This Chickpea Tomato Spinach Curry is truly my go-to recipe for dinner right now! It's made almost entirely of pantry essentials with some fresh spinach to get in our greens. Whenever I'm craving healthier comfort food that can be whipped up in 30 minutes or less, I reach for a bowl of this warming, vegan, & gluten-free curry!
These days I am ALL about the easy dinner recipes that are also packed with protein to keep me full.
Between this curry, my Black Pepper Tofu, the creamiest Mushroom Wild Rice Soup, and my Eggplant Lentil Curry, I have a solid group of recipes on repeat. What I love most about this vegan curry is that it is truly SO simple and made with only 10 ingredients, many of which are pantry staples I always have in my house!
- Neutral Oil (I use avocado oil)
- Curry Powder (I used this curry spice)
- Nutritional Yeast (totally optional, but adds more flavor)
- Canned Diced Tomatoes (Fresh also works, see FAQ for substitutions)
- Coconut Milk (canned, I prefer full-fat coconut milk)
- Spinach (Fresh or frozen)
- Fresh Lime Juice
- Salt & pepper
How to make an easy chickpea spinach curry
First, Sauté Chickpea & Spices
Start by heating the oil in a cast-iron skillet or pan. Then, add in the rinsed & dried chickpeas, curry powder, and a little salt.
When I am making curry, I always pan fry the spices. I feel it removes some of the raw flavors of the spices and infuses them into the dish better. It's only a few minutes of time, but it's truly worth it!
Then, add in everything but the spinach & cilantro
When I said this recipe was easy, I meant it! After the chickpeas & spices have been fried a bit, add in everything else. This means the canned tomatoes, canned coconut milk, lime juice, salt, and optional nutritional yeast. Truly a one pot curry!
By the way, my secret to a good curry is to ALWAYS use fresh lime juice. I never make a curry without it and, while lemon works as a substitute, lime and coconut are truly a flavor match you just can't beat.
P.S- you may have noticed nutritional yeast is missing from my recipe video and that's because it's one of those completely optional ingredients that some people love or hate. I personally LOVE it and like to add it to my curries to help thicken them and give them more flavor.
Last, add in the spinach & cilantro
As a last step add in the fresh spinach and cook everything together for about 1-2 minutes. Fresh spinach adds the perfect iron-filled green to this chickpea spinach curry, but it can also be subbed 1:1 for kale or even frozen spinach. If you do use kale or frozen spinach, you will have to cook the curry slightly longer (around 5 minutes vs 1-2) so just keep that in mind!
Once the curry is ready, turn off the heat and add the cilantro on top. Seriously, don't skip the cilantro as it gives this dish tons of great flavor!
How to serve & store this vegan curry
I LOVE eating this curry over a big bowl of white rice with additional fresh cilantro on top. However, it would also be great on it's own or eaten with some fresh homemade Naan.
To store this curry as leftovers, simply add it to a closed container and store in the fridge up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Just make sure the curry has completely cooled before adding it to the fridge or freezer. If you store curry warm, condensation will build up from the steam and shorten the time this curry will keep as leftovers.
This chickpea tomato curry is best enjoyed warm so reheat in the microwave or in a pan until warmed throughout before eating!
FAQ & Curry substitutions:
What curry spice works best in this recipe?
I am truly SUCH a fan of pre-packaged curry spices. It's one of those kitchen shortcuts that I feel makes my life easier without any sacrifice to flavor. For this recipe I used this Sweet Curry spice which makes a sweet curry that isn't very spicy. That being said, I've also made this recipe with Simply Organics and Spice Islands for a spicier curry. All three are great options, and the key is just to use a curry spice that has flavors you love.
If for any reason you can't find curry powder, it's also truly easy to make at home (though it requires buying more ingredients). I recommend this really easy homemade curry powder that I have tried before and love.
Can I make this recipe oil-free?
Yes! Just skip the oil altogether or replace for 1 Tbsp of vegetable broth. Since we are only using it to pan fry the spices and chickpeas, it's easy enough to leave out.I do think using a little oil helps to bring out the flavor of the spices, but if you are strictly oil-free this recipe can still work for you.
What about fresh vs. canned tomatoes?
Totally! The biggest difference is you will likely have to cook this curry for longer if using fresh tomatoes. More cooking time helps to break down the tomatoes and give them that sweet flavor we get using the canned fire-roasted tomatoes. If you are using fresh tomatoes, cut into small chunks and cook until the tomatoes have broken down. It will change the flavor and texture of this dish, but it still tastes great!
P.S- you can even use tomato sauce in this dish. It will be creamier and not as "chunky" (which I like), but will also taste amazing!
Does frozen spinach work?
Yep! Fresh spinach really needs only about 1-2 minutes of cooking time in this recipe whereas frozen spinach will need about 5 minutes. Just add the frozen spinach in at the same time you add in the tomatoes and coconut milk for this recipe to be cooked in the same amount of time.
Can I sub the canned coconut milk?
Okay I'm going to be honest with you here, not really. Canned coconut milk has way more fat and creaminess than any other milk substitute and adds a unique flavor to this tomato chickpea curry with spinach.
That being said, if you truly don't want to use coconut milk, you can try making this with a milk substitute and also add in 1 Tbsp of arrowroot powder or cornstarch to help the curry get thicker. Again, it will not taste the same as I intended this recipe to taste, but it's a good option if you don't have the option of canned coconut milk.
I truly hope you love this warming & comforting Chickpea Tomato Spinach Curry! It's one of those recipes you'll be reaching for when you want something healthy, hearty, and a truly QUICK curried chickpea recipe. Enjoy!
Looking for more vegan weeknight dinner recipes? Check out these SGTO favorites!
- 1 Tbsp neutral oil (avocado, coconut, or vegetable oil preferred)
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas- rinsed and dried)
- 1.5 Tbsp curry powder (12 grams) *
- 1 can (14.5 oz) coconut milk (I use full-fat coconut milk)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) canned chopped tomatoes (I like using fire roasted tomatoes)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (10 grams- optional)
- 1.5-2 Tbsp lime juice
- Salt to taste ( I find curry needs at least 2 tsp of salt, but please season to your preference!)
- 3 cups spinach, loosely packed
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (more to top)
- Begin by adding the oil to a skillet or large pan and turning on the heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the chickpeas and curry powder. Sauté together for 2-3 minutes to lightly toast the spices.
- Next, add in the coconut milk, canned tomatoes, nutritional yeast lime juice, and salt. Stir together to mix and bring to a simmer. Simmer together for about 5-10 minutes, stirring consistently.
- In the last few minutes add in the fresh spinach and stir. Cook everything together about 1-2 minutes and season with additional salt, pepper, and lime juice to your liking.
- Remove from the heat and add in the fresh cilantro. Serve immediately over rice or as is with extra fresh cilantro on top. Enjoy!
- Any curry powder works for this recipe, but every curry powder varies in flavor intensity. If 1.5 Tbsp isn't enough flavor with the curry powder you are using, please use up to 2.5 Tbsp in this recipe
- Curry can be stored in a closed container in the fridge up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Make sure the curry is room temperature before adding to the fridge/freezer for best storage results.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: ¼ recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 27gCarbohydrates: 32.2gProtein: 8.1g
ShortGirlTallOrder occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although shortgirltallorder.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.