Crunchy, crispy chickpea tacos are a vegetarian Tex-Mex option everyone will love. Top with a bright, flavorful slaw of red cabbage, carrots, and cilantro for a filling, healthy meatless meal!
We love Mexican. We love Tex-Mex. We love finding new healthy dinners. (To offset all that chocolate cake, of course.) I, especially, love finding new meatless meals that please the omnivores and vegetarians alike.
So, a meal that checks all of those boxes? And is ready in 30 minutes, chopping and prepping included? Yes, yes, and yes.
I began experimenting with these crispy chickpeas as a taco filling about seven or eight months ago, when I first noticed them on the blog Macheesmo.
Right from the start, I loved the seasoning, not to mention how easy it turned out to be to get a nice, crispy crunch with just a few minutes and a skillet over medium-high heat. Genius.
The reason I’m only sharing the full recipe now, however, is it took me that long to find what we consider the perfect accompaniment. When I saw this sunset slaw, however, as part of a recipe in the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook, I immediately felt it – this was the one. 🙂
Red cabbage, shredded carrot, a bit of cilantro, salt, and lime juice. So simple, fresh, and flavorful, and it complements the crisp, spicy chickpeas perfectly. Plus, it’s so fast to throw together, you can do all the chopping and mixing in just the few minutes while the chickpeas crisp in the skillet, making this a true 30-minute meal.
Winner winner chickpea dinner?
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Warm some tortillas, throw a few spoonfuls of chickpeas into each, and top with the slaw. Dinner is served!
Casually vegan tacos, at your service.
Honestly, I’m such a simpleton, I could inhale these tacos just like that. But add a little extra spritz of lime juice, salsa, more cilantro, jalapenos, avocado chunks, you name it. I mean, they’re tacos. The ultimate build-it-yourself meal.
The only thing that’s not optional? Your cold beverage of choice. 🙂
Crispy Chickpea Tacos with Sunset Slaw
For the Chickpeas:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cans (15 ounce, 400 gram) chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- A few turns of freshly-ground black pepper
For the Slaw:
- 1 1/2 cups (95 grams) finely shredded red cabbage from about 1/4 large cabbage
- 1 carrot peeled and coarsely grated
- pinch kosher salt
- juice of 1/2 lime
- dash of hot sauce optional
- 1/4 cup (10 grams) roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- Small flour or corn tortillas store-bought or try them homemade
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Jalapenos, avocado, or other toppings as desired
- Warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add chickpeas, then sprinkle over the cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Stir to combine and coat the chickpeas thoroughly with the spices.
- Cook chickpeas for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the outsides turn slightly crispy and golden.
- While chickpeas cook, prepare the slaw. Toss the cabbage, carrot, salt, and lime juice together in a bowl, then set aside for a minute or two. Stir in the hot sauce, if using, followed by the cilantro.
- Assemble tacos with chickpeas, slaw, and additional toppings as desired.
- Any leftover chickpeas will keep in the fridge for about a week; in addition to being the base of spur-of-the-moment leftover tacos, they make a great snack on their own, or, slightly mash them with the back of a fork, and use as a simple dip or topping for nachos. Leftover slaw will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge; any longer and it starts to get a bit sludgy.
- Taco filling adapted from Macheesmo; slaw adapted from Smitten Kitchen Everyday by Deb Perelman
Craving More Tex-Mex Inspiration?
Tex-Mex is a serious favorite in our house! We especially love tacos with jalapeno lime fish, spicy black beans, or chicken tinga. Oven-baked chicken taquitos are a must-have for game-day snacking, as is guacamole and these quesadillas with black beans and roasted red peppers.
And, take it all to the next level with these best ever homemade flour tortillas – soft, pliable, delicious, and SO much easier than you probably think. A total show-stopper!