Githeri (Kenyan Corn & Beans) Recipe

Reading Time: 4 min

This East African inspired dinner is frugal, easy to prepare, and loaded with real food. It’s also vegan, vegetarian, freezer-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Kenyan Corns & Beans – if you’re looking for delicious, frugal, allergy-friendly recipes made with real food, look no further than the whole entire world. In America, it’s easy to feel discouraged about healthy, frugal eating – especially if you have food allergies. Our classic cheap food consists of macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and freeze-dried ramen noodles. However, look outside our borders and you’ll find an endless supply of inspiration.

Breaking out of the macaroni box is challenging. We want our comfort food. But let’s not forget that the internet puts the world at our fingertips. Delicious, simple recipes are out there. You just have to find them. Or just follow me, and I’ll send them directly to you.

I never claim to cook authentic international dishes. First of all, I’m American. I learned a bunch of awesome authentic recipes from globetrotting in my early twenties, but some ingredients or cooking methods are difficult to find or expensive. Githeri – Kenyan Corns & Beans – is no exception. The traditional method involves an open fire, clay pots, at least 24 hours of slow-cooked perfection. Mine only involves a crockpot. So it’s inspired by the original, but I can promise the real thing is better.

Thankfully, the ingredients for Githeri are easy to find, budget-friendly, and forgiving to fangirls like me.

What is Githeri called in English?

The English translation for the word githeri is succotash, which is a flavorful, delicious dish made from corn and beans. Many cultures have their own versions of this dish because it’s such a comforting, nourishing combination and corn and beans together make a complete protein (plant-based friends rejoice!).

What does Githeri consist of?

This Kenyan-inspired Githeri uses corn, beans, and generous serving of veggies likes onions, garlic, tomatoes, and greens.

  • Oil or butter
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves (or garlic powder)
  • Curry powder
  • Kale or other greens (frozen works great)
  • Tomatoes (fresh or canned
  • Corn (canned, frozen, or fresh)
  • Beans, any kind (canned or home cooked)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon juice (fresh is always best, but I use bottled on a budget)

While different recipes call for certain kinds of beans and greens, in order to keep this recipe budget-friendly, I typically use whatever beans I have, whatever greens I have, and canned diced or crushed tomatoes.

Easy, Budget-Friendly Stew

The best recipes are simple and made with love. Githeri has just a few ingredients, and in order to ensure it has the best flavor, I highly recommend that you do not skip sautéing the onions and garlic and spices. This step brings out flavors that you will not find if you toss it all into the slow cooker and call it good.

That being said, I totally get why toss and go recipes are so appealing. You can skip the sauté step if you must. Keep it simple and enjoy the nourishing flavors of a homecooked stew.

Githeri (Kenyan corn & bean stew)

More Githeri Recipes:

You might like these versions of Githeri from other home cooks!

  • This one uses Central American flavors to make a really delicious Githeri!
  • This version uses green onions and kidney beans
  • Try Githeri with Ugali – I ate ugali when I lived in West Africa, and it is so delicious and comforting with a good stew (and budget-friendly!). Highly recommend.

This Githeri (Kenyan Corn & Beans) Recipe is:

  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Frugal
  • Easy to prepare
  • Freezer-friendly
  • Real food
  • Allergy-friendly
Githeri (Kenyan corn & bean stew)

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #cheapskatecook and @cheapskatecook on Instagram.

Githeri (Kenyan Corn & Beans) - In America, it’s easy to feel discouraged about healthy, frugal eating. Our classic cheap food consists of macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, and freeze-dried ramen noodles. But look outside our borders and you’ll find an endless supply of flavor town. This East African inspired dinner is frugal, easy to prepare, and loaded with real food. It's also vegan, vegetarian, freezer-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Githeri (Kenyan Corn & Beans Stew)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 2 seconds
Inactive Time: 3 hours 2 seconds
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes 4 seconds

This East African inspired dinner is frugal, easy to prepare, and loaded with real food. It's also vegan, vegetarian, freezer-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Inspired by The Cultured Chef (affiliate link)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil or butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, (or 3/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 large bunch kale or other greens, chopped, (frozen works great)
  • 1 28-oz can tomatoes, diced or crushed, (or 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 cups corn, (canned, frozen, or fresh)
  • 2 cups cooked beans, any kind, (canned and drained or home cooked)
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, to taste
  • 1 Lemon, (or 3 tbsp bottled lemon juice)

Instructions

  1. SLOW COOKER:
  2. In a medium-size pan, heat oil. Saute onion for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and curry powder and cook for 1 minute. (If you must, you can skip this step.)
  3. Combine all ingredients except lemon juice in a slow cooker. Stir, then cover and cook on low 3-4 hours or on high 2-3 hours, until thoroughly cooked.
  4. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Slice lemon in half. Serve githeri in bowls with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. INSTANT POT:
  6. Set your Instant Pot to the Saute Setting and let it heat up for a few minutes.
  7. Saute onion for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and curry powder and cook for 1 minute. (If you must, you can skip this step.)
  8. Add all ingredients except lemon juice. Stir, then cover and set to Manual Pressure Cook Setting for 5 minutes. Cover and seal your Instant Pot and press Start.
  9. After the pressure releases, open your Instant Pot and season your Githeri with more salt and pepper to taste. Slice lemon in half. Serve githeri in bowls with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  10. STOVE TOP:
  11. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Saute onion for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
  12. Combine all ingredients except lemon juice. Stir. Bring everything to a boil, then immediately cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 minutes, until onions and greens are cooked through.
  13. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Slice lemon in half. Serve githeri in bowls with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Notes

This stew tastes even better the next day! Feel free to make ahead of time and simply reheat to serve.

Make-Ahead

Version 1: Make the stew, allow it to cool, then pour it into a plastic or glass container with a lid. Label, then store in the freezer. You can also use a gallon-size freezer bag and lay it flat in the freezer so it's easy to store. When ready to serve, let it defrost in the fridge overnight

When ready to serve, let it defrost in the fridge overnight, then place it in a large pan and heat until warm through.

Version 2: Alternatively, skip cooking it ahead of time. Simply pour all ingredients into a gallon-size freezer bag, label it, freeze it flat, then defrost it overnight and pour it into your crockpot or large pan. Cook as desired, until greens are cooked through.

Recommended Products

Some of these links are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 425mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 8gSugar: 10gProtein: 7g

Please note: The actual calories and nutrition of this dish will change depending on what ingredients you use. Nutrition information is not always accurate.

More Budget-Friendly Dinner Ideas:

What You Can Do Now:

Do you like Corn & Beans?

If you found this post helpful, let us know! Leave a comment, share it on Facebook or Pinterest, and follow us on Instagram or YouTube for more!

Slash your grocery budget and feed your family real food! Get simple, frugal, real food menu plans every month for FREE in the Cheapskate Cooks’ 1-Min Email. Get the next one here.

What You Can Do Now:

What international dishes have you tried?

If you found this post helpful, let us know! Leave a comment, share it on Facebook or Pinterest, and follow us on Instagram or YouTube for more!

Slash your grocery budget and feed your family real food! Get simple, frugal, real food menu plans every month for FREE in the Cheapskate Cooks’ 1-Min Email. Get your first one here.



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