I’m flashing back today to one of the first recipes on Cadry’s Kitchen – chickpea tacos. They’re an easy weeknight dinner that I’ve been making for years.
(Literally. The first time I posted my chickpea taco recipe it was 2009. A young Barack Obama was inaugurated as president. I would blast I Got a Feeling while I did my hair, and the U.S. postage stamp cost 42 cents.)
Over time, the spices and seasonings for chickpea tacos have changed slightly. I’ve fallen in love with ancho chili powder. And I now prefer stuffing the tacos with green leaf lettuce instead of spinach.
(Ancho chili powder is made solely from dried ancho chile peppers – instead of being a blend of spices like your typical chili powder. That means it adds lots of flavor, but it isn’t hot because cayenne isn’t involved. You can use whatever chili powder you have in your cupboard for these tacos, but that will likely change the spiciness of the dish.)
While the little details have shifted, chickpea tacos have remained a mainstay on my table. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that always sounds good. I’d say we have chickpea tacos at least a couple times a month.
Chickpea tacos for two are ready in under a half an hour. Plus, with chickpeas as the main component, it’s an inexpensive meal made with ingredients I usually have on hand.
I recommend doubling this recipe if you want to insure leftovers. It doesn’t take much extra work, and the pay-off is that lunch the next day is already made!
Vegan chickpea tacos
With a blend of ancho chili powder, paprika, cumin, and a squeeze of lime juice, these tacos have layers of warming, spicy flavors.
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped in even medium pieces
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 15 ounce can), drained and rinsed
- Juice of 1/2 lime about 1 Tablespoon or 1 Tablespoon of water
- 1/4 cup water plus additional if needed
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- salt to taste
- 6 taco shells or tortillas
- 1 cup green leaf lettuce roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 batch guacamole
- Optional toppings: cilantro, jalapeño peppers, hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
- In a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil to a medium heat. Set a tablespoon of the onions aside to use as a topping and mince them. Add the remaining onions and garlic to the skillet. Sauté for 5 minutes, until they are fragrant and translucent.
- Add chickpeas, lime juice, water, ancho chili powder, paprika, cumin, and a pinch of salt to skillet. Saute for 10 minutes until heated through. If the chickpeas become dry and the spices start sticking to the pan, lower heat and add a tablespoon or two of water and combine to deglaze the pan. Smash some of the chickpeas with a fork for texture, and so that they don't roll out of the tacos. Taste for salt and add more if necessary. Remove from heat.
- Put the shells or tortillas on a baking sheet and heat in the oven for 3-5 minutes until warm.
- Remove the shells or tortillas from the oven. Fill each shell or tortilla with the chickpea mixture, some of the lettuce, onions, tomatoes, guacamole, and any optional toppings like cilantro, jalapeño peppers, or hot sauce.