December 10, 2014
Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas + Video
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. 

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas and Tofu!

Set it and forget it. < — 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 cookies, pie-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.

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas and Tofu!

So, butter chickpeas-a.k.a my favorite dish in the entire world, forever and ever, amen. 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. It seemed only right after a day spent baking. If you like Indian food or the classic butter chicken dish, you are going to love this recipe! Plus, while it’s called butter chicken there’s only a smidge of actual butter (or vegan butter), rest assured.

While there is a little bit of prep work involved, it’s so minimal that anyone could do it. I tend to measure my recipe difficulty on someone-who-shall-remain-nameless, but I’m pretty sure we can all guess who that person may be. He can make a killer veggie taco salad, but the talent stops there. If he-who-shall-remain-nameless can whip this up, then you can too. Pinkie promise.

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. | www.delishknowledge.com

Whenever I make anything in the slow cooker, I like to pretend that I am on the cheesiest infomercial ever. I chop everything with an exaggerated flair and squeal with excitement over every ingredient I throw into the pot. I say “easy” and “simple” in every sentence, the audience goes wild, and dinner is a big hit!

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. | www.delishknowledge.com

If you love infomercials too and know what I am talking about then high-five. We should be friends. 

Anyways, I think we can all agree that everyone needs this dish in their life. With all the hustle and bustle this time of year, I think we should all slow down and smell the butter chickpeas.

The magic is all in the slow-cooked, rich sauce. Trust it. Let it simmer for hours until it’s thick, bubbly and coating every square inch of the beans & tofu squares. Since carbs all day-every day is how I roll, I love this served with brown rice and naan, but feel free to enjoy it on its own. I can personally attest that there is no wrong way to eat butter chickpeas; you’ve just gotta eat ’em.

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas served on rice with naan

You want some nutrition? I’ve got you.

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

Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas served on rice

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
Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas served on rice

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
  • Cuisine: Indian

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
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • 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
  • Cuisine: Indian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 package firm tofu (12 oz.)
  • 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
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, finely chopped

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 saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic and stir to combine.
  4. Whisk in the coconut milk, tomato puree, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground ginger and a pinch salt/pepper.
  5. Cook until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.
  6. While the sauce is cooking, finely cube the tofu.
  7. 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.
  8. Before serving, stir in the cilantro.
  9. Serve with rice and naan.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

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 

 

 

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

156 comments
LEAVE A COMMENT
  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. Looking forward to making this tomorrow! Would the cooking time change if I added cauliflower or would the cauliflower be tender at 5 hours?
    Thanks!

  4. Absolutely delicious! One of my favorite crock pot recipes for sure!! Love the flavor….complete with naan and rice…another great way to get my meat-loving husband to eat a vegetarian meal! Thanks Alex!

  5. Another winner from Alex! Easy prep, delicious and a healthy version from the traditional. I serve over rice cauliflower to cut calories. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I made this recipe on the stove top tonight and it was delicious! Instead of tofu I substituted with cauliflower and it turned out perfect. Thanks!

  7. I don’t have garam masala on hand. Can I just leave it out? I have all the other ingredients! Thanks!

  8. Hi Alex!

    I’m thinking of making this and would need to double the recipe to feed 12 people – do you know if that’s able to fit in a standard size crockpot?

    Thanks!

      • Thanks for the reply, Alex! I ended up making this the other weekend for some friends who are vegan/vegetarian and everyone absolutely loved it, including my boyfriend who is not vegan/vegetarian! Great recipe and thanks again!!

  9. Hi! I’m making this for a friend who doesn’t like coconut milk and is dairy free. Could you skip that part all together? Looks delish.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Sherry- Hm, I’m not sure what you would replace the coconut milk with then to make it creamy? You could try using a cashew cream and vegetable broth, but I think omitting the coconut milk all together would miss out on some of the flavor. Let me know if you rework it and how it works out!

  10. This is one of my husband’s new favorite dishes! I only had dry chickpeas on hand so I added 1/2 cup dry beans, 1 1/2 cups of veggie broth, and upped the cook time to 6.5 hours. (I also didn’t precook anything since it was going to cook so long.) Turned out perfect! This one is going into the rotation. Thanks!

  11. I mad this for my daughter and son-in-law to have in the fridge when they returned from a trip. I tasted it, and it was absolutely delicious. It was flavourful and rich, while still being healthy and comforting when you are struggling with jet lag. Thanks for a great recipe!

  12. I just found this on Pinterest and am going to try making it tonight. I’m a bit confused: Is there no butter in this at all?

    • Hi Jennifer, not in this version. The traditional version uses lots of ghee, but I’m subbing in coconut milk to keep things completely dairy-free.

      • Hi Alex – if I’d like to add potatoes to this, how long would you suggest I par-roast them & would I need to increase the coconut milk at all (or perhaps add a little veggie broth)? Also, I hack store-bought garlic naan by lightly toasting it, a little whipped butter, sprinkle of charnushka seeds for texture, and finally a sprinkle of vindaloo seasoning….this is great to dip in any saucy Indian dish!

        • Hi Cindy- oh! That naan sounds amazing, will be trying it soon! For the potatoes, if you cut them small enough, they should be able to cook in the slow-cooker and be done at the same time, though I’d keep an eye on the liquid amounts and adding either vegetable broth or coconut milk to the pot as needed. I’ve used potatoes in many slow-cooker soup recipes and they will cook through, just make sure they are diced small enough. Or, alternatively, you could roast them, then add to the mixture.

  13. I am thinking of making this as a freezer meal to throw in the crockpot. Does tofu freeze well? If not, what would you recommend? Thanks for your input!

