Cassava Leaves and Beans Recipe from Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo

Cassava Leaves and Beans

Cassava Leaves and Beans Recipe from Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo
Region / culture: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 2 hours | Servings: 6 | Vegetarian diet


Cassava Leaves and Beans
Cassava Leaves and Beans

Cassava Leaves and Beans is a traditional African dish that is not only delicious but also nutritious. This recipe combines the earthy flavors of white beans with the vibrant taste of cassava leaves, creating a hearty and satisfying meal.


Cassava leaves are a staple in many African cuisines, particularly in West Africa. The leaves are rich in nutrients and are often used in stews and soups. When combined with white beans, the dish becomes a complete protein-packed meal that is perfect for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.


How to prepare

  1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water.
  2. Drain, rinse, and drain again.
  3. Cover the beans with cold water.
  4. Bring the beans to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the beans over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are tender.
  6. Remove the beans from the heat and set them aside.
  7. While the beans are simmering, heat half of the oil in a skillet and fry the onions and green pepper for a few minutes.
  8. Add this mixture to the beans.
  9. Rinse the cassava leaves in hot water and crush them with a mortar and pestle.
  10. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil.
  11. Add the greens, onion, and remaining oil to the pot.
  12. Boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat and cook for about an hour until the greens are tender, stirring occasionally.
  13. When the beans and greens are tender, combine them in the largest pot.
  14. Add salt to taste.
  15. Simmer the mixture over low heat for an additional 15 to 30 minutes.


  • Add diced tomatoes or tomato paste for a tangy twist.
  • Use black-eyed peas or kidney beans instead of white beans for a different flavor profile.
  • Add groundnut paste or peanut butter for a creamy and nutty taste.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Soaking the beans overnight helps to reduce cooking time and ensures that they are tender.

- Crushing the cassava leaves before cooking helps to release their flavors and nutrients.

- Adding baking soda to the beans while cooking can help to soften them faster.

- Stirring the greens occasionally while cooking helps to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Cassava Leaves and Beans with steamed rice or fufu for a complete and filling meal. Garnish with chopped cilantro or peanuts for added flavor and texture.

Cooking Techniques

Boiling the beans and greens separately helps to ensure that they are cooked to perfection.

- Frying the onions and green pepper before adding them to the beans adds depth of flavor to the dish.

- Simmering the mixture over low heat allows the flavors to meld together and creates a rich and hearty stew.

Ingredient Substitutions

If cassava leaves are not available, you can use spinach or kale as a substitute.

- Olive oil or vegetable oil can be used instead of palm oil for a lighter and healthier option.

- Red or yellow bell peppers can be used in place of green peppers for a sweeter flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

Cassava Leaves and Beans can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Cassava Leaves and Beans in a large bowl or platter, garnished with fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil. Pair with a side of rice or fufu for a complete and satisfying meal.

Pairing Recommendations

This dish pairs well with a crisp green salad or a side of plantains for a balanced and flavorful meal. Serve with a glass of chilled hibiscus tea or palm wine for a traditional African dining experience.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers of Cassava Leaves and Beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Cassava Leaves and Beans contains approximately 300-400 calories, depending on portion size and ingredients used. This makes it a filling and nutritious meal option.


This dish is rich in carbohydrates, thanks to the white beans and cassava leaves. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy and are essential for overall health and well-being.


Palm oil is used in this recipe, which adds a rich and flavorful taste to the dish. While palm oil is high in saturated fats, it also contains antioxidants and vitamins that are beneficial for heart health.


White beans are a great source of plant-based protein, making this dish a complete and satisfying meal for vegetarians. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, as well as overall health.

Vitamins and minerals

Cassava leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like calcium and iron. These nutrients are important for immune function, bone health, and overall well-being.


This recipe contains palm oil, which may be a common allergen for some individuals. It is important to check for any allergies or dietary restrictions before preparing this dish.


Cassava Leaves and Beans is a nutrient-dense dish that is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a healthy and satisfying meal option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.


Cassava Leaves and Beans is a delicious and nutritious African dish that combines the flavors of white beans and cassava leaves in a hearty and satisfying stew. Packed with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, this dish is a healthy and filling meal option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Serve with rice or fufu for a complete and satisfying dining experience.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is etched in my memory forever. It was a warm summer day when I stumbled upon a small, quaint bookshop tucked away in a corner of the city. As I browsed through the shelves, a faded, weathered cookbook caught my eye. Intrigued, I picked it up and flipped through the pages, my eyes landing on a recipe for Cassava Leaves and Beans.

I had never heard of this dish before, but something about it called out to me. The combination of cassava leaves and beans seemed so simple yet so intriguing. I knew I had to try it.

I purchased the cookbook and hurried home, eager to recreate the recipe. As I gathered the ingredients and started cooking, memories from my childhood flooded back. I remembered my own grandmother, a master in the kitchen who taught me the art of cooking. She would always say, “The secret to a delicious dish lies in the love and care you put into it.”

As the aroma of the cassava leaves and beans filled my kitchen, I felt a sense of nostalgia and connection to my roots. I was transported back to my grandmother’s kitchen, where the sounds of sizzling pans and the chatter of family filled the air.

The dish turned out beautifully, a perfect blend of flavors and textures. I couldn’t wait to share it with my own family. As they took their first bite, their eyes lit up with delight. The dish had a comforting, familiar taste that reminded us of home.

As I sat down to enjoy the meal with my loved ones, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the journey that led me to this recipe. It was more than just a dish – it was a piece of my heritage, a connection to my past.

From that day on, Cassava Leaves and Beans became a staple in my kitchen. I would often whip up a batch for family gatherings and special occasions, each time adding my own twist to the recipe.

Over the years, I learned to make it my own, incorporating new ingredients and techniques that I picked up along the way. But no matter how I tweaked the recipe, the essence of the dish remained the same – a taste of tradition and love.

As I grew older, I passed down the recipe to my own children and grandchildren, hoping to instill in them the same passion for cooking that my grandmother instilled in me. I wanted them to understand that food is more than just sustenance – it is a way to connect with our heritage, our loved ones, and ourselves.

And so, whenever I make Cassava Leaves and Beans, I am reminded of the journey that brought me to this recipe, the memories of my grandmother that live on in every bite, and the legacy that I hope to pass on to future generations.

As I sit here now, reflecting on the story behind this beloved dish, I am filled with gratitude for the moments that shaped me into the cook I am today. And as I take a bite of the savory, comforting Cassava Leaves and Beans, I am reminded once again of the power of food to nourish not just our bodies, but our souls.


| Cameroonian Recipes | Cameroonian Salads | Cameroonian Vegetarian | Cannellini Bean Recipes | Cassava Leaf Recipes | Congolese Recipes | Congolese Salads | Congolese Vegetarian | Green Bell Pepper Recipes | Palm Oil Recipes |

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