Authentic Ethiopian Food Recipes

When you’re tired of making the same old meals again and again, you need to mix things up.

Africa is a huge continent with tons of different countries. All of these countries have their own unique cuisine, and one of the most beloved is Ethiopian food. If you’ve ever been to an Ethiopian food restaurant in your area, you’re aware of just how flavorful the food from this country is.

There’s no better way to get a taste of culture from around the world than trying out Ethiopian food.

You’ll have a full range of flavors in these Ethiopian recipes that will hit every part of your palate.

Ethiopian cuisine is a delightful culinary journey that offers a plethora of unique and flavorful dishes. Rich in cultural heritage and steeped in tradition, Ethiopian food encompasses a variety of recipes that cater to both vegetarians and meat lovers. It is known for its distinct blend of spices, the use of healthy ingredients, and the abundance of colorful vegetables and legumes – all served on the traditional injera, a sourdough flatbread.

The essential components of Ethiopian food, such as the famous spice mixes and the use of teff, an ancient grain, give the dishes their unmistakable flavors. Traditional Ethiopian recipes are passed down through generations, and the art of cooking is as much a part of the dining experience as the meal itself. With a mix of both savory and sweet dishes, Ethiopian cuisine offers an unforgettable gastronomic adventure for all palates.

Key Takeaways

  • Ethiopian cuisine offers a wide range of unique dishes with flavorful spices
  • Both vegetarians and meat lovers can enjoy traditional Ethiopian food
  • The use of healthy ingredients and cooking techniques creates a distinct culinary experience

There are all kinds of flavorful, spicy soups and broths that will change your mind about Ethiopian cuisine.

Of course, a full list of Ethiopian food recipes wouldn’t be complete without some delicious desserts to close out your meal.

Sit back while traveling the world with the best Ethiopian dishes in the list below.


1. Teff Stew

Teff stew is a wonderful traditional Ethiopian food that is filling and goes perfectly with some teff injera.

You’ll love the flavors hidden inside of this dish and it’s a lot easier to make than you might think.

Once again, the injera is perfect for soaking up all the tasty sauce inside of this recipe so it doesn’t go to waste.


2. Injera

If you haven’t had injera before it is a sourdough like flatbread.

It is the staple of Ethiopian food recipes and was developed long before modern machinery or baking techniques were available.

This recipe goes back a long time and it is still just as good today as it was back in the day.

You can use injera flatbread with just about any kind of traditional Ethiopian dishes so making this ahead of time is always a good idea.

You’ll find this at just about any Ethiopian restaurant but you can make your own at home.


3. Kahawa Ethiopian Coffee

Instead of having a little coffe with cream, try out this kahawa recipe that includes all sorts of great flavors.

It’s a huge hit in Ethiopia that people love having with their meals or even before they sit down to dine. The flavors are all very diverse and you will enjoy the taste regardless of whether it is hot or cold, dark, roasted, or light.


4. Beef Tibs

Beef wasn’t always abundant in Ethiopia so having it was a special occasion.

When you prepare your beef tibs, make sure to saute them over hot spices.

This will make your beef tibs even spicier and more flavorful, which makes it an Ethiopian food recipe you’ll want to make again and again.

You’ll notice the kick it has, which will oddly make you keep going back for more. This is the best Ethiopian cooking that you can have.

The best part is that when it’s cooking you’ll fill the entire room with delicious smells that will make the whole family come to gather.


5. Himbasha

Almost like injera, himbasha is a type of bread that you can use with all sorts of Ethiopian meals.

It’s made from flour and instead of having a lot of the sour taste that injera has, it is actually quite light and fluffy.

This is perfect for those people who would like to eat some Ethiopian food but don’t care for the injera or shiro that usually accompanies it.

For people looking to branch out into making Ethiopian food, this is a perfect place to start your journey.

The recipe is simple and the dough doesn’t have to rise, so you can have fresh bread in no time at all.


6. Ethiopian Shiro Wat

Whenever you see the word “wat” in a recipe you know it’s going to be a spicy and flavorful dish.

Ethiopian shiro wat is no different, and it is a favorite for many people who want to try out Ethiopian food recipes.

The best part about this meal is how easy it is to make, which makes it great for even the busiest of days.

This can be one of the Ethiopian vegetarian recipes or you can add some meat inside.

Some tender lamb would be a perfect combination with shiro wat. You can always spice it up with some more chili pepper.

You could even add in some extra veggies to make it a bit healthier for the family while still packing in a ton of flavor.


