By: The Real Food Dietitians Posted: 1/30/23
Here’s a twist on standard chicken curry to add a pop of flavor and good nutrition to your dinner menu. This Chicken and Chickpea Curry is made in just one skillet from budget-friendly and convenient ingredients. Serve it over rice or cauliflower rice for a dinner you’ll be proud to serve and look forward to having the leftovers. We love the combination of chicken and chickpeas, but you could make this recipe 100% plant-based by adding an additional can of chickpeas to replace the chicken.
Recipe Highlights: Chicken Chickpea Curry
This coconut chickpea curry with chicken offers a lot to love, including:
- It’s simple – make it in 30 minutes in just one skillet
- It’s nutritious – includes many good-for-you ingredients
- It’s budget-friendly – made from easy-to-find veggies and canned goods
- It’s delicious – all the warming spices and creamy flavor you love in a good curry recipe
One-Skillet Curry made with chickpeas
If you love the deeps flavors of a curry recipe, you’re going to love this veggie-loaded curry that includes a few convenient and healthy ingredients, including canned chickpeas and frozen cauliflower. We’ve chosen to include those ingredients because they provide great nutrition and also cook quickly, making this a true 30-minute meal that will make your weeknight meals colorful and delicious!
Ingredients for Chicken and Chickpea Curry
Here are the ingredients to gather to make this chickpea curry recipe tonight:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast
- Red bell pepper
- Garlic cloves
- Fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- Canned full-fat coconut milk – may substitute light coconut milk to reduce the total fat, if desired
- Chickpeas – used canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for quick convenience
- Frozen cauliflower florets
- Spices – you’ll need curry powder, ground turmeric, dried ginger, fine salt, and black pepper
- Fresh baby spinach – may substitute frozen bagged spinach
- Optional for serving – chopped fresh cilantro, steamed rice, and lime wedges
Find the ingredient list with exact measurements in the recipe card below.
Ingredient Spotlight: Chickpeas
This curry includes canned chickpeas, which are a great way to add creamy texture as well as great nutrition! Just 1 cup of cooked chickpeas provides:
- 15 grams protein
- 45 grams carbohydrates
- 13 grams fiber
- excellent source of manganese, copper, folate, iron, and zinc
How to make chickpea curry
This weeknight recipe comes together in these 4 simple steps:
- Cook the chicken: In a large skillet, cook the diced chicken breast until cooked through. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
- Sauté the veggies: In the same skillet, sauté the onions, peppers, and garlic.
- Add the remaining ingredients: Stir in the canned tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas, cauliflower, curry powder, ginger, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Simmer and stir in the spinach: Simmer covered for 10 minutes, then add the spinach and let it wilt for 2-3 minutes before removing the skillet from the stovetop. Serve over steamed rice with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.
For the complete directions and ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card below. All of our recipes include the nutrition analysis, listing calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium, and more per serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make chickpea curry?
This chickpea curry is a lot like most curry recipes where you simmer ingredients on the stovetop in coconut milk and warming spices. We’ve kept it simple by calling for canned chickpeas, which are a nutritious and budget friendly addition.
Can this chickpea curry recipe be the frozen?
Yes, you can freeze it! First, fully cook this recipe, then let it cool slightly before transferring to a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, allow the chickpea curry to thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat in a skillet, adding a few tablespoons of water, if necessary.
Can I use another type of beans?
Chickpeas are more common to Indian-inspired cuisine, like this recipe. However, you could certainly use another type of canned beans, if you’d like, such as white beans, fava beans, butter beans, or pinto beans.
How should I store leftovers?
Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How should I reheat leftovers of chickpea coconut curry?
We recommend that you reheat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop. You could also reheat leftovers in the microwave.
Recipe Swaps & Substitutes
This recipe is naturally grain free, however, if you serve it over rice it is not. If you’d like a grain-free dish, serve it over cauliflower rice instead
Since this recipe is dairy free, you can make it vegan by simply swapping out the chicken and adding an additional can of chickpeas
Healthy ingredients in this Coconut chickpea curry
There are a number of nutrient superstars in this chickpea curry recipe, including:
- chickpeas – a great source of fiber, plant-based protein, and essential minerals
- coconut milk – a good source of plant-based fats, including medium-chain fatty acids that digest more quickly than other types of fats
- canned tomatoes – one of the best sources of antioxidant lycopene
- spices – a good source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, including curcumin, quercetin,, lutein, zeaxanthin
- chicken – a complete protein source that’s rich in B vitamins and some minerals
How to serve this chickpea curry recipe
We think a waring bowl of this coconut chickpea curry tastes delicious spooned over perfect cooked jasmine rice and garnished with fresh lime wedges for squeezing and fresh cilantro. You could also serve it with naan bread, over quinoa or cauliflower rice, or simply eat it as is.
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil, divided
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (15-ounce) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon dried ginger (or 1 teaspoon fresh peeled ginger, grated or finely minced)
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- 2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach (about 3 ounces)
Optional for serving:
- Chopped fresh cilantro, steamed rice, and lime wedges
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken and cook, 5-6 minutes, until almost cooked through, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the chicken to a clean plate and set aside.
- To the pan, add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the skillet and swirl to coat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes (and their juice), coconut milk, drained chickpeas, frozen cauliflower, curry powder, turmeric, ginger, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Remove the lid from the skillet and add the spinach. Stir and allow the spinach to wilt, 2-3 minutes, then serve over steamed rice with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.
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If desired, you could use light canned coconut milk to reduce some fat. The below nutrition analysis reflects this recipe made with full-fat coconut milk. The nutrition analysis when made with light coconut milk is as follows (per 1/6th of the recipe): 306 calories, 11 g total fat (5 g sat fat), 569 mg sodium, 29 g carb (9 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 44 mg cholesterol, 26 g protein
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 375
- Fat: 17 g
- (Sat Fat: 11 g)
- Sodium: 585 mg
- Carbohydrate: 29 g
- (Fiber: 9 g
- Sugar: 10 g)
- Protein: 26 g
- Cholesterol: 44 mg
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House
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