Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

$5.40 recipe / $1.35 serving

When I finished cooking this recipe I took a look at my notepad to make sure I had written down all the ingredients. I looked it over a good three or four times thinking that I had surely forgotten something. The list was just too short. How did I just make so much yum with so few ingredients?!

That’s how food should be. Uncomplicated, fast, and super tasty. I couldn’t stop sneaking spoonfuls of this dish as I photographed it—it was just that flavorful. The simple tomato sauce is kicked up a few notches with curry powder (hot or mild, your choice) and would probably be good poured over just about any veggies. I like this combo of spinach and chickpeas because it’s filling, very nutritious, and just down right pretty.

I used fresh spinach because I bought a HUGE 2.5 lb. bag of fresh spinach the other day and now I’m committed to using it all (ha!), but you can sub frozen spinach to fit your budget. Just add 8 oz. of frozen spinach to the skillet in place of the fresh and sauté until thawed and warmed through, then proceed with the recipe as usual. I also used a very large can of chickpeas, but if that’s not available in your area, just use two regular 15-oz. sized cans. Not a fan of chickpeas? Lentils would also be great here!

I served my curried chickpeas with spinach over rice, but it would also be awesome with some naan to soak up the sauce instead. NOM.

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach

4.8 from 39 reviews
Curried Chickpeas with Spinach
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $5.40
Cost Per Serving: $1.35
Serves: 4 (1 cup each)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.32
  • 1 small onion $0.47
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 inch fresh ginger $0.16
  • 1½ Tbsp curry powder $0.45
  • 8 oz spinach (fresh or frozen) $1.36
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce $0.59
  • 1 (29 oz.) can chickpeas $1.89
  1. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger on a small holed cheese grater. Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large skillet with the olive oil over medium heat until the onions have softened (3-5 minutes).
  2. Add the curry powder and continue to sauté with the onion mixture for one minute more. Add about ¼ cup of water and to the skillet along with the fresh spinach and continue to sauté until the spinach has wilted. The water will help steam and wilt the spinach (no water needed if using frozen spinach).
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add them to the skillet along with the tomato sauce. Stir well to distribute the spices in the sauce and heat through (5 minutes). Serve over rice or with bread.


Curried Chickpeas with Spinach


Step by Step Photos

Onion Garlic Ginger

Start by dicing one onion and mincing two cloves of garlic. I used a small cheese grater to grate one inch of fresh ginger (or you can mince it). I usually use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the ginger before grating it. Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a large skillet with olive oil until they are soft (about 5 minutes).

Curry Powder

Add 1.5 Tbsp of curry powder and continue to sauté the mixture. I used hot curry powder, but mild will also work well. 

Curry Onions

Continuing to sauté after adding the spices will toast them just slightly and increase their flavor.

Wilt Spinach

Next add a little water to the skillet (about 1/4 cup) and 8 oz. of fresh spinach. It will likely fill up the skillet, so stir carefully until it wilts down. Most fresh spinach is sold in either an 8 or 16 oz. bag, so use the label to help you estimate 8 oz. The water will help steam and wilt the spinach. If you’re using frozen spinach, you don’t need to add any water, just warm it through in the skillet.

Tomato Sauce

Add a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce. If you don’t have tomato sauce in your area, strained tomatoes or tomato purée is a good substitute (although you may need to add a little salt at the end).


Add a large 29 oz. (or 1 lb. 13 oz.) can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed). If you can’t find one of these large cans, two 15 oz. cans will do the trick. 

Warm Through

Then just stir it all together well and let it warm through. How easy is that? I say “Pshhhhftfttfft.” to all boxed skillet meals.

Curried Chick Peas with Spinach


  1. Laura says:

    This was my first budget bytes recipe and I am hooked: it was super easy to make and so delicious!!!

  2. Teagan says:

    This was definite hit! Tasty and easy. I added a bit more curry powder, and a bit of onion powder, since I only had a small onion. In the future I could imagine adding more veggies, for some variety.

  3. Andy says:

    Love it. Super quick and easy. I use curry paste (generally easier to find) and throw in some frozen peas and corn at the end. Makes a lovely colourful dish, and it’s super filling and cheap

  4. Loved this!! Just made it. I have five kids and they loved it too! Will be making it often, and trying it with lentils too! We had it over brown rice. Very filling!

  5. Niki says:

    I made this recipe last Sunday adding more spinach and served it over a bed of jasmine rice. This recipe had the greatest flavor, I’m a curry fanatic. I took the leftovers to work for lunch and my co-workers were at my desk to find out what was causing such a delicious aroma. To add a hint of spice the next time I prepare this I’ll add a scotch bonnet.

    I recently stumbled upon your website and have been very impressed.


