Home Recipe Roundup 20 Ethiopian Food Recipes to Try

20 Ethiopian Food Recipes to Try

Ethiopian food is a fun, flavorful mix of just about every taste and texture you can imagine.

Spicy, sweet, salty, tangy, aromatic – your tastebuds will love these diverse and delicious recipes that showcase the best of Ethiopian cuisine. 

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Ethiopian Doro Wat: Chicken and Egg with Spicy Sauce

You may be unfamiliar with dishes like wat (stew) and injera (flatbread), but these 20 easy recipes will help you master Ethiopia’s favorite foods like a local. 

Dense soups, spicy meats, flavorful sides. There’s a little bit of everything in these drool-worthy recipes. 

And don’t forget dessert! Try a bright blend of pureed fruits in an Ethiopian spris or himbasha, a sweet and spicy cake-like bread.

You may not be able to travel there, but you can bring Ethiopia right to your kitchen with these recipes. 

For the true Ethiopian eating experience, make these for a crowd.

Food is a family affair in Ethiopia, and family means anyone who stops by for a forkful.

It’s very common for neighbors, family, and friends to gather and scoop up rich sauces with soft bread, slurp spicy broth, and share sizzling meats. 

There’s nothing like bonding over a good meal, so get cooking and enjoy these Ethiopian eats together!

1. Injera

Injera is a sourdough flatbread that’s part food, part eating utensil.

Served with almost any main, injera is traditionally used as a spoon to scoop up meat and veggies. 

Its soft, spongy texture makes it the perfect addition to broth, stews, and soups.

Eat like an Ethiopian by tearing off a strip of injera and dipping it into those delicious juices.  

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It might get messy, but this fun flatbread is so worth it. Chewy, soft, and savory, injera is a must for any Ethiopian meal.

2. Beef Tibs

You’ll need a well-stocked spice cabinet for this piquant beef.

Beef sirloin is diced and pan-fried in an aromatic spice paste, made with cardamom, fenugreek, and clove.

Beef sizzles in those spices until your kitchen smells amazing and your stomach is growling. 

This hearty main definitely has a kick to it!

Serve with injera, white rice, or veggies to balance out the heat and freeze any leftovers to enjoy Ethiopian eats on busy nights. 

3. Ethiopian Shiro Wat

Wat is the Ethiopian term for any kind of stew or soup.

Wats come in all different varieties, from meaty to vegetarian, and can be enjoyed any time of day.

This recipe features a vegetarian version, made with chickpeas and a whole bunch of spices.

It’s also thickened with chickpea flour, making it a deliciously dense puree that’s chunky enough to spread on bread. 

But don’t serve this with just any bread. It’s worth making the traditional injera to scoop up every single bite of this soupy treat.

This one-pot meal is made with tomatoes, onions, and Ethiopian spiced butter.

The complex flavors mingle beautifully for a bright bowl of yummy goodness.

4. Misir Wat (Ethiopian Spiced Red Lentils)

Nobody does lentils like Ethiopia. An inexpensive staple, they’re widely used in many African countries where they’re cooked with vibrant spices and fresh veggies.

This vegetarian stew combines healthy red lentils with caramelized onions, spiced butter, flavorful broth, and a punchy spicy mix.

Simmered together until perfectly tender, this bright blend of tastes is the perfect way to eat more plants. 

Forget bland and boring veggie dishes! Snack on misir wat for vegetarian food that’s irresistibly addictive.

5. Kik Alicha (Split Pea Stew)

Made with just six ingredients, this recipe is a great choice for mid-week meals.

It’s best enjoyed on a frosty night when you need something quick, healthy, and comforting.

Split yellow and green peas are simmered in a salty, spicy broth until perfectly tender.

This is the kind of stew that thickens as it cooks, giving you a rich, filling soup.

Serve it with injera so you don’t miss a drop of this gorgeously satisfying stew.

6. Berbere

If you’re making Ethiopian food a regular in your recipe rotation, you’ll need a lot of berbere.

This traditional spice mix is one of the all-time classics of Ethiopian cuisine.

It’s used to marinate meats, add a kick to stews, and punch up the flavor of veggie platters.

Happily, berbere is easy to make. Especially with this straightforward recipe. 

Every cook has their own version, so don’t be afraid to adjust this classic seasoning to your taste.

Too fiery? Cut back on the chili peppers. Want more sweetness? Add extra cumin or cardamon.  

7. Gomen (Ethiopian Collard Greens)

Quick and tasty, this Ethiopian side is sure to become a family favorite. 

Even the kids will enjoy this vibrant blend of lightly spiced, leafy greens.

Braised collard greens and kale are seasoned with aromatic spices like paprika and cardamom for a healthy and tangy veggie dish.

Gomen is traditionally enjoyed with wat and injera for dinner.

You can also turn it into a light lunch by tossing in some protein such as shredded beef or chicken. 

8. Atakilt Wat

Atakilt wat is a vegetable-based side dish that’s perfect for big brunches or vegetarian dinners.

It’s a filling mix of potatoes, carrots, and cabbage, slow-cooked in butter and spices.

This dish is packed with healthy veggies and fragrant flavors, but it’s also amazing for what it doesn’t include.

There are no dairy, egg, corn, soy, yeast, nuts, gluten, or grains in this superfood recipe.

It’s perfect for anyone with dietary issues, or those who simply want to eat healthier. without losing out on delicious meals.

This wat is proof that vegetables can be addictive. Make lots because one serving is never enough.

9. Chechebsa

Hard to pronounce but easy to eat, chechebsa is a classic breakfast food in Ethiopia.

