Chickpea Tikka Masala (Vegan)
This vegan chickpea tikka masala is made with lots of vegetables and aromatic spices for an Indian inspired plant based dinner that’s comforting and packed full of flavor. It’s ready in under 30 minutes and requires just simple ingredients. Serve with rice or naan bread.
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share a Tikka Masala recipe here on the blog! I make this dinner for myself all the time, because it’s so easy to make and always tastes phenomenal. You just can’t beat a bowl of Tikka Masala served over a bed of rice, or with naan bread, after a long day. You need to try this out for sure if you’re a plant based comfort food lover like myself!
This Indian inspired recipe is saucy, packed full of flavor, and made with spices that will make your whole kitchen smell amazing. The ingredients are also accessible and budget-friendly: you probably have most of them in your kitchen already.
Regardless, the flavors are incredible. This dish is intensely savory, with plenty of earthiness and a hint of tanginess too due to the tomatoes. The addition of coconut milk makes the Tikka Masala super creamy (don’t worry, it won’t taste like coconut though), while the chickpeas add extra deliciousness and plenty of texture together with the vegetables.
Plus, this meal is ready in under 30 minutes, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner to enjoy after a long day. It’s family-friendly and great for batch-cooking, so I recommend you make extra and enjoy over the course of a few days! Trust me, this is too delicious to eat only once.
Ingredients for vegan Tikka Masala
Here are the main ingredients you will need to make this amazing weeknight dinner:
- Olive oil for cooking the vegetables. You can also use coconut oil.
- Fresh tomatoes. Adding these right at the start adds a lovely tangy undertone to the Tikka Masala.
- Tomato paste. This is used for cooking the vegetables to add even more flavor and richness.
- Onion and garlic. Cooking these for around 5 minutes at the start of the process helps them become sweeter and really boost the flavor profile of the dish.
- Red bell pepper. You can also add any other veggies of your choice, such as zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
- Spices: cumin, turmeric and paprika. These work together really well, making the dish super aromatic. The paprika also adds a hint of spice.
- Garam masala. Garam masala, which is made from a blend of coriander, cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. It’s a key ingredient in Tikka Masala that gives the dish its signature flavor.
- Mushrooms. I used button mushrooms, but chestnut, oyster and shiitake mushrooms also work.
- Chickpeas. You can either use chickpeas from a can, or cook your own from scratch and use the same amount. One can of chickpeas is equivalent to around 1 1/2 cups.
- Canned tomatoes. I use 14 oz cans of chopped tomatoes, which create an amazing tangy flavor.
- Coconut milk. I use full fat coconut milk for the most creamy texture. However, if you don’t want to use coconut milk, you can use a vegan cream alternative, or plant based milk from a carton (keep in mind that the latter option won’t be as creamy).
- Soy yoghurt. This is optional, but it does contribute to the texture. You can use any unsweetened vegan yoghurt variety of your choice.
- Chilli paste. This is optional for adding a hint of spice.
- Spinach. You can add other leafy greens of your choice, such as kale.
How to make chickpea Tikka Masala
Start by heating the olive oil in a large pan for around 30 seconds over a medium-high heat. Now add the tomatoes, tomato paste, onion and garlic. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant.
Next, add the red bell pepper, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala. Cook for 5 minutes more, allowing the bell pepper to soften. Then, add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until they begin to shrink down.
Add the chickpeas, canned tomatoes, coconut milk, soy yoghurt, and chilli paste. Stir together, then lower the heat to a medium and simmer for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
At the last minute, season to to taste with salt and stir in the spinach. Serve once the spinach wilts.
Storing and freezing
This chickpea Tikka Masala keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it in individual freezer-friendly bags for up to 2 months. Leave to thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
How to serve vegan Tikka Masala
I love serving Tikka Masala with rice. You can serve it with any rice variety of your choice: Basmati, Jasmine, wholegrain, etc. Naan bread is also delicious served with this meal. Garnish with fresh cilantro, some more vegan yoghurt, and chilli flakes.
Other vegan weeknight dinners
If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy:
- Vegan coconut vegetable noodle stir-fry is super quick and easy to make!
- My jackfruit curry recipe is packed full of flavor and deliciousness.
- Try out roasted red pepper pasta for simple comfort food!
- My vegan sweet potato soup is fuss-free and made with simple ingredients.
- If you love pasta, you’ll love vegan carbonara with mushroom bacon.
If you give this recipe a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating!
Get the Recipe: Chickpea Tikka Masala (Vegan)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup tomatoes, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 4 tsp garam masala
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 1 1/2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed (14 oz cans)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes, (14 oz)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup soy yoghurt
- 1/2 tbsp chilli paste
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 3 cups spinach
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan for around 30 seconds over a medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, onion and garlic. Cook for around 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant.
- Add the red bell pepper, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and garam masala. Cook for 5 minutes more, allowing the bell pepper to soften. Now add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until they begin to shrink down.
- Add the chickpeas, canned tomatoes, coconut milk, soy yoghurt, and chilli paste. Stir together, then lower the heat to a medium and simmer for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season to to taste with salt and stir in the spinach. Serve once the spinach wilts.
- This chickpea Tikka Masala keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze it in individual freezer-friendly bags for up to 2 months. Leave to thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
- You can add other vegetables of your choice, such as zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli.