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This chickpea curry is the ultimate healthy and easy weeknight dinner! It’s done in 20 minutes, totally plant based, and full of flavor.

Easy Chickpea Curry
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Everyone is always asking for easy weeknight dinners. Guess what: so are we! Even though we love to cook, there are always nights where Alex and I need to get dinner on the table fast. The two of us are always experimenting and on the lookout for the best concepts for quick and simple dinner recipes. So we present: our new favorite easy weeknight dinner: this chickpea curry! It takes only about 20 minutes to make! Warm spices and coconut milk make it one the most tastiest things you can make in that short time window—hands down.

Other great curry recipes? Quick Vegan Curry, Vegetable Curry, Butternut Squash Curry, or Lentil Curry.

Chickpea curry recipe

Why it’s the best chickpea curry recipe

This chickpea curry is made for weeknights. That is: it’s 100% designed to get dinner on the table fast. At the same time, there are no shortcuts. You’ll saute real onion, garlic and fresh ginger, then add tomatoes, chickpeas and coconut milk to make a thick sauce. The way it comes together, you’ll be hooked on it as a go-to fast dinner. Here’s why this is the best chickpea curry for weeknights:

  • It takes about 20 minutes to make. Of course, this depends on your ability to chop a few veggies quickly. But the cook time is only 12 minutes, making this a super fast meal!
  • It’s a healthy dinner full of plant-based protein. Chickpeas and spinach bring loads of nutrients, along with the veggie-based sauce. It makes for a filling, healthy dinner.
  • It’s got big flavor. Onion, garlic and ginger make an aromatic base, and cumin, coriander and curry powder put it over the top. It’s got a swirl of coconut milk at the end for creamy body.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes shortcut the cook time. This type of tomatoes tastes sweet right out of the can, so it shortcuts some of the cook time.

Need a sub for coconut milk in this curry? See all our best ideas!

Weeknight chickpea curry

Is this an authentic Indian curry?

Is this chickpea curry authentic Indian cuisine? It’s actually similar to chana masala, the traditional Indian curried chickpeas. While this isn’t a 100% authentic Indian curry recipe, it uses the flavors of Indian cuisine to make a fast weeknight dinner.

If you’d like an authentic Indian dinner recipe, head to our Masoor Dal (Indian Red Lentils). This recipe was shared with us directly from Asma Khan, an Indian chef with a popular restaurant in London. You’ll love these creamy flavorful lentils, and you can serve with basmati rice as well! Another great resource for authentic Indian recipes is chef and author Madhur Jaffrey.

Easy weeknight dinner

What to serve with chickpea curry

How to serve this weeknight chickpea curry? We like it with long-grain basmati rice. Here’s what we’d suggest for serving:

  • Basmati rice: Here’s our method for how to cook brown or white basmati rice: white takes about 15 minutes total and brown takes about 20 to 25 minutes. Brown rice is a bit more nutrient dense than white rice, which is why we like to take the extra time when we have it. You can also make Instant Pot Basmati Rice.
  • Naan bread: If you’re in a rush, store-bought naan bread is a great quick side dish for this chickpea curry. Or, try our homemade Garlic Naan or Vegan Naan.

What else do you like to serve with curry? Let us know in the comments below.

What if I can’t find fire roasted tomatoes?

Fire roasted tomatoes are key in this recipe, because of their sweet flavor right out of the can. These tomatoes have been charred over an open fire, then canned. Other tomato varieties can taste bitter out of the can, and need to be cooked for longer.

Want to order them online? If you love online shopping like we do, here’s a link to buy Fire Roasted Tomatoes on Amazon.

If you can’t find fire roasted tomatoes for this recipe, you can substitute any high quality variety of canned tomatoes. You may find you have to cook the sauce a little longer to remove the bitterness. Take a taste before you add the coconut milk at the end, and see if it needs a little extra love. In this recipe, there’s a lot going on flavor-wise, so you may be ok with the cook time as printed depending on the quality of tomatoes you use.

Fast dinner recipe

Do kids like curry?

Our son Larson is 2 years old, and Alex and I have made it our goal to expose him to lots of flavors! He’s very open minded about foods, but when things have lots of spices he sometimes says that it’s too “spicy”. When we served him this chickpea curry, I was wondering how he’d like it. I could see the “spicy” comment being prepped and ready in his mind.

But he took one bite and said, “It’s good!” Then he proceeded to eat an entire bowl of this chickpea curry with some basmati rice on the side. So, we can’t speak for your children, but ours absolutely loved it!

More easy weeknight dinners

If you’re in the market for easy and healthy weeknight dinners (like we are!), we’ve got many ideas on this website! But here are a few of our top recipes for when we’re in a rush on a weeknight. Since we have a 2-year-old, they have been tested on him and are absolutely family friendly.

  • Epic 5 Minute Tacos: One of our favorite quick dinners is this 5 Minute Tacos recipe! Featuring spiced eggs that taste like meat (we call them “chorizo eggs”) and topped with quick toppings.
  • Easy Creamy Gnocchi: This is basically gourmet fast mac and cheese, made with just Pecorino Romano cheese, butter and pepper. With doughy gnocchi dumplings, it’s to die for.
  • Cilantro Lime Shrimp: This 10-minute recipe pairs with rice, chips and salsa, or guacamole to make a fast and easy dinner. Or throw it on a salad!

This chickpea curry recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Easy Chickpea Curry

Easy Chickpea Curry

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4.8 from 20 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x


This chickpea curry is the ultimate healthy and easy weeknight dinner! It’s done in 20 minutes, totally plant based, and full of flavor.


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves (or chopped spinach)
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • ½ cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • White or brown basmati rice, to serve


  1. If you’re serving with rice, start the basmati rice.
  2. Mince the onion. Mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger (or grate it). Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spinach and saute for 2 minutes until the spinach is fully wilted.
  4. Carefully pour in the tomatoes, then add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes until bubbly.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk until fully combined, then remove from the heat. Serve with basmati rice.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian Inspired

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Martina Gannon says:

    What can I substitute for coconut milk please?
    Many thanks

  2. Patty Asbeck says:

    This recipe is a winner! Even my husband who was doubtful loved it! Even without ginger, which I didn’t have, it was super delicious! This has earned a place on my meal rotation!!!

  3. Jan G. says:

    Hi Sonja & Alex, What kind of coconut milk do you use for this recipe? The kind in a can or the kind you can drink that comes in a carton? I would love to make this recipe!! It sounds perfect for dinner and for my husband’s lunches.

    1. Great questions Jan! This would be the kind in the can: full fat canned coconut milk! Thank you so much for asking and we’ve clarified this in the recipe.

  4. Mary Hagee says:

    This is such a delicious recipe! It’s the 2nd time I’ve made it on the 21 day Daniel fast and it’s going to be part of our rotation now. Thank you!!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad to hear it!

  5. IBecky says:

    I made this tonight and it was so delicious! I’ve been looking for more vegetarian meal options and this was a hit! I served in on Basmati rice.
    Any suggestions for a side dish if this were the main dish? I need to serve 10 people during the holidays and want to offer other dishes to accompany this. Thanks!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! Great question. We’d serve with rice — you could also add flatbread or naan (linked to our recipe). You could also add some frozen samosas! We also have some fun holiday side dishes here.

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