Chickpea Tikka Masala (Vegan)

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

This Chickpea Tikka Masala is an incredibly easy & absolutely divine vegan version of the popular classic dish! It tastes deliciously indulgent while remaining healthy and makes large portions that are perfect for meal prep! 

chickpea tikka masala in a plate with rice and naan bread

It’s safe to say that this Chickpea Tikka Masala will be a HIT on the blog. I’m calling it from now, for a few reasons.

One, wow, you guys have asked for Chickpea Tikka Masala for YEARS now. Two, it’s loosely based on my #1 recipe, Coconut Chickpea Curry. We all love Coconut Chickpea Curry, right?! The main differences are that this version was made to reflect the classic dish so the seasoning portions are a bit different and there’s a lot more emphasis on tomato here.

Three, I made this (obvi) and let me tell you – it’s a smashing hit. It’s a you gotta make this hit. It’s a “How does this taste exactly like our favourite takeout?!” – Gav, hit.

Tikka Masala vs Butter Cauliflower/Tofu

This Chickpea Tikka Masala has been a favourite in our house since the very first time I made it. The funny thing is, even though it was based on my Coconut Chickpea Curry, the flavours are SO different. The flavours are also so different from my Indian Butter Cauliflower and my Butter Tofu Chicken.

In the Chickpea Curry, the flavours are more garam-masala-y. In the ‘butter’ dishes, they lend to a more creamy indulgent side and are slightly sweet. In this Chickpea Tikka Masala, tomato and texture is king.

I challenge you to make all four variations and pick a favourite. You’ll love them all, and have incredible leftovers everyday! So, win win (win, and win), am I right?

tikka masala in a pot surrounded by naan, parsley, rice, a plate with more tikka masala and a wooden spatula on a marble background with parsley sprinkled all over

How to Make Chickpea Tikka Masala

So here’s the run down. The key to making an incredible vegan version of Tikka Masala is to focus on the core flavours in the original. In this delicious vegan version, chickpeas replace chicken. Of course no one is trying to make chickpeas taste like chicken, but it yields an absolutely phenomenal tasting dish nonetheless. Chickpeas ensure you still get great protein in this dish, and they truly soak up the flavour in the sauce.

This Chickpea Tikka Masala is SO flavourful. I didn’t want any overwhelming seasonings, but instead wanted everything to enhance and complement the tomato flavour that’s so prevalent in Tikka Masala. I found that the fresh ginger, the tomato paste and a bit more curry than I usually use really did the trick.

Then, of course, the cream, which gives Tikka Masala that signature colour. I used coconut milk because it’s affordable, easy to find and doesn’t give the dish a coconut-y flavour. However, you could substitute a pourable cashew cream which would also be a great heavy cream substitute. 

tikka masala in a plate with rice and naan bread at an angle

All in all this yields a dish that will perfume your entire kitchen and home with scents reminiscent of your favourite Indian takeout restaurant. Best of all, this dish makes such large portions that you’ll have plenty of leftovers.

You can even switch up how you enjoy it. Some nights I have it with naan, other with basmati rice, sometimes even in a roti wrap! Sometimes alone. No matter which way you serve it, I know you’ll love it. Eat up and enjoy friends!

Enjoy friends! If you make this Chickpea Tikka Masala, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much! P.S. – do you know that we have an entire blog dedicated to low carb recipes named Low Carb Vegan Recipes?! Be sure to check it out!

