Food / Main Dishes / Vegetarian

Chickpea and Lentil Spinach Curry

What started as a desperate attempt for a Friendsgiving protein option for my fellow non-turkey eaters turned out to be a smashing success — even for the turkey eaters. I’m glad I made a lot!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been stumbling upon a lot of chickpea curry recipes — all of them colorful, comforting and worthy of just diving right in. This got my proverbial wheels turning. I wanted something thick and substantial, but nothing too busy; simple ingredients, big flavors and minimum prep + cooking time.

After hemming and hawing over several recipes online (some of the curries were a little too soup-y while others were calling for tons of ketchup?), I decided to bring what I had in mind to existence carefully and, admittedly, a little apprehensively.

Chickpea and Lentil Spinach Curry

If you’re a fan of chickpeas or lentils alone, you need this dish in your life. This curry will fill you up without weighing you down and, the best part, you can make it ahead of time. The leftovers are delicious, if not better since the flavors mingle and get to know one another over time. This dish doesn’t take long to prep or cook, but I was trying to get ahead and save myself some time on Saturday before everyone came over; sometimes I can act like an adult that has her shit together.


This beauty is wonderful as a side, but it also serves as a main. You can eat it on it’s own, serve it with some warm naan or pile it over a mountain of fluffy basmati rice.

Did you make this recipe? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme. For more delish eats, follow me on INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST.


Chickpea and Lentil Spinach Curry

This Chickpea and Lentil Spinach Curry is the perfect protein substitute. Serve it over fluffy rice, with naan, as a side or eat it on its own.
Course Entree or Side
Cuisine Indian-inspired, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Killing Thyme


  • 4 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots or minced red onion
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 oz cans of chickpeas* see notes drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes drained
  • 2 heaping handfulls of spinach
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Indian curry paste (not Thai)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric optional
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt + more to taste if needed


  • Heat oil in a skillet over moderate heat.
  • Add the shallots, ginger and garlic. Simmer until fragrant, stirring often to prevent browning; approx. 2 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas and drained tomatoes. Simmer for approx. 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the spinach and cook until it's wilted down. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may want to add one handful at a time.
  • Add the coconut milk, curry paste, curry powder, turmeric and salt. Stir until the paste has dissolved and the seasonings have mixed in well. This may take approx. 2-3 minutes of constant stirring and folding.
  • Allow to simmer for approx. 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and serve.


** You can also use 2 15 oz can of chickpeas if you want to omit the lentils, or 2 cups of cooked lentils if you want to omit the chickpeas.
This dish yields approx. 4 servings if being eaten as a main with naan, on rice, etc. As a side, you'll get more out of it. This is also a fantastic make-ahead meal and it freezes well.
Chickpea and Spinach Curry | Killing Thyme


  • […] Chickpea & Spinach Curry from Killing Thyme […]

  • Sarah
    July 13, 2017 at 11:11 am

    This dish turned out delicious!! I didn’t have curry paste, so I used 1tbsp of tomato paste instead and put a little bit more curry powder – it worked very well! I also used 1/8 tsp ground ginger instead of freshly grated.

    • Killing Thyme
      July 13, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Hey Sarah! I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish, and I’m really happy that your alterations worked out well! This is good to know in case anyone ever needs the same substitutions.

  • […] Chickpea + Spinach Curry […]

  • […] blog. Throughout the dark days of winter, we’re so engrossed by deeply-flavored dishes like chickpea curries, smokey chilis and belly-warming bowls of soup. Now that March is approaching and we’re […]

  • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    November 26, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I’m always throwing in my dodgy spinach into things like curry! This is a beautiful bright dish for the winter!

  • Teresa
    November 26, 2016 at 2:43 am

    This chickpea curry would be welcome at my table for any occasion.

    • Killing Thyme
      November 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Thanks, Teresa! I’ll definitely be making it regularly – I can’t possibly reserve this for special occasions. Haha.

  • Cathy
    November 25, 2016 at 11:59 am

    What a nice warm dish of comfort food for a cold day! I’m totally with you on not using ketchup, too. Pinning!

    • Killing Thyme
      November 26, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Thanks, Cathy! This truly is perfect for a chilly day, and it’s so great reheated. I have a feeling I’ll be making this a lot this winter.

  • Selena
    November 25, 2016 at 11:42 am

    we love chickpeas and always looking for a new way to make them. Can’t wait to try it:)

    • Killing Thyme
      November 26, 2016 at 9:42 am

      Thanks, Selena! Hope you enjoy!

  • Bernice
    November 25, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I love a good chickpea curry. This one looks fab and maybe I can use up the dodgy spinach in my fridge?! I might have a go at this!

    • Killing Thyme
      November 26, 2016 at 9:41 am

      Thanks, Bernice! Oh, you have dodgy spinach too?? Haha. I feel cursed lately. It’s like I keep buying it right before it decides to wilt, but I swear I’m looking at the dates on the packaging prior to purchasing! I hope this dish was able to take good care of that spinach :)

  • Sarah
    November 25, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I’m a huge fan of chickpeas. And curry. This sounds very fresh and flavourful

    • Killing Thyme
      November 26, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Thanks, Sarah! I’m a sucker for chickpeas myself.

  • janet @ the taste space
    November 23, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    This looks delicious, Dana. I couldn’t imagine adding ketchup. These simple ingredients look perfect. :)

    • Killing Thyme
      November 26, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Thanks, Janet! The idea of using ketchup really turned me off. Somehow I found several curries that used it. I was confused! Especially tasting the end result – this dish was far from lacking in flavor!


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