10-Minute Chickpea Curry (Perfect For Meal Prep!)

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This rich, creamy, and satisfying chickpea curry has a great depth of flavor, and it’s magically ready in only 10 minutes! You’ll only need a few ingredients, and dinner will be ready in no time! Plus, it’s plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

I have a bit of a problem with this chickpea curry. I cook it ALL THE TIME! 

And Dan is getting a bit tired of it, lol! But I love it: this is my go-to weeknight meal for many reasons!

It’s rich and spicy but not overpowering, filling, and ready in no time.

What’s not to like?

It’s rich in protein from chickpeas and iron from spinach. Plus, it’s ideal for meal prep on Sunday.

You can cook a big batch, put it in the fridge or freezer, and be done for the week. And it’s super cheap to make. A portion comes out at less than $2.

This is all it takes: heat some olive oil, add the spices, add the chopped onion and garlic, add the chickpeas, and add the spinach!

Done!

And if you love a good curry, you also need to try this incredibly creamy coconut lentil curry or this comforting butternut squash and chickpea curry.

Ingredients

This chickpea curry requires only a few ingredients. And you’ll be able to find most of them in your pantry and cupboards.

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Canned chickpeas
  • Fresh spinach
  • Coconut milk
  • Spices (garam masala, turmeric, ginger, chili flakes)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Spices

Let’s get into more details about the spices you’ll need.

A delicious chickpea curry on a plate with basmati rice, 3/4 view

Spices You’ll Need

After living in India for over a year, I’ve fallen in love with spices. I have always loved cooking with herbs, and I know how much difference they can make to a dish. But I didn’t know much about the depth of flavor spices add to simple ingredients and how they can turn anything into something incredibly exciting.

I am trying to make your life easy here (and mine, too!). That’s why I selected only a few spices, easy to find anywhere:

  • Garam masala
  • Turmeric
  • Ginger
  • Chili flakes

If you love hot food, you can experiment with a little more spices. My Indian friends might find this recipe a bit mild, but as I said before, I eat this most weeks, and I love to get a bit of a kick from the spices without making it too hot.

If you are a big spice lover, you can also add:

  • Cumin
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Ground clove
  • Black pepper

I usually use dry ground spices for this curry to keep it quick and straightforward. If you have fresh ginger, turmeric, and chili at home, feel free to use them. They’ll give your curry a fragrant aroma.

How to make

  1. Prepare the base: Heat the oil in a large pan. When the oil is smoking hot lower the heat and add the spices (see additional notes on Bhunooing below). After a few seconds, add the chopped onions and the minced garlic and stir until they are golden brown.
  2. Cook: Add the chickpeas and coconut milk. Add salt to taste. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the washed spinach, stir well, and cover. Let the spinach wilt for a couple of minutes. And it’s ready to serve.
  3. Serve: You can add a splash of fresh lemon juice and some freshly chopped coriander. But it’s not essential. I love serving this curry with basmati rice or naan bread.

Bhunooing

You could simply throw the spices into your curry after adding the coconut milk. But the secret to creating a wonderful aromatic curry is to fry the spices in the oil. This will enhance their original flavors, making them bolder and more intense, allowing them to infuse the rest of the ingredients with their aroma.

But make sure you don’t burn them!

Let them fry with the onion for a minute or two until you start to smell the intense curry fragrance.  

This method of cooking spices is called Bhunooing, and its purpose is to gradually build the flavors of a dish.

First, heat the oil to a high temperature, then lower it to medium heat. Add the spices, and after a few seconds, add the chopped onions and then reduce the heat to low until the onions are gold in color.

Bhunooing helps create creamy, rich gravies, thanks to the slow extraction of essential oils from the spices and the gentle cooking of the onions until they are translucent and sweet.

This base is incredibly delicious with curries, stews, and sauces.

A cast iron pan with a delicious spinach and chickpea curry: Try this rich and creamy chickpea curry. It has a great depth of flavours and it's surprisingly ready in 10 minutes. Perfect for meal prep!

How To Meal Prep And Store It

This curry is perfect for meal prep. You can prep a big batch, store it in glass containers like these, and keep it in the fridge for at least 3-4 days. It reheats exceptionally well. It’s also perfect for freezing.

