Thai Chickpea Curry (Quick & Easy!)

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This Chickpea Curry is a fast weeknight meal, featuring protein-packed chickpeas in a creamy curry base. Adding a squeeze of lime, fresh basil, and a little sweetness create a delicious Thai-style flavor.

chickpea curry in bowl with naan bread

Why You’ll Love this Chickpea Curry

This curry recipe has become a go-to for me, because it calls for easy ingredients that I usually already have on hand. You’ll need a can of chickpeas and a can of coconut milk, along with some curry powder and a few fresh veggies. (You can use frozen veggies in a pinch, too!)

Tip: Save the liquid from the can of chickpeas, and make Aquafaba Mousse. It’s an impressive egg-free dessert, calling for only 3 ingredients.

curry powder with vegetables in pan

How To Cook Chickpeas

If you don’t keep canned chickpeas on hand, or if you would prefer to cook dried chickpeas from scratch, I have tutorials for that! You can cook chickpeas in the Instant Pot, or you can cook them on the stove top. (Click the orange links to go straight to the printable tutorials.)

fresh cilantro stirred into the curry sauce

What Do You Put in Curry?

If you’re like me and don’t always keep a jar of curry paste on hand, I find it’s easy to create a rich flavor using canned coconut milk and a curry powder blend from the store. Curry powder is typically a mix of turmeric, coriander, ginger, cumin, chili powder, and pepper, and the strength can vary by brand, so definitely be sure to taste this sauce as you go.

For a rich flavor, I also like to add:

  • Fresh lime juice
  • Fresh basil (Thai basil is great, but regular basil also works)
  • Maple syrup (for a little sweetness)
  • Plenty of salt (you can use tamari or soy sauce, for a deep flavor, too)

What I love about recipes like this one, is that you can use up any produce you have in the fridge. I’m using red onion and bell pepper in this case, but this recipe also works well with kale, spinach, Swiss chard, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes. It can be a kitchen-sink style meal!

chickpea curry in white bowl with bell peppers

More Curry Recipes

If you have other ingredients you want to use up, you may enjoy the following recipes, too!

chickpea curry with naan bread
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4.97 from 28 votes

Thai Chickpea Curry (Quick & Easy)

This easy Chickpea Curry is made with just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have on hand. I love how fast & flavorful it is!
Course Main Course
Cuisine vegan
Keyword chickpea curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 268kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion , chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper , chopped and seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 (15 oz.) can coconut milk (I use full fat)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil , roughly chopped


  • Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion and pepper until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the ginger, garlic, and curry powder and stir for 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk, chickpeas, salt, and maple syrup, then give the mixture a stir. Bring the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and cover the pot to let the flavors simmer together for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and stir in the lime juice and fresh basil. Stir until the basil is wilted, then adjust any seasoning to your taste. Serve warm, with rice or cooked quinoa.



You can use a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies in this recipe instead of fresh, and feel free to use dried spices if that's what you have on hand. I typically use 1/4 teaspoon to start with, and then add more to taste when using dried vs. fresh herbs.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Sodium: 597mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1025IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition info is for 1 of 4 servings, and is automatically calculated using an online calculator. For more accurate results, be sure to use the labels on your own ingredients at home.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how it turns out for you! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite fast weeknight meal?

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I tried this as soon as you posted it (using pantry staples I actually have right now) and the flavor is out of this world!! Thank you for your thorough testing; it really shows.

Sandy Warfield

Can this be frozen?

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, I don’t see why not! I’ve frozen lots of different curry recipes with great results.

Cynthia cooney

I made this tonight. . My variations… my coconut milk canned was only 13 ounces but that was ok. I had yellow onions that needed to used so I used those instead of red onions. The basil was definitely a plus. I didn’t use as much lime and I thought chicken would be a good addition
. Basically I was using up the leftovers. 🙂 No maple syrup as I don’t generally eat sugar so it would’ve been too sweet for me. Overall I thought the recipe was amazing. I would not add the chicken next time as it tamed it too much. I also added a little bit of spinach which was a good addition. Next time I would do it exactly as the recipe calls for minus the maple syrup with the addition of some spinach and I think it will be extremely amazing. I can always count on you to have a great recipes. We seem to have the same taste. Great job!

Susan Lyons

I followed the exact recipe but added squash and zucchini. Poured over jasmine rice. Absolutely delicious!!


We loved this recipe!! I added about another cup of chickpeas, some frozen okra and maybe a half of additional mixed bell peppers just because it looked like there was room in the sauce and to make it last longer. I had to do frozen basil from last years garden because ours is just popping up and the store had only sad basil. It was all delicious! Thank you!!


Thank you! This one is a keeper for us. I used twice as many chickpeas, twice as much basil, and added zucchini and chard. We loved it.


Hi!! Planning to make this tonight… just wondering if there’s a reason that garlic is listed twice in the ingredients? 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic + 1 clove of garlic, minced. ??? Is it a typo or is it really 1 T + 1 clove?

