overhead photo of a bowl of Chickpea Curry

Unlike the Chicken Pad Thai I attempted to make with jarred Pad Thai Sauce, vermicelli rice noodles, and chopped frozen chicken patties the other night (quarantine has claimed half my brain,) the recipe for healthy coconut Chickpea Curry is fool proof, my friend. FOOL๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป PROOF!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป I felt like a crazed contestant on Chopped whipping up those gloopy, too sweet, chicken patty noodles – grabbing random stuff from the pantry, fridge, and freezer praying they’d work well together (they didn’t) – and lets just say my family firmly axed me from cooking that night. Frozen pizza to the rescue!

Had my chickpea curry recipe been fully developed at that time, I would have undoubtedly started over and whipped it up instead. This gluten free, vegan recipe not only features a luscious, spoon-drink-worthy sauce, but goes from cutting board to table in just 30 minutes.

Close up photo of a bowl of coconut chickpea curry

If making curry feels intimidating, I’m here to show you it isn’t. Like, at all. This recipe comes together in one pan, in under 30 minutes, and you will feel so proud knowing you created the flavors you’re about to taste right at home.

What’s Inside:

Canned chickpeas are simmered in coconut milk flavored with garlic, shallots (or onions), ginger, tomatoes, a wee bit of coconut sugar, plus red curry paste, then simmered until thickened and bubbly. Red curry paste is bottled, edible gold, by the way. No need to grab 10 different spices from the cupboard – red curry paste mixes it all up for you! Finally, chopped spinach is stirred into the skillet, and fresh lime juice is drizzled on top to wake all the flavors up. This is an INCREDIBLE meatless meal that’s quick and easy enough to whip up any night of the week.

Tips for Making This Recipe:

  1. Like I said, this recipe is fool proof. You cannot mess it up. If you don’t like spinach, saute sliced mushrooms in the beginning with the shallots instead. Don’t like either of those? Toss in snow peas, diced cauliflower florets, frozen peas or sweet corn kernels!
  2. I prefer using lite coconut milk in my curries, but if you’ve only got full-fat on hand that’s totally fine too.
  3. This recipe calls for chopped vine-ripened tomatoes but again, use what you’ve got. Sliced grape/cherry tomatoes work well, or even a few big scoops of canned petite-diced tomatoes.
  4. Chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same thing. I use Bush’s garbanzo beans/chickpeas for this recipe.

Bowl of vegan chickpea curry

What is Red Curry Paste Made Of?

Let’s chat a bit more about red curry paste, because up until a few months ago if I saw it called for in a recipe it was a hard pass. Now I know that red curry paste is simply a blend of red chili peppers, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, and other spices. It’s concentrated flavor in a jar and packs a punch. I like Thai Kitchen Red Thai Curry Paste because it’s gluten free, but you can use whatever brand you like. I find it both in my grocery store’s “health market” as well as in the regular Asian foods aisle.

Buffalo Chicken, Bacon and Sweet Potato Noodle Skillet


Buffalo Chicken, Bacon and Sweet Potato Noodle Skillet

Please note that different brands of red curry paste can have different heat levels. Despite this brand having a “3 chili heat rating” I consider it to be mild-medium in heat.

Alright, let’s cook!

How to Make This Recipe:

Start by sauting chopped shallot or onion in coconut oil until it begins to soften.

Next add minced fresh garlic and ginger then saute until extremely fragrant, 2 minutes or so.

Now add a huge THWACK of that yummy red curry paste and saute until it too is extremely fragrant, just a minute or two.

Add chopped vine-ripened tomato then saute until softened, 1-2 minutes. Again, you can really use any kind of tomato you have on hand.

Next, pour in lite coconut milk,ย drained/rinsed canned chickpeas, coconut sugar, and a drizzle of gluten free Tamari (or soy sauce, though the dish will not be GF if using standard soy sauce) then simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Last step is to add chopped baby spinach then simmer until softened.

Followed by a wee drizzle of fresh lime juice to liven everything up.

That’s all she wrote! If you’ve been too intimidated to try making curry at home, I hope I’ve shown you how easy it is to simmer up in a jif. Simple, packed with flavor, and too good to miss out on. I hope you love this easy coconut Chickpea Curry – enjoy!

Healthy chickpea curry in a bowl

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Chickpea Curry

5/5 (5 REVIEWS)


Chickpea Curry is a meatless main that completely satisfies! Gluten free, vegan, and ready in 30 minutes. You'll flip for this dreamy recipe.


serves 4

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1โ€ knob fresh ginger, microplaned or minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Red Thai Curry Paste (see notes)
  • 1 vine ripened tomato, chopped (~1/2 cup)
  • 15oz can lite coconut milk
  • 15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar (optional)
  • drizzle gluten-free Tamari or soy sauce (dish will not be GF if using traditional soy sauce)
  • 4 lightly packed cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges
  • For serving: cooked white rice, freshly chopped cilantro


  1. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and saute until softened then add garlic and ginger and saute until extremely fragrant, 2 minutes. Add red curry paste and saute until extremely fragrant, 2 minutes, then add tomatoes and saute until they begin to break down slightly, 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, chickpeas, coconut sugar (if using), and gluten free Tamari then turn heat up to bring mixture to a bubble. Turn heat down to medium-low then simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes, then add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and stir to combine. Let cool and thicken slightly then scoop into bowls over cooked rice and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with remaining lime wedges.


  • I use Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste and this dish is 4/10 on the heat scale using 3 Tablespoons curry paste as written. Other brands may be spicier or more mild.
  • I typically use lite coconut milk but you may use full-fat if you like.
  • If you don't have a vine-ripened tomato, use any kind of tomato you have on hand - cherry/grape tomatoes, roma tomatoes, even a few scoops of canned, petite-diced tomato.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

Photo collage of chickpea curry