A delicious chickpea curry in meal prep containers: the perfect dish to meal prep on Sunday!
If you like the look of these glass meal prep containers, you can find them here.

Add-Ins And Substitutions

The great thing about this curry is that you can add pretty much anything to it.

  • If you don’t have fresh spinach, you can use frozen spinach. Or, if you don’t like spinach at all, try adding kale, Swiss chard, or beet greens.
  • You don’t have to use chickpeas. You can use any other type of beans or lentils. But chickpeas are one of my favorite legumes, so I always use them!
  • I usually eat this curry with basmati rice flavored with some aromatic cardamom. But you can also eat it with some delicious naan bread. Or on its own.
  • If you want to add more veggies, you can add sweet potatoes, cauliflower, butternut squash, carrots, or aubergines. But it will take a bit longer to cook.
  • You can also add a can of tomatoes, like in this version here, to the mix if you want to add some acidity.
  • If you like to add a bit more zest to your curry, try a splash of fresh lemon juice and some fresh coriander.

FAQ

Can I freeze this chickpea curry?

Yes, this curry is perfect for freezing. You can store it in an airtight container for up to 3 months (although I usually try to consume my frozen meals within one month, as I find they keep more flavor). You can also store it in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Is this chickpea curry vegan?

Yep, this curry is naturally vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free! 

2 glass containers with chickpea curry, basmati rice and fresh spinach: if you love chickpea curry you need to try this!
If you like the look of these glass meal prep containers, you can find them here.

Why I love this chickpea curry

  • It really takes 10 minutes to cook.
  • It’s perfect for making ahead.
  • It is filled with plant protein.
  • Easy, filling, and delicious!

More curry recipes you’ll love:

A cast iron pan with a delicious spinach and chickpea curry: Try this rich and creamy chickpea curry. It has a great depth of flavours and it's surprisingly ready in 10 minutes. Perfect for meal prep!

More Meal Prep Recipes

If you try this chickpea curry recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!

Chickpea curry plate top view
5 from 9 votes
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10-Minute Chickpea Curry (Meal Prep)

This rich and creamy chickpea curry has a great depth of flavors, and it's ready in just 10 minutes. Perfect for meal prep!
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 449kcal
Author: Sara Trezzi

Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas - 15 ounces per can, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can coconut milk - (13.5oz)
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 oz fresh baby spinach, uncooked - (10 cups, loosely packed – you can use 10 oz frozen spinach instead of fresh)
  • salt
  • 4 lemon wedges - (optional)
  • Fresh coriander - (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pan. When the oil is smoking hot lower the heat and add the spices.
  • After a few seconds, add the chopped onions and the minced garlic.
  • Once the onion and garlic are golden brown (around a minute), add the chickpeas and the coconut milk. Add salt to taste.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, then add the washed fresh spinach, stir well and cover.
  • Let the spinach wilt for a couple of minutes. And it's ready to serve.
  • You can add a splash of fresh lemon juice and some freshly chopped coriander. But it's not essential.
  • This curry is delicious with basmati rice or naan bread.

Notes

How to store: You can freeze this curry for up to 3 months (although I usually try to consume it within one month). Or you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
*Nutrition values are based on 1 serving (without rice).

Nutrition

Calories: 449kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 28g | Sugar: 7g

Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!

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63 Comments

  1. Jennifer Sardam says:

    Anyone know what the measurement is for a serving of this? I’m trying to input into MyFitnessPal and I already ate some and can’t seem to figure this out.
    πŸ™ Thank you in advance!

    1. The full amount makes 4 servings so if you divide what you cooked in 4 portions you’ll get the serving size. I would say it’s roughly 1 and a half cup or curry?

      1. Thanks. I found it too difficult & messy to try to measure it out. I’ll go with what you said πŸ™‚

  2. I just made this, and it was tasteless, I am so confused. It’s nice but it really don’t taste of very much. I followed the instructions exactly, very odd.

    1. Hey Hayley,
      Not sure why yours was tasteless. Maybe you need more spices for your taste? The amount of spices is so personal, it’s always best to try it and add more if you like! I hope you’ll give it another try πŸ™‚

  3. Are the calories per serving or the full amount per meal ?

  4. 5 stars
    Cooked this up for the week! Fab! Love it! And so easy to make! Thank you!
    xxx

  5. Marissa Reyes says:

    5 stars
    Wow, this was amazingly delicious. My whole fam loved it, even my husband who normally isn’t a fan of curry dishes. Thanks so much.

