My Chicken & Chickpea Curry recipe is a fast and flavor packed. It's made with creamy coconut milk and fragrant spices and is naturally gluten free and dairy free. This one pot curry is great for meal prep and makes a perfect easy weeknight dinner.
Curried chickpeas with chicken and spinach takes very little time to prepare, just 10 minutes, then you can leave it simmering gently in the pot.
The mild spicing makes it ideal for serving to younger kids or anyone who doesn't like their food too spicy. However, you can easily increase the chili heat if you prefer your curries on the hotter side.
I love to make my own curries. This chicken & chickpea curry with spinach is a far healthier and cheaper alternative to getting a restaurant curry. Plus you know exactly what you're putting into it.
- Why You'll Love This Chicken Curry Recipe
- Chicken & Chickpea Curry Ingredients
- How to Make Chicken & Chickpea Curry recipe - Step-By-Step
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Variations & Substitutions for Chicken & Chickpea Curry with Coconut Milk
- Tips & Tricks For Making Chicken & Chickpea Curry
- Pin This Chicken & Chickpea Curry with Spinach Recipe For Later
- What Do You Think?!
- More Easy Dinner Recipe Ideas
- Printable Recipe
- Chicken & Chickpea Curry with Spinach
Why You'll Love This Chicken Curry Recipe
- This fast pared back curry is made in one large pot which means you retain all the flavor, whilst cutting down on the washing up.
- With a homemade curry you know exactly what's going into it. There's no excessive oil or salt in this curry sauce.
- This dish is made with mild curry powder, so it's ideal for younger diners. However, if you like your food spicy you can add more chili.
- Made with coconut milk, this creamy curry is suitable for dairy free diners.
- Use gluten free chicken stock and this recipe is ideal for celiacs or anyone following a gluten free diet.
- Try some of these delicious curry recipes:
Chicken & Chickpea Curry Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe card below.
Chicken - I have used skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets as the darker thigh meat has great flavor. You could also use chicken drumsticks. If using chicken breasts adjust the cooking times as breast meat cooks faster than the dark thigh meat.
Chickpeas - For convenience I have used drained canned chickpeas here (or garbanzo beans). If you prefer it's fine to soak and cook dried chickpeas and I've added instructions for that later in the post.
Spices & Aromatics - This recipe uses familiar spices and fresh aromatics like ginger and garlic, that most of you will have in your own kitchens. If there is a spice you don't like, leave it out, or swap it for a spice you do like.
If you don't like too much heat, cut down on the chili powder, or leave it out altogether. However, if you like your food really spicy add more chili.
Coconut Milk - I use full-fat coconut milk as it adds great flavor and texture. You can substitute with light Coconut Milk, but it will result in a thinner curry sauce.
Spinach - I have used fresh spinach to wilt through the curry at the end. Frozen spinach is a convenient and cheaper option and that would work too.
How to Make Chicken & Chickpea Curry recipe - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe below.
Generously season chicken thighs and sauté in olive oil until golden brown. Remove from the pan.
Sauté diced onion in the same pan until soft then add minced garlic and ginger, stir and cook for a further minute.
Add garam masala or curry powder, chili powder (if using), tomato paste, honey, canned tomatoes, chickpeas and ½ the chicken stock.
Add the chicken back to the pan, season again, stir gently and bring to the boil. Add the lid and continue simmering until the chicken is fully cooked. Add more of the chicken stock if needed.
Use a spoon or a potato masher to gently break up and shred the cooked chicken then stir in the coconut milk. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed then stir in the spinach leaves until they're just wilted.
Scatter over the chopped fresh cilantro and serve with rice and naan if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Chicken is Best To Use For Curry?
For me the dark chicken thigh meat makes the best curry, as thigh meat is full of flavor and is a juicier cut. You can use chicken breast, but it's a leaner cut, so can dry out when cooked, and it doesn't have the same depth of flavor as dark leg meat.
What Spices are Best To Use in Curry?
I've used garam masala and some chili powder. Garam masala is a ground spice blend containing different spices that can include: cinnamon; peppercorns; cardamon; mustard seeds; coriander; cloves; mace; and nutmeg.
However, curries are adaptable so use the spices you enjoy. A good alternative for garam masala would be a curry powder. Or use a blend of your favorite spices like ground cumin, coriander, turmeric or cinnamon.
