Vegan Crockpot Curry Chickpeas Recipe

This is my personal favorite recipe: a vegan version of butter chicken. But since there is neither butter nor chicken in it, the name doesn't make much sense. So we just call it "curry chickpeas" around here. It's rich, creamy and full of flavor. Served over rice or with some flatbread, it's a perfect hot meal when you can't be bothered to do much in the kitchen. Not that I'm a lazy cook or anything.

vegan crockpot chickpea recipe
Here is my latest batch of curry chickpeas, cooking away. Do you like my lovely new teapot?

The key to this dish is replacing the butter with coconut milk. And to be clear, this recipe is calling for the thick, creamy stuff you buy in the cans. I suppose you could sub in a non-dairy milk that comes in a carton, the kind for drinking, but it won't be as thick. If you try this, feel free to leave a comment on how it turns out.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk 
  • 1 14-oz can plain tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (if you like a little heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 small onion, diced up
  • 1 cup chickpeas (soaked or canned)
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 package of firm tofu, cut into chunks

Whisk garlic, coconut milk, tomato sauce and your spices together until it's all nicely combined and blended. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and toss those in with the onion, cauliflower and tofu. Stir so that everything is covered in the liquid, and turn on the slow-cooker (also known as a Crockpot). Let it simmer on low for about 5 hours, and you are ready to serve. I usually start ours right after I eat lunch, and it's ready for dinner. The actual prep time is under 15 minutes. 

If you're serving it over rice, you'll want to get that started about half an hour before you want to eat. Having it with flatbread or naan means you don't really have to do anything at all.

vegan crockpot recipes
It's a hearty and flavorful dish, served over rice for an easy meal

This batch will serve about 4 people, but you may be able to stretch it to 6 if you have lots of rice. It heats up very nicely for leftovers too.

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it doesn't leave me with a ton of mess or trash at the end either. I mix up the sauce right in the crockpot so there are no bowls to wash, and the ingredients leave me with 3 cans for recycling. All I have to throw out is the plastic from the tofu. So it's vegan, gluten-free and environmentally-friendly too.

Using a cup of chickpeas tends to leave you with about half a can leftover. If that ends up leading to waste for you, you can either use the whole can and cut down on the cauliflower for this dish, or maybe use the remaining chickpeas in a small batch of hummus or even a sandwich spread (stay tuned for more recipes on those coming up!)

Oh, you're stuck without a jar of garam masala? Well, that's not good. Thankfully, it's a spice blend you can make up yourself if you have a decent selection of other spices in the cupboard. You'll need these ground spices: 1 tbs cumin, 1 1/2 tsp coriander, 1 1/2 tsp cardamom, 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cloves, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Just stir well, and you have your own homemade garam masala.


  1. My publix has small half-size cans of chickpeas - so I can use that instead and not have to worry about waste. It's just my husband and I, so I'm old hat at finding things like that. This recipe does look delicious, too!

  2. Oh my gosh, this recipe looks so delicious! I can't wait to try it out myself :)

  3. This looks lovely and very easy to make. I will have to give it a go for sure :)


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