Easy vegan cauliflower chickpea curry loaded with chickpeas, veggies, potatoes, and coconut milk for an authentic Thai curry at home. Packed with plant-based protein, veggies, fiber, and healthy fats, all you need is 30 minutes and one pan to make a healthy vegan curry. Gluten-free and dairy-free.
The kickoff to ETGveggies!! No better way to start off the veggie-filled week than with one of my favorite cuisines and this vegan cauliflower chickpea curry!
I love this recipe so much because it’s so easy to make and will not disappoint with flavor. It comes together in about 30 minutes (including prep time) and you only need one pot. You can easily whip this up during a busy weeknight and have a cozy and nutritious meal with minimal effort.
If you struggle with eating more veggies, a really tasty and easy way to help is serving them in delicious sauces and dressings. We are doing exactly that with this vegan curry. I mean how can you go wrong with a curry coconut sauce?!
You won’t even know this recipe is packed with almost 12 cups of veggies as you will be too busy obsessing over the flavors. The curry sauce is also made with full-fat coconut milk (a must for Thai curry in my opinion).
Eating fat along with your vegetables helps the body absorb the micronutrients (specifically, vitamins A, D, E, and K) found in vegetables. We could eat all the veggies in the world, but we need to be absorbing them.
The coconut milk in this curry is the perfect way to help with absorption along with adding a lot of flavor to help you eat your veggies. Fat is also needed in the digestion process, helps keep us full, and gives us long laster energy.
How to make cauliflower chickpea curry
This vegan chickpea curry recipe is loaded with veggies, is super comforting and filling, and makes a well-balanced and hearty plant-based meal packed with plant-based protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and fiber.
Vegan curry ingredients:
- coconut oil
- curry powder
- ground turmeric
- fresh ginger
- sweet potato
- bell pepper
- full-fat coconut milk
- red curry paste
- tomato paste
- cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper, to taste
First, we want to toast the spices. This is a step that only takes about 30 seconds, but it helps really pump up the flavor. Add your oil to a large pan or Dutch oven and let it get hot. Then add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, and turmeric and mix into the oil. Toast for about 30 seconds – you can tell it’s done when they are fragrant.
Next, add onion, sweet potato, a little salt and pepper, and some water. Mix well to combine. Cover with a lid, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Then add the cauliflower and mix well, cover with a lid, and cook for a few more minutes. If needed, add a splash of water if starting to stick.
Next, add peppers and continue the process. Mix well, cover with a lid, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add coconut milk, red curry paste, tomato paste, remaining curry powder, cayenne, chickpeas, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
Finally, let simmer from 5-10 minutes until vegetables are cooked to your preference. The curry will thicken as it simmers.
If you like your curry more ‘saucy’, you can add more coconut milk. I would suggest adding the coconut cream (the thick creamy part and not the water) from the top of another can.
What to serve with chickpea coconut curry
This curry is super hearty and filling on its own. I love to customize it with toppings each time we have it. Here are some of my favorite things to dress it up or serve with it.
- rice – a must for soaking up all the curry sauce. We usually opt for white jasmine rice, but you could also make this coconut cilantro lime rice to really bring the experience up a notch. You could also do quinoa if you don’t have rice.
- cauliflower rice – if you want a lower-carb option, cauliflower rice works well too
- toppings – lime wedges and lots of cilantro are a must. I will sometimes add a dollop of yogurt as well.
Curry meal prep
This vegan Thai curry is great for meal prep! Honestly, as it sits, the flavors get even better making it a great option for meal prep or leftovers. Here are a couple of suggestions on how to meal prep curry:
- partial prep – cut up all your veggies (onion, pepper, sweet potatoes, and cauliflower) and store them in an airtight container in the fridge (I would use a few so they don’t get soggy). This will save you about 5-10 minutes when mealtime comes around. When ready to assemble, simply follow the directions as written.
- full prep – follow the directions as written. Store in the fridge in a large airtight container or individual serving sizes (I love these weck jars) and heat up when you are ready to eat.
If you have extras that you can’t go through, it can be frozen. Allow the curry to cool completely and then freeze in an airtight container (these work great) for up to 6 months. Defrost in the fridge, preferably overnight as it will take time to defrost. You can heat it up in the microwave or on the stove when ready to eat.
Substitutions for vegan cauliflower chickpea curry
Here are a few substitutions you can use to make this curry:
- coconut oil – any kind of oil will work or you could use butter or ghee (dairy or dairy-free versions).
- garlic and ginger – I would strongly suggest using fresh garlic and ginger for the best flavor. If you don’t have any, you can use dried. One teaspoon of dried is equal to one tablespoon of fresh. I would suggest 1 teaspoon each of both ground garlic and ginger.
- chickpeas – if you don’t have chickpeas, any kind of most cooked beans can work. I would suggest northern beans, kidney beans, or lentils instead. The flavor will slightly change. If you are not vegan, you could add some shredded chicken to the recipe for more protein.
- veggies – any kind of veggies will work to add to this curry. I say the more the merrier! You can add more of the ones already in the recipe or different ones. Some that would work well are carrots, zucchini, and broccoli.
- potatoes – any kind of potato or winter squash will work, including white potatoes and butternut squash. Using those will change the flavor. You can also use more cauliflower instead of sweet potatoes if you like.
- coconut milk – you can use low-fat coconut milk instead of full fat if you like. The flavor will not be as rich nor will it be as thick and creamy, but it will still work.
More healthy vegan recipes
- Vegan Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Beet Burger
- Veggie Power Bowl
- Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
Cauliflower Chickpea Curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder, divided
- 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 cup diced onion (120 grams)
- 1 medium-large sweet potato, cubed (2 1/2 cups/300 grams)
- 2 large bell peppers, julienned (4 cups/400 grams)
- 4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (400 grams)
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 1 13.5-ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- for serving: white rice, cauliflower rice, cilantro, lime wedges...
- Heat a large dutch oven or nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add oil and let it get hot, about 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon curry powder, ground turmeric, garlic, and ginger and toast the spices by stirring until fragrant and well combined, about 30 seconds. Careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Add onion, sweet potato, salt and pepper, and 1/3 cup water. Mix well to combine. Cover with a lid, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times to make sure it doesn’t burn. Add cauliflower and mix well, cover with a lid, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. If needed, add a splash of water if starting to stick.
- Add peppers and mix well, cover with a lid, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add coconut milk, red curry paste, tomato paste, 1/2 tablespoon curry powder, cayenne, chickpeas, and salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Let simmer from 5-10 minutes until vegetables are cooked to your preference. Curry will thicken as you simmer. Serve with toppings and enjoy!
Recipe by Kelly Nardo, Eat the Gains | Photography by The Mindful Hapa
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