How to Use Dried Chickpeas in Curry?
If using dried chickpeas, place into a dish, cover with plenty of water, as they will absorb some of the water and swell up. Leave the dish to sit overnight.
The following day rinse the chickpeas and place into a pot, then cover with a few extra inches of water, add some salt and bring to a boil.
Then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the chickpeas are tender. Then drain the chickpeas through a sieve and add to your curry sauce.
Variations & Substitutions for Chicken & Chickpea Curry with Coconut Milk
I made this with chicken thigh meat but you can use other chicken pieces. Chicken drumsticks would work, as would chicken breast, just be sure to adjust the cooking time.
If you don't have chickpeas, any other drained canned white beans work here, like navy beans or cannellini. You could also add lentils.
Swap the fresh spinach for frozen spinach, or another leafy green like kale or chard.
Use coconut cream instead of coconut milk for a really creamy curry sauce.
If you want to load in some extra veggies try cauliflower; potato; sweet potato; butternut squash; zucchini; green beans; or eggplant.
Tips & Tricks For Making Chicken & Chickpea Curry
- This dish freezes well, so is great for batch cooking. I like to make double the quantity, eat half and freeze the other half for a quick meal at a later date.
- Adding one teaspoon of chili powder will give you a mild flavored curry. However, you can adapt the chili heat up or down depending on your taste.
- A great way to 'refresh' reheated or frozen curry is to add fresh herbs. So remember to add some fresh cilantro to the curry when you re-heat it.
- If you're in a real hurry it's fine to use ready chopped onion and ready minced garlic and ginger (either fresh or frozen) to cut down even more on prep time.
How To Serve Curried Chickpeas with Chicken & Spinach
White or brown steamed basmati rice and naan bread are both classic accompaniments to this dish. I always like to serve bread which helps mop up the curry sauce.
For something a little different, how about trying my Coconut Rice with Lime? Cauliflower rice would be a lighter and low carb option.
I like to add a bowl of freshly sliced red chilies to the table, that way those who like their curry on the hotter side can add to taste.
How To Reheat Chicken & Chickpea Curry?
Curry is a great make ahead dish and is perfect for weekly meal prep. Prepare it the day before and leave to cool before storing in the fridge.
In fact curry always tastes better the second day as the flavors intensify when left to sit overnight. When ready to eat, just put the curry back on the stove and warm up gently until piping hot.
How to Freeze Curry?
As with most curries, this homemade curry can be easily frozen. Cook the curry then allow it to cool completely before placing in an airtight container with a tight fitting lid.
It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, defrost thoroughly before heating gently until hot all the way through.
Pin This Chicken & Chickpea Curry with Spinach Recipe For Later
What Do You Think?!
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More Easy Dinner Recipe Ideas
Chicken & Chickpea Curry with Spinach
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 lb Chicken Thighs - boneless & skinless
- 1 Onion - diced
- 1 clove Garlic - finely grated or minced
- 1 inch Fresh Ginger - peeled and finely grated
- 1 tbsp Garam Masala - or curry powder
- 1 tsp Chili Powder - optional
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste - or tomato puree
- 1 tsp Honey - optional
- 28 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
- 28 oz Canned Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans - drained
- 1 cup Chicken Stock - or water
- 4 cups Baby Spinach
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- Fresh Cilantro (Coriander) - optional
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper
- Season the chicken thighs generously with sea salt and black pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large lidded saucepan.
- Sauté the chicken pieces over a medium-high heat until golden - around 5 to 10 minutes. It doesn't need to be cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and reserve on a plate.
- Sauté the diced onion in the same pan on a medium heat until soft - around 10 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and ginger and stir, cooking for a further minute.
- Add the garam masala or curry powder, chili powder (if using), tomato paste, honey, canned tomatoes, chickpeas and ½ the chicken stock (add more if needed later depending on the thickness of the sauce).
- Add the chicken back to the pan, season again and stir gently. Bring the sauce to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the pan lid.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally (and adding the other half cup of stock if necessary) until the chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear - around 25 minutes.
- Use a spoon or a potato masher to gently break up and shred the cooked chicken.
- Next stir in the coconut milk. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Finally stir in the spinach leaves until they're just wilted.
- Scatter over the chopped fresh cilantro and serve with rice and naan if desired.
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