    Megan Gilmore

    This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of minced ginger and 1 clove of garlic, minced. Please come back and let me know how you like it!


This was so delicious and filling! I prefer my curry to be less liquidy, so I added a bag of frozen Asian vegetables in addition to the peppers and onions, added a little bit more curry powder and salt, left out the maple syrup, and served it over basmati rice. Yum!


Loved it! Included all of the above, plus zucchini, snow peas, and kale. Served over brown rice. Delicious! Can I freeze the leftover?? I am not sure and would like your thoughts.


This is my new favorite curry recipe! So simple and and comforting. Took barely any time to prepare thank you😊

Diane W

So yummy! Cooking is not my gift, but I followed the instructions and everyone loved it. Thanks for making it easy and delicious!


I am a big fan of you and your recipes! This one is so easy that you can’t believe the gorgeous taste it have.
All my family enjoy a lot!


Looks good!

Please can you make a recipe for curry powder itself?
I have only found some with various additives, so I’d love to make the actual spice mixture myself.



I love this recipe and cook it at least twice a month! I like to use a bag of frozen stir fry veggies to add more veg to the meal and I sometimes skip the basil and lime if I don’t have them on hand. Still yummy and easy to throw together!

Trish Aquino

Another hit! It had incredible flavor and the heat was perfect! I served it over quinoa and my tummy could not be happier!


Fantastic recipe. I had it simmering within ten minutes for a quick lunch, with leftovers for the next few days. Flavor is perfect.


This is the second time in two weeks that we’ve had this. LOVE it (and I thought I didn’t really like Curry 😉 We added some roasted cauliflower this time around for even more veggies.

Romina Fanzini

I’m literally eating this right now and it’s absolutely delicious! I had to change a couple of ingredients but I simply love it!!

Jen k

Wow. This exceeded my expectations. I make and eat a lot of curries, and this might be my new favorite. The seasoning is spot on. The chickpeas get nice and soft (so even my littles liked this!). Not to mention it’s fast and easy. The only change I made was to use a yellow bell pepper because that’s all I had on hand 🙂


Oh man, this was so delicious. My husband doesn’t like onions, so I swapped with carrots. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. We both loved it. I thought it was a warming and wonderful blend of sweet and spicy. And it was so easy to make! This is definitely going to be a recipe I make again and again.


I liked how easy it is to make. I think I would put one tablespoon of maple syrup next time because I like it strong and not sweet. Thanks Megan!

Kayla Clark

I cannot even count how many times I’ve made this recipe. It’s so easy and so delicious. I pretty much always have the staples in my pantry, so it’s great for a food rut. One of my all time favorites!


This was so delicious. It was wonderful the next day as well! Very quick and easy to make too.


Fast, easy & delicious.

Lynda Slinger

We all enjoyed this recipe but I would not consider it quick. It has a lot of ingredients and lots of chopping plus squeezing and draining.

Judy mann

I can’t use your recipes because you use coconut oil which is unhealthy and contains saturated fat.

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m sorry to hear that. This recipe does not use coconut oil, but if you are looking to avoid coconut products in general, I have plenty of recipes here on my website that do not use coconut at all.


Soooo good! I just used 1 tbsp. maple syrup and felt that was the perfect amount of sweetness. I also didn’t have fresh ginger so used 1 tsp. ground ginger. It was delicious and so easy to make!

Susan Jordan

This was a hit with my entire family (even my fussy vegetarian 12-year-old). I will be doubling this next time because I need leftovers 🙂 Thank you for always creating and sharing such fantastic recipes.

Jan Maret Willman

Help! I cannot eat peppers (nightshade)….what do you recommend as substitute for
The red peppers? Thanks!

Kim Kendall

Fabulous!! Yellow curry is one of my faves! I changed this up a little. I didn’t have any onion. I used lite unsweetened coconut milk and yellow curry sauce from Trader Joe’s instead of curry powder. I did add some red pepper flakes. My son and husband said it would be good with chicken.


I am allergic to coconut. Is there anything that can substitute for the coconut milk in this recipe?


Hi Megan, can this be made in the instapot? Or is it so quick it’s easier on the stove?

I plan to make it tomorrow but will add some more veggies like maybe broccoli




I made this last week for the first time and it was fantastic! I’m vegan but my omnivore partner said she would order this at a restaurant. She said “I don’t even like basil or lime in my food and this is delicious.” It will definitely be added into the rotation.

    Megan Gilmore

    Oh, I’m so happy to hear it was a hit! Thanks for letting me know, Ashley.

Shelly L McCallum

Absolutely amazing! My stepdaughter has decided to not eat meat anymore so we did this recipe together. We both loved it! It will be made again and again. Thank you so much for your amazing recipes!

Jennie P

This recipe is so delicious and easy. We have been making almost once weekly and cannot get enough!

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