a small handful of ingredients and then simmers on the stove for almost an hour as the house fills with a wonderful aroma.

Is this an authentic Ethiopian chicken recipe?

Not exactly. This is “Ethiopian-inspired.” It is very similar to the kinds of spicy stewed meats you get at an Ethiopian restaurant.

What to serve with this chicken stew:

In a restaurant, Ethiopian stews would typically be served over injera bread, which is a type of thin pancake / crepe made from fermented teff flour. The injera bread soaks up the saucy goodness and is absolutely wonderful. Here is a good recipe for injera.

But if you don’t want to make injera and can’t find any Ethiopian restaurants around you to pick some up, just serve as you would any stew:

  • on its own
  • over rice
  • over quinoa
  • over amaranth (this is how we ate it!)

Ethiopian Chicken Stew with bell peppers and baby spinach cooked in delicious berbere seasoning.

To make this Ethiopian-inspired chicken stew…

You start by sauteing diced onion and grated ginger in some butter. You can certainly use olive oil instead if you want to go a bit healthier.

Then you add the chicken, potatoes, and berbere seasoning and stir everything together to coat all the ingredients with seasoning.

Then you add chicken broth and let the whole thing simmer until the chicken is so tender it falls apart and the broth thickens into a stew.

At this point, you have the option of adding diced bell pepper and baby spinach. I like to add this at the end to give this Ethiopian chicken stew more nutrients and vitamins.

This recipe is pretty amazing because it is a super healthy dinner dish that is the ultimate comfort food, but also super delicious!

Looking for other Ethiopian-inspired recipes? Try these two vegetarian ones.. so healthy and flavorful!

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

ethiopian chicken stew pinterest graphic

Ethiopian Chicken Stew
Ethiopian Chicken Stew with bell peppers and baby spinach cooked in delicious berbere seasoning.
Print Recipe
4.59 from 12 votes

Ethiopian Chicken Stew

This flavorful Ethiopian Chicken Stew with bell pepper and spinach will fill your house with an amazing aroma as the sauce simmers on your stove top.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Servings: 4 large servings
Author: Kate


  • 1 large yellow onion , diced into ~1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 inch piece ginger , peeled and grated
  • 4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs , cut into 1 inch pieces (I used breast meat)
  • 1 large potato , diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 teaspoons berbere seasoning (or less to taste, it's spicy!!)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large bell pepper , seeds removed and diced
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach (about 2 oz)
  • Optional: cilantro for garnish


  • Melt the butter in a large soup pot or skillet with high sides (or heat olive oil if using olive oil). Add the diced onion and grated ginger and stir fry for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, diced potato, and berbere seasoning, stir to coat. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer without a cover for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced.
  • Add the diced bell pepper, stir, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the baby spinach, stir, and remove from heat.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve over rice, amaranth, quinoa, or bulgur, or with pieces of fresh injera.


If your spice tolerance is low, I recommend substituting paprika for a portion of the berbere. It will still give this dish a delicious flavor and color, but without as much heat. This dish is spicy!


Nutrition Facts
Ethiopian Chicken Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 379 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 875mg36%
Potassium 94mg3%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 380IU8%
Vitamin C 11mg13%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 3mg17%
* The nutritional information shown here is just an estimate and not meant to be used as dietary/nutritional advice. Please consult a nutritionist for exact nutritional information based on the exact ingredients you use.


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Wednesday 20th of November 2019

Hello! I use Penzeys Berbere, and I might be a wimp, but I actually only use about a TEASPOON and a half. This is absolutely delicious. Can you confirm the spice measurement, so my friend and I can decide if we are just spice babies?


Thursday 21st of November 2019

Oh my gosh, it should totally be 3 teaspoons! I am so sorry! I updated the recipe. But yea even 3 teaspoons can be pretty spicy. Use half at first. You can always stir more in at the end (give it a taste AFTER the chicken is fully cooked lol), and then add paprika or berbere depending on if you want more flavor or spice.

You're not spice babies!


Monday 8th of April 2019

You can find any spices needed at Penzey’ Or visit one of their three stores in Minneapolis-St Paul. Lovely berbere and anything else you can think of.


Wednesday 7th of December 2016

Hi Kate - I wanted to let you know that I made this dish tonight and it was awesome! I love Ethiopian food and it's a little hard to find in small town Minnesota. I had purchased some berbere from a food coop awhile ago and was happy to use it!

Lucy @ Globe Scoffers

Friday 1st of July 2016

This looks delicious!


Monday 4th of July 2016

Thank you, Lucy!

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