Very Quick Butter Chickpeas – Nutritious, Delicious, Affordable

A delicious, affordable and nutritious recipe for Butter Chickpeas courtesy of the Better Access to Groceries (BAG) of the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corp in Winnipeg. Feeding a family of four for $5 is possible!

Butter Chickpeas-7

I took this recipe along with brown rice and carrot salad to CTV  Morning Live to show how quick and easy it is to prepare this complete meal.

butter chickpeas

For Four People

Butter Chickpea recipe = $3.79
Brown rice = $.44
Carrot Salad = $.58
Total = $4.81

Cooking good food for your family can be affordable.

Here’s what’s needed for the Butter Chickpeas (plus sour cream).

Butter Chickpea ingredients

Butter chickpeas is a vegetarian version of butter chicken – a mild curry that has no actual butter, but does have a creamy buttery texture. The condensed soup in this recipe provides the thick creamy taste and makes it super fast to make. Traditional curries take considerably longer as they use fresh, whole spices, diced tomatoes and yogurt. You certainly could replace the condensed soup with canned or fresh tomatoes and use your own thickeners.

Last time I paired it with frozen peas.

butter chickpeas with green peasHere’s an adapted version of the recipe that comes with the Recipe Bag (original source unknown) from the BAG Program described below. I simply converted a couple of the original measurements to common sizes and replaced the cream with sour cream.

Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Very Quick Butter Chickpeas (Vegetarian Butter Chicken!)

Prep : 5 minutes
Cook : 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 can 10 oz/300g condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream*/yogurt*/cream/coconut milk (full fat)
  • 1 can 19 oz/540ml chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro


  • Peel and cube potatoes.
  • Place in pot, cover with water and boil until fork tender.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • In large pot, heat canola oil over medium high heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in spices, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes to allow flavors to come out.
  • Add soup and sour cream, mix well. Do not boil if using low fat sour cream or yogurt.
  • Add chickpeas and potatoes and simmer for 5 minute or heated through. Do not boil if using low fat dairy.
  • Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro to taste.
  • Serve with naan bread or rice. Other options include a slice of lime, extra cilantro or a little hot sauce for those who like to spice things up.


Possible substitutions: Substitute powdered ginger with fresh ginger root. Substitute tomato soup with diced tomatoes.
*Low fat sour cream or yogurt is more likely to curdle with high heat. If using these, avoid curdling by not boiling the curry after adding them. Consider adding at the very end with heat off.
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butter chickpeas with cilantro

Getting access to good, affordable food can be difficult, but buying clubs like the BAG program or the Winnipeg Food Share Co-Op can help. Last October, I had a chance to tour the Chalmers Neighbourhood Renewal Corp to learn more about how they’re helping their community members get better access to fresh produce.

Better Access to Groceries (BAG) is a non-profit bulk buying program that provides community members with better access to fresh, low cost fruits and vegetables, as well as promotes community engagement and healthy eating.


The BAG idea, like many buying clubs, is simple and brilliant – members pool their money to buy fresh produce in bulk. The produce is split among the members and everyone walks away happy with a bag of produce worth about $15 to $25 – pretty great investment. Anyone in the neighbourhood can participate.

As if that weren’t awesome enough, the BAG program also offers special Recipe Bags for $3 to $5. It’s basically a meal in a bag for $5 or less. The bag includes the recipe, pre-measured spices and all the dried or canned goods, you add fresh produce or meat as required. That’s where this Butter Chickpeas recipe came from.

Check to see if there’s a buying club in your area.

This Butter Chickpeas recipe captures so many of the things I’ve been writing about lately – food security, rising food prices, eating healthy for your mind, using canned and frozen veggies and choosing pulses more often. I love it when things come together.

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener. 


  1. Looks lovely however I cannot find your Carrot Salad recipe. I clicked on the link and it took me to various options but nowhere was the salad you pictured above.

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