Mugoyo: Sweet Potato and Bean Loaf Recipe

So, I experimented with a new recipe the other night. It’s called Mugoyo, pronounced like moo-GOY-yo (sometimes called Omugoyo). It’s a recipe from Uganda that I found in one of my favorite cookbooks, Extending The Table.

Basically, it’s cooked sweet potatoes and beans, mushed up and formed into a loaf. Here’s a little excerpt from the book,

Since sweet potatoes and beans are inexpensive and store well, Mugoyo is usually prepared during winter months when food is not being harvested and is less available. When Ugandans travel, they often pack food for their journey. Mugoyo is one of their traveling foods.

Extending The Table

With only two ingredients, it definitely isn’t gourmet. But what I loved about this recipe is that it’s cheap, simple, nutritious, and something that you could survive off of in times of little food.

And so we had it for dinner.


It’s very simple:

  1. Cook 1 lb. of dried white beans like normal with a little salt, until tender.
  2. Peel and cube 1 lb. of sweet potatoes, and steam in a little water until tender.
  3. Drain both well, then mash together and form into a loaf pan.
  4. Slice and serve.

I must have messed up somewhere along the line though… maybe I didn’t drain the beans well enough, ’cause my “loaf” was more the consistency of mashed potatoes. Definitely not sliceable.

So, I stuck it in the oven and baked it at 350* for 30 min. What the heck, right? But after I pulled it out of the oven, even though the top was nice and firm, it was still mushy in the middle.

Oh well. Dinner time!

I got a few funny looks from the family as I plopped the orange mush onto each plate. Everyone was polite enough to try it, but only one in the bunch enjoyed his meal…

The taste wasn’t bad, per se, it was just very bland. And a weird texture. A loaf would have been much better I think.

Eggs for dinner it is, then.

At least it made good baby food.

My husband asked me if I was trying to make him more grateful for meat, since I’ve been experimenting with meatless dishes a lot lately.

Just trying to stay within the measly grocery budget! Poor guy. *grin*

We had chicken for dinner tonight. I think everyone appreciated it a little more than usual.

7 thoughts on “Mugoyo: Sweet Potato and Bean Loaf Recipe”

  1. 3 points: 1. Mugoyo works best with (African) WHITE sweet potato varieties which are fluffier and less moist than American sweet potatoes. 2. The beans have to be properly drained. 3. Red kidney beans tend to be less bland in color and taste than white beans.

  2. @SarDee–My husband and I eat a meatless meal at least every other night. We’d love to cut back more. Here are some of our favorites: Stir-fry, soups, bean dishes, quiche, bean tacos, Hawaiian haystacks, and veggie pizza.

    Honestly, the less meat we eat, the less we want it. Most of our meat dishes are crockpot meals for nights when we know we won’t have time to cook. We’d love to find more meatless crockpot ideas. Anyone have any to share?

  3. My kids (and husband) are pretty spoiled, too! I have been making a “meatless” meal once a week and, I agree, sometimes it’s a stretch making it a good meal without meat when experimenting. But my kids ALWAYS ask now if its a meatless meal and then they will fill up on fruit before dinner, “just in case!” Even my husband!! I think we need a cookbook for meatless meals that uses SIMPLE ingrediants. The Vegan and vegetarian recipe books I looked at use ingrediants I have never heard of before much less grow in my garden. I will be looking at the cookbook you listed but I also curious if anyone else knows of a cookbook like I described above. In particular one that doesn’t require a special grocery shopping trip since that defeats the purpose of cutting out meat as a health AND financial savings.

    • SarDee,

      What I absolutely LOVE about this cookbook is that the contributors visited the poorest villages and tribes all around the world, lived with these people, and collected recipes and stories. I particularly love reading the stories and proverbs sprinkled throughout the pages. You won’t find any expensive ingredients or strange spices here. There is a section on dishes with meat, which these people only eat in celebration, but the rest of the book is filled with very basic recipes for drinks, breads, beans, veggies, soups, etc. I’m excited to try more!

  4. Hahaha! I had to laugh when I saw the picture of the little one! At least HE enjoyed it, lol 🙂 What a cute face!! 🙂 Props to you for trying the dish though!!! At least now you know, and don’t have to wonder anymore how it would taste and what you might miss! 😉 If I might say, I’m not so surprised though, food from this part of the world (meaning Central Africa) is usually very starchy and not always -neccessarily- yummy. When I lived 2 years in Congo I made it a point to try a lot of the local foods (congolese, ugandan and surrounding-never had Mugoyo though!) and while I would consider myself open to new foods and being not very picky, I have to say -well, most of the time- I simply really just did not like it. At all. It was way too starchy and pretty much tasteless. That being said, one must consider WHAT the people living in that region usually have to do to make ends meet: They don’t have a lot, most lived on 1 dollar a day, so I guess eating starchy tasteless food they can survive on is better than none. To me that somehow translated that -African food is just not my thing. And I mean I tried it, I thought, to be fair. Little did I know though! We recently came back from living in Senegalfor a few years (West Africa) where I got introduced to the local cuisine, and boy!- let me tell you!! I LOVED IT!!! People still were living a very basic life and with that also on “cheap” and easy prepared foods (simple and not very expensive ingredients), but it was DE-LI-CIOUS!!! I really got hooked!! I love so many dishes from West Africa, Senegal in particular- and it really showed me that it really depends on the region on how food is prepared and which ingredients they use! Just makes sense I guess, afterall, different parts of North America have complete different cuisines as well. Anyway, I’ve gotten SO much into their food (I got invited by the locals all the time who were VERY friendly and hospitable- one of the most hospitable people in the world I have ever met!), have by now many, many local recipes and a senegalese cookbook as well (and even tried writing a teeny-tiny one myself, mostly for family members), that I feel like I need to advocate here for West African foods!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 –So, if you are ever willing one day to try some more African cooking -let me know! :)) Sorry for talking so much about this subject right now *LOL* -I guess you just hit home with this subject!!, but I really felt I needed to write that, after the West African cuisine has impressed me so much, compared to the downfalls I had with central african foods. So, I’m sorry the Mugoyo didn’t turn out as hoped. -I’m glad though the baby had a blast! 🙂 He looks like he’s saying: “Stop, wy are you sharing my food with everyone!” Too cute!! 🙂 Anyway, thanks for posting! And props for trying something new and leaning along the way. You go girl!!!

    • LOL, Tina 🙂 You’re so cute. I loved hearing all of your thoughts on this!! Actually, I’m still very interested in trying other African (and other tribal) recipes! I’m gonna be experimenting more with recipes from this book. It’s just fun for me to experience food from other cultures, though I’m sure they would make it much better than my pitiful attempts, lol! I would LOVE to hear some of your favorite Senegal recipes!!


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