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

brown rimmed bowl on white background with creamy chickpeas, rice, naan and chopped cilantro

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, plus they’re full of plant fiber and protein.

Just like my Chickpea Tikka Masala, this coconut chickpea curry recipe uses canned full fat coconut milk for a creamy curry sauce. And it’s ready in 20 minutes or less!

If you love flavorful curry recipes, make sure to also check out my Roasted Eggplant Curry with Chickpeas and my popular Vegan Butter Chicken.

speckled bowl filled with rice, chickpea curry, cilantro, a lime and naan on greyish background

Why you’ll love this coconut chickpea curry

  • Super simple and quick to make: This chickpea curry recipe is foolproof to make and ready in 20 minutes.
  • Flavor packed: Seriously, you will think you picked this up from a restaurant, it’s so flavorful and perfectly spiced!
  • It uses pantry staples: You probably have everything you need in your pantry right now! Always keep the ingredients on hand for a quick, delicious dinner.
  • Full of plant protein and fiber: Sure, it tastes incredible but it’s also good for you! Full of protein and fiber, this is a meal you can feel good about. (Not that I think you should ever feel bad about anything you eat! 😉)
ingredients for chickpea curry labeled on white background

Ingredients needed (with substitutions)

  • Olive oil – For sautéing, you only need a few tablespoons.
  • Onion – A yellow or sweet onion sliced or chopped is perfect.
  • Garlic – About 3 cloves minced. Use pre-minced garlic in a jar to skip peeling and chop it yourself! Fresh always tastes better.
  • Mild curry paste – My favorite is Patak’s Mild Curry Paste. It has mellow Indian-inspired spices and adds so much flavor and depth to this curry. May sub with dried spices instead (see recipe or text below -FAQs section).
  • Crushed tomatoes – They not only add a dimension of flavor but they also thicken the curry sauce. Tomato sauce or diced tomatoes will work as well, but I prefer crushed. If you don’t want to use tomatoes, pumpkin puree will also work for a slightly different flavor.
  • Coconut milk – Full fat canned coconut milk is best here for a creamy vegan chickpea curry. May also sub cashew cream or light coconut milk.
  • Chickpeas – I use canned, but you can use from scratch cooked beans as well. Of course you could go a different direction and substitute pan fried tofu or cauliflower.
  • Lime juice – Adds a pop of flavor that would be missed! Make sure to use fresh.
  • Sugar – Just a teaspoon, to bring out the flavors in the curry.
  • Salt – To taste.
  • Baby spinach – Optional, but an easy way to add some dark leafy greens to your meal. Feel free to add other vegetables, such as chopped kale, cauliflower florets or sweet potatoes.

How to make chickpea curry

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Sauté the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and curry paste and stir, cooking for a minute or two.

onions and garlic being stir fried in a pot with a wooden spoon

Add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often.

white cream being added to a pot with chickpeas and onions in a reddish sauce

Lastly, stir in the lime juice, sugar, salt and spinach. Cook until the spinach wilts. That’s it! Serve with rice or quinoa.

spinach being added to a pot of chickpeas and onions in a tomato sauce

Meal prep idea

This is the perfect meal prep recipe, because it lasts for several days and reheats well. Divide into containers with rice and refrigerate for 4-5 days. When it’s time to eat, simply reheat in the microwave until warm. Alternatively, warm on the stovetop in a small pan.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Is chickpea curry the same as chana masala? This curry is not the same as chana masala, which is an authentic Indian dish consisting of chickpeas in a heavily spiced tomato sauce. My easy coconut chickpea curry is inspired by Indian flavors, but is different than chana masala because it has coconut milk, making it rich and creamy.
  2. Can I used homemade chickpeas? Of course! I just use canned beans for convenience, but if you love to cook beans from scratch at home, go for it!
  3. What can I use instead of curry paste? I love curry paste in this particular recipe, but if you must use dried spices, you can. I suggest 2 teaspoons garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
  4. Can I make chickpea curry in the Instant Pot? Yes. Sauté the onion, garlic and curry paste in the inner pot first, then add the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Do a manual release, carefully, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
  5. How about a crock pot? Sure! Cook for 7 hours on low or 3-4 on high. Stir in the last ingredients right before it’s done.
  6. Does it freeze well? It freezes very well. Transfer to a freezer friendly ziplock bag or small containers and freeze. To reheat, use the microwave or cook in a small pot until warm.
looking down on a bowl of rice and reddish creamy sauce with chickpeas and a few lime wedges.

