This quick creamy vegan coconut chickpea curry is a super easy and speedy recipe that’s big on flavor. With tomatoes, coconut cream, and the perfect blend of spices, it’s so creamy and filling! This chickpea curry is bound to be a healthy dinner staple for your family, whether you’ve been vegan for years or are just trying out Meatless Monday!
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Quick Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
Vegan coconut chickpea curry is one of those dishes that holds a special place in my heart. Weird, right? A can of chickpeas, some rich coconut milk, and a few veggies and spices… But it’s something I used to make my husband when we were vegan way back when! Back before we had kids and somehow still felt too busy to cook very often.
These days, we’re not vegan, and we’re not even vegetarian! We’re mostly paleo, deliberately integrating non-paleo ingredients into our diet. We’re inspired by a few different values:
- We like to eat clean ingredients that are minimally processed.
- Our bodies don’t do well on solely plant-based diets, which we know from years of experience! So, armed with that knowledge, we incorporate good quality animal proteins into our diets a few times a week.
- We try to eat several meatless recipes a week for environmental reasons.
- Finally, it seems unlikely to me that humans were eating gobs of bacon and steak millions of years ago. We try to eat a truly balanced diet, and this works for us!
It’s all about moderation and sustainability for us, and this quick vegan coconut chickpea curry is 100% a great example of that.
I used to make vegan coconut chickpea curry recipes regularly when we were newly married. I’d whip them together with veggies we happened to have on hand, and it still always worked. Here’s why!
Why This Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry Recipe Is So Good
- The coconut cream makes this chickpea curry super, super rich. I use lots of it here to keep the sauce ultra creamy.
- This chickpea curry recipe blends together a few spices that keep the dish rich but not too spicy. That makes it super versatile for just about anyone.
- This vegan curry is super filling and perfect over basmati or cauliflower rice.
- It’s crazy quick and easy, relying on several inexpensive and convenient canned ingredients. In addition, it comes together in less than 30 minutes.
- This chickpea curry doesn’t taste “vegan” or feel deliberately meatless. That makes it perfect for integrating into a paleo or standard diet for a meat-free meal!
Alternate Names for This Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
- Super Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry Recipe In a Hurry (Verdict: Too long.)
- He Married Me So It Can’t Be That Bad, Right? (Verdict: Sounds 2000% less good than it isThis quick creamy vegan coconut chickpea curry is a super easy and speedy recipe that’s big on flavor. With tomatoes, coconut cream, and the perfect blend of spices, it’s so creamy and filling! This chickpea curry is bound to be a healthy dinner staple for your family, whether you’ve been vegan for years or are just trying out Meatless Monday! #vegan #curry.)
- 3 Cans to Magical Meatless Monday (Verdict: Too Bob Ross [Side question: Is “too Bob Ross” possible?].)
How to Make Vegan Chickpea Curry
Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté your chopped onion until it’s softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook, stir constantly, until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
Add the spices and cook, stirring regularly, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the drained chickpeas and can of tomatoes. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are softened and tomatoes are reduced slightly.
Stir in the coconut cream, maple syrup, and plenty of salt. Whisk until the coconut cream is smooth and incorporated. Simmer 5 minutes.
Finally, stir in the fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro. Serve over basmati or cauliflower rice and garnish with more chopped cilantro and lime slices.
Can I use light coconut milk?
I really wish you wouldn’t! Light coconut milk is just low in coconut cream, and that’s the richest, most delicious part. This dish is already super stinkin’ healthy, and coconut milk is full of those lovely healthy fats. So use full-fat coconut milk or, even better, coconut cream. It’ll make all the difference!
Can I use diced tomatoes or tomato sauce?
You can! I prefer crushed tomatoes, but it can be hard to find them in the “regular” 15-ounce can size. Either use half a large can of crushed tomatoes and save the rest for another recipe or use diced tomatoes or tomato sauce. I think the texture is best with crushed tomatoes, but those alternates will be just fine.
What kind of curry powder should I use?
I use a hot Japanese curry powder, which I absolutely love. Every curry powder is different, so you’ll want to know how spicy your curry powder is before loading your vegan coconut chickpea curry up with lots of cayenne pepper.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Soup
- Best Vegan Queso Blanco
- The Best Vegan Alfredo Sauce (Made in 3 Minutes!)
- Perfect Whole30 Instant Pot Tomato Soup (Vegan)
- The BEST Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vegan Zucchini Bread
- Tempeh Bacon
- Chickpea Salad Sandwich
- Vegan Shrimp
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Quick Creamy Vegan Coconut Chickpea Curry
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil or other neutral oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- Shake of cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas drained
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes undrained, see note 1
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, see note 2
- 2-3 teaspoons maple syrup
- Sea salt
- Juice of 1-2 limes
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
- lime wedges for garnish
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
- Add the spices and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the drained chickpeas and crushed tomatoes and simmer 5 minutes.
- Add in the coconut cream, maple syrup, and plenty of salt. Simmer 5 minutes.
- Stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Serve over cauliflower or basmati rice with more chopped cilantro for garnish.
- Note 1: I prefer crushed tomatoes in this recipe, because it’s a nice middle ground between chunky diced tomatoes and super smooth tomato sauce. You can use either diced tomatoes or tomato sauce if you can’t find crushed tomatoes.
- Note 2: I highly, highly recommend using unsweetened coconut cream in this recipe, as it enriches this recipe beautifully. However, you can use regular coconut milk, if you prefer. Try to not use light coconut milk, though, as it will not produce the richness that makes this recipe so good!
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Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.