This easy Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry is completely vegan, packed with vegetables, and can be made in the Instant Pot too. Mildly spiced and balanced with coconut milk, this vegetarian curry is freezer friendly, and packed with plant-based protein to boot.
Hey! Are you looking for the best vegan curry recipe on the internet?
Or, wait. Maybe a killer Instant Pot Chickpea Curry?
What about Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry?
You are? Amazing news... this is all of those things!
Yep, you heard me right. What I've got here today is a easy, delicious, and nourishing vegan chickpea curry recipe that I've tested in both the Instant Pot and in my trusty ol' crockpot to bring you a delightfully simple recipe that you can make whatever way you like.
I've kind of got a thing for vegetarian curry recipes, as you might have guessed from my Mung Bean and Coconut Curry (the most popular recipe on HNL, by a landslide) or my Red Lentil Dal recipe (also slow cooker and Instant Pot tested), or my Curried Cauliflower Chickpea Wraps. So when I say that *this* chickpea curry recipes is the bomb dot com, I feel like I'm kind of an authority on the matter.
Are you ready to take a trip to curry town with me? Let's go!
What's in this Chickpea Curry recipe?
Alrighty my friends, here's what you're going to need:
- Chickpeas --> You saw that coming, right? Canned is fine, but if you want to start from dried, be sure to check out my Instant Pot Chickpeas.
- Cauliflower --> The other other white veg. Or whatever.
- Potatoes --> Some nice starch going on here.
- Bell peppers --> Both red and green.
- Canned tomatoes --> A beloved pantry staple.
- Vegetable broth --> Not pictured, but it's in there.
- Coconut milk --> Nice and lush.
- Spinach --> A whole baby of baby spinach.
- Onions --> Our flavour base.
- Ginger and garlic --> flavour support crew.
- Curry powder --> Yup.
- Cayenne pepper --> Bringing the heat.
Do I need any special equipment?
You'll need either a slow cooker or an Instant Pot.
When I got my Instant Pot I bought the extra glass lid with vent that allows me to use it as a slow cooker as well, and then gave my slow cooker away, which is why all of the photos below are in an Instant Pot, even when we're referring to a slow cooker. Sorry for any confusion.
How do you make this recipe?
Whether you decide to make Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry or Instant Pot Chickpea Curry, we're going to start by cooking our aromatics, like onions, garlic, ginger, and spices.
If you have an Instant Pot you can do this right in the appliance using the sauté function. If you're using a classic slow cooker like a Crock Pot, you'll need to start the aromatics in a frying pan and then transfer them to the slow cooker. It's no big deal, but will dirty up an extra dish.
Step 1: Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan or in your Instant Pot on sauté. Add the onions, and sauté for about five minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions are translucent.
Step 2: Add the garlic, ginger, spices, and salt, and sauté for 1-2 additional minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, and, if you're using a slow cooker, scrape the contents of the pan into the ceramic base.
Step 3: Add the cauliflower, potatoes, red and green peppers, and the chickpeas.
Step 4: Add the canned tomatoes and the vegetable broth. Give it a good stir.
Step 5: Cook the curry!
If you're making Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry, set your slow cooker to HIGH for four hours.
If you're making Instant Pot Chickpea Curry, set it to HIGH PRESSURE on manual for five minutes. Once the pressure cooking cycle is done, you'll want to use a quick release.
Step 6: Remove the lid, and give the curry a stir. Add the baby spinach, bit by bit, and stir it through to wilt.
Step 7: Add the coconut milk, and stir to combine.
That's it! Your curry is done!
Can I make this recipe in advance?
You sure can. It will last for about 5 days in an air-tight container in your fridge. Leftovers reheat well, and it's one of those recipes that tastes better the day after it's first made.
Can I freeze the curry?
You can and you should. I like to freeze individual servings to have on hand for busy days. I usually freeze soups and stews in empty cottage cheese containers because we pretty much always have some on hand.
Otherwise, I love to freeze stews like this chickpea curry in reusable silicon freezer bags.
Can I substitute x, y, or z?
Probably! If you read the comments below you'll see that some folks have swapped out the potato for sweet potato, for example. You can generally use vegetables that you love, so long as they're of a sturdy nature that would hold up well to the long time in the slow cooker.
If you *do* try a substitution, please let us know in the comments below!
Hey Nutrition Lady, are chickpeas healthy.
Yup. Here's what you need to know:
Chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans, are a super food! They contain about 12.5 grams of fiber per cup, which is 50% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber. Keeps you regular, folks!
About two-thirds of the fiber in garbanzos is insoluble, which is great for digestive health, particularly in the colon. The remaining third is soluble fiber, which can help lower our LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides; important for cardiovascular health.
Chickpeas are also a great source of plant-based protein, offering up about 12 grams per cup. The protein-fiber combination in chickpeas is key for stabilizing blood sugar levels, as both protein and fiber move through our digestive systems at a moderate pace.
Chickpeas are notable for antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, but also contain concentrated supplies of antioxidant phytonutrients such as flavonoids and polyphenols. Chickpeas also contain valuable amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the body's omega-3 fatty acid from which all other omega-3 fats are made. Chickpeas - what's not to love?!
Other Cozy Dishes You Might Enjoy:
Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry
- Slow Cooker
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 medium yellow potatoes diced
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger finely diced or grated
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced or crushed
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 14 oz cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper diced
- 1 medium head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets
- 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- 1 8 oz bag baby spinach
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed flying pan over medium-high heat. If you're using an Instant Pot, this can be done directly in the pot using the sauté function.
- Add the onion, and sauté until translucent - about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the curry powder, ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper, and cook for about 1 minute.
- Remove the onions from the heat, and scrape them, along with all of the spices, into the slow cooker. If any of the spices are stuck to the pan, you can rinse it out with a bit of vegetable broth.
- Add the chickpeas, peppers, potato, cauliflower, tomatoes, and broth.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Cover, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.
Instant Pot Instructions
- Seal the Instant Pot and set to manual HIGH PRESSURE for 5 minutes. When the pressure cooking cycle is complete, use the quick release.
- Stir in the spinach bit by bit to allow it to wilt.
- Stir in the coconut milk.
- Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve over rice, or with naan bread.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- Chickpea curry will last 3-5 days in the fridge, or you can portion it and freeze for up to three months.
This recipe was originally published February 16, 2018. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on February 27, 2020.