Serving suggestions

Serve this easy curry with basmati rice, vegan naan and perhaps another vegetable side, such as steamed kale.

I also like a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro and sometimes some chopped peanuts or cashews on top.

Want more recipes featuring chickpeas

close up of a bowl with creamy tomato chickpeas, white rice and limes
4.89 stars (35 ratings)

Easy Chickpea Curry

This is the best and easiest Chickpea Curry, made in 20 minutes or less! Creamy, flavor packed and full of plant protein, this will become one of your go-to dinners when you barely have time to cook.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced or diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry paste see Notes for options
  • 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • (2) 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach, sliced into ribbons

For Serving

  • 4 cups cooked rice or quinoa
  • lime wedges, chopped cilantro
  • Vegan Naan


  • 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 crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lime juice, sugar, salt to taste and spinach. Cook for a minute until the spinach has wilted.
  • Serve with rice and/or Easy Vegan Naan. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!


  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, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 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.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 533mg | Potassium: 564mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1891IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

*This post was last updated October 2023. It was first published July 2019. The original recipe did not have crushed tomatoes, but after a lot of recipe testing I decided I liked this version better. I also increase the chickpeas to 2 cans and removed the fresh halved cherry tomatoes.

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  1. Absolutely delicious.
    can’t eat coconut milk or cream due to the fats, so I substituted that with plain soy milk and a dash of coconut essence. And I added a cup of sliced cherry tomatoes in place of the crushed tomatoes, added some pumpkin and peas and extra chickpeas!
    Thank you for another phenomenal recipe Nora. We absolutely loved it!

    1. Hi Kath. Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback! I’m glad you were able to adjust the recipe to your needs, and that it was delicious for you!

  2. I came across this recipe while looking for a way to use up some canned chickpeas. It’s pretty good, but I added some much needed extra spice (I didn’t have curry paste, so I used the Garam Masala, Turmeric, and Cayenne Pepper in the amounts listed in your notes)- I think I tripled the amount before I was satisfied with the flavor. I also only used half the can of full fat coconut milk. Even half the can gave it a little bit more liquid than I’d really prefer. Good basis though! I’d have it again (with my modifications). Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The curry paste is what adds a ton of flavor and spice and I very much prefer the recipe with it.

  3. This Easy Chickpea Curry recipe looks absolutely delicious and perfect for a quick and flavorful meal! Chickpeas are not only nutritious but also versatile, making them a fantastic base for curry dishes. The combination of aromatic spices and creamy coconut milk promises a burst of flavor that’s sure to satisfy the taste buds. I can’t wait to try making this curry at home. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  4. This recipe is so good and easy, it will go into our favorite recipe rotation! The only thing we changed was an extra tablespoon of the curry paste! Soooo good! We made your homemade naan recipe to go with it. My husband loved the naan. Thanks, again, Nora, for a winning recipe!

  5. I made this according to the instructions and my family loved it! I used extra spinach and a little heavier on the curry. Served over rainbow quinoa. Delicious!

  6. Incredible! My whole family loved this dish. I cooked chickpeas in microwave for a few minutes prior to using and cooked on stovetop longer because we like our chickpeas softer.

