This easy vegan butter ‘chicken’ alternative is made with chickpeas and peanut butter for an incredibly creamy, satisfying result that’s ideal for a weeknight dinner. Savoury and rich, this plant based meal is also ready in 15 minutes. Gluten-free and oil-free.

Easy vegan butter chicken butter chickpeas

It’s cool that nowadays we know how to veganise anything. AND keep it healthy. That does not exclude recipes that have both ‘butter’ and ‘chicken’ in the title. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, today I’m proud to present my alternative to butter chicken. Given the popularity of butter chicken, butter chickpeas is exactly what you need to impress fans of the former.

So, keep reading to find out everything about these butter chickpeas and how to make them! This is definitely one you want to have on your dinner rota.

Bowl of vegan chickpeas in a curry sauce

Vegan butter chicken made easy

I’m always happy when I manage to recreate a popular non-vegan dish without fancy ingredients. Sure, it may not be exactly the same, but the flavours are very similar and the use of plant based ingredients gives dishes their own uniqueness.

That’s certainly true about this vegan butter chicken. The main ingredient is chickpeas. In the world of beans and pulses, these are probably my favourite. They’re super versatile and have a great flavour that works in sweet and savoury dishes alike.

Bowl with vegan chickpeas in a curry sauce and rice

As for the sauce? It is well-flavoured with a mixture of spices that you most likely have in your cupboard already, and tomatoes. The secret ingredient, however, is peanut butter. It adds that distinctive creaminess and richness that makes butter chicken famous and will keep everyone coming back for seconds.

I made this dish while visiting my family in Russia. They’re all life-long omnivores, but my butter chickpeas disappeared in minutes nonetheless!

Closeup of vegan butter chicken over rice in a brown bowl

You will love this vegan butter chicken!

It’s …

Bowl of vegan chickpea curry with rice

  • Super easy, even with no prior cooking experience.
  • Full of flavour and richness.
  • Savoury, with just the right amount of spice.
  • Ready in 15 minutes.
  • Perfect as a weeknight dinner.
  • Made with simple ingredients.
  • Crowd-pleasing.
  • Freezer-friendly.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Oil-free.
  • A great alternative to takeaway.

Ingredients and substitutions

To make vegan butter chicken, you will need …

Bowl with chickpeas in a curry sauce over rice

  1. Fresh onions, either white or red.
  2. Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. These help add an incredible flavour naturally.
  3. Chickpeas. A key ingredient! However, if you want to switch things up, replace them with another bean variety, such as butter beans, tofu, or even a vegan meat alternative.
  4. Canned tomatoes. Will help enhance the flavour.
  5. Turmeric.
  6. Onion granules.
  7. Paprika.
  8. Curry powder (select spice level based on your personal preference). Or, use vegan curry paste.
  9. Coconut milk. Use the canned variety, either full fat or reduced fat, based on your preference.
  10. Tomato paste.
  11. Peanut butter. Once again, this is a key ingredient, but other nut butter varieties will work too. Go for a smooth variety, where the only ingredients are nuts and salt at most.
  12. Tamari, or coconut aminos to make this dish soy-free.

How to make vegan butter chickpeas

Add the onion to a non-stick frying pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the cherry tomatoes and stir for a further 2 minutes, until the tomatoes cook down.

Add the chickpeas, canned tomatoes, turmeric, onion granules, paprika and curry powder. Stir for 2 minutes to coat the chickpeas and allow the spices to become fragrant.

Pour in the coconut milk together with the tomato paste and peanut butter. Simmer on a medium heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more coconut milk if it starts to get too thick or dry.

Saucepan with vegan butter chickpeas

At the last minute, stir in the tamari and serve immediately.

Other vegan chickpea recipes

Easy vegan butter chicken with rice

Let me know in the comments: what’s your current comfort food favourite? If you give this easy vegan butter chicken a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below!

Easy vegan butter chicken butter chickpeas

Get the Recipe: Easy Vegan Butter Chicken (Butter Chickpeas)

This easy vegan butter 'chicken' alternative is made with chickpeas and peanut butter for an incredibly creamy, satisfying result that's ideal for a weeknight dinner. Savoury and rich, this plant based meal is also ready in 15 minutes. Gluten-free and oil-free.
5 from 11 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can tomatoes
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp curry powder, or vegan curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp tamari

Equipment

  • Frying pan or saucepan

Instructions 

  • Add the onion to a non-stick frying pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the cherry tomatoes and stir for a further 2 minutes, until the tomatoes cook down. 
  • Add the chickpeas, canned tomatoes, turmeric, onion granules, paprika and curry powder. Stir for 2 minutes to coat the chickpeas and allow the spices to become fragrant. 
  • Pour in the coconut milk together with the tomato paste and peanut butter. Simmer on a medium heat for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more coconut milk if it starts to get too thick or dry. 
  • At the last minute, stir in the tamari and serve immediately. 

Video

Calories: 319kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Sodium: 487mg, Potassium: 674mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 970IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 5mg

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Easy gluten-free vegan butter chicken