The Whole Smiths

Whole Eating + Happy Living

Kale and Chickpea Curry ( Gluten-free, Vegan & with Paleo Option)

This Vegan Chickpea Curry with Kale from The Whole Smiths is not only easy to make but delicious and gluten-free as well. If you use cauliflower rice in lieu of traditional rice and omit the chickpeas, it’s paleo too!

overhead shot of a bowl of vegan chickpea curry with kale served over rice

To meat or not to meat. 

Lately, I’ve been craving meatless, vegetarian dishes. Don’t worry, I still love me some meat but I find myself enjoying it less during the summer months than I do during the winter. I mean, truthfully, doesn’t a Corn + Tomato Salad sound better during the summer months than a beef stroganoff stew?

I’ve also been craving rice ever since I posted about my Instant Pot Coconut Rice and we returned back from Hawaii. Not only was rice on so many of the menus there but we made it most mornings to go along with our breakfasts.

Not to mention, I’m obsessed with curry. Red curry, green curry, yellow curry, you name it, it doesn’t matter. I recently had to go through the table of contents for my next book and take out some of the recipes I came up with that used curry, there were so many! I whittled it down to two. Or maybe three.

You can check out my Curry Meatballs + Sweet Potato Mash in the meantime if you need allll the curry recipes.

overhead shot of a bowl of healthy vegan chickpea kale curry served over rice

So, vegetarian, rice and curry. Got it. Kale + Chickpea Curry it is!

Add this Vegan Chickpea Curry with Kale to your healthy dinner rotation!

I wanted this curry to be loaded up with some veggies and realized that I often use the same veggies over and over when I make curry dishes. Onions? Duh. Of course. Bell peppers? Yep! Carrots? Oh yeah. Sometimes green beans will make the cut but I’m not a huge green bean fan so I didn’t feel they were all that worthy. I even tried broccoli with this dish but found the broccoli to be a bit overpowering to the other flavors in this one. I needed a veggie that was hearty but won’t overpower the curry.

close-up of a bowl of vegan kale and chickpea curry served over fluffy white rice

Kale YEAH!

Kale it is. I mean, I know kale sort peaked about 3 years ago but it’s still going strong in our household. It’s my number one dump veggie, which simply means a veggie I grab from the fridge and add some anything I’m making.

Soup? Add some kale. Frittata? Add some kale. A smoothie? Add some kale. Curry? Well, you have the point by now.

But kale is SO good for you. It is a powerhouse veggie that’s loaded with tons of nutrients, in fact, it’s one of the most nutrient dense veggies around. Nutrients like Vitamin K, C and D are literally just hanging around in kale waiting to be eaten up. Not to mention kale is a great source of antioxidants and minerals. I think it’s safe to say kale was a good choice to add.

three small casserole dishes filled with vegan chickpea curry served over rice

It’s all about the ingredients.

As far as ingredients, the number one thing you want to think about with this recipe is finding a great curry powder as it really sets the stage for the recipe.

My personal favorite is the Primal Palate Organic Curry Powder. It’s available on Amazon which means it can be at your door in no time and you could be making this recipe in just a couple of days.

I mean, you can also buy any old curry power at the store and make this recipe this evening but that curry powder is like
powdered gold.

I also love using Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes for this recipe. In fact, I like using all of their products. And no, this isn’t sponsored by them it’s just what I use. I love ordering in bulk via Amazon because it’s much cheaper than the grocery store.

And finally on to coconut milk. Make sure to use full-fat coconut milk for this recipe as it’s what gives it the best texture and body. Not to mention flavor. I don’t have a strong preference for coconut milk but tend to use the 365 brand from Whole Foods Market as it’s a good value and tastes great.

a bowl of vegan kale and chickpea curry served over white rice

How to make Vegan Chickpea Curry with Kale:

I’m fairly certain that our kiddos could all make it. In fact, it’s a great recipe to send over to your kids that may be away in college or even ones that still live at home… just tell them it’s their turn to make dinner tonight!

It’s also a fantastic recipe to make when you have guests over. Whether you serve it up as a main course or as a starter (like in these little coquettes in the photo) it’s a crowd pleaser and easy to make ahead of time. Because there’s nothing worse than running around frantically cooking while your guests arrive. Trust me, I’m the queen of that!

I made mine in my Staub 5.5 quart dutch oven but any large pot will do. In case you are wondering, the small individual coquettes are by Staub as well.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does and it make regular appearances in your kitchen and dinner tables! Don’t forget to serve it over top of my Instant Pot Coconut Rice!

overhead shot if a serving of vegan kale and chickpea curry with a side of white rice

TIPS for making this Vegan Chickpea Curry: 

  • If you plan to use cauliflower rice in place of regular rice make sure not to overcook it as it will
    be a soggy heap of curry.
  • On that same note, don’t overcook the kale! You want it to still have a bite to it, which is why I like lacing or tuscan kale for this recipe.
  • If you’d like to add a little heat to this recipe, portion yours out and add some red pepper flakes to yours.
  • If you’d like to avoid legumes and keep this recipe paleo, roast up some diced sweet potatoes to use in lieu of the chickpeas.

FAQ:

I’m not a fan of kale, what other vegetables will work in this?

Carrots, bell peppers, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash would all work well in this dish.

 Is this recipe Whole30 compliant?

A. As the recipe is, it is not Whole30 compliant. However, you can use cauliflower rice in place of regular rice and omit the chickpeas and coconut sugar from the recipe to make it compliant.

overhead shot of a small white casserole dish with healthy vegan chickpea curry with kale

Is this dish spicy?

 Nope! Not at all. I wanted this curry to be on the sweeter side so it’s very mild and great for kids and grown-ups alike. If you’d like to spice it up a bit I recommend adding some dried red pepper flakes to the mix

 

Will this vegan curry reheat well?

Yes! Absolutely! In fact, it’s a super easy recipe to meal prep ahead of time so that you have lunches or dinner on hand through the week.

 

Kale and Chickpea Curry

This Vegan Chickpea Curry with Kale from The Whole Smiths is not only easy to make but delicious and gluten-free as well. If you use cauliflower rice in lieu of traditional rice and omit the chickpeas, it’s paleo too! A healthy and delicious dinner perfect for weeknights and leftovers make the perfect meal prep lunch.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: dinner / main
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Indian, Paleo / Gluten-Free / Vegan / Vegetarian
Keyword: curry recipe with kale, healthy curry with chickpeas, vegan chickpea curry recipe
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder I like Primal Palate’s Organic Curry Powder
  • [1/2] teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups chopped Jacinto kale
  • 1 cup chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 5 Medjool dates pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cups slivered almonds
  • 4 cups cooked white rice

Instructions

  • Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil to the pot. Once the oil is hot, cook the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes until they are tender and lightly browned.
  •  Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the coconut milk, water, coconut sugar, curry powder, smoked paprika to the pot and stir to combine.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, kale, chickpeas and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt to the pot and cook, covered for 5 minutes until the kale has softened.
  • Add the Medjool dates to the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • To serve portion the rice into a bowl and pour the Kale + Chickpea Curry over top. Top with the cilantro and slivered almonds.

Notes

  • If you plan to use cauliflower rice in place of regular rice make sure not to overcook it as it will
    be a soggy heap of curry.
  • On that same note, don’t overcook the kale! You want it to still have a bite to it, which is why I like lacing or Tuscan kale for this recipe.
  • If you’d like to add a little heat to this recipe, portion yours out and add some red pepper flakes to yours.
  • If you’d like to avoid legumes and keep this recipe paleo, roast up some diced sweet potatoes to use in lieu of the chickpeas.

Kale Chickpea Curry Pin

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