Vegan Recipe: Chickpea Tacos

chickpea taco recipe

Serve this mildly spicy (or not) taco filling in taco shells with lettuce and other fresh veggies like chopped tomatoes, jicama, or cucumber. Or make it a taco bowl with the filling and toppings over rice.

Ingredients, makes 5 cups taco filling (4 servings)

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons water, plus more if needed
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup minced zucchini and/or bell pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or fresh minced chili pepper, to taste, see Note)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon molasses


Mash the chickpeas by pressing with the bottom of a measuring cup on a cutting board. (This doesn’t have to be thorough, just a rough mash/squish of most of the beans.)

Heat the water in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, zucchini or bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, allspice, pepper flakes, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion has softened. If the mixture is drying out and sticking, add another splash of water. Add the mashed chickpeas, lime juice, and molasses and stir thoroughly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes, until mixture is heated through. Taste, and if you’d like extra salt or heat, add additional seasonings. If mixture is still dry or sticking, add another 2 to 3 teaspoons of water, increase the heat briefly, and scrape the skillet to help bring up the spices from the bottom of the skillet.

Chili Pepper Note: If you’d prefer adding some chopped jalapeño or other hot pepper to this mixture instead of crushed red pepper flakes—go for it! Add as much as you normally like.

Source: The Cheese Trap, by Neal Barnard, M.D.; recipe by Dreena Burton, chef, founder of Plant Powered Kitchen.

Per serving (1/4 of recipe, filling only): Calories: 228; Protein: 11 g; Carbohydrate: 39 g; Sugar: 9 g; Total Fat: 5 g; Calories from Fat: 17%; Fiber: 11 g; Sodium: 773 mg

Please feel free to tailor Physicians Committee recipes to suit your individual dietary needs.

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