Nigerian Goat Pepper Soup (Recipe)

This traditional Nigerian goat pepper soup recipe is a great example of how the bone-in pieces of goat are used around the world, it’s a slightly spicy, comforting stew, with a cultural use similar to chicken noodle soup in the United States.

A bowl of traditional Nigerian goat pepper soup.
Basil leaves are a traditional garnish.

Goat Pepper Soup Ingredients

You can get the spices at local markets that sell African food, but they’re easy to find online too. There are also lots of pre-made pepper soup spices online, but all the ones I tried were hit and miss and stale from overstocking. This goat meat stew recipe tastes better after it sits for a day and the flavors meld.

Another important ingredient is bone-in goat meat. This is how goat is typically eaten in many parts of the world. You can order some from Shepherd Song, or buy from a local Halal market.

Bone in Goat meat stew pieces
Bone in Goat meat pieces. Photo by Alan Bergo.

Since the bone-in goat meat pieces can be a combination of cuts from different places on the animal, there will be small pieces of bone. I like to use a spoon and fork combo to pick around the bones. Eating slowly also helps to appreciate things more.

Here’s a little tutorial on how I cook this goat meat stew recipe. It works well with either bone-in goat or lamb meat.

How to Cook Goat Meat Pepper Soup

Nigerian style goat meat stew recipe
Nigerian style goat pepper soup 

Get Cooking

This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo. He’s a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Alan Bergo Forager Chef
Chef Alan Bergo

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

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A bowl of traditional Nigerian goat pepper soup.
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5 from 1 vote

Nigerian Goat Pepper Soup (Recipe)

A classic Nigerian recipe using bone-in goat meat
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Nigerian
Keyword: goat meat pepper soup recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 271kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 large soup pot


Pepper soup spices

  • 6-8 calabash nutmeg peeled
  • 8 pieces negro pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grains of paradise/alligator pepper


  • 1 lb bone-in goat meat
  • 1 large yellow onion diced ½ inch
  • 1 teaspoon habanero pepper or more to taste, seeds removed, diced small
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried uziza leaves crumbled (1 tablespoon of additional ginger can be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • ½ cup flavorless oil
  • 1 large white sweet potato or yam (about 8 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 5 cups meat stock or water
  • Fresh torn basil for serving.


  • Season the goat meat with the teaspoon of salt, then set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Toast the spices, then grind to a powder in a coffee of spice grinder and reserve.
  • Heat a ¼ cup of the oil in a dutch oven or casserole, then brown the goat pieces. Remove the goat pieces, discard the oil, then add the remaining oil, garlic, diced peppers and ginger and cook for a few minutes. Add the onion, paprika and spices and cook for a few minutes more, stirring here and there.
  • Add the goat meat back to the pan with the stock and crumbled uziza leaves, then bring to a simmer and cook for 1.5-2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender, but not overcooked and falling apart.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into large 1 inch pieces, then add to the soup and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Skim the fat from the soup as you see it.
  • Double check the seasoning for salt, adjust as needed, then cool to room temperature and refrigerate if not serving right away.
  • When the soup is chilled, all of the fat from the goat will have risen to the top, use a spoon to remove and discard, or you can skim the fat from the soup while it’s cooking if you want to serve it right when it’s done.
  • Garnish each bowl of goat meat stew with a few shreds of basil, then serve.



Bone in lamb meat can also be used here. 


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 1085mg | Potassium: 681mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 21IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 3mg