  6. Hi. Does this freeze well please? Thanks in advance

    1. Hey Tania,
      Yes πŸ™‚ As I mention in the post you can freeze this curry for up to 3 months (although I normally try to consume my frozen meals within one month, as I find they keep more flavor).
      I hope this helps!

  7. Afternoon – can we add chicken or cook it separately then add?

    1. Hey Brooke,
      Sure! You could add chicken together with the spices, and let it cook for about 10 minutes before adding chickpeas and spinach. Make sure it’s cooked well, as it will take a bit longer than everything else!

  8. Jinx McGee says:

    How much is a serving?

  9. Rachel Horton says:

    Ooohhh I’m excited to make this dish. Look how consistent you are. I recently became a pescatarian and this blog had helped me so much with my meal prepping. Cooking has become fun for me again so thanks.

  10. Taylor Carter says:

    Curious how long this will stay good in the fridge for meal prepping reasons…

      1. Excellent! Just made this for dinner tonight and will definitely make it again! Love the presentation too. Just thinking I may try β€˜sweetened’ coconut milk next time or???? Have you tried it with a β€˜hint’ of sweetness before?

        1. Hey Bev,
          I haven’t tried it with sweetened coconut milk because I find it sweet enough as it is. But if you have a sweet tooth, I am sure you’ll love it! πŸ™‚

  11. Trying this recipe tonight! I used a full coconut can, however, it looks like its too much milk. I can barely see my chickpeas. Did you drain some milk out?

    1. Hey Brittany,
      No, I used the full 13.5oz can. Did you use 2 cans of chickpeas as well? Some liquid will remain anyway and it’s delicious with the rice πŸ™‚

  12. Mary Pfaff says:

    For nutrition, it that per serving or per batch?

    Super tasty and so freaking easy! Adding it as a go-to for Fall

      1. Great meal, but not even close in calories per serving. 30 oz. Chickpeas is 800 cal on it’s own. Even divided amongst 4 servings you’re already at 200.

        1. That’s a very good point, Bob! the automatic calculator decided that 1 can of chickpeas had 1 calorie! I’ve updated the nutritional values to be correct (for one portion). Thanks for spotting the mistake! πŸ™‚

  13. Omg! This was amazing. I will be making this again and again!

  14. How much coconut milk goes into the cans you use? There’s different sizes and I’m not sure if I did it right.

  15. Casey Bell-Conrad says:

    This was delicious! Added sweet potato. It was a success.

  16. Kerri Elmore says:

    Is it two cans total 15 ounces or two cans 15 ounces each??

  17. 5 stars
    Just made this! Delicious and really simple. Loved it! Thank you πŸ™‚

  18. Just made this for dinner and oh-my-gosh was it delicious!! A comforting meal for this unseasonably cool and wet summer we’ve been having. Made a few substitutes since I didn’t have it in me to run to the store on a weekend to get all of the ingredients. Used beet greens from the garden instead of spinach, and a combo of half and half and tomato sauce in place of the coconut milk. Yum! And excited to have left overs for lunches this week. Thanks for another wonderfully simple recipe πŸ™‚

    1. Dave Morgan says:

      5 stars
      Love it.

      If boxing up & refrigerating, do you warm up in the microwave

      Thanks,
      Dave.

      1. Hey Dave,
        I either warm it up in the microwave for about 2 min, or in a pan for 5 min and add some water. Most of the time I use the microwave because it’s faster and there’s no washing up required πŸ™‚
        Glad you love it!!

  19. Jennifer Noel says:

    Sounds delicious! But 10 cups of fresh baby spinach? Typo or really 10 cups? In either case, what’s the amount of frozen you would use instead?

    1. Hey Jennifer, that’s not a typo. 10 cups is referring to fresh uncooked spinach, which is about 1 1/2 cup of cooked spinach. As I am sure you know, fresh spinach disappear to nothing when you cook them haha!
      If you are using frozen spinach a 10 oz frozen package will work!