Nigerian Beef Street Fries (Paleo, Whole30)

The phrase “meat and potatoes” stands for everything that’s good.

Who doesn’t want to be besties with at least one meat-and-potatoes kinda guy?

For centuries, a nutritious meal was defined by roasted meat for strength and tubers for energy. As cooking evolved, so did this basic meal. Meat and potatoes were transformed into classic comfort foods like shepherd’s pie and meatloaf with mashed potatoes—then pub menus and food trucks gave us sexy, multiple-napkin, shareable eats like stuffed potato skins, poutine, and street fries.

This recipe for Spicy Nigerian Beef on oven-baked fries is just one of 12 meat-and-potato recipes in Well Fed Weeknights. With these recipes, you can assemble a satisfying stuffed baked potato (or street fries!)  in under 40 minutes. You start by plopping potatoes into the slow cooker a day in advance and finish by sautéing savory meats and chopping garnishes at meal time.

The first step in this recipe starts the night before: Wash 4 medium potatoes, but don’t poke, wrap, or otherwise molest them. Just place them in a slow cooker on low and forget about them for 8–10 hours. (If your potatoes are small, reduce the cooking time to 6-7 hours.) Store cooked potatoes in the fridge until meal time.

Spicy Nigerian Beef (Suya)

Total time: 35-40 minutes (when the potatoes are pre-cooked) | Whole30 compliant

  • 4 cooked potatoes (see above)

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef sirloin or flank steak

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Spice Blend:
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse (granulated) onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse (granulated) garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 cube organic chicken bouillon (omit for Whole30)

  • 1⁄4 cup roasted cashews

  • 2 plum tomatoes

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 1 small jalapeño (omit if you don’t want it tongue-tingling)

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • a handful fresh cilantro

  • fresh lime


Cook the fries. Preheat the oven to 450F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. While the oven heats, cut the cooked potatoes into french fry strips. Place the fries in a large bowl and toss them with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil until coated. Spread the fries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle them generously with salt. Slide the pan into the oven—it doesn’t matter if the oven temperature hasn’t yet reached 450F. Set a timer for 10 minutes and check the fries to make sure they don’t burn! While the fries bake, make the meat topping.


Prep the meat and spice blend. Cut steak into 1⁄4-inch strips and place them in a medium mixing bowl. Combine the spice blend ingredients in the food processor bowl and pulse until it resembles a coarse powder; you want chopped nuts, not paste. Sprinkle the spice blend over the meat and toss to coat, pressing the nuts into the meat. Set aside.


Cook the veggies. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high, 2 minutes. While it heats, cut the tomatoes into wedges; slice the onion and the jalapeño. (Remove the seeds if you want it less hot.) Add the veggies to the hot oil and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes until crisp- tender. Transfer the veggies to a plate.


Cook the meat. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the oil, and let it heat for 1 minute. Add the steak in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, then  ip it and cook it for an additional 2–3 minutes. Now’s a good time to cut the lime into wedges. Add the veggies to the pan, toss to combine, and turn off the heat.


To serve, pile the meat and veggies on the fries, then top with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

You Know How You Could Do That?

Make it a bowl! When you’re not in the mood for potatoes, pile the meat and garnishes onto these satisfying, non-starchy alternatives:

cauliflower rice
zucchini noodles
— baby spinach
— spring mix

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  • Heather says:

    I don’t have a slow cooker (blasphemy, I know!) – would I just bake the potatoes whole in the oven for an hour or so the night before / before I start the recipe? Or do I just prep them as fries and bake them a little longer?

    • Heresy!!!

      There are two good reasons to pre-cook the potatoes before making fries: (1) They taste better and cook faster/get browner if you pre-cook them; and (2) The amount of resistant starch in potatoes increases when they’re cooked, cooled, and reheated, so they feed your good gut bacteria more lovingly with resistant starch.

      1. You can boil the potatoes whole in salted water, chill them, and cut them into french fry strips (or cubes), then follow the baking instructions.
      2. If you have a microwave, you can zap the potato for 5 minutes or so, then refrigerate until chilled, cut, and bake.


      • Heather says:

        Wonderful, this makes so much sense. I’m always looking for more ways to lovingly treat my ever-sensitive gut. Thank you so much!!

  • Bebe says:

    This sounds yummy. I have to avoid nightshades but love the idea of fries. Do you think sweet potatoes would work? It seems like 8 hours in the slow cooker would make them awfully soft and ‘untossable’. Or does chilling them firm them back up?

    • Start with 6 hours for sweet potatoes — it really depends on their size, so keep an eye on them. For small ones, I’d even go 4 hours then check… you want them tender, but not mushy.

  • Lulu says:

    Would you cook the potatoes in the crockpot on low for 8 hours?
    Thanks so much for sharing, looks delicious.

    • Yes—sorry I left that out of the recipe! It’s low for 8-10 hours for large potatoes. If your spuds are on the smaller side, check them at 6 hours. If they’re really soft when you take them out of the slow cooker, pop them in the fridge or freezer to chill—that will make them easier to cut into fries. Enjoy!

  • Shelly says:

    This is so delicious!! The spice mixture on the meat tastes wonderfully exotic and it’s so fresh over the potatoes and veggies with the cilantro. Super winner of a meal, thank you!!!

  • Lauren says:

    Could one cook the potatoes in a pressure cooker (instant pot) instead? If so, how much time would you recommend? Thanks!!

  • Pam says:

    I recently convinced my husband to cook dinner every Monday, as I am home late from work. Last week, he made this recipe and I could not believe how good it was, I could eat this EVERY DAY! He said he thought about leaving out the nuts, but we both agreed the nuts were what made the dish! Thanks! I think this is my favorite Well Fed recipe so far!!!!

    • I love this Monday plan you’ve cooked up! What a great idea! And yeah, the Nigerian beef is a little addictive. FYI: I’ve made it without the nuts, too, and it’s still really great. Happy cooking to you both!

  • Michele McInnis says:

    Hi Mel!

    Can you fill up the slow cooker with potatoes for a big cook up or is it a “single layer of potatoes on the bottom for best results” kind of thing? Thank you!

  • Jenny Welsh says:

    How big of a deal is the cut of beef? Could I use round steak? I’m a very very novice cooler hence asking.

  • Laura says:

    This looks so yummmy that I WILL be making it soon. We have almost 1 year in the RV now and your books are the only cookbooks I have. I just re-read all of the beginning of your first book. You were hoping to live in Prague one day!!

    • Wow! A year in your RV—that is huge! Are you enjoying it? I’m so happy that Well Fed is going along on your adventures. And yes, it’s very sweet to me to read the words I wrote in 2010 and see that we were able to make it happen. Hugs!

  • Maggie Cain says:

    This meal was a huge hit for my family, but the meat got tough in the warmer as I had to wait a long time for the fries to brown (almost a half hour instead of 10 minutes). I think next time I’ll leave out the parchment paper as it can impede caramelization. Maybe my potatoes weren’t cooked through and that was the issue? Anyway, we loved it, so easy and quick, thanks!