This healthy and delicious vegan chicken curry recipe is made in your slow cooker with a delightful blend of peppers, garlic, ginger, spices, and creamy coconut milk. We use meaty soy curls for the vegan chicken, so it’s easy to just place them and all the rest of the ingredients in your crockpot and let it cook until dinner time!
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They’re so quick and easy. You can get a healthy, flavorful, and cozy meal on the table with a few button clicks. A good crockpot recipe is like a super power!
I know how much you all loved our Crockpot Vegan Chicken and Rice, so now I’m so happy to bring you this Slow Cooker Vegan Chicken Curry! It’s creamy and cozy and packed with a mildly spicy flavor and feel-good vegetable nutrients.
Why You’ll Love This Vegan Curry Chicken:
- Set it and forget it. It doesn’t get any easier than this – just add all the ingredients to your slow cooker and press a couple buttons!
- Healthy AND comforting. The flavor of this delicious recipe will tantalize your taste buds! And did I mention there’s no oil in this recipe?! It’s magic.
- The ultimate meal prep. This soy curl curry makes the best leftovers. The delicious flavor intensifies beautifully when stored over a couple of days, and it can be frozen for later!
What is curry?
This isn’t that easy of a question to answer. In Western usage, the term has become reductionist to mean any variety of things.
At its most basic, the term refers to “kari”, a Tamil word meaning a sauce or gravy seasoned with tempered spices. But there are literally thousands of “curries” and curry sauce recipes around the world – including Jamaican curry powder.
And contrary to popular belief, not all curry dishes are super spicy. Though I do love those too. Some recipes use a mild curry powder.
There is an incredibly informative article on “What is Curry?” by Suki Singh that was recommended to me by Richa Hingle from Vegan Richa. I found it tremendously educational, and it inspired me to do more research on the topic. I hope it inspires you to do the same. It’s a fascinating subject.
Is curry vegan?
Curry itself is a collection of traditional Indian spices and herbs in a stew or gravy. Think of garam masala. So in that sense, yes it is vegan.
It is more about what is being curried that would make a dish vegan or not. But thankfully, naturally vegan recipes abound in Indian and SE Asian cuisine.
One of the most popular, and one of T’s all-time favorite foods, is Aloo Gobi – potatoes and cauliflower in a wonderfully simple and spicy sauce.
Soy Curl Curry Ingredients
You’ll need 11 healthy ingredients + a few spices to make this vegan curry recipe! We’ll review them here, but you can find the amounts in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Soy curls – Broken into smaller pieces about 1/2 inch. These are a meaty vegan chicken substitute that come dehydrated.
- Russet potatoes – peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
- Full-fat coconut milk – From a can. Make sure the coconut milk you choose is unsweetened.
- Red bell pepper – diced
- Carrots – peeled and diced
- Lime – juiced
- Jalapeno or serrano pepper – diced
- Garlic cloves – minced
- Fresh ginger – minced
- Vegan chicken bouillon powder – We used our homemade vegan bouillon powder for the vegan chicken stock. This adds the best chickeny flavor to our veggie curry!
- Coconut sugar or light brown sugar – To balance out all the flavors
- Spices: Onion powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, ground cinnamon, cayenne, dried oregano, sea salt
If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!
Veggie Options: Feel free to switch up the veggies in this recipe based on what you have in your fridge. Some standard vegetables in Indian cuisine include peas, green beans, peppers, okra, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage, and onions. And there’s SO many more.
For the fresh garlic: The standard conversion for fresh garlic to granulated powdered garlic is 1/4 teaspoon of dried garlic powder to one clove of fresh.
For the lime juice: Lemon juice would work. But it will also give it a slightly different citrus vibe.
For the jalapeno: Use any hot pepper you like or skip this if you don’t like spicy food! For a great listing of peppers and their heat rating, check out this article from Scovillescale.org. It lists just about every pepper from the hottest pepper – the Carolina Reaper – to the mildest green bell pepper.
For the bouillon powder: You can sub half as much bouillon paste or 2 ground up bouillon cubes. Don’t skip this ingredient though; it’s key for flavor!
For the fresh ginger: The standard conversion for fresh ginger to powdered ginger is 1/4 teaspoon of dried ginger to one tablespoon of fresh.
For the coconut milk:
You can use another high-fat unsweetened plain plant milk or low fat coconut milk (which is basically watered down full fat coconut milk), but the texture will be slightly different.
Make sure you’re using an unsweetened plain plant milk, so you don’t get a weird flavor. We like the unsweetened cashew milk or almond milk from Elmhurst.
Yukon Gold potatoes are a good substitute in slow cooker recipes. Red potatoes would also work well. You just want to be sure you cook the potatoes to just fork tender so they retain their shape.