  7. I remember the recipe being a bit different. Can I get the original before the change? They are both tasty. But I’d like the one before the change please😁

    1. Hi Crystal! The only changes I made are in a note underneath the recipe: the original did not have the crushed tomatoes, it did have a cup about halved cherry tomatoes and only 1 can of chickpeas (instead of 2). Otherwise, everything else is the same. Thank you!

  8. Absolutely delicious!!
    I’ve been making this curry for a couple of years. I hadn’t made it in awhile and I was craving Indian food so I pulled up the recipe. I thought it looked different and saw that you had updated it. I loved the original recipe so I wasn’t sure about the update. O…M…G!!l. Better than ever! The crushed tomatoes enhance the flavor. I accidentally used coconut cream instead of coconut milk and really liked the extra creaminess. This is one of my all time favorite recipes of yours. Thanks for creating delicious vegan food that my whole family (non vegan included) enjoys!

    1. I’m so glad you love the updated recipe, I thought it was even better than the original! If you want the original, let me know, I’m happy to share it with you. 🙂

  9. I made this forour family lunch rotation of the week, and it was a banger !
    My father who usually doesn’t like anything plant-based loved it. My mother also was very pleased 🙂
    I used red curry paste because it was already in the fridge and it was the perfect amount of spices. Didn’t have any spinach, used fresh tomato, I added tiny amount of maple syrup instead of sugar and some worcster sauce

    1. Your curry sounds delicious, Matthew! Thanks for your wonderful feedback and review! Good lunch choice – this is one of my favorites!

  10. Wow, so flavorful! This will definitely become a staple recipe in my home. Thank you, again, for another wonderful recipe!

    1. You are very welcome! Thanks for using my recipes! I appreciate you taking time to share your awesome feedback!

  11. Oh my goodness – easy and delicious!! I think alot depends on the curry paste used also. I used my good old favourite and it turned out superbly. This recipe uses items you normally have on hand which, apart from the simplicity is why I loved it. So tasty and fast, though I left mine to reduce and simmer for a while on the stove top. Also added some mashed roasted pumpkin which thickened it also. Loved it, will definitely be making this again. Thankyou for a wonderful easy, fast and tasty recipe! All the way from New Zealand.

    1. Hi Cyndi from New Zealand! So fun! Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback, ideas, and review! I’m thrilled you loved the curry! Happy cooking!

  12. Decided to try this chickpea curry because it looked a *lot* simpler than many of the other chickpea curries that I saw, and it was advertised as the best AND easiest.

    On the plus side, it’s definitely the easiest. It took me 20 minutes (which is surprisingly rare for a 20 minute recipe) and I appreciate there are instructions for Instant Pot / Slow Cooker and that you can throw in other veggies. I made it according to the standard instructions.

    However, the flavor is quite… mild. I went There’s not really the same depth you’d get from a restaurant style curry. Perhaps I should have read the recipe more closely, but the intro said best so I went with it. I could see myself making it again if I need something in a flash but it’s not really worthy of company I think.

    Overall, I’d rate this recipe at three stars. No, it won’t blow you away in terms of flavor. But if you’re looking for an easy, healthy-ish recipe with minimal effort, this could be a good option.

    1. Hi there! I’m sorry you didn’t find this recipe to be flavorful enough, I make it often and think it’s incredibly flavorful. I wonder if you used the curry paste and followed the recipe exactly? If you are looking for more heat, feel free to add some cayenne pepper or use a spicier curry paste. And don’t forget to add salt to taste! Without enough salt, it won’t taste right. Thanks!

  13. I made this to recipe except a couple tweaks because I didn’t have the right ingredients. I used chopped sun dried tomatoes (very good but made it darker) and I only had dried cilantro, so I cooked it with the rice. Herby, aromatic, spicy and delicious! And the tomatoes gave it a little extra texture. Thank you, it is awesome and can’t wait to try it exactly to recipe as well.

    1. Hi Jenna. Thank you for sharing the wonderful details of your curry! It sounds delicious! I appreciate your fabulous feedback and review!

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