Easy Chickpea Curry

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

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 variety 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

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (353 votes, average: 3.90 out of 5)

  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup 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

Keywords: Chickpea Curry

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    November 6, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    This was super fast to make and really tasty! I didn’t have cans of tomatoes by I had a jar of passata so I used that instead and cooked it a little longer. Perfect for a weeknight dinner.

  • Reply
    Paige L Gerig
    November 11, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    This meal is so quick and easy to make and is absolutely DELICIOUS! I can’t believe I made this myself- it tastes like I got takeout. I used ginger spice and minced garlic in a jar instead of fresh which helped me make this a little quicker. I also bought a microwaveable steam bag of basmati rice. This will definitely be a new staple for me!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 11, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  • Reply
    November 24, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Just made this for dinner! Going to add it to my quick favorites because this was perfect for wanting something delicious but also simple.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 24, 2019 at 8:01 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2019 at 1:44 am

    This was so quick and delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Do you need to drain the chickpeas?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 13, 2020 at 8:55 am

      Yes! Recipe updated.

  • Reply
    February 13, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Love this recipe! I made this last night and my husband said it was very tasty!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 13, 2020 at 11:48 am

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Amber Grove
    February 17, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    Made this for my family and it is a hit! This is now my go-to need dinner fast recipe. THANK YOU. I boosted the coconut milk (3/4 can), 2 tbsp. curry and added 1/2 head of chopped cauliflower. THANK YOU FOR THIS WONDERFUL, VEGETARIAN, FAST recipe.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 17, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      So glad you nejoyed!

  • Reply
    February 17, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    this is really good I used kale, so yummy

  • Reply
    March 21, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Wow – so easy and delicious!! One question – if we wanted to add heat to the dish how would we do that?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 21, 2020 at 9:11 pm

      I would go with an 1/8th teaspoon cayenne pepper and work your way up from there.

  • Reply
    March 24, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Giving this a try for dinner tonight. It looks and smells delicious! what should I substitute for coconut milk? Thanks,

  • Reply
    April 4, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe! Good to have bean recipes for #Stayathome.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Hello, I couldn’t find curry powder at my small local grocery store. I do have red and green curry paste. Any recommendations on how to substitute that in? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      April 15, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      A tablespoon of red curry paste would be delish!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    I tried this with 2 cups of oat milk instead of coconut milk since I didn’t have any. It was still very good!

  • Reply
    April 23, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    Hi! I made this recipe cause I was craving something comforting and it was so good!! My favorite quarantine meal :) I’m also 16 and not the best at cooking but it was really easy to make! Thanks for the recipe

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      April 23, 2020 at 9:35 pm

      Love this! So glad you enjoyed :)

  • Reply
    April 26, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    Loved this quick, easy, and delicious meal! Next time I’ll make the garlic naan to accompany it. Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    May 8, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    This was fantastic! I could eat this once a week, easily! Also easy to have all the ingredients in the pantry.

  • Reply
    June 16, 2020 at 4:38 am

    This is absolutely amazing! I precook for my family and this is the first recipe that everyone loves. My mom and daughter are funny about textures and didn’t care for the chickpeas, so I made a batch without. I can’t wait to try this over gluten free pasta.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      June 16, 2020 at 9:39 am

      So glad you enjoyed it :)

  • Reply
    June 17, 2020 at 12:18 am

    Wow just made this. So flavorful and yummy!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Hello! I have frozen chopped spinach. How can I best use this please? Should I thaw it or just mix it right in? So excited to try this.

    Thank you

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      July 5, 2020 at 8:16 pm

      Hi! I’d thaw it first. Hope you enjoy :)

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      July 5, 2020 at 8:46 pm

      We’d thaw the frozen spinach in warm water and squeeze it dry before adding to the curry. Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    I love this recipe- so easy, so quick and so healthy! It’s become one of my weekly go- tos! My 20 month old loves it too! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      July 14, 2020 at 5:36 pm

      So glad you enjoyed

  • Reply
    July 14, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    No to mention it is delicious!

  • Reply
    Esther L Bergling
    July 16, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    This was my first attempt at curry. Recipe was simple and straightforward. I did, against I’m sure other’s opinion, a 1/8 tsp or so of brown sugar to offset the tartness of tomatoes…turned out delish..even my hubby, the majority meat eater enjoyed!

  • Reply
    Mary Circo
    August 5, 2020 at 1:18 am

    Absolutely delicious! Have a question please – I used canned chickpeas and drained it but they were still pretty firm even after I let it cook for 15-20 minutes longer. Any ideas?


    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      August 5, 2020 at 9:30 am

      Hi Mary! We’re a little stumped on this one…canned chickpeas are already cooked, so they should be perfectly tender right out of the can! Maybe you got a brand that’s more firm? We suggest trying out a few new brands and taste them right out of the can: they should be fully cooked through when you buy them canned.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Is that a cilantro garnish, or parsley?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 7, 2020 at 10:57 am


  • Reply
    October 20, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    So good! I loved it with less coconut milk but that’s just me! Perfect and simple recipe. Thank you!!

  • Reply
    November 13, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Love this recipe! To double it, should I just multiply everything by two, including spices and chickpeas, etc? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 13, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      Yes, that will work for this one.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Oh my goodness; how can this be so yummy? Wow, just amazingly delicious, in every way. In fact, every recipe on your site is so freaking great!! This is one of my all time favorite food blogs/sites. Plus you two are such a cute couple :) Thank you, thank you for all the superb meals I’ve been making!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      November 19, 2020 at 11:18 am

      Haha! You’re welcome.

  • Reply
    December 18, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    For the calories, it’s it just the chickpea or rice included?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      December 21, 2020 at 10:10 am

      Just for the curry on this one.

  • Reply
    Miss A Nakhuda
    December 26, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    Subbed fire tomatoes for regular crushed toms, had neither spinach nor ginger, but still surprisingly turned out lovely- and I am Indian. Thanks, will make again.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      December 28, 2020 at 10:42 am

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Michaela Irwin
    December 28, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    This is absolutely delicious! I love chickpeas and this is a great way to showcase them. I did not have any spinach on hand, but promptly added to my grocery list for the next batch. I did add some cauliflower and a pinch of red pepper for some heat. Can’t wait to take this to work for my lunch. I skipped the rice and ate it with a piece of Naan bread. So yummy and comforting.

  • Reply
    M Spell
    January 6, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    So delicious! Can’t wait to make it again! Just passed on the recipe to many friends! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 7, 2021 at 9:45 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

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