Quick and easy smashed chickpea tacos!
Who says you can’t make tacos with chickpeas? Made with canned chickpeas, spices, and your favorite taco toppings, this vegetarian chickpea taco recipe is packed full of protein, fiber, and flavor. Learn how to make a quick and easy chickpea taco filling perfect for a weeknight meal.
Why Chickpea Tacos?
While chickpeas may not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when you think of tacos, chickpea tacos are a fun way to mix up taco night! Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, trying to eat more plant-based meals, or simply looking to try something new, chickpeas are a fun and healthy way to cook up your favorite taco meal.
- Source of vegetarian protein. While chickpeas are primarily a source of carbohydrates, chickpeas are a good source of vegetarian protein containing 15 grams of protein per 1 cup serving (1).
- Source of fibre. Chickpeas are high in dietary fiber, specifically soluble fiber, and contain 13 grams of fiber per 1 cup serving (1).
- Inexpensive and versatile. Compared gram per gram, dry chickpeas are incredibly inexpensive compared to other sources of protein and are incredibly versatile as they can be boiled, roasted, or baked and also used in soups, stews, salads, curries, casseroles, and dips.
- Quick and easy to use. While dry chickpeas will take longer to cook, canned, pre-cooked chickpeas are very easy to find and can help to dramatically cut down on prep time and cooking time.
How to Make Chickpea Taco Filling:
Dry the chickpeas thoroughly before cooking. Use a tea towel or paper towel to remove as much excess water as possible to help ensure you get a nice crispy texture on the chickpeas.
Season the chickpeas generously with spices. Coat the chickpeas with your favorite taco seasoning, I recommend a blend of chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and salt.
Cook the chickpeas in a pan. Add the chickpeas to a pan and cook them until darkened and slightly crispy, breaking some of them up with a fork or potato masher to create a ground-meat-like texture.
Assemble the tacos. Once the filling is prepared, add the chickpea filling to tortillas and serve with toppings of your choice. I think avocado, tomatoes, salsa, coleslaw, and/or sour cream would all work well.
Store leftovers. If there happens to be anything left, leftover chickpea taco filling can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply add the chickpeas to a pan and heat until warm and slightly crispy.
Best Toppings for Chickpea Tacos
Once you’ve prepared your chickpea filling, you can serve the tacos with toppings of your choice. I think the following would all work well:
- Pico de Gallo
- Sour Cream (or Vegan Sour cream)
- Red Cabbage
- Hot Sauces
Regardless of what toppings you choose, these chickpea tacos are a little something different that you can add to your taco night repertoire. Not only does the chickpea filling work well in tacos but you can also serve it in burritos or on top of your favorite burrito bowl, taco bowl, or salad as a source of hearty and filling fiber and plant-based protein.
More Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes:
These vegetarian chickpea tacos are a fun way to mix up taco night! Not only does the chickpea filling work well in tacos but it works well in burritos, bowls, or topped onto your favourite salad.
Chickpea Taco Filling:
- 2 (14 oz.) cans chickpeas, strained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Cilantro Lime Sauce (optional):
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
- 1 limed, zested and juiced
- 8 corn or flour tortillas
- 1 cup lettuce, shredded
- 1 avocado, diced or mashed
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- Strain and rinse the canned chickpeas and then transfer them to a large bowl. Using a tea towel or paper towel, gently pat chickpeas dry to remove any excess moisture, this will allow for a crispier texture once cooked.
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and salt, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the spice mixture on top of the chickpeas and then toss or stir until the chickpeas are well coated in the spices.
- In a cast-iron or heavy bottom skillet, warm the olive oil on medium heat. Add the seasoned chickpeas and cook for 6-8 minutes until toasted and slightly crispy, breaking up the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher as they cook to create a ground-meat-like texture, leaving some of the chickpeas whole.
- While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the cilantro-lime yogurt. In a small bowl combine the yogurt, minced cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed, then set aside.
- Optional: Warm the tortillas. If using corn tortillas, fill a bowl with room temperature water, quickly dunk the corn tortilla in the water, transfer them to a warm pan on medium-high heat, and warm for about 15 to 45 seconds on each side until golden and toasted, using tongs to flip the tortillas, until all of the tortillas are toasted. If using wheat tortillas, preheat your oven to 300°F. Wrap your tortillas in aluminium foil and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until fully heated through or place them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a slightly damp paper towel and microwave in 30-second increments until warm.
- Once the chickpeas are cooked, assembled the tacos. Place a tortilla on a plate, top with roughly a 1/4 cup of the chickpea filling and top with toppings of your choice.
- Any leftover chickpea filling can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, add the filling to a pan and cook for a couple of minutes until warm.
- Serving Size: 1 taco with toppings
- Calories: 234 calories
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Fat: 9 grams
- Carbohydrates: 31 grams
- Fiber: 9 grams
- Protein: 9 grams
Keywords: chickpea taco meat, chickpea tacos vegan, smashed chickpea tacos, chickpea tacos recipe