    • Hi Vanessa, I’ve made this several times in the crockpot and then froze it and it works well. Let me know if you need anything else! Thanks, Alex

  14. Do you think you can replace tofu with cut up sweet potato? My kids don’t like tofu. Any other ideas to add another plant based veggie?

    • Hi Whitney, I think adding sweet potato would be a great idea. Or cauliflower? Really, any vegetable that your kids like should taste good in the sauce.

  15. I’m still confused about the cooking temp/time. The recipe says low for 4 but there are comments from you saying both high and low for 4 hours. Which is it?

  16. Just made this tonight – attempting to get my fiancé to forgo his love of meat. He told me after dinner “this is one of my favorite things you’ve ever made.” So good 🙂 We added chopped avocado and fresh lime juice – I added red pepper flakes to my portion to heat it up a bit.

    • I found out the hard way that American tomato purée does not mean the same as British tomato purée (more like American paste I think). Fellow Brits – I think passata is our closest equivalent to American tomato purée. Do not make my mistake and make this with a whole cup of British tomato purée!

  17. I love what the slow cooker does to the tofu! Such a great texture along with the thick sauce and softened chickpeas

    My spices were a little more powerful than I expected, so I may cut back a bit next time. Great recipe though! I’m enjoying the leftovers immensely.

  18. My husband and I loved this dish. Unlike a lot of Indian food recipes I’ve tried, this one came together easily and didn’t have a long list of ingredients. I served it on basmati rice with garlic naan and vegetable samosas. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  19. Is it possible to just place off items in the slow cooker and maybe cook for a longer amount of time? Or would you not achieve the same results (flavor/texture wise)?

    • You are welcome to try it that way but I find that cooking onions in the slow-cooker takes such a long time for them to brown and caramelize. If you try it- let me know so I can update the notes on the recipe!

  20. […] Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas, Brussels Sprouts Balsamic Pizza, Jambalaya from the Veganomicon cookbook, Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad, quite a few things from the Oh She Glows Cookbook, Lentil Tacos from Thug Kitchen, a lot of smoothies- if you are looking for new recipes join the 30 day smoothie challenge!, and my favorite too tired to cook meal is rice noodles topped with a ton of veggies and a little soy sauce. […]

  21. […] Slow Cooker Butter Chickpea (j’aimerais essayer cette recette en mijotant tout dans mon crockpot plutôt que de cuire la moitié des ingrédients dans une poêle au préalable… Ou, sinon, juste dans la poêle? Je ne salirai pas les deux en tout cas. Je vous reviens là-dessus!) […]

  22. Is it possible to cook this without the tofu. Husband hates tofu and I would like him to try the recipe. Looks wonderful!

    • Hi Kandy, yes- should be fine without tofu. You might need to add a bit more chickpeas for the sauce, or keep it as is! Enjoy! Let me know how it turns out.

  23. Is it possible to cook this without the tofu. Husband hates tofu and I would like him to try the recipe. Looks wonderful!

  24. Stunningly simple to make. Flavor is excellent. I used dried garbanzo beans that I soaked overnight first. I used extra firm tofu without squeezing the water, didn’t have tomato puree, just used a small can of tomato paste and cooked it for about 6 hours on low. Added some water about half way through. I threw in some frozen peas/carrots during the last hour of cooking. Can’t believe how good this is. FYI- used allrecipes garam masala recipe since I had none on hand. Worked perfectly. Tofu gained a lot of flavor during slow cooking and did not fall apart. THANK YOU!!! Would like to try this next using homemade paneer. Adding this to my regular food rotation 😉

  25. Made this last night for dinner and it was great! I thought the garam masala was a little strong but mine is a little old so I may just need to invest in some fresher spices. I served this with naan, rice, and vegetable samosas from trader joes. I made this just vegetarian, not vegan by adding my own homemade paneer. I also served homemade raita for a Monday night Indian feast! Thanks for the quick and easy recipe! I’ll definitely make this again.

  26. Made this last night for dinner and it was great! I thought the garam masala was a little strong but mine is a little old so I may just need to invest in some fresher spices. I served this with naan, rice, and vegetable samosas from trader joes. I made this just vegetarian, not vegan by adding my own homemade paneer. I also served homemade raita for a Monday night Indian feast! Thanks for the quick and easy recipe! I’ll definitely make this again.

  27. I love the sound pf this, and have it cooking as I write this – you say,

    “Pour the sauce on top and place on high. Cook on low for 4-5 hours until thick.”

    So, do you start on high then at some point switch to low?

  28. […] split an orange with Waves in there somewhere but didn’t take a photo. Tonight we are having butter chickpeas and rice and I’m looking forward to seeing how it turns out when I cook it on the stovetop rather than […]

  29. I could be completely missing something, but as far as I see the only indication of how much chickpeas to use is by stating “1 can garbanzo beans” I know that this was written last year, but I’m hoping you are still active. How big of a can of chickpeas do you use? I am cooking a bunch of dry chickpeas now, wondering what size can you use so I can figure out how much to use for this.

  30. Have you tried making this in a regular sauce pan and simmering it on low for a while? I’d like to make it for tonight but by the time I get home, I won’t have 4 hours to let it cook!

    • No but I’m sure it will work! As long as the sauce is thick and hot, it should be OK. Try it and let me know how it turns out! Thanks, Alex

    • Tofu Mom you are on it! Thank you! It’s supposed to be LOW for 4-5 hours, correcting now! Let me know how you like it if you make it 🙂

  31. If I no longer have my wedding slow-cooker from 1977, any suggestions about how best to get good results without one?

  32. This looks wonderful. I’ll give it a try this weekend. I, too, love the ease of slow cooking and would only suggest that you add the word “bam!” to your cheesy talk while you prep!

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