These easy “Butter Chickpeas” are a healthier, vegan version of classic Butter Chicken – but made with whole food, plant-based ingredients! The rich, velvety sauce is ultra-creamy, super satisfying, and packed with warm, savory flavor. (Plus it’s done in only 30 minutes!)
These “Butter Chickpeas” are an amazingly satisfying 30 minute meal. Tender, hearty chickpeas swim in a rich, velvety sauce that’s packed with warm, savory flavor. It’s pleasantly filling and quite substantial – especially when served with brown rice and crushed cashews. (Our favorite way to enjoy!)
How to Make Butter Chickpeas
Butter Chicken is a popular Indian dish that was developed in the 1950’s. Traditionally, the sauce is tomato and onion-based with curry and butter. However in this vegan version, we eliminate the butter and achieve that velvety richness with coconut milk and peanut butter. The result is so luscious and creamy!
In my experience and testing of this recipe, the sauce is quite forgiving so feel free to take liberties with the accent seasonings you enjoy. Cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, garam masala, and chili powder are all lovely additions depending on your preference. Would love to hear what you come up with! Hope you enjoy as much as we do.
PS – come join The Garden Grazer on Instagram and share a photo if you make or adapt this! I love seeing your beautiful recreations. (Also please leave a review & star rating below if you give it a try – your feedback is always very appreciated. Thank you!)
Easy Vegan Butter Chickpeas
- 1 onion
- 15 oz. can chickpeas
- 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
- 15 oz. can coconut milk (regular, unsweetened)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy, natural)
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 1/3 Tbsp. curry powder (1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp.)
- 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder*
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- 1 Tbsp. tamari
- Cooked brown rice (and/or flatbread), cashews, cilantro for garnish
- Begin cooking your rice, or prepare it ahead of time so it's ready to go.
- Dice onion.
- In a large skillet over med-high heat, saute onion for 7-8 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil saute method, adding more as needed.)
- When onion is softened, add the curry powder (more/less as desired), garlic powder, and smoked paprika (or other seasonings of choice*). Stir and heat for 1 minute, adding a touch more liquid if necessary.
- Rinse and drain chickpeas. Add chickpeas and diced tomatoes (with juice) to skillet. Stir and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully add coconut milk, peanut butter, and tomato paste. Stir until well combined.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally as the sauce thickens.
- Before serving, stir in the tamari. (Taste and add more, or salt to taste as desired).
- Serve warm over brown rice, topped with cashews (recommended!) and fresh cilantro if desired.
Nutrition Per Serving (estimate)
If you’re enjoying these Butter Chickpeas, also check out these other 30-minute favorites:
Broccoli Cashew Stir Fry
Chickpea-Walnut Taco Crumbles
And also feel free to browse the full “30 Minutes or Less” recipe archives!