Vegan Chana Masala – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

Vegan Chana Masala – Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian

The vibrantly flavored, Indian classic comfort food Vegan Chana Masala served with brown rice, is one of my all time favorite dishes. And it’s super easy to make this classic dish at home with a few simple ingredients—chickpeas, canned tomatoes, spices, and brown rice. I promise this recipe for Chana Masala will be on your weekly menu rotation for weeks to come! You can get this healthy main dish—it’s a one-dish nutritionally balanced meal in one—on the table in about 30 minutes with budget-friendly pantry staples. And the whole family will love it! Plus, serve this healthy main dish in the cooking pot to save on clean up. This chickpea recipe is also great for meal prep—just dish up your brown rice and chana masala into storage containers and grab and go!

I thoroughly enjoy plant-based Indian food traditions in my kitchen on a near weekly basis. These colorful, vibrant, spicy, plant-driven meals are among the best in the world, in my book. I have studied Indian cuisine, but I am not a true expert. I recommend you check out some of the work of my favorite plant-based Indian dietitian colleagues, including Vandana Sheth and Madhu Gadia, to learn more about this fabulous culinary tradition. Check out my interview with Vandana, where she shares her favorite tips for Indian cooking here.

Nutrition Notes

This chana masala recipe is packed with good nutrition! You’ll find a good source of fiber, plant protein, healthy fats, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, and lycopene in this recipe. Plus, you can balance a healthy plate, as you’ll get all of your main food groups in one dish: proteins, whole grains, and vegetables. This chana masala is also vegan and gluten-free.



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Cook up this gluten free Vegan Chana Masala recipe in about 30 minutes with pantry staples, including chickpeas, canned tomatoes, spices, and brown rice.

  1. Cook brown rice in water, according to package directions, until tender. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large sauté pan, skillet, or pot over medium heat and add onion, chili, ginger, and garlic, sautéing for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cumin, coriander, mustard, turmeric, salt (optional), black pepper and brown sugar and sauté for an additional 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add canned tomatoes and tomato sauce, stirring well to combine.
  4. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, until bubbly and thickened.
  5. Add garam masala, lemon juice, and mix well.
  6. Serve over brown rice.
  7. Makes 8 servings (about 1/2 cup rice with 3/4 cup chana masala per serving).

  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 29 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup rice with ¾ cup chana masala
  • Calories: 362
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 86 mg
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 64 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegan chana masala, chana masala vegan, instant pot chana masala

For other classic Indian-style dishes, check out the following recipes:

Edamame Masala with Brown Rice
Creamy Chickpea Curry
Masala-Spiced Potatoes
Curried Yellow Lentil Stew
Kachumber (Cucumber) Salad

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