Chickpeas cooked in a robust tomato sauce with Indian spices is so comforting. This vegan slow cooker chana masala recipe is beyond easy to make and only requires simple ingredients. Plus, it tastes amazing with rice or naan!
Where are all my Indian food lovers?
What’s not to love? The dishes are packed with robust, complex flavors and not to mention naan and rice.
This slow cooker chana masala recipe is one of my personal favorites because it is so flavorful, healthy, and easy to make.
What is chana masala?
It’s basically chickpeas simmered in a delicious gravy.
Chana (chickpeas) is a great source of fiber and plant-based protein.
The masala (sauce) is a tomato based sauce with spices. If heat isn’t your thing you can adjust the spice levels to your liking. I am personally a spicy food fan, so I tend to go heavier with the heat (fair warning)!
Ingredients in chana masala:
While chickpeas are the heart of chana masala, the broth is like the soul of this dish:
- crushed tomatoes
- pepper (optional)
- vegetable broth
- lemon juice
- coconut sugar
How to make chana masala in the slow cooker:
Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker and mix well. Set it on low for 8 hours and you’re done!
I love making Indian food in the slow cooker because it really allows the flavors to blend together so well. Especially with tomatoes. Crockpots breakdown the acidity of tomatoes making it a much more palatable dish!
Crockpot recipes are apart of my regular routine in the colder months because for one, most of the recipes are foolproof and two, dinner can be ready when you walk in the door.
For a Crockpot, I use this one and I love it! If you are on the fence about purchasing a slow cooker, I highly recommend because it is truly a versatile kitchen appliance.
This chana masala recipe is naturally vegan so if you are looking for a healthy plant-based weeknight meal, look no further my friends.
If you tried this vegan slow cooker chana masala, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Slow Cooker Chana Masala (Vegan!)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil can substitute with coconut oil or ghee (if not vegan)
- 3 garlic cloves minced (about 1-1/2 teaspoon)
- 1+1/2 inch ginger knob peeled and minced (about 1-1/2 Tablespoon)
- 1 medium red onion diced (about 1-1/2 cup)
- 1 serrano pepper minced (about 1/2 Tablespoon, optional)
- 2 14-ounce cans chickpeas or garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar (can substitute with cane sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 2+1/2 teaspoons garam masala* see notes for recipe
- cilantro for topping (optional)
- rice brown, jasmine, basmati or cauliflower rice for low carb option
- naan Indian bread
- Put all ingredients in slow cooker and stir well.
- Set on low 8 hours.
- Serve warm. Top with chopped cilantro and pair with rice or naan.
- I recommend setting your slow cooker or Crockpot setting to low instead of high. This gives the tomatoes longer to cook and break down that strong tomato flavor. I found the chana masala too have an overbearing tomato flavor when cooked on high.
- For garam masala, you can buy a spice blend, or make your own! I make this blend to keep on hand. You will only need 2 1/2 teaspoons for the chana masala. Here's the recipe I follow:
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
This recipe was loosely adapted from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen Cookbook
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