35 minutes

Easy Chicken and Chickpea Curry

This easy chicken and chickpea curry recipe is cozy and satisfying. Full of lean protein and veggies, this is a mildly spicy and slightly sweet coconut curry that your whole family will love. 

Curry is one of my all-time favorite meals. It is so warm and homey, deliciously spiced and comforting. This chickpea spinach curry recipe is the first post I ever published on the blog, and still one of my most popular recipes. Today, I’m revisiting a similar flavor, but switching it up with lean chicken, red peppers, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, for a new healthy, easy, and family-friendly curry.

This chicken chickpea curry has a creamy coconut base, with a mild level of spice and just a touch of sugar, for a balanced and aromatic curry that your whole family will love. My recipe uses store-bought curry powder and garam masala, for a one-pot meal that is easy enough even for the busy weeknights. 

This curry is versatile too! Switch out the chicken for sweet potatoes or cauliflower for a vegetarian option. Or skip the chickpeas and use more chicken or veggies for a delicious and simple chicken coconut curry. Round out your meal with some naan bread, roasted vegetables or coconut basmati rice for a delicious dinner that will keep everyone going back for seconds. 

A wooden spoon with a spoonful of chicken and chickpea curry hovering over a pot of curry.

You Will Love This

  • Healthy and delicious: This delicious recipe has a creamy coconut curry base with lots of lean protein and vegetables. Healthy eating never tasted so good!
  • Great for meal prep: Curry stores and reheats well, and is great for meal prep.
  • Quick and easy: This recipe cooks and cleans up quickly, for an easy but super flavorful weeknight meal. 

Ingredients

To make this easy chickpea and chicken curry recipe, you need the following simple ingredients (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):

Ingredient Notes

  • Oil: I used olive oil in this recipe, but avocado oil and coconut oil work well too. 
  • Chicken: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe. You could substitute chicken thighs. You could also use leftover cooked chicken, like rotisserie chicken, as a shortcut. Simply add the cooked chicken at the end, after the sauce has simmered, and heat through. 
  • Spices: I used Spice Islands curry powder in this recipe, and McCormick Gourmet garam masala. 
  • Coconut milk: I recommend full fat coconut milk, for the best creamy and rich texture. Light coconut milk will make the sauce a bit thinner and less velvety. 
  • Diced tomatoes: I like petite diced tomatoes in this recipe. You can also add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste with the diced tomatoes if you want a more rich tomato flavor in your curry. 
  • Garlic: Feel free to use pre-minced garlic or fresh garlic cloves in this recipe, but I don’t recommend garlic powder as a substitute. This curry is also great with a teaspoon of fresh ginger, if you have it on hand!

Instructions

Step One: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces to the hot oil, and season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes, until fully cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

A grey skillet with raw chicken pieces seasoned with salt and pepper on a marble background.
A grey skillet with cooked chicken pieces seasoned with salt and pepper on a marble background.

Step Two: Add the onion and red pepper to the skillet with the remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes, until they are just starting to soften. Add the minced garlic and curry powder to the skillet and cook for 1 more minute. 

A grey skillet with sautéed diced onion and red pepper on a marble background.
A grey skillet with sautéed diced onion and red pepper seasoned with curry powder on a marble background.

Step Three: Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Return the cooked chicken to the pan, and add the diced tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring the curry to a gentle simmer. 

A grey skillet with cooked chicken, chickpeas, and tomatoes not yet mixed together.
A grey skillet with cooked chicken, chickpeas, and tomatoes mixed together.

Step Four: Add the coconut milk and stir well until the sauce is creamy. Reduce the stove to medium heat and allow the curry to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the chickpeas are softened and the curry has thickened slightly. 

A grey skillet with cooked chicken, chickpeas, and tomatoes topped with a large swirl of coconut milk.
A grey skillet with creamy coconut curry with chicken and chickpeas on a marble background.

Step Five: Season the curry with the sugar and garam masala, and stir to combine.

Top Tip: I like to add garam masala at the end of this recipe so that it doesn’t cook for too long. Garam masala has a delicate flavor and aroma. I have experimented with adding it at the beginning of the recipe (with the curry powder), and at the end, and I feel that it retains more of its taste and fragrance if you add it at the end. Experiment on your own, and let me know what you think! 

A grey skillet with creamy coconut curry with chicken and chickpeas on a marble background. The curry sauce is topped with garam masala and sugar, not yet mixed in.

Step Six: Add the fresh spinach to the skillet. Stir the spinach into the sauce until wilted. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and serve! 

A grey skillet with creamy coconut curry with chicken and chickpeas on a marble background. The curry sauce is topped with fresh baby spinach, not yet mixed in.
A grey skillet with creamy coconut curry with chicken and chickpeas, with wilted baby spinach, on a marble background.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I love leftover curry – the flavor will just continue to improve and it will be even better the next day!

A close up of a fork holding a bite of chicken and chickpea curry. A plate of curry and rice is blurred in the background.
A white bowl with half white rice and half chicken and chickpea curry. Naan bread, limes and fresh parsley are to the side.

Chicken and Chickpea Curry

This easy chicken and chickpea curry recipe is cozy and satisfying. Full of lean protein and veggies, this is a mildly spicy and slightly sweet coconut curry that your whole family will love. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Indian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 421 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 ounces baby spinach
  • Squeeze fresh lime juice

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, and season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper. Cook the chicken for 5-7 minutes, until fully cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the onion and red pepper to the skillet with the remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook the vegetables for 3-4 minutes, until they are just starting to soften. Add the minced garlic and curry powder to the skillet and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Return the cooked chicken to the pan, and add the diced tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring the curry to a low simmer.
  • Add the coconut milk and stir well until the sauce is creamy. Reduce the heat to medium and allow the curry to simmer for 5-10 minutes until the chickpeas are softened and the curry has thickened slightly.
  • Season the curry with the sugar and garam masala, and stir to combine.
  • Add the baby spinach to the skillet. Stir the spinach into the sauce until wilted. Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and serve!

Notes

Top Tip: I like to add garam masala at the end of this recipe so that it doesn’t cook for too long. Garam masala has a delicate flavor and aroma. I have experimented with adding it at the beginning of the recipe (with the curry powder), and at the end, and I feel that it retains more of its taste and fragrance if you add it at the end. Experiment on your own, and let me know what you think! 
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I love leftover curry – the flavor will just continue to improve and it will be even better the next day!

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 26gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 593mgPotassium: 983mgFiber: 8gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1920IUVitamin C: 30mgCalcium: 101mgIron: 6mg
Keyword chicken and chickpea curry, chicken coconut curry
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