Vegan Efo Riro – Nigerian Spinach Stew

Vegan Efo Riro, a vegan take on a spicy Nigerian spinach stew. Mushrooms, tofu and spinach in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce.

Vegan Efo Riro - Nigerian Spinach Stew

Serving Vegan Efo Riro

This spicy Nigerian stew is full of wonderful flavours and is great served with a side of fluffy white rice. 

Vegan Efo Riro - Nigerian Spinach Stew

It could also be served with some Nigerian Jollof. A spicy rice dish made with a rich tomato-based sauce. A recipe for a vegan version of Jollof can be found here.

Vegan Jollof
Vegan Jollof Rice
A spicy and smoky rice dish that's popular throughout West Africa. Made with a tomato and pepper-based sauce that gives the rice a wonderful rich flavour.
Check out this recipe

Vegan Ero Riro Tips

As with most stews, the vegetables and the proteins added can be changed to match your preferred tastes. You could add more bell peppers or add broccoli or cauliflower. For the protein consider adding more mushrooms or change the tofu to tempeh or chickpeas. 

Locust beans are a traditional ingredient used in Efo Riro. They are used to add an umami kick to the stew. These can be difficult to find but if you can find them you would add 1 tablespoon after you have sautéed the onions and fry them with the onions for 30 seconds before adding the sauce to the pan. 

Vegan Efo Riro

A vegan take on a spicy Nigerian spinach stew. Mushrooms, tofu and spinach in a spicy tomato and pepper sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Nigerian
Servings 4



  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli *


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil split
  • 250 g shiitake mushrooms stalks removed then sliced
  • 1 medium brown onion sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 250 g firm tofu cubed
  • 200 ml vegan beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 700 g spinach fresh or frozen
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Roughly chop the bell peppers, onion, garlic and Scotch bonnet then add them to a blender with the tomato purée. Blend until smooth. Add some water to help it blend if needed. Set aside for later.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to a pot over medium heat. Once hot add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until golden around the edges, around 6 minutes.
  • Remove the mushrooms from the pot and set aside for later. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil with the sliced onions with a pinch of salt and sauté until starting to soften, around 4 minutes.
  • Add the blended sauce and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the oil starts to pool at the sides of the pot. This will take around 10 to 20 minutes depending if you had to add water.
  • Once the sauce has thickened add the sliced bell pepper, cubed tofu, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, vegan beef stock, vegan Worcestershire sauce and the cooked shiitake mushrooms. Stir everything together and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  • If you are using frozen spinach, defrost it in a bowl of boiling water before adding it to the pot.
  • Add the spinach to the pan and continue to cook until wilted and evenly distributed through the stew, around 5 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. The amount of salt needed will depend on the amount of salt in the stock. We added ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper at this stage.
  • Serve your Vegan Efo Riro with a side of rice.


The amount of chilli added can be changed to match your taste. Remove the seeds from the chilli for less heat or even use a less spicy chilli. Add a second Scotch bonnet if you want it hotter.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mikeronm or tag #theveganplanetkitchen!

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