And remember, the potatoes will continue to cook in the hot stew as it cools. You may be able to sub cauliflower for the potatoes, but we haven’t tried this! You may need to adjust the liquid by decreasing just a little if you do.
Soy Curl Substitute:
These have a slightly different texture, but can be used in this recipe as a 1:1 sub! You can also use your favorite vegan chicken, but I would use something unbreaded and add it in the last 30 minutes of cooking time. You will also need less liquid if you use vegan chicken pieces (since they’re not dehydrated!).
How to Make This Vegan Potato Curry Recipe
This is the easiest of all easy dinner recipes! Just make sure you give yourself enough (hands-off) time to let everything cook.
Simply add all the ingredients to your slow-cooker and stir thoroughly to combine.
Cover and cook on a low setting for 4-6 hours. When time’s almost up, your house will be filled with the most incredible smell that brings everyone to the table!
How to Serve Vegan Crockpot Curry
Serve this vegan coconut chicken curry hot as-is or over a fresh batch of basmati rice, brown rice, or even cauliflower rice if that’s your jam, topped with fresh green onion.
Flatbread or vegan naan bread can be another great addition to round-out this easy vegan dinner! T always needs some bread to scoop and sop up all the flavor. I love this avocado naan recipe from Vegan Richa!
How to Store Coconut Curry (Vegan)
Store leftover vegetarian curry in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 8 weeks.
To reheat from the refrigerator: Place in a microwave-safe dish and reheat at 80% for 3-4 minutes. Stir, and microwave again for one minute on high.
To reheat from frozen: Place in a microwave-safe dish and reheat at 50% for about 6 minutes or until thawed through. Give it a good stir and reheat at 80% for 4-5 minutes.
Plant-Based Curry Recipe FAQ
There’s a lot of confusion around curry dishes. I’d refer you again to the “What is Curry?” article for questions on the history and tradition of curry. We’ve attempted to answer a few of your most frequently asked questions here.
We like using soy curls to make vegan curry chicken. Soy curls are a dehydrated, minimally processed product made from whole soybeans available through Butler Foods. We have a whole soy curl guide explaining what they are, how to use them, and where to find them.
There are lots of ingredients you can sub for chicken in a curry, such as chickpeas, mushrooms, chicken-style seitan, or soy chicken pieces. We like using soy curls for our plant-based protein, and we flavor them with our vegan chicken bouillon powder.
Vegetables, grains, mushrooms, seitan, soy curls, potatoes, peas, etc!
Yes, it is okay to put coconut milk in the slow cooker. Just be sure to use a high quality coconut milk that doesn’t have any emulsifiers or gums, as those may tend to cause curdling or separating at high heat for an extended time.
At high heat for a long time, coconut milk can separate a little. It helps if you use a high quality coconut milk that doesn’t have any emulsifiers or gums, as those may tend to cause curdling. Also, using a low heat for longer cooking times.
The easy answer is that too much water was added for the recipe. A deeper dive will also reveal that some ingredients release more excess water than others. Compare the liquid content of tomatoes or eggplant to cauliflower or potatoes. Also, frozen vegetables will release more extra liquid than their fresh counterparts.
Favorite Vegan Indian Recipes:
If you love all things Indian foods and flavors, you have to check out some of these recipes from our fellow vegan food creators and recipe developers who specialize in this area:
- Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer from Vegan Richa
- Vegan Malai Kofta from The Curious Chickpea
- Authentic Ayurvedic Indian Kitchari from Urban Farmie
I am so excited to hear what you think of this recipe. It has serious hug-in-a-bowl vibes, so whoever you serve it to will feel the love in every bite!
When you try it, could you do us a favor? Give the recipe a star rating and leave a comment below! That goes such a long way in getting our vegan recipes to more people, and we love to celebrate your kitchen wins.
- 1 (8-oz) bag soy curls (broken into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 3 cups water
- 1 pound russet potatoes (peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 (13.5-oz) can full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup peeled and diced carrots
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 Tbsp vegan chicken bouillon powder
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp coconut sugar or light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1 teaspoon salt (optional, taste before adding)
- Add all the ingredients to your slow-cooker and stir thoroughly to combine.
- Cover and cook on a low setting for 4 hours. It helps if you can stir the pot halfway through!
- After cooking for 4 hours on low, check the potatoes. If they’re fork-tender, it’s ready to serve! If they’re not there yet, cover and cook on high for another 1-2 hours until potatoes are cooked through.
- Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. Add the extra salt if needed.
- Serve as is or over rice and enjoy!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 8 weeks.
- To get a little extra creamy curry broth, feel free to add up to 1/2 cup water.
- If you can stir your slow cooker every hour or so, it helps the potatoes cook more evenly.
- If cooking while out of the house, you can cook on low for 6 hours. Then, pick up with step 3!
Serving Size:1/6 the recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1423mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not only be accurate. This recipe is calculated without the rice we suggest serving it with.