7. Tej

Tej is a traditional African wine that is honeyed so it has a really sweet taste to it.

It’s actually alcoholic so you will want to be careful to just let everyone take glass after glass because it’s so delicious.

This is meant to be sipped anyway and is perfectly served with a nice side of good conversation.

It’s perfect if you have some leftover wine sitting around home you need to get rid of.


8. Misir Wat

Misir wat is a delicious lentil stew that will leave you feeling full and happy.

The best part is how low in fat this dish is, which makes it a great option for those looking at their weight.

You can always change up the veggies inside so misir wot is never the same twice, which makes it an Ethiopian food recipe to make over and over again.

It can be a bit spicy depending on how hot your wat is, but it’s still a great comfort food for rainy days when you want something warm.

You’ll have all the flavors of Africa in one dish that leaves everyone satisfied and full at the end of the meal.

This is a great one to make a ton of because it doesn’t cost a lot of money for the ingredients.


9. Niter Kibbeh

Instead of using olive oil or canola oil, try out this niter kibbeh recipe.

It’s basically spiced up clarified butter and it’s made from all sorts of flavorings.

You can make several batches at once to save time later on or you can just do a little bit at a time if that suits your needs better. The choice is always yours about how you want to cook with this stuff.

This makes for a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys cooking because it’s like giving them a gift that keeps on giving.

Anytime they make something with this spice blend in it everyone around them will be glad to know what sort of delicious flavors are hiding there.

Its versatility is what makes it so useful so keep this around for all your future recipes.


10. Kik Alicha

Kik Alicha doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to make so you can whip up a batch before dinner without it taking up too much of your time.

It involves a number of basic veggies and spices to make a healthy meal that is tasty as well.

You’ll want to serve this with some injera or another flatbread, but it can be served on its own as an entree for those watching their carbs.

This is a quick way to create a new family favorite that has a combination of flavors you won’t have very often.


11. Awaze

This is another recipe that isn’t quite a food but it’s a sauce that you can use for all sorts of dishes.

Around the world you will find many different sauces and dips that people enjoy using with their main dishes.

This is something like spicy ketchup and it goes great with all sorts of meats and vegetables.

The best part about this sauce is how quick and easy it is to make, not to mention how cheap it is.

You can make it last for weeks if you store it in the refrigerator and not use too much at a time.

This is perfect for all those people who really love spicy foods because it will give them something to enjoy that has plenty of flavors but still packs a punch like no other.


12. Berbere

Berbere isn’t so much a food as it is a spice, but it’s an essential part of Ethiopian food recipes.

You’ll need this for some of the other dishes mentioned here as well as a number of other tasty Ethiopian vegetarian recipes.

Berbere spice is very spicy and smoky and contains a lot of spices that you probably haven’t even heard of before, but they all come together to make a wonderful spice blend that is perfect for pretty much anything.

You can use it as a rub on meats or you can even use it in place of chili powder if you find yourself without any one night. You can even make your own berbere sauce.

It’s very easy to make and will keep for a long time which makes it great for those days when you’re feeling adventurous.

This is one of the most basic Ethiopian spices that you’ll want to keep on hand and experiment with as much as possible because it’s great for cooking up all sorts of tasty Ethiopian food recipes.


13. Timatim

This is the perfect salad for those summer days because timatim is such a fresh dish.

It’s made from tomatoes and features plenty of other vegetables that will add even more flavor to it. You can add all sorts of things to this salad, like red onions, carrots, and so forth.

Grill up some beef for this recipe and you will have yourself one amazing meal. Let everyone build their own salad to their own tastes and this will be a meal that everyone can enjoy.

Plus, it’s a good way for people who are looking into learning more about Ethiopian food to start branching out from the usual dishes they have tried before.

It’s so versatile anything you add will only enhance the flavors of this dish instead of distracting from them.


14. Gomen

If you’re looking for a healthier Ethiopian recipe to try out then this gomen one will hit the mark.

You’ll be surprised just how many amazing flavors will come together in this dish to make you fall in love.

The best part is that even your pickiest eaters are bound to be happy with the way gomen turns out so it’s a great family meal option when you want something different.

It doesn’t take much of any one thing for this Ethiopian vegetarian recipe to work so it’s a great one to try out if you’re nervous about using up all your ingredients.

Serve it up with some injera using the recipe on this list.


15. Yataklete Kilkil

If you ever need a good pick-me-up on a cold day you need to try this yataklete kilkil recipe.

