Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas with Tofu

By Alexandra Caspero on November 2, 2021
Vegan Butter Chickpeas! If you love the favorite Indian dish, Butter Chicken, then you'll love this version made vegan and simple in the slow cooker.
Serves 4-6

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas and Tofu! This slow cooker chickpea curry is packed with protein, vegan and gluten free. A healthier take on the favorite Indian dish Butter Chicken but made with chickpeas. This is such a simple dish; the perfect make-ahead healthy weeknight dinner. 

Set it and forget it is music to my ears.

Whoever invented the slow cooker, I owe you a drink. While my crock-pot is hidden in a back cabinet for most of the year, it plays a starring role in breakfast & dinner from November to January. Is there anything better than throwing everything into a pot, turning on a timer and THAT’S IT?!

Don’t get me wrong, while I love baking cookiespie-filled cinnamon rolls, and countless other holiday treats this time of year, the last thing I want to do after a grueling day of baking is to turn around and make dinner. I’m convinced that whoever invented the slow cooker must have been a baker.

bowl of Indian Butter Chickpeas

Ingredients you’ll need:

While I feel like this sauce could work on just about anything you throw its way, I packed in two kinds of vegan protein for a filling, hearty and healthy meal.

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • Olive oil or vegan butter
  • Aromatics, like garlic cloves and an onion
  • Coconut milk (light milk is OK)
  • Tomato puree
  • Spices like garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ginger 
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Fresh cilantro
Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chickpeas

How to make this vegan butter chickpeas recipe

Cook the Flavoring Ingredients

First, you’ll remove the tofu from its package and press it. This allows the water to drain out so the tofu can absorb all of the flavors. 

Then, you’ll want to heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped medium size onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and spices, then cook another few minutes until you can smell the spices.

Then add in the coconut milk, tomato sauce, spices and a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer until slightly thick, about 5 minutes. 

Add all ingredients the slow cooker

Chop the tofu and drain the can of chickpeas, then add everything to the base of a slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours; you can cook the sauce longer if needed. 

Before serving, stir in fresh cilantro and serve with rice and naan.

Indian Butter Chickpeas Bowl with Rice and Naan

How healthy is this meal? 

Each bowl of this slow cooker chickpea curry is packed with:

Free-radical fighting Antioxidants (thanks to the Turmeric in the curry powder)
22g of cholesterol-free protein
16 grams of fiber
44% daily value of iron
1/4 of your calcium needs
Vegan & Gluten-Free

If you like Indian food or the classic butter chicken dish, you are going to love this vegan butter chickpea recipe!

The magic is all in the slow-cooked, rich sauce. Trust it. Let it simmer for hours until it is thick, bubbly and coating every square inch of the beans & tofu squares. I can personally attest that there is no wrong way to eat butter chickpeas; you’ve just gotta eat ’em.

Pot of Vegan Curried Butter Chickpeas

More Vegan Slow-Cooker Recipes:

Slow Cooker Chana Masala 
Slow Cooker Red Beans & Rice
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Chili
Slow Cooker Chickpea Tangine
Slow Cooker Red Vegetable Curry
Spicy Vegan Peppers and Meatballs 

Indian Butter Chickpeas with Rice and Naan

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

 

Print
Bowl of Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chickpeas

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: slow cooker, main, dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas and Tofu! Packed with protein, vegan and gluten free. A healthier take on everyone’s favorite Indian dish. This is such a simple dish; the perfect make-ahead healthy weeknight dinner.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: slow cooker, main, dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: slow cooker, main, dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter
  • 1 medium size onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 oz can) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Remove the tofu from the package and rinse. Wrap tofu in a paper towel and place on a cutting board. Placing something heavy on top of the tofu to allow the water to drain out, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir to combine.
  3. Whisk in the coconut milk, tomato puree, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground ginger and salt and pepper. Cook until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, finely cube the tofu. Place the tofu and garbanzo beans in the base of slow cooker. Pour the sauce on top. Cook on low for 5 hours until thick. You can cook the sauce longer if needed.
  5. Before serving, stir in the cilantro. Serve with rice and naan, if desired. 

