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 57 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. Alexandra says:

    So easy, delicious and awesome.

  2. I just made this, and loved it! Thanks so much for a great, fast and easy meal! I served it with your seasoned rice from your SNAP challenge-also delicious :)

  3. Stacy Gonzalez says:

    I have a question about the tomato sauce. I have acid reflux and I can’t eat anything that has tomato in it so what can I add as a substitute?

    • You could do a creamy coconut style curry using coconut milk instead of tomato sauce. I’d say you’ll probably need 1/2 to one whole can of coconut milk. I’d suggest using whole fat coconut milk (the kind in a can, not the dairy milk substitute), instead of “lite” because that will be too thin. Just add the coconut milk at the end and let it heat through without boiling because that can make it clump up.

  4. Anum says:

    Hi Beth,

    What steps would you recommend if I want to add bone-in chicken (whole chicken cut into 12 pieces)?


    • You could try browning the meat first, remove it, continue the recipe as stated here, then add the chicken back and the end and let it simmer in the sauce until it’s cooked though. I’d suggest using a lid while the chicken simmers, too, to keep the moisture in.

  5. Sarah says:

    Made this and added ground beef. Pretty good!

  6. Eating this now as I type this. So good! Needs a bit of salt, but perfect over white or brown rice.

  7. Kedari ravindra says:

    nice and delicious dish

  8. Ashlynn says:

    I’ve done this recipe twice now and I really appreciate how cheap, easy, and delicious it is! Plus I’m a big fan of one-dish meals. The first time I used regular tomato paste and found that the end result tasted really tomato-y, if that makes any sense. :P There wasn’t a whole lot of flavour, just strong curry and strong tomato. So the second time I tried using tomato pasta sauce and I’m eating it right now. Soooo good!!! I think that the third time I make it I’ll try adding some peas. ;)

  9. Katie says:

    Tried this tonight, so so so delicious and easy to make! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  10. I just discovered your recipe for “chickpeas and Spinach”sounds so good think I will try this today. I am a single person so the smaller quantites are better. HR.

  11. Made this last night and my husband and I Loved it! Added a half teaspoon turmeric (so good for you) and 1 Tblsp nutritional yeast (try to add hear and there for flavor and nutrition). Definitely on our “make again” list!

  12. Jamie says:

    So great!! Relatively cheap, so easy to make and delicious! I added some more curry powder but kept everything else and served it over jasmine rice. Thank you!!!

  13. Moira says:

    Could you use ginger powder instead of fresh ginger? Love your site…thanks for the recipes!!!

    • Ginger powder has a surprisingly different flavor than fresh ginger, but I still think it would be good in there. Try a half teaspoon or so, then add more if you feel like it needs it.

  14. Tara says:

    I love you. Will you marry me?

    LOL, in all seriousness, I love your site. I’ve made 6 or 7 recipes now, with only 1 that I did care for. This made for a super easy, healthy, and delicious dinner :). Thank you!

  15. Bryan says:

    I have made this a few times now. I end up using a can of diced tomatoes instead of sauce, this leaves the meal very runny. So this time I took out all the solids after the cooking was done and reduced liquids in the pan. The Holy grail might have been found.

  16. Emma says:

    I’m pretty sure I found this recipe, and therefore this blog, from a post on Imgur. I’ve made it two times and it is absolutely DELICIOUS! I’m really not a fan of spinach nor chickpeas, really, but something about the way it is cooked makes it taste so good.

    The first time I made it, I screwed up and made it way too spicy. However, after a bit of sugar, it was somewhat bearable. The second time, it was perfect – this time I made some naans from your recipe with it, oh my god, so good.
    And, regarding this, it tastes (if possible) 50% better in the days after, cold over some rice. By the third day I had it for lunch, it started to taste a bit funny, but that’s pretty understandable.

    My friends also agree that it tastes great, too ;)

  17. Sarah says:

    YUM! This was so delicious and SO hearty mixed into a bowl of freshly steamed rice. With filling, cheap recipes like this, my student loans will be gone in no time!

  18. Chantily says:

    Hi Beth! Thanks for posting this very easy to make and cheap recipe. I just made this and it was a breeze to make. I had to add in more curry powder at the end because it wasn’t as seasoned as I wanted it to be. I also used organic chopped ginger in a jar since I didn’t want to go through the hassle of skinning and grating ginger.

  19. I just tried this recipe and it turned out delicious.

  20. Hi Beth,

    I am very new to eating healthy. For me it’s always been strictly tuna/chicken for protein, any veggies I could get my hands on, and supplements (B complex) for everything I missed. That was so bland. I got so tired of granola, raisins, chicken and steamed veggies. This recipe, this website, I appreciate it. I did this recipe tonight, and I enjoyed it. Dishes like this make it easier to make the decision I’ve been teetering on: vegetarianism. Although I won’t give up the occasional barbecue, I don’t intend on eating any meat. THANK YOU. Now if I could just get some tips on how to make stopping smoking easier, you’d be an angel! Much love, and I look forward to further exploring your site.


  21. Elly says:

    Hi! This recipe was great and cheap! Great for people who are just starting to learn how to cook. So much flavour. Thank you so much!

  22. Heather says:

    I tried this tonight with kale instead of spinach, worked just the same! It’s so tasty!

  23. Sofia says:

    Hi Beth,
    I’ve just recently discovered your blog with this recipe, love the concept and the page is very pretty as well.
    I’m doing Erasmus and it’s my first time away from home. I used to cook some things before (just basic things) and watched A LOT of cooking shows, but I’m only now starting to get more adventurous in the kitchen and trying diferent recipes and ideas.
    When I saw this recipe and how simple and cheap it was I jumped right in to it. Cooked it today and let me just say: “OOOHH LORD!!”. It’s one of the tastiest dishes I’ve ever cooked! I ate it with some basmati rice and it was amazing.
    I’m gonna follow the blog from now on and try as much of your recipes as I can. Thank you so much!

  24. Hi Beth,
    I just started making one of your recipes each night and I made this one 2 nights ago. Being a tomato based curry, my husband and son were just so-so about it (we live in Okinawa and Japanese curry is usually a brown sauce). I enjoyed it very much and saved the rest for leftovers. Two days later I am eating this for lunch and OH MY how the flavors have melded. This is one of those dishes that gets even more flavorful with a day or two to come together. I have one more serving in the fridge that I will be enjoying for lunch again tomorrow. Thank you for the wonderful recipes and I love your blog!!

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