This sweet potato curry recipe with chickpeas makes an irresistible healthy dinner! It stars luscious coconut milk and Thai curry paste.

Sweet potato curry

When it comes to healthy recipes, here’s a plant-based dinner that’s just as satisfying as a margherita pizza or chili cheese fries (we think). Try this Sweet Potato Curry! Tender sweet potatoes and bell peppers swim in a luscious broth of coconut milk and Thai curry paste, topped with fresh cilantro and crunchy peanuts. There’s so much flavor going on, you’ll want to take another bite before you’re finished savoring the first. Welcome to: your easy weeknight dinner soulmate!

The origin of curry

What’s the origin of a curry? The word “curry” is a Western invention to poorly describe the nuance of what colonizers observed in foreign cuisines (see Bon Appetit). Today, the term is pretty broad: it’s used to describe any dish with a spiced sauce and meat or vegetables, often eaten with rice or flatbread. It’s made in many countries with varying flavor profiles, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Nigeria, England and more.

This recipe is loosely based on a Thai or Southeast Asian-style red curry using red curry paste and coconut milk. After traveling in Southeast Asia, we fell in love with the flavors of ginger, garlic, galangal, lime and lemongrass. Sweet potato and chickpeas aren’t traditional ingredients in this type of curry (though pumpkin is); so this is a non-traditional spin on the concept.

Sweet Potato Curry

Ingredients in this sweet potato curry recipe

This sweet potato curry is a fantastic easy dinner recipe that makes vegetables taste irresistibly rich and nuanced. The broth uses the shortcut of curry paste to infuse massive flavor into each bite. Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Sweet potato: find medium-sized orange sweet potatoes
  • Yellow onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Red curry paste: we like Thai Kitchen brand because it’s flavorful yet not too spicy! See below for more notes
  • Coconut milk: Use only full-fat or regular here for the right richness and body
  • Peanut butter
  • Lime juice (optional)
  • Olive oil
Curry Paste
The Thai Kitchen brand is flavorful yet mild on the heat spectrum

Red curry paste: what to know

Red curry paste is a shortcut for Western kitchens, not an authentic ingredient: it’s a jarred paste that takes all the flavor of a Thai curry and concentrates it! Curry paste is made with chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, cumin, coriander, and more. It brings a massive amount of flavor and lasts for months in the fridge. A few notes on this ingredient:

  • The heat level varies based on the brand. We like Thai kitchen curry paste because it’s very mild (and works for our 4-year old!). There are many great brands to try: just make sure to taste your curry paste and if it’s very spicy, use a little less than the recipe specifies.
  • Find it near the Thai products in most grocery stores. It keeps for months in the refrigerator. You can also buy it online: Thai Kitchen red curry paste.
Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

Ways to serve sweet potato curry

This sweet potato curry is a Southeast Asian-style curry, so it’s best served with rice. (Reserve naan for an Indian-style curry.) That makes it a vegan and gluten-free dinner recipe that’s packed with flavor. Here are the best styles of rice to serve alongside:

More curry recipes

We could eat curry every night of the week! Here are a few more tasty curry recipes:

This sweet potato curry recipe is…

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

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Sweet potato curry

Sweet Potato Curry


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This sweet potato curry recipe with chickpeas makes an irresistible healthy dinner! It stars luscious coconut milk and Thai curry paste.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), unpeeled or peeled and diced into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (we like Thai Kitchen brand)*
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups baby spinach or chopped spinach
  • ½ tablespoon lime juice, to finish (optional)
  • Crushed peanuts and torn fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • To serve: jasmine rice or basmati rice

Instructions

  1. If serving with rice, start the jasmine rice or basmati rice.
  2. Chop the onion, sweet potato, garlic, and bell pepper as noted above.
  3. In a large skillet, pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sweet potato and sauté for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper and sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add the chickpeas (drained and rinsed), coconut milk, curry paste, peanut butter, 1 cup water and the kosher salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add the spinach and lime juice and cook until the spinach wilts, about 1 minute.
  6. Garnish with crushed peanuts and torn cilantro. Serve immediately with rice. Leftovers store up to 3 days refrigerated, or 2 months frozen.

Notes

*The heat level for red curry pastes varies based on the brand. The brand we like, Thai Kitchen, is very mild. Taste your curry paste beforehand and add a little less if you’re worried about the heat level.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Curry
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Sweet potato curry, sweet potato chickpea curry

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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6 Comments

  1. I am so excited to try this! I have some extra shallots so I might use those instead of onions. Curious if a slow cooker version would work?

  2. This sweet potato curry dish was amazing & super easy to make!! Thank you for the vegan love.

  3. This was hands down amazing. I have been trying to find good vegan comfort food and wanted to try this recipe. Definitely add the cilantro, it makes a difference. :)