This vegan chickpea tikka masala is packed with flavor from aromatic spices, tangy tomato, creamy coconut milk, and hearty chickpeas. This is a satisfying and wholesome Indian dish you will love! Serve with warm basmati rice and a piece of buttered toasted naan for the perfect meal.
This vegan tikka masala recipe reminds me of one of my favorite dishes at Indian restaurants before I went vegan. It has all the similar flavors of traditional tikka masala (love that creamy tomato sauce!) but with plant-based ingredients. I honestly think the vegan version is a lot better!
This is a great recipe for weeknights because it takes less than 30 minutes to make!
▶︎Love cozy meals? Check out these other soups, stews, and curry recipes!
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- Pillowy soft gnocchi in a warm tomato base combines to make a delicious Creamy Tomato Gnocchi Soup.
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans): You only need two 15 oz cans for this recipe.
- Coconut milk: Full-fat coconut milk will give you the best flavor for this recipe. If you want less calories or fat, use Lite coconut milk.
- Tomato Puree: This is the class flavor of tikka masala. You only need one 15 oz can for this recipe.
- Rice or Bread for the side: You can serve with basmati rice, brown rice, vegan naan bread , or cauliflower rice for a healthier option.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Step 2: Add garlic and ginger paste and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric, black pepper and coriander (NO SALT YET). Fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Pour in the tomato puree, chickpeas, water, and salt. Bring to a rapid simmer by turning heat up to high. Then turn heat down to med-low and simmer for about 20 minutes (covered), stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. The tikka masala sauce should become a deep brown red color.
Step 4: Stir the coconut cream and brown sugar through the sauce.
Step 5: Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with white rice and fresh naan. Optional: squeeze from fresh lemon juice on top.
The taste is a blend of various spices including a combination of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric, which contribute to the dish's warm and earthy undertones. The addition of tomatoes provides a subtle sweetness and acidity, while coconut milk adds creaminess.
No this dish is not spicy at all. It is packed with lots of flavor from the spices.
Chickpea tikka masala pairs excellently with fluffy basmati rice, warm naan bread for scooping, or roti. For a healthier option, try it over quinoa or cauliflower rice.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze this dish for up to 3 months.
- As your chickpeas are simmering, check them intermittently to make sure they are not getting to dry and starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a little extra water if this happens and be sure to cook on LOW heat so it is simmering, not boiling.
- You can make this dish oil-free by using ¼ cup of water or vegetable broth when sauteeing.
- You can easily double this recipe for leftovers. It tastes even better the next day as the flavor develops even more. My husband even ate some of the tikka masala in tacos (a unique but great way to use leftovers- haha!)
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Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala
- Large saucepan
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander optional
- pinch pepper
- 2 15 oz cans chickpeas drained and rinsed
- ¾ teaspoon salt add more to taste
- 15 oz tomato puree
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk*
- 1 teaspoons brown sugar*
- Cilantro for topping
- basmati rice
- In a large saucepan, add your olive oil and warm over medium heat. Cook the onions until soft (~ 3 minutes) until they start to turn slightly brown.
- Add garlic and ginger paste and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, cumin, turmeric and coriander (NO SALT YET). Fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the tomato puree, chickpeas, water, and salt. Bring to a rapid simmer by turning heat up to high. Then turn heat down to med-low and simmer for about 20 minutes (covered), stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brown red color.
- Stir the coconut cream and brown sugar through the sauce.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with hot rice and fresh naan.
- As the chickpeas simmer, check them intermittently to make sure they are not drying out and sticking to the bottom. If this happens, add a touch more water to the dish and make sure heat is on LOW so it's simmering and not boiling.