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Make this flavorful Chickpea Curry Casserole tonight with just 15 minutes of prep and simple pantry staple ingredients. Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.
This Chickpea Curry Casserole is everything you’d want in a dump and bake recipe. It’s creamy, well-spiced, filled with protein and baked until fragrant and fluffy. Enjoy this balanced, Indian-inspired meal as a stand alone dish any night of the week.
Table of Contents
All About This Curry Bake
This chickpea curry casserole is loosely inspired by the Indian rice dish, Vegetable Biryani. It’s got a similar beautiful, yellow hue thanks to the turmeric and spices and is rich in fresh vegetables and plant-protein.
It packs all the flavor and heartines of your favorite curry, yet bakes completely hands free for a simple and realistic weeknight meal. Plus, did I mention it’s gluten-free, oil-free and budget-friendly? Casseroles can be delicious, healthy, and affordable, too!
What You Need for this Chickpea Curry Casserole
This Indian-inspired curry casserole is made with just 11 ingredients, plus salt and slivered almonds for the final touch! Here are the key ingredients you’ll need:
- Full-fat coconut milk: Many of my dump and bake casseroles are made with a savory vegetable broth, but this casserole is made with a base of creamy coconut milk for the ultimate richness and flavor.
- Curry powder: To keep the ingredient list short and convenient, I used a salt-free curry powder spice blend. If your curry powder blend contains salt, start with ¾ teaspoon of sea salt and adjust to taste as needed.
- Chickpeas: The key source of our plant-based protein. Feel free to use canned or chickpeas cooked from dry.
- White basmati rice: Basmati rice will make for the softest, fluffiest bake, but Jasmine rice will work, too. I have only tested this recipe using white rice – another grain such as brown rice would require additional liquid and a longer bake.
How to Make Chickpea Curry Casserole
- Toast the cumin seeds for 45 to 60 seconds in a dry pot until fragrant.
- Add the remaining broth ingredients and whisk to combine. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the chickpeas, cauliflower, carrots, peas, onion, garlic, and chopped cilantro stems to the casserole dish. Mix to combine then sprinkle the basmati rice over the top of the dish.
- Pour the broth evenly over the casserole dish. Mix gently and make sure the rice is submerged.
- Cover and bake for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
- Serve warm with the remaining cilantro and toasted slivered almonds, or as desired.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Boil the coconut milk carefully. If the coconut milk is boiled at too high of a temperature for too long, the fats in the milk will begin to separate from the water and cause the milk to curdle. This is not only unappetizing looking but will prevent the rice from absorbing the milk correctly. Remove from heat shortly after it reaches a boil for best results.
- How to thaw frozen peas: Peas can be defrosted in the fridge for 2 hours, or until cool or in a fine mesh strainer under cool water. I usually opt for the second option as it is quickest and doesn’t require thinking ahead, but the refrigeration option works well!
Just like my other Dump and Bake Casseroles, this Chickpea Curry Casserole is filling enough to serve alone thanks to the combination of carbs, proteins, fats and veggies. If you’d like to serve with a simple side or two, you may enough my Easy Garlic Green Beans or Chana Kathi Rolls.
How to Store Chickpea Curry Casserole
Leftover chickpea curry casserole will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Reheat individual servings in the microwave or a larger number of servings in the oven at 350F until warmed through, about 15 minutes.
Substitutions and Variations
- Coconut milk substitutions: Full-fat coconut milk will yield the creamiest, most flavorful rice, but another milk can be substituted if needed or preferred. Try cashew milk, soy milk, or lite coconut milk.
- Cauliflower substitutions: Equal amounts of broccoli florets or green beans would work well.
- Homemade curry powder option: If you don’t have a pre-mixed curry powder in your pantry, make your own salt-free version at home using a simple homemade curry powder recipe.
No, curry powder and turmeric are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably in recipes. Turmeric is a prominent ingredient in curry powder, but curry powder is a combination of spices that are common in curries and Indian cuisine.
Yes, canned chickpeas are cooked and safe to eat straight from the can. If the chickpeas need to be cooked, they will be very small, dry, and hard and typically sold in a bag.
Chickpeas are both a carbohydrate and a great source of plant protein.
Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊
Curry Chickpea Casserole (Dump & Bake)
For the Broth:
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds or ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 13.5- ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup 120 ml water
- 1 tablespoon salt-free curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
For the Casserole:
- 3 cups 600 g cooked chickpeas (2-3 cans)
- 3 cups 233g cauliflower florets
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 cup 160 g frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 bunch cilantro stems and leaves divided and chopped
- 1 cup 180g dry white basmati rice*
- Optional: toasted slivered almonds for garnish
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 400F and set a 9×13" casserole dish aside.
- Broth: Warm a medium pot over medium heat; add the cumin seeds and dry toast for 45 to 60 seconds, or until fragrant (Note: if using ground cumin, add with the curry powder). Add the coconut milk, water, curry powder, and salt to the pot and whisk well. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Assemble: Add the chickpeas, cauliflower, carrots, peas, onion, garlic, and chopped cilantro stems to the casserole dish. Mix well, then sprinkle the rice over the top of the dish.
- Bake: Remove the broth from the heat once it comes to a boil and pour the liquid evenly over the casserole dish; mix gently and make sure all of the rice is submerged. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil (or parchment paper, followed by aluminum foil) and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 45 minutes.
- Serve: Remove from the oven, uncover, and mix well. Serve warm and top with the remaining cilantro and slivered almonds, or as desired. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for up to one week, or in the freezer for up to one month.