Fonio with Roasted Vegetables

About recipe

Originating in West Africa, fonio is a gluten-free grain with a similar texture to couscous. It contains 10% of your daily value of iron and 3 grams of protein per serving. Fonio is also rich in two essential amino acids that other grains lack, methionine and cystine. Typically used as a hot breakfast cereal in West African countries, fonio can also complement a lunch or dinner.

The perfect cooking ratio is 1 cup of fonio to 2 cups of liquid. One cup of dried fonio produces 4 cooked cups.

This recipe was adapted from a Nubian Markets recipe card. Learn more about Boston’s Nubian Markets.

Uncooked fonio grain

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large sweet potato, washed and diced, 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium or large onion, chopped, 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
  • 2 cups okra, frozen or fresh, chopped, 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, or 1 tablespoon fresh-grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of fonio, dry
  • 2 cups low-sodium broth of choice


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Place the diced sweet potatoes, chopped onion, frozen okra, and drained chickpeas onto a sheet pan with foil (optional). Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Combine chili flakes, ginger, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add to vegetables. Toss with your hands until everything is coated with oil and seasoning.
  3. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  4. While the vegetables cook, heat a saucepan on medium-high and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced or minced garlic and toast for 1 minute. Add the fonio, the broth, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.
  5. Once the broth is boiling, remove from heat. Cover the pot and let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and fonio is fluffy.
  6. Toss the roasted vegetables and cooked fonio together in a large mixing bowl until combined.
  7. Serve with your favorite meat or plant-based protein! The chickpeas pack a bit of extra protein, as well.

Nutritional information

This information is per serving.

  • Calories450
  • Total fat7 g
  • Saturated fat1 g
  • Protein14 g
  • Sodium370 mg
  • Postassium.635 g
  • Fiber12 g
  • Total Carbohydrate85 g
  • Sugars9 g
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