This chickpea peanut butter curry is a hearty meal that’s packed full of protein and delicious flavors. It’s a great choice to try some vegan meals and ready in just 45 minutes.
Why Try This Recipe
- It’s a vegan meal that fills you up: This is one of those recipes that happen to be vegan, but you don’t realize it because it’s so filling and tasty – it just doesn’t need meat. There’s plenty in this recipe that makes for a satisfying meal, but it’s also easily adjustable if you want to tone down the calories a bit. The peanut butter adds some stodge, whilst the chickpeas add the protein boost.
- There’s a great combination of tastes: the earthy taste of the peanut butter, the warm and peppery taste of the ginger and the spiciness of the curry paste all combine for a tasty meal.
- It’s easy and quick to make: after the initial cooking of the onions and peppers, the chickpeas, peanut butter, and red Thai curry paste don’t need to be cooked (only the spinach), allowing for a quick curry. Everything is made in one pan except for the rice (and you can even buy microwave rice if you’re feeling really lazy).
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this chickpea peanut butter curry
- Extra virgin olive oil: we love using extra virgin olive oil over standard olive oil for its health benefits. However, feel free to use other oils like canola oil or coconut oil.
- Pepper: we’ve diced the peppers to cook them quickly, but you can substitute some other vegetables like carrots here if you want to get more veggies into your meal.
- Garlic + onion
- Ginger: ginger adds some nice warm tones to the dish. You can also use fresh ginger (one thumb of ginger = 1 tsp ginger).
- Thai red curry paste: we’ve used 3 tbsp for a curry that serves 2 people. The spiciness will differ depending on the brand used, so adjust the amount depending on how spicy you like it. You can add some chili flakes or a red chili for some extra kick if needed. Be sure to choose a curry paste without too much sugar within it, or make your own. Thai green curry paste is fine too.
- Peanut butter: we prefer using crunchy peanut butter and mixing it thoroughly in the coconut milk, but you can also use smooth peanut butter. You can also use a different kind of nut butter such as almond or cashew butter.
- Chickpeas: these add a nice protein boost to the meal and some extra. If you’re not a fan of chickpeas, you can substitute them for black beans, cannellini beans, or kidney beans.
- Spinach: I’m always trying to add extra leafy greens anywhere I can in my diet, and the spinach works really well here.
- Coconut milk: coconut milk is delicious, but it is very high in saturated fat. Light coconut milk still works really well in this recipe, but you can also dilute standard coconut milk with water to reduce the fat content present.
- Basmati rice: rice + curries always work a treat, but feel free to experiment with other grains like quinoa. You can save time if you choose microwaveable rice. Brown rice is a healthy choice but takes far longer to cook, so keep that in mind.
- Lime: this adds some extra sweetness to the dish, but feel free to use the juice of lemons instead (bottled lemon juice doesn’t add much to the flavor).
- Flaked almonds: these will add an extra crunch to the dish, so it’s definitely worth not skipping on. Any type of nuts will do, but cashews, peanuts. Be sure to choose unsalted versions to keep the salt/sodium amounts low.
How to Make This Peanut Butter Curry (Step-by-Step Instructions)
Step 1 – Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a pan over a medium heat. Dice a red pepper and chop an onion. Add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
Step 2 – Crush a garlic clove and 1 tsp ginger and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.
Step 3 – Add the Thai red curry paste, peanut butter, chickpeas and spinach. Cook for 5 minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt.
Step 4 – Add the coconut milk, bring to boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes or until the milk has soaked in. Stir everything occasionally.
Step 5 – Meanwhile, add water to another saucepan and boil the basmati rice for 10 minutes (or however long is recommended for your rice on the packaging).
Step 6 – Add ½ juice of a lime to the curry, plate the rice, then add some flaked almonds on top to serve.
What Can I Add to This Curry?
Check the ingredients section for substitutions you can make. In a nutshell, there is a lot of variety possible.
However, both tofu and chicken make for great additions. A tofu peanut butter curry can be made by cooking the tofu in a separate pan for about 15 minutes, then adding it whilst the coconut milk is simmering.
A chicken peanut butter curry can be made in the same way, by cooking the chicken separately, then adding it to the pan towards to end.
What Peanut Butter Should I Buy?
You should check the ingredients on the peanut butter packaging. Try to buy peanut butter that is as close to 100% as possible, with some salt.
You may see additional ingredients like oil and sugar that reduce the nutritional value and can have ethical problems.
Some of the ingredients to avoid include:
- Hydrogenated oils: these contain trans fat, a fat that increases the risk of many health issues like inflammation and heart disease.
- Palm oil: these have environmental concerns. Since oil palms are grown near the equator, the plantations often destroy highly diverse habitats like rainforests. Even certified sustainable palm oil is unlikely to be truly sustainable.
How Long Can I Store It?
This is a recipe that stores well, so feel free to make it in big batches.
You can add some extra lime juice once you have reheated the curry if frozen since freezing can dull the flavor. Cook the rice fresh if possible.
- In the freezer: store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge before reheating.
- In the fridge: store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Extra Delicious Curries
If you fancy a different kind of curry, check out these below:
- Chicken Butternut Korma
- Coconut Turkey Curry
- Peanut Chicken Skillet
- African Peanut Soup
- Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry
- Red Lentil Curry
Extra Cooking Notes
- It will seem like a lot of spinach when you add it to the pan, but when it wilts, it takes up a lot less space.
- You can replace or add some water to the curry to thin the sauce out, but the spinach does release some water whilst it cooks anyway.
- The Thai red curry paste spice levels differ from brand to brand, so you can adjust the amount of red curry paste depending on how spicy you like it. You can also add extra coconut milk to help balance it out.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tsp ginger
- 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
- 1 cup (160g) canned chickpeas, drained
- 3 cups (90g) spinach
- ⅘ cups (200ml) light coconut milk
- ½ cup (200g) basmati rice
- ½ lime, juiced
- ¼ cup (25g) flaked almonds, to serve
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a pan over a medium heat. Dice a red pepper and chop an onion. Add to the pan and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Crush a garlic clove and ginger and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the Thai red curry paste, peanut butter, chickpeas and spinach. Cook for 5 minutes or until the spinach starts to wilt.
- Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes or until the milk has soaked in. Stir everything occasionally.
- Meanwhile, add water to another saucepan and boil the basmati rice for 10 minutes.
- Add the lime juice to the curry, plate the rice, then add some flaked almonds on top.
Amount Per Serving Calories 689Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 20gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 0mgSodium 665mgCarbohydrates 69gFiber 11gSugar 12gProtein 19g
Want More Delicious, Mediterranean Style Recipes?
If you’ve cooked this recipe, be sure to leave a comment or review! But if you’re looking for more: