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A hand using folded naan to scoop up vegan butter chickpeas.

The Best Vegan Butter Chickpeas

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  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Transform canned chickpeas into a rich and flavorful meal! This Indian cuisine uses a homemade tomato-based curry to create the most delicious butter chickpeas in under 30 minutes. Vegan and gluten-free.


Units Scale

Vegan Butter Chickpeas:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and diced
  • 7 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 6 fresh campari tomatoes, diced or 12 ounces cherry tomatoes (2 cups) [seeds and juices included]
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 2, 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (3 cup of chickpeas)

Basmati Rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt


  1. Prepare the basmati rice. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Drain and add to a large pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer covered on the lowest burner setting for 20 minutes. Turn off the burner while keeping covered and allow to sit for an additional 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. Proceed to the next step while the rice cooks.
  2. Sauté the shallots and garlic. Add olive oil, shallots, garlic, salt and all spices to a medium saucepan and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add the tomatoes and maple syrup. Cover, turn heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Blend. Transfer the contents to a blender and add water and cashews. Blend until perfectly smooth and creamy.
  5. Stir in the chickpeas. Pour the sauce back into the original saucepan and stir in the chickpeas. Set the burner to medium and allow everything to warm through.
  6. Serve over basmati rice. Stir and ladle the butter chickpeas over basmati rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with naan bread for those who are not gluten-free.


Do NOT use an immersion blender! A high-speed blender is necessary for this recipe in order to fully blend the cashews into the creamy curry sauce.

Adjust or add seasonings. If you don't like a lot of spice, feel free to remove the cayenne. For more intense, sweet flavor, you can add more garam masala. Additionally, you can add tomato paste, curry powder, chili powder ground coriander and even fenugreek leaves. Don't be afraid to put your own spin on it!

The sauce will thicken as it sits. Don't worry if the sauce looks too thin in the beginning as it will naturally thicken up.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian