Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala, also called Chana Masala, is flavorful, filling, creamy, and easy to make! This vegan Indian recipe uses pantry staple ingredients, requires very little prep, and comes together quickly.
I love chickpea recipes for a filling, plant-based meal. If you like this recipe, check out this Spicy Tomato Chickpeas with Quinoa recipe for another vegan meal using pantry staples.
Why I Love It:
- Saucy and Flavorful – Super saucy and loaded with Indian spices for flavor.
- Creamy yet light – The sauce is creamy but thanks to using coconut milk it’s not overly heavy.
- Vegan Friendly – Chickpeas pack a plant-based protein punch.
- Great for Meal Prep – It not only reheats well but it freezes well too!
Ingredients You’ll Need for Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala
- Olive Oil
- Onion – I prefer using yellow, but white onion works too.
- Garlic and Ginger – fresh is best!
- Spices – Garama Masala or Tikka Masala spice blend, ground cayenne pepper
- Canned Diced Tomatoes – I prefer petite diced for this recipe, but regular diced will work just fine.
- Tomato Paste
- Canned Chickpeas
- Canned Coconut Milk
- Rice – for serving
How to Make Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala:
- Sauté Onion and Aromatics – Start by sautéing the onion in olive oil. Once the onions are tender, add the garlic, ginger, and spices. Saute for another minute. This brings out the flavor of the spices and lets the garlic and ginger cook.
- Add Remaining Ingredients – Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and coconut milk. Stir together and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer – Allow the chickpeas to simmer for about 20 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Serve – Serve with rice or other grain, sprinkle with fresh cilantro, and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do you find Garam Masala or Tikka Masala Seasoning Blend?
- Check in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store.
- Visit out your local ethnic supermarket.
- Not wanting to make a special trip? You can make the seasoning blend yourself using some staple spices. Here’s a great recipe to make your own blend.
What is the difference between Tikka Masala and Chana Masala?
Tikka Masala is made of small pieces of meat, most commonly chicken, in a creamy and slightly spicy sauce. Chana Masala is the similar dish but made with chickpeas.
What vegetables go with Tikka Masala?
If you want to add other veggies to Tikka Masala, some of my favorite adds are:
The sauce is just begging to be soaked up with some white rice and naan!
Leftovers – Storage, Freezing, Reheating
One of my favorite things about this recipe is leftovers reheat well! It’s a great option for healthy meal prep.
- Storage – Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Freezing – Leftovers freeze very well! Allow to cool down then freeze in freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months.
- Reheat – Allow to thaw in the fridge then reheat either in the microwave or in a pot on the stove until warmed.
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Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala is perfect for meatless Monday or for healthy vegan meal prep for the week. Using pantry staple ingredients like canned coconut milk to make it creamy but dairy-free.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1.5 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1.5 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1.5 tablespoons garam masala spice blend, can substitute tikka masala spice blend
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional, for added spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 4oz can tomato paste
- 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes, normal diced tomatoes can be subbed
- 2 14oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 14oz can coconut milk, full fat or reduced fat
- Cooked White Rice, for serving
- Cook Rice – First, start your rice cooking. Follow package directions.
- Sauté Onion – Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the diced onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until tender and translucent.
- Cook Aromatics – Lower heat to medium. Add the garlic, ginger, Garam Masala, cayenne pepper, and salt. Sauté for an additional minute until fragrant.
- Simmer – Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and coconut milk. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, if needed, and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Serve – Serve with the cooked rice and top with fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
The leftovers can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Dish, Meatless Monday
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: Chickpea Tikka Masala, Vegan Tikka Masala