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Bowl of vegan butter chickpeas and rice topped with cashews

Vegan Butter Chickpeas

This Indian-inspired dish is a healthier, vegan version of Butter Chicken. But made with whole food, plant-based ingredients. Rich, ultra-creamy & super satisfying!
AuthorKaitlin - The Garden Grazer
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
Total Time:30 mins
CourseMain Dish
CuisineGluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Oil-Free, Vegan
Servings4 large bowls


  • 1 yellow onion (or white or sweet)
  • 15 oz. can chickpeas
  • 15 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • 14 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

For serving:

  • Cooked brown rice (and/or flatbread), cashews, cilantro for garnish


  • Cook your rice according to package instructions. (Or prepare it ahead of time so it's ready to go.)
  • Dice onion.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté onion for 7-8 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté 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 sauté 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.
  • Serve warm over brown rice, topped with cashews and fresh cilantro if desired.


*Spices: Modify the accent spices as desired. I use garlic + smoked paprika, but play around with cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, garam masala, ginger, chili powder, etc. I've found this to be a pretty forgiving recipe.
Acidity + sweetness: Add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice for acidity, and/or 1 Tbsp. maple syrup for sweetness.
Yield: For us, this recipe yields about 4 large bowls, or 5-6 smaller/medium bowls.
Estimated nutritional content is calculated without brown rice, cashews, and toppings.
Recipe adapted from Earth of Maria.

Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)

Calories: 470 kcal | Carbohydrates: 35 g | Protein: 14 g | Fat: 34 g | Saturated Fat: 23 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g | Potassium: 946 mg | Fiber: 11 g | Sugar: 10 g | Vitamin A: 590 IU | Vitamin C: 18 mg | Calcium: 116 mg | Iron: 6 mg