Chickpea Tikka Masala (Vegan)

This Chickpea Tikka Masala is an incredibly easy & absolutely divine version of the popular classic dish! It tastes deliciously indulgent while remaining healthy and mades large portions that are perfect for meal prep! 
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian
Keyword chickpea tikka masala, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free, vegan, Vegetarian
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 28 ounces jarred or canned or fresh tomato sauce
  • 2 16 ounces/454g cans of chickpeas total of 32 ounces, drained
  • 1 cup thick creamy coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar optional - to balance out the acidity
  • juice of 1 lime about 1 tablespoon


  • In a deep pot over medium high heat, add the coconut oil.
  • Add in the onion, garlic, and ginger. Reduce to medium heat. Grind some sea salt and ground black pepper over the mixture and stir together. Saute until the onions are translucent and the ginger and garlic are fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the garam masala, curry powder, cumin and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  • Add in the tomato sauce, the chickpeas and the (optional) coconut sugar. Stir to combine. Bring the curry to a boil, and then reduce to medium-low so that the mixture continues to simmer for 8 to 10 more minutes. Cover slightly with lid but not completely to allow the steam and excess water to escape.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for about 3 more minutes. Taste the curry and season with salt and pepper if you desire. Remove the curry from the heat and squeeze the lime over the top of the curry, stirring to combine. Don't skip this step!!
  • Allow to cool slightly and then serve. Enjoy!


This recipe is vegan and gluten free.
*Many readers have asked and yes you can definitely used reduced fat coconut milk! You can even used boxed coconut milk if those calories suit you better.
HOW TO STORE: You can store this curry in an air-tight tupperware container in the fridge for up a week. It’s an excellent candidate for freezing and can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
1. This curry lasts for at least a week in the fridge as leftovers.
2. You can serve with whole wheat naan bread, basmati rice, or even crispy tortilla chips.


Calories: 222kcal
by Jessica

leave a comment


  1. randy E thill says:

    I discovered an abundance of chickpeas in the cupboard the other day. Your timely recipe is surely a sign! For once I’m totally prepared!

  2. Suzanne says:

    5 stars
    Jessica, this recipe is fabulous! I am a big fan of your chickpea curry recipe so I had to try this. It’s delicious. The only thing I added was a healthy dose of cayenne pepper and some chopped cilantro at the end. This one is a keeper. Thanks again for another great recipe!

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Oh wow Suzanne great additions. We’re so happy that you liked another recipe! Thanks again for reading.

  3. Diane Mott says:

    5 stars
    I made your Chickpea Tiki Masala. I didn’t have the tomato sauce so I used diced tomatoes and cooked the sauce down. I added about a cup of sliced baby spinach. Delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Diane,

      Oh I’m SO happy to hear that!! Thank you so much for sharing with me and letting me now. You’re so welcome!!

  4. Aashi says:

    Any substitue for coconut milk plss??

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Hi Aashi, you can use soy milk or even cashew milk unsweetened. Thank you so much for reading and I hope this helps!

  5. Tanaka says:

    5 stars
    Just made this for dinner! I’m a huge fan of Jessica’s Coconut Chickpeas Curry recipe and since I’ve only eaten it like 500 times, I wanted to try something new. I absolutely love this. Indian food is one of my favourite cuisine and this tasted so authentic. Unfortunately I didnt have lime to add to the end for a little pizzzaazzz but still was A+! I’ll definitely be making this again.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Haha. We’re soooo happy that you decide to try this recipe Tanaka! Even more, we’re happy that you enjoyed it. Thanks for this great review and thanks for reading!

  6. Andrea Kingston says:

    5 stars
    I really enjoyed your recipe! It was really tasty! I look forward to making it again and trying some of your other dishes 😊💕

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Thank you so much Andrea! We’re happy that you enjoyed the recipe so much that you’re looking forward to making it again!

  7. Yolanda says:

    5 stars
    Tried this today, and like all the recipes I’ve tried from you…delicious!! Great alone and with bread! Thank you

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Oh wow Yolanda, thank you so much for the kind words! We’re happy that you like our recipes! I hope you have a great day!

  8. Marty says:

    5 stars
    I have made your Chickpea Tiki Masala recipe a couple times now and it is so delicious! I have one meal after I make it and then freeze the rest in 1 cup portions for easy lunches or dinners over the next couple weeks. Perfect for when I don’t want to cook, or I don’t have time to cook!

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