One-Pot Vegan Efo Riro

January 05, 2021

Efo riro means mixed spinach in Yoruba, a language spoken in Nigeria, Benin, Togo, and parts of Brazil. The stew is a popular West African dish and is a household staple in Southern Nigerian, and it is my favorite side for days that I want to eat rice or fufu. Efo riro consists of a savory red stew base, slow-cooked with fresh or frozen spinach. Based on what’s in season, you can replace spinach with swiss chard. 

Efo riro, like many West African dishes, are time-consuming and can take over an hour to prep and cook. Because most Nigerian vegetable stews start with boiling or frying meat to create a base or stock a one-pot dish is difficult to do. Fortunately, this vegan Efo riro recipe is made much simpler and quicker by using veggie stock. Instead of meat, I use mushrooms. 

Serves 2


1 medium onion

1 large bell pepper

3 cloves garlic

2 cups of cremini mushrooms, sliced

¼ of vegetable oil

5 cups of tightly packed spinach

½ cup of vegetable or Local Roots chicken broth

¼ tablespoon of cayenne pepper

¼ tablespoon of salt


  1. Blend ½ a bell pepper, ½ onion, 2 cloves of garlic, with ½ cup of water in a blender.
  2. Slice the remaining halves of the bell pepper and onion. Mince 1 clove of garlic.
  3. Heat half of the vegetable oil in a heavy-based dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, and minced garlic. Fry for 5 minutes. Pour blended pepper, and onions and let fry for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pot, let fry for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in spinach. Add vegetable stock and cayenne pepper. Let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. 
  6. Serve with rice, plantains, fufu, or enjoy alone.

Recipe by Local Roots recipe contributor, Fati Son of Je Gbese, @jegbese. 


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