This is the best and easiest Chickpea Curry, made in 20 minutes! Creamy, flavor packed and full of plant protein, this will become one of your go-to dinners when you barely have time to cook. Vegan and gluten free.

chickpea curry in a white bowl with rice.

This Chickpea Curry has become one of my favorite meals. It’s super quick to make and packed with flavor! Chickpeas make a wonderful base for curry because they are ready immediately, and they are full of plant fiber and protein.

You might also enjoy Vegan Thai Red Curry, Roasted Eggplant Curry or Easy Vegan Curry.

The flavor in this dish is quite mild, depending on what brand of curry paste you use, and totally customizable. Add cayenne pepper or hot sauce to make it spicier, serve with white or brown rice, or even quinoa, add sweet potatoes, cauliflower, spinach, or use light coconut milk. The possibilities are endless depending on your preferences and what you have on hand!

Kid friendly tip: Try serving curry with Easy Vegan Naan! They can dip the naan in the curry and it just makes the meal a lot more fun for them. You can also buy vegan naan at Trader Joe’s if you don’t have time to make it from scratch.

close up of curried chickpeas, creamy in a bowl

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Mild Curry Paste – this is where most of the flavor comes from, so make sure to use a quality vegan brand you like. I love Patak’s Curry Paste, and can find it at most stores. If you need to, substitute 2 teaspoons garam masala and 1-2 teaspoons curry powder.
  • Full fat coconut milk – May substitute light coconut milk if needed. Cashew cream works as well for a coconut free option, or you can even use unsweetened plant milk such as soy or almond.
  • Chickpeas – The recipe is based on chickpeas, but you could substitute tofu, or a variety of vegetables/sweet potatoes instead.
  • Lime juice – from 1/2 a lime, plus lime wedges for serving
  • Salt
  • Sugar – just a teaspoon which brings out the flavors in the curry.
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh basil – could substitute baby spinach or kale.

How do you make Chickpea Curry?

  1. Get out your curry paste. I use Patak’s Mild Curry Paste. It’s a shortcut to making a delicious curry without much work.
  2. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat, then sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry paste and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  3. Now add the coconut milk and drained/rinsed chickpeas. Stir, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. To finish, stir in the lime juice, salt to taste, sugar and chopped fresh basil.

collage of how to make curry with chickpeas

Can I add more vegetables?

Yes, I often add whatever other veggies I have on hand to this dish. Add heartier vegetables such as diced sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, zucchini or cauliflower when you add the chickpeas and coconut milk. Simmer until the veggies are tender.

Or add a few handfuls of baby spinach or kale at the very end and stir in until wilted. Kale will take a few more minutes to soften than spinach.

Can I make it in a slow cooker or Instant Pot?

Yes, and I have included instructions for both!

  • Slow cooker: In a separate pan on the stovetop, sauté the onion, then garlic and curry paste in olive oil. Transfer to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients (except the lime juice, salt, sugar, tomatoes and basil) and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours. Then stir in the remaining ingredients and serve.
  • Instant Pot: Use the sauté feature to cook the onion, then garlic and curry paste. Add the coconut milk and chickpeas, set to high pressure, seal and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully release pressure, open the lid, add remaining ingredients and serve.

white bowl filled with rice and chickpea curry with tomatoes and basil

What to serve with chickpea curry

  • Serve with brown rice, white rice or even quinoa.
  • Naan is wonderful alongside this curry, as there is plenty of creamy sauce for dipping.
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges and hot sauce are good for serving as well.

How to store and reheat leftovers

This is a great meal prep recipe, as it keeps for 4-5 days in the refrigerator and reheats well. I prefer storing leftovers in glass containers if possible, then reheat either in the microwave until warm or on the stovetop in a pot.

Chickpea curry can also be frozen, then thawed and reheated on the stovetop (or microwave).

Want more quick and easy dinner recipes?

side shot of a bowl of creamy beans with another bowl in background

square image of a bowl of chickpeas and rice with creamy sauce

Chickpea Curry

This is the best and easiest Chickpea Curry, made in 20 minutes! Creamy, flavor packed and full of plant protein, this will become one of your go-to dinners when you barely have time to cook.
5 from 6 votes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil

For Serving:

  • 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • lime wedges, chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry paste and stir, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lime juice, salt to taste, sugar, tomatoes and chopped basil.
  • Serve with rice and/or Easy Vegan Naan. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. You may use full fat or light coconut milk here. Full fat coconut milk will obviously make the dish creamier and richer, but both are good options. Or sub cashew cream, or even a plant based unsweetened milk, such as cashew or soy milk.
  2. The kind of curry paste you use will make all the difference here, so make sure to use a good quality brand. I love Patak's Mild Curry Paste.
  3. Don't have curry paste? Substitute 2 teaspoons garam masala and 1-2 teaspoons curry powder, and sauté along with the garlic, adding oil if needed to de-glaze the pan.
  4. Add more vegetables: Sometimes I like to add more vegetables, such as diced sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini or broccoli. Add these kinds of vegetables when you add the coconut milk and chickpeas, and cook until tender. Or add a few handfuls of baby spinach or kale at the end of cooking, until they wilt.
  5. Instant Pot: Use the sauté feature to cook the onion, garlic and curry paste, then add the coconut milk and chickpeas. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes, then carefully release any pressure, stir in the remaining ingredients and serve.
  6. Slow cooker: In a pan on the stove, sauté the onion, garlic and curry paste. Then transfer to a slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours.
  7. It will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator, and freezes well.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 197kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 4mg, Potassium: 108mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1181IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 1mg

*This recipe was last updated August 15th, 2020 with better writing and instructions. It was first published July 2019.

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