  6. Ellen says:

    Beth – long time reader, first time commenter. Love the site and SNAP challenge. I made this tonight at 9:30 so the boyfriend and I could have something different for lunch. I was done before 10 pm! Thank you for the quick and tasty meal. The only change I made was I added some cayenne as I didn’t have hot curry and a can of tomato paste with 2 cups of water instead of the sauce. SO good. Thank you!

  7. Jeri Ann says:

    This is a great freeze and reheat recipe perfect for work lunches. However, I do feel that the hot curry powder makes a huge difference. I’ve made this with hot and regular curry…with the hot it is amazing, with the regular it is OK. And, the hot curry really isn’t that hot, just more flavorful.

  8. Kaylen says:

    This wasn’t really my thing. I used powdered ginger, so maybe it would be better with freshly grated ginger. I think I just don’t like the taste of the curry powder with the tomato. I added sesame seed oil, which made it a little better. I might try again with some sriracha, because I appreciate how filling it is.

  9. Marthalynn says:

    I have a bulk container of dry chickpeas and I would LOVE to know how to use them to make this recipe! Do I just need to soak them overnight and they’ll be ready to go or is it more involved than that?

    • I actually just did that the other day! I used a slow cooker to cook the chickpeas, then added them to the recipe just as if they’re canned. Any left over cooked chickpeas can be frozen, too. To cook in a slow cooker, I just added 1 lb. dry, unsoaked peas to the slow cooker with 6 cups of water and cooked on high for about 5-6 hours.

    • Albert says:

      Soak the dried chickpeas in cold water over night. In the morning, rinse them in cold water, return them to the pot, add water and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

  10. Danielle says:

    THIS RECIPE IS AMAZING! I’m a graduate student, living on a limited income and I absolutely LOVE this. I added a little parsley and Sriracha for a some extra spice, but these curried chickpeas are great as is. It’s a hearty meal that’s packed with protein, vitamins, and flavor. I’ll definitely make this again and freeze it for the coming winter months.

  11. This was really good and possibly the easiest thing I have ever cooked. I basically live off of your recipes now, thanks for the ideas!

  12. Amber says:

    I really love this recipe. I’ve made it do many times that I barely have to look st the ingredients. I do add more curry powder (more like 2 tablespoons) and it is amazing. Keep up the great work!

  13. This was so easy and cheap and also delicious! I have curry powder but all the curry recipes I have used separate ingredients, so I didn’t really know how to use it, but I should have learned a long time ago!

  14. Hayley says:

    This is so good! I made it today for the first time and it was super easy and delicious. The only alteration I made was to use only 8 oz of tomato sauce and reduce it considerably in the skillet. I’m eating this as a stand-alone, without rice or bread, so I didn’t want it to be too runny. It worked well.

  15. Made this once. Now I get cravings for it. Even my meat loving fiance asks for it.

  16. Alicia says:

    I tried this recipe last night, everyone loved it! It is so healthy and simple. Thank you.

  17. abraham says:

    This been real good. Me did make a few substitutes. Instead of the olive oil me use bacon grease, sausage balls instead of chickpeas, pig feets for the onions (me been mallergic to onions they been making me eyes cry), and cheddar cheese instead of the spinaches. And just use salt for the spices. It turned out real nice. Me eat it for breakfast every morning. It been healthy and filling.

  18. Emily says:

    My husband and I love this recipe! We like to add a little plain yogurt too!

  19. Cameron says:

    I ended up using about 2 Tblsp of curry powder- I tested it near the end and wanted to amp up the flavor just a little bit more. I also used a frozen package of spinach that was 10oz rather than 8, but hey! Extra spinach never hurt anyone.

    All in all, a super easy and delicious meal! This one kept me feeling full for hours and made plenty of leftovers too. And the best part, this took about a total of 20 minutes to make. I love it.

  20. This curried was so flavorful and delicious. It was also so easy to make..Keep the great recipes coming.!! Love your recipes and the readily available ingredients used in them…Nothing complicated or fussy. lol

  21. Jessica says:

    I made this for lunch today with a few alterations. Instead of using olive oil to saute the onions, garlic and ginger I used coconut oil. I only had about 6oz of spinach, so that was what I used along with adding 2 tablespoons of coconut butter as well as an extra 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar because I used a little too much tomato sauce and wanted to balance the acidity. Due to the alterations, I’ll be serving this over your coconut rice to keep with the flavor. But again, another fantastic meal has been made in my kitchen thanks to your recipes!

  22. Colleen says:

    I love Indian flavors, and this is such an easy (and inexpensive!) way to get my “fix” without ordering takeout. Equally delicious over basmati as over naan, it’s now a go-to weeknight dinner.

  23. I’ve made this recipe many times since my boyfriend discovered it. We both love it so much. I, a little more, because it’s such an easy meal to throw together during the week! We enjoy eating vegetarian a few times per week. This meal is filling, fits our budget and is just so delicious. I’ve been craving it, so I headed to the store this morning for the ingredients. Lots of left overs for the boyfriend to take to work during the week too! Can’t wait for dinner!

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