Quick Vegan Curry

This vegan curry recipe is full of healthy vegetables and big flavor: and it takes under 25 minutes! The perfect fast and easy dinner. We’re always on the lookout for fast flavorful dinners, and this one is now regular rotation. Try this quick Vegan Curry! Here, coconut milk and curry powder make healthy vegetables taste like a decadent treat. And, it takes under 25 minutes to whip up! It’s an ode to the simplicity of plant-based ingredients and great seasoning. This spin on our chickpea curry has even more veggies and nutrients without affecting the overall cook time…which is crucial on weeknights, in our book. It comes out so delicious in such a short time: you’ll feel like a kitchen magician. What’s a curry, anyway? Curry is a pretty loose term. Per Bon Appetit, it was a word used by colonizers to simplify what they saw in foreign cuisines. Today, the word “curry” usually describes a dish with a spiced sauce and meat or vegetables, often eaten with rice or flatbread like naan. The dish is made in many countries, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and England. Keep in mind that curry powder is a Western invention! Curry powder takes […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This vegan curry recipe is full of healthy vegetables and big flavor: and it takes under 25 minutes! The perfect fast and easy dinner.

Vegan curry

We’re always on the lookout for fast flavorful dinners, and this one is now regular rotation. Try this quick Vegan Curry! Here, coconut milk and curry powder make healthy vegetables taste like a decadent treat. And, it takes under 25 minutes to whip up! It’s an ode to the simplicity of plant-based ingredients and great seasoning. This spin on our chickpea curry has even more veggies and nutrients without affecting the overall cook time…which is crucial on weeknights, in our book. It comes out so delicious in such a short time: you’ll feel like a kitchen magician.

What’s a curry, anyway?

Curry is a pretty loose term. Per Bon Appetit, it was a word used by colonizers to simplify what they saw in foreign cuisines. Today, the word “curry” usually describes a dish with a spiced sauce and meat or vegetables, often eaten with rice or flatbread like naan. The dish is made in many countries, including India, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and England.

Keep in mind that curry powder is a Western invention! Curry powder takes the common spices of Indian curries and packages them into a spice blend. Authentic Indian spices are mixed up by the cook and vary based on the region and household.

Vegan curry recipe

Looking for an authentic Indian 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.

Ingredients in this vegan curry recipe

Making a curry is not part of our cultural heritage; it’s an ode to the flavors and techniques of an Indian-style tomato based curry! We hope you’ll find it’s a great way to eat lots of veggies…fast! Here’s what you’ll need to make this curry in a hurry:

  • Yellow onion
  • Bell pepper: A medium red bell pepper provides 169% of your daily vitamin C (source), so we’re always sneaking peppers into our recipes!
  • Garlic
  • Fresh ginger
  • Spinach
  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas add plant-based protein, helping this dish stay filling
  • Peas: Peas are also legumes and add a hit of plant-based protein
  • Olive oil
  • Fire roasted tomatoes
  • Curry powder and cumin
  • Coconut milk: While many Indian curries use dairy, some use coconut milk for creaminess, which is perfect for a vegan curry
Vegan curry

Fire roasted tomatoes…and a substitute

Canned fire roasted tomatoes are one of our secrets for quick dinners. Why? These tomatoes are charred over an open flame, making their flavor taste sweeter right out of the can. Ever tried some tomatoes that taste metallic or bitter out of the can? Fire roasted tomatoes solve that problem. They’re a type of tomato, not a brand, and you can find them in many grocery stores in the US these days.

Can’t find fire roasted tomatoes? No problem! Just use the best quality crushed tomatoes you can find. One thing we’ve found in making this vegan curry is that some brands of crushed tomatoes can be very thick. If your tomatoes are very thick, just stir in a little more coconut milk after simmering to balance out the sauce.

Serve with rice or other grains

This quick vegan curry is best served with rice or another whole grain! We like it with basmati rice, a long grain rice with an aromatic flavor that’s traditionally grown in India and the surrounding countries (Pakistan, Nepal, etc). Because of that, it’s best paired with Indian-style curries (whereas Thai curries are great with jasmine rice).

Of course, you can serve this curry with any whole grain you’d like! If you want to stray away from rice, there are lots of rice substitutes. Try quinoa, cauliflower rice, or even lentil rice (we get ours online).

Vegan curry

Another side to pair with a vegan curry

This vegan curry is so filling, you might not need a side dish! But if you’d like another side, naan bread is a nice side for an Indian-inspired curry. You can easily find packaged naan bread at the grocery, but often it’s not vegan. If you prefer, you can make our Vegan Naan Bread: it’s warm, soft and full of garlic flavor.

Make ahead and storage info

Can you make this quick vegan curry ahead? Yes! To meal prep, you can easily make it 1 day in advance and refrigerate until serving. Then just reheat it gently in a skillet, being sure not to overheat it so that the sauce doesn’t evaporate. Leftovers stay good for about 3 days in the refrigerator.

Or, you can make the rice in advance if you’re serving with rice! This is especially helpful with brown rice, which takes up to 40 minutes to make. To reheat the rice, place it in a pan on the stovetop and add a splash of water. Heat gently for a few minutes until the water evaporates and the rice is warmed through.

Vegan curry recipe

More curry recipes

This quick vegan curry is a favorite of ours that we make on the regular! Here are a few more great curry recipes we love:

This vegan curry recipe is…

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

Print
Vegan curry

Quick Vegan Curry


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This vegan curry recipe is full of healthy vegetables and big flavor: and it takes under 25 minutes! The perfect fast and easy dinner.


Ingredients

  • White or brown basmati rice, to serve*
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 medium bell peppers (we used 1 yellow and 1 orange)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves (or chopped spinach)
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)**
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or garam masala)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice: If serving with rice, start the basmati rice (or use an Instant Pot.)
  2. Prep the vegetables: Dice the onion and bell peppers. (For super speed, you can go to Step 3 and mince the garlic and ginger while they cook.) Mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger (or grate it).
  3. Saute the veggies: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and peppers saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spinach and saute for 2 minutes until the spinach is fully wilted.
  4. Simmer: Carefully pour in the crushed tomatoes and their juices, then add the curry powder, cumin, salt, chickpeas, peas, and coconut milk. Cook for 5 minutes until bubbly. Remove from the heat. If desired, stir in a little more coconut milk (depending on the tomato brand*). Serve with rice.

Notes

*Or make the rice in advance, which is helpful for brown rice because it takes longer to cook. To reheat the rice, place it in a pan on the stovetop and add a splash of water. Heat gently for a few minutes until the water evaporates and the rice is warmed through.

**Fire roasted tomatoes are a special type of canned tomato that’s become widely available at most grocery stores. If you can’t find them, use the best quality tomatoes you can. All brands vary widely: we’ve found that some can be rather thick, so in that case we stir in a little more coconut milk at the end.

  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian inspired

Keywords: Vegan curry

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Weeknight 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. 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 easy 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. 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 […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes

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 easy 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.

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 healthy, filling plant based 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.
Weeknight chickpea curry

Is this an authentic Indian curry?

This this weeknight 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, 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.
  • Naan bread: If you’re in a rush, store-bought naan bread is a great quick side dish for this chickpea curry.

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.

This chickpea curry recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.
(PS Need a substitute for coconut milk in this curry?)

Print
Easy Chickpea Curry

Weeknight Chickpea Curry


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.71 out of 5)

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

Description

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


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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).
  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

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, Vegetarian Recipes