Also known as kita fir fir, it starts with a basic batter that’s then pan-fried until crispy.

That crispy bread is torn into chunks and tossed with spiced butter until soft and almost pudding-like.

It may not be your usual bacon-and-eggs, but this creamy, spicy bowl contains all you need to power your day.

It’s wonderful served with a mug of steaming coffee or milky chai tea.

Serve warm on winter days for a quick satisfying snack, or add some vegetables for a more hearty brunch.

Either way, one bite of this, and you’ll glow until lunch!

10. Doro Wat

This spicy chicken stew isn’t just ridiculously tasty, and it’s also Paleo – meaning it’s gluten and grain-free.

This recipe proves that comfort food doesn’t have to involve carbs.

Juicy chicken pieces are slowly simmered in ginger, garlic, and fiery spices until they’re fall-off-the-fork tender.

Slice in some hard-boiled eggs before serving for extra protein and add a dash of lime to balance out the rich spices.

If you’re looking for a satisfying supper, ladle a heaping serving of doro wat over cauliflower rice, and you’ll soon be a low-carb convert!

11. Ethiopian Spris

There’s no better way to beat the heat than with a refreshing, fruity spris.

This delightful smoothie is a delicious blend of pureed warm-weather fruits.

Made with mango, papaya, and lime juice, it’s amazingly tangy and intensely tropical.

It’s also really healthy. Fresh avocado ups the superfood content and gives it a rich, creamy texture that makes it a meal in a glass.

If you’re having one of those days, add a splash of booze to your spris. Rum or cognac would work well in this bright and breezy smoothie.

One sip, and you’ll be transported to sunny beach days and poolside vacations.

12. Azifa (Lentil Salad)

This green lentil salad is the perfect light lunch or brunch platter side.

Soft lentils are tossed with zesty lime, ginger, red onions, tomatoes, and mild red peppers.

It’s a colorful vegetarian dish that’s typically served during Lent with a side of injera.

If you’re feeding spice fans, you can always up the spice by using fiery chili peppers.

And if you’re out of lentils, try it with beans instead. Have fun experimenting with this versatile dish!

13. Inguday Tibs (Ethiopian Sautéed Mushrooms)

This recipe is one of those magical sides that’s simple to make but boasts a lot of complex flavors.

Earthy mushrooms are chopped and sauteed in butter with peppers, onions, and tomatoes. 

There’s a generous serving of berbere in there too, giving the silky mushrooms their signature Ethiopian taste. 

Inguday tibs is traditionally served with injera, rice, or bread.

14. Yataklete Kilkil (vegetable stew)

This healthy stew of potatoes, carrots, and green beans is the perfect antidote to cold nights and dreary days.

Banish the blues with a comforting bowl of chunky root veg, spicy broth, and sweet tomatoes. 

A word of warning – this dish has a kick. Punch it up with more pepper or cool it down with a side of sour cream. You do you.

15. Timatim (Tomato Salad)

If you’re looking for a fun, fresh summer salad, this recipe is the answer to your prayers.

This bright tomato salad is made with diced tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno peppers.

It’s dressed with a spicy lemon and garlic vinaigrette and served chilled.

If you want more bulk to your salad, add some torn injera pieces. Known as firfir, this is a heartier version of timatim.

16. Awaze

Awaze literally translates to spicy simmer sauce, and that’s a perfect description of this flavorful paste.

As with any traditional dish, it varies wildly from region to region and from cook to cook.

This simple recipe covers the basics, with a 3-ingredient blend that hits all the signature flavor notes.

Stir it together and store it in the fridge for a quick and convenient sauce that adds a kick to almost any meal. 

Stir your homemade awaze into stews, and/or use it as a marinade for meat, poultry, or fish.

You can also put a jar of this on the table as a handy dipping sauce.

17. Niter Kibbeh (Clarified Spiced Butter)      

Niter kibbeh is every Ethiopian cook’s go-to cooking oil. 

A simple blend of clarified butter and spices, it’s the foundation of many traditional meals – giving them a nutty, fragrant flavor that adds depth to any dish.

Clarifying butter can sound intimidating to beginner cooks, but it’s surprisingly easy.

Once you master the technique, you’ll use it for everything. 

Simply simmer the butter until the milk fat separates. Strain and stir in your spices, then store in the fridge until needed.

18. Tej

Tej is an African honeyed wine that pairs well with long, lazy summer days.

White wine is mixed with honey and water, then chilled.

Simple but surprisingly refreshing, this is a boozy treat perfect for using up leftover wine (if leftover wine is a thing in your house).

The secret to this Ethiopian cocktail is in the ingredients.

To enjoy it at its best, choose a good quality white wine, preferably pinot grigio or a riesling.

19. Himbasha

Himbasha is an Ethiopian flatbread, similar to injera.

But while injera is a plain bread, himbasha is bursting with mild sweet and nutty flavors. 

It’s made with cardamom, raisin, and black sesame seeds. Typically baked for celebrations and special dinners, himbasha is a party bread. 

It’s often made for a child’s first birthday and is symbolically broken in two to grant the birthday baby strength and prosperity.

20. Ethiopian Coffee  

Add a dash of cardamon to your next cup of tea, and you’ll enjoy traditional Ethiopian coffee.

Lightly spiced, this dark brew is made by boiling cardamom pods along with your coffee of choice.

Add ginger for an aromatic twist, or try a spoonful of honey to make it delightfully spicy-sweet.

20 Ethiopian Food Recipes to Try

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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