These must-try Nigerian food recipes will add a burst of flavor to your menu! This list includes simple and approachable lunch, dinner, snacks and side dishes. There is something here for everyone to enjoy.
There are lots of different dishes in Nigeria. Each tribe in Nigeria has special dishes unique to them and these dishes form a big part of their identity and culture. From region to region you’ll find a wide variety of dishes in Nigeria.
As in most cultures, some dishes are considered staples. No matter which part of Nigeria you are in, you will come across these meals.
They are versatile and use common ingredients so anybody in any part of the world can make these meals. Here is a round-up of the most popular, must-try dishes from Nigeria.
In order to make popular Nigerian dishes, you’ll need a few ingredients to hand.
Rice: is a very common staple ingredient in Nigeria and there is a wide variety such as ofada rice, basmati or wholegrain local rice. However, most Nigerian homes cook with long grain rice. Rice forms the base of so many dishes like Tuwo Shinkafa, Jollof rice, Fried rice, coconut rice, ofada rice and plain boiled white rice.
Tomatoes and Pepper: Hello! This must be in your kitchen as a Nigerian. With some tomatoes, scotch bonnets and capsicum or red bell peppers, you can create a lot. Egg sauce, stew, simple tomato sauces, jollof rice, fish sauce and a whole lot more! The amount of pepper used for cooking will normally depend on the individual cooking the meal. Some Nigerian home cooks love using a lot of pepper and others are moderate with the spice level. It really depends on the individual.
Fish, Beef, Goat Meat and Chicken: No Nigerian dish is complete without a form of meat. Add boiled, deep-fried, grilled and in some cases, roasted meat to stews and sauces. We love our meat so much in Nigeria that you can hardly find any vegetarian dishes in Nigeria. However, most meals can be adapted to suit vegetarian/vegan diets.
Spices and Seasonings: Maggi or Knorr is a popular seasoning found in Nigerian most households. While “Maggi” is a staple, other spices and seasonings depend on the individual cook. Examples of seasonings commonly found in Nigerian kitchens include curry powder, black pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder and dried bay leaves.
Tips and Tricks
- Nigerian food can be pretty spicy as we tend to use a lot of scotch bonnets in cooking. Feel free to alter the spice level as you are cooking to suit your personal taste.
- It is a common joke that we rarely measure seasonings when we cook in Nigeria and rely on cooking instincts. The best way to cook Nigerian food is to taste as you go and adjust the seasonings and other ingredients to suit your taste.
- Most of these meals taste better with fresh ingredients. They tend to include vegetables and meat so the fresher the ingredients the better.
Jollof rice is one of the most common Nigerian dishes. It is served at most Nigerian events, parties and it is also a common dish in Nigerian households. Jollof rice is typically served during special occasions as well. It is popular because it is versatile and can be served with different kinds of sides such as fried plantains, moi moi (bean pudding/cake), cold salads and meat. It can also be easily made vegan or vegetarian to suit personal diets.
A good Nigerian dish to cook for dinner is Jollof rice. It is very easy to prepare and versatile so you can cook it to suit vegan or vegetarian diets and serve it with different kinds of sides.
Another good Nigerian dish to have for dinner is obe ata. While this meal takes some time to prepare, it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for when you are ready to eat it. Serve obe ata with white rice or swallow.
If you are trying to eat healthily, most Nigerian meals can be adapted and made a lot healthier.
For example, swapping your white rice for brown rice to make brown jollof rice, boiling, grilling or roasting your meat and fish and boiling your plantain or potatoes instead of frying them.
Moi Moi is a very common healthy Nigerian dish. It can be steamed or baked in the oven and you can easily make it healthy/plant-based by using only beans, pepper and onions.
There are so many traditional Nigerian meals. It really depends on the area of Nigeria you go to. However, common traditional food in Nigeria includes Jollof rice, Egusi soup, Efo riro, Ogbono soup and Okro soup. Most soups are served with a starchy carb such as fufu, pounded yam and semovita.
List of Nigerian Food
This Nigerian Jollof Rice recipe is easy to make for a hearty dish or dinner. It includes red bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and spicy peppers. Serve jollof rice with chicken, or your favorite protein.
This Nigerian Puff Puff with Pepper recipe will change your life! Puff puffs are a popular Nigerian snack that’s similar to doughnuts. Made with yeast, nutmeg, flour, and pepper, they’re fun to make and eat!
Crispy fried yam with pepper sauce (dundun) is a delicious savory dish that can be served as a starter or side. With a few simple ingredients, you’ll be serving this delicious dish in no time!
Make this wholesome Nigerian Tomato stew recipe (obe ata) in no time at all! It features oven-baked or fried assorted meat cooked in a rich and spicy tomato stew. Serve this stew with white rice, Jollof rice, pounded yam, amala and more.
Soft, sweet and juicy. This fried plantain recipe is so quick and easy to prepare plus you only need two ingredients to make it! Serve this simple, tasty side with lunch, dinner or as a main with beans, eggs, stew and more.
Ever wondered how to make efo elegusi? This traditional Nigerian golden stew combines rich, savory, sour flavors and is filling enough to feed the whole family. Serve with rice or swallows like eba, pounded yam or amala.
A sweet, crunchy, African Chin Chin recipe is so delicious and it’s easy to make! Customize this tasty snack to suit your taste.
This quick and easy suya is a spice lover’s dream! Prepare it with minimal effort and serve it with tomatoes and onions as an appetizer or main.
Spicy grilled tilapia filled with flavour! It includes tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions and scotch bonnets. Serve as a side.
This easy Nigerian meat pie recipe will have your family and friends coming back for more! The main ingredients are flour, butter, minced beef and potatoes.
A super-delicious one-pot Nigerian fried rice recipe that will fill your belly with warmth and flavor! Enjoy this meal during special occasions, dinner or lunch.
A mouth-watering West African gizzard recipe filled with flavor. This recipe includes bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. Serve as a side dish or with white rice.
Foil-free moin moin recipe made with peeled beans – the perfect Nigerian side dish.