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

Print
Bowl of Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chickpeas

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x
  • Category: slow cooker, main, dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas and Tofu! Packed with protein, vegan and gluten free. A healthier take on everyone’s favorite Indian dish. This is such a simple dish; the perfect make-ahead healthy weeknight dinner.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x
  • Category: slow cooker, main, dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x
  • Category: slow cooker, main, dinner
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter
  • 1 medium size onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 oz can) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Remove the tofu from the package and rinse. Wrap tofu in a paper towel and place on a cutting board. Placing something heavy on top of the tofu to allow the water to drain out, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir to combine.
  3. Whisk in the coconut milk, tomato puree, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground ginger and salt and pepper. Cook until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, finely cube the tofu. Place the tofu and garbanzo beans in the base of slow cooker. Pour the sauce on top. Cook on low for 5 hours until thick. You can cook the sauce longer if needed.
  5. Before serving, stir in the cilantro. Serve with rice and naan, if desired. 

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

 

 

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

(132 comments) leave a comment

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    1. Vicky Evans
      April 23, 2022 AT 11:08 am

      I dragged my slow cooker out from the back of the cupboard a couple of weeks ago after not using it for a while so I’ve been looking for some new recipes to try. Just had this for my tea. I’ve had bad experiences with tofu and with coconut milk so I wasn’t sure what to expect or whether I would like it. Oh my goodness, it’s delicious. A breeze to make, inexpensive ingredients but the flavour of that sauce is amazing! Happily I have 4 more portions left to put in the freezer!

    2. Anne
      February 9, 2022 AT 3:02 pm

      Hi,

      I would love to try the recipe, but don’t have a slow cooker. Would it work in an instant pot (I haven’t been successful with the instant pot slow cooker function). Thank you!

      1. Annie
        March 9, 2022 AT 8:27 am

        Hi Anne,
        The Instant Pot has a “slow cooker” feature … just use any pot lid that fits instead of the IP lid.

      2. Alex
        February 11, 2022 AT 8:17 am

        Hi Anne, I haven’t tried it in the IP so can’t say for sure if it will work. It’s probably easier to adapt it to the stovetop– I’ll add those directions soon!

    3. alexis
      July 12, 2021 AT 3:09 pm

      i’ve made this multiple times and it is fool-proof! comes out delicious. i’ve taken to adding bell peppers and then throw in a couple handfuls of spinach with about 10 minutes remaining – an easy way to get some extra veggies!

      1. Alex
        July 12, 2021 AT 6:22 pm

        So glad you like it!

    4. Donna
      March 28, 2021 AT 12:04 pm

      Hi, this recipe sounds delicious and I plan to make it soon. I am wondering what size slow cooker you use to make it. I’m guessing 5 Qt?

      1. Alex
        March 29, 2021 AT 9:17 am

        Hi Donna, I have a 6 qt. slow cooker but the 5 qt. will work with this recipe.

    5. Harpreet
      December 9, 2020 AT 9:37 pm

      I loved this so much! This is coming from a Punjabi girl- aka origin of butter chicken culture! I’m trying to eat less meat, and avoid gluten, so this was awesome. Definitely will be a repeat recipe for me. I made it in the stove top, after pan frying the tofu cubes.

      1. Alex
        December 10, 2020 AT 7:56 am

        So glad you liked it! Thanks, Harpreet!

    6. Jess
      March 21, 2020 AT 3:20 pm

      Thanks for recipe, this was so delicious!!! Tasted just like takeaway butter chicken ( but without the meat!) so handy to be able to put into the slow cooker and leave! Will be a regular for us!

    7. Carrie
      January 25, 2020 AT 1:28 pm

      So delicious!!! Thank you!

    8. Haley Roughton
      December 4, 2019 AT 10:39 am

      can you put some veggies, like broccoli, in here with it or will they overcook?

      1. Alex
        December 4, 2019 AT 1:11 pm

        I don’t see why not! I think it will work just fine. Thanks!

    9. Hannah
      July 29, 2019 AT 11:48 am

      My family and I love this recipe. It’s been in our recipe rotation for a couple years now and I’ve made it a dozen times at least. I just realized I never gave a review. It never fails me! Thank you.

      1. Carmen Wishlow
        September 17, 2019 AT 11:56 am

        for whatever reason i cant find a spot to make my own comment. Is tomato puree the same as crushed tomatoes as I dont have the puree available to me where I shop and have looked can you let me know what I can use pls and thanks so much!

        1. Alex
          September 17, 2019 AT 12:13 pm

          You can use crushed tomatoes!

      2. Alex
        July 29, 2019 AT 11:58 am

        So glad you like it! Thanks!

    10. Sarah
      May 28, 2019 AT 12:56 pm

      So good!! I will be using this base for other curries too.

      1. Alex
        May 30, 2019 AT 11:09 am

        So glad you liked it!