Slow Cooker Butter Chickpeas and Tofu! 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.
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.
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.
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!
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 (<— I love saying that all through December) 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.
You want some nutrition? I’ve got you.
Each bowl 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
- 1 package firm tofu (12 oz.)
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 medium size onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can coconut milk (I used light)
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 tbsp. garam masala
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- ⅛ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 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.
- In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and stir to combine.
- Whisk in the coconut milk, tomato puree, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground ginger and a pinch salt/pepper.
- Cook until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooking, finely cube the tofu.
- Place the tofu and garbanzo beans in the base of slow cooker. Pour the sauce on top. Cook on low for 4-5 hours until thick. You can cook the sauce longer if needed.
- Before serving, stir in the cilantro.
- Serve with rice and naan.