Crispy Chickpea Tacos with Sunset Slaw

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!

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Three crispy chickpea tacos lined up and ready to devour.

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.

Three crispy chickpea tacos lined up and ready to devour.

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.

A bowl of taco spices, plus two cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas, equals delicious pan-roasted spicy chickpeas!

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. 🙂

Sunset slaw assembled and waiting to top the tacos.

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?

Crispy chickpea tacos topped with bright sunset slaw are vegetarian Tex-Mex everyone will love!Click To Tweet

Warm some tortillas, throw a few spoonfuls of chickpeas into each, and top with the slaw. Dinner is served!

Three crispy chickpea tacos lined up and ready to devour.

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. 🙂

Three crispy chickpea tacos lined up and ready to devour.

Three crispy chickpea tacos lined up and ready to devour.

3 votes


Crispy Chickpea Tacos with Sunset Slaw




Yield 4-6 servings

Crunchy, crispy chickpea tacos are vegetarian Tex-Mex everyone will love. Top with a bright, flavorful slaw of red cabbage, carrots, and parsley for a filling, healthy meatless meal!


For the Chickpeas:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 (15 ounce, 400 gram) cans 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

To Serve:

  • Small flour or corn tortillas (store-bought or try them homemade!)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Jalapenos, avocado, or other toppings as desired


  1. 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.
  2. Cook chickpeas for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the outsides turn slightly crispy and golden.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

A skillet filled with taco-seasoned crispy chickpeas.

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!

Three crispy chickpea tacos lined up and ready to devour.

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Crispy chickpea tacos with sunset slaw are a casually vegan taco recipe that will make everyone happy! Ready in less than 30 minutes! #vegetarian #vegan #meatless #tacos


  • Reply
    February 10, 2018 at 11:07 am

    These chickpeas sound amazing, I’ve never made chickpeas in this way before and I can’t wait to try them. P.S LOVE the photos!

    • Reply
      February 10, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you so much, Emily – that means a lot to me, especially coming from you! 🙂

  • Reply
    Parth Rathod
    February 5, 2018 at 3:47 am

    Tacos are my favorite and this one tastes really delicious
    thank you for sharing

    • Reply
      February 5, 2018 at 8:32 am

      Glad you enjoyed them!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Yummy, this would be really great when I’m craving tacos and don’t want any meat.

    • Reply
      February 4, 2018 at 6:24 am

      Absolutely, Luci, they’re a great meatless taco option! Take care!

  • Reply
    Lisa|Garlic & Zest
    February 3, 2018 at 12:52 am

    That slaw!!! Wow! I could munch 3 of these luscious tacos right now!

    • Reply
      February 4, 2018 at 6:24 am

      3 seems like a good start! 😉 Thanks, Lisa!

  • Reply
    February 3, 2018 at 12:00 am

    Can you come over next Taco Tuesday and make these for us? 🙂

    • Reply
      February 4, 2018 at 6:24 am

      Haha, absolutely! I’ll hop on the next flight! 😉

  • Reply
    Jessica Robinson
    February 2, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    These look so yummy and hearty! Would be perfect for the Superbowl!

    • Reply
      February 4, 2018 at 6:25 am

      Definitely! A great spicy game day option. Thanks, Jessica!

  • Reply
    Adriana Lopez Martin
    February 2, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    You got me at crispy and tacos. I am a declared taco fan and addict so this is a winner for me. Great recipe for parties too!

    • Reply
      February 4, 2018 at 6:26 am

      Yay for taco addictions! 🙂 Thanks so much, Adriana, take care!

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