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. Savory and rich, this plant based meal is also ready in 15 minutes. Gluten-free and oil-free.
It's cool that nowadays we know how to vegan-ize 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 delicious butter chickpeas and how to make them! This is definitely one you want to have on your dinner rotation.
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 flavors 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 favorite.
They're super versatile and have a great flavor that works in sweet and savory dishes alike.
As for the sauce? It is well-flavored with a mixture of spices that you most likely have in your cupboard already, and lots of 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.
And that is also the ingredient that makes this dish totally different than this otherwise similar Indian Butter Chickpeas recipe.
I made this dish while visiting my friends in Russia. They're all life-long omnivores, but my butter chickpeas disappeared in minutes nonetheless!
You will love this vegan butter chicken!
This vegan butter chicken is...
- Super easy, even with no prior cooking experience.
- Full of flavor and richness.
- Savoury, with just the right amount of spice.
- Ready in 15 minutes.
- Perfect as a weeknight dinner.
- Made with simple ingredients.
- A great alternative to takeaway.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make vegan butter chicken, you will need ...
Fresh onions, either white or red.
Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half. These help add an incredible flavor naturally.
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.
Canned tomatoes. Will help enhance the flavor. I prefer these fire roasted tomatoes for extra flavor.
Curry powder (select spice level based on your personal preference). Or, use a vegan curry paste. I'm a fan of this curry powder.
Coconut milk. Use the canned variety, either full fat or reduced fat, based on your preference.
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.
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.
At the last minute, stir in the tamari and serve immediately.
Other vegan chickpea recipes
If you love this vegan butter "chicken", be sure to check out these other delicious ideas:
- 22+ Best Vegan Indian Recipes (plus these vegetarian Indian recipes!)
- Sweet and sour chickpeas and green beans
- Noodle soup with roasted chickpeas
- Peanut chickpea curry
- One pot chickpea pasta
Let me know in the comments: what's your current comfort food favorite? If you give this easy vegan butter chicken a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@ohmyveggies) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below!
- Deep Frying Pan or saucepan
- 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.