It’s a stew that has a lot of spices and flavor to keep you warm all winter long. It has plenty of vegetables in it as well so you know you are doing right by your body.

This is also great for people who want to introduce their kids to Ethiopian food but don’t want the spicy dishes just yet.

It’s a relatively mild dish and will provide your children with the nutrition they need.


16. Atakilt Wat

This isn’t really the main entree but more of a side dish so it’s perfect for those nights when you have lots of veggies or even meat leftover.

This is a tasty hash-style side dish that will give your dinner an extra kick thanks to all the flavors packed inside. You can use all kinds of ingredients too like onion, garlic, and green beans.

This is a very healthy dish too so you don’t have to feel guilty about making a giant batch and eating it for days.

You can even serve this with some meat from dinner if you want something hearty or as a main dish if you don’t want anything too heavy.

This is a great option to try out when you’re tired of eating the same vegetables for days on end.


17. Inguday Tibs

This is another vegetarian dish and what’s best about it is how filling it can be.

It has those sauteed mushrooms that will make you swear you are eating meat but without any of the cholesterol or unhealthy fats.

There is a lot of flavor in this dish as well as plenty of colors to give all your friends something they will want to try.

Make sure to have a side of injera to soak up all those delicious flavors as you go along.

You can also simply eat this dish with rice if you want to be a little more traditional. It’s so good either way that no one will complain about the lack of injera.


18. Chechebsa

This chechebsa recipe is traditionally eaten as a breakfast but it’s so good that you can fit it in for lunch or dinner.

All you need is a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time to make this Ethiopian food recipe come together.

You won’t have the classic American ingredients like bacon, eggs, cheese but what you will have is a beautiful pastry you can have with your morning coffee or tea.

You can make sure it’s served hot on a chilly day and it will immediately warm up your belly.

What’s best about this recipe is you can add a ton of different ingredients and it will still have a great flavor.

It’s a great base that you can make to use with several different dishes. Just like you would with injera.


19. Azifa

Azifa is a dish you eat to break from all those heavy dishes.

It’s very light and is a great way to feel refreshed after a big meal. This salad has green lentils as well as loads of dill which brings together all those amazing flavors.

You won’t have any problems getting your kids or other picky eaters to try out this dish as it’s pretty mild and doesn’t have that many spices.

Celery seed really adds to the flavor and gives this dish a real fresh taste.

This is a great dish to make during the summer months when you want something light but still has a ton of flavor to it.

It will give your friends and family a reason to have dinner on the back porch so you can all enjoy it.

Add some chopped up cucumbers if you want even more of a refreshing taste.


20. Doro Wat

If you haven’t had doro wat before then you are seriously missing out.

This is one of the most famous Ethiopian food recipes there are but some people still aren’t sure what it actually is.

It’s a little bit spicy and has plenty of flavors to make it stand out, but you can really taste all the great spices in this dish.

You get the best spicy chicken flavor and it’s even paleo.

You don’t need a ton of ingredients that are bad for you in order to feel comforted at the end of a meal.

When you want a wat that is a little heavier then this is the recipe for you.

It’s so good you might even just add it to your weekly rotation.


21. Ethiopian Spris

When you need a cool and refreshing drink you need to try this spris recipe.

It’s a traditional drink that is full of amazing flavor and can be made with your favorite fruit like strawberries or blueberries if you prefer.

Just about any type of fruit will work so feel free to experiment until you find the perfect mix.

This also makes a great mixer if you want to try making a variant on the classic frozen cocktail.

It can be easily modified for any palate and it will cure any spicy hangovers of the meal before.

In order to really have it in true Ethiopian fashion, throw in some papaya and mango.

Add a salted rim on top or, better yet, mix up cultures and add some tajin to the base to the rim.

You can also make an entire blender worth and stick it in the freezer so that you can have a quick treat after dinner throughout the week.

20+ Authentic Ethiopian Food Recipes (+Kahawa Ethiopian Coffee)

These recipes are sure to please. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 5 votes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Breakfast, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Ethiopian
Servings 3
Calories 303 kcal


  • 2 ounces ground coffee
  • 2 pods of lightly bruised cardamom
  • 33 ounces cold water
  • Ground ginger


  • Boil the cardamom pods and water for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Add the coffee and allow to simmer for five more minutes.
  • Add the ginger.
  • Strain into mugs and add sweetener.


Select your favorite recipe.
Organize all the required ingredients.
Enjoy the food.


Calories: 303kcal
Keyword Ethiopian Food Recipes, Kahawa Ethiopian Coffee
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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