Taco Tuesday: Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

You know I had to post this on a Tuesday.

Who doesn’t remember Taco Tuesdays from their childhood or, in my case, their college dining hall? Everyone likes tacos, and in college, you could count on that taco bar every Tuesday for lunch. Like clockwork.

So it’s kind of a dilemma when you stop eating meat and dairy and all of a sudden… those ground beef tacos you’ve been eating for years are no longer an option, never mind the cheese and sour cream you used to top them with.

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

Grilled veggie tacos are a good option, and I’ll definitely do a post about those when summer vegetables are in season. But what about when you’re in the mood for a gold, old-fashioned, Old El Paso-style taco night? Diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce are just not gonna cut it.

After much experimentation, I discovered that chickpeas are the ideal substitute for beef or chicken when you want to use the same spices and toppings. And they’re still loaded with protein! Even though I’m eating (some) meat again now, I’m sticking with the chickpea tacos. They’re just too good to change!

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

These are super easy to make if you’re hosting a taco night and also doing beef or chicken tacos. You make these exactly as you would make the beef or chicken ones, only they don’t take as long. So no extra work for you, and everyone’s happy!

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

I do have some words of wisdom for you in regard to these guys, especially if you usually make your tacos with meat:

– When sauteing the chickpeas, you are only trying to heat them through and evaporate some of the liquid from the spice mix. You actually want to avoid getting any color on them, because they get quite dry. So just get ‘em hot and they’re done.

– Top them with something creamy, like guacamole or sour cream. The added moisture works well, and it has the added bonus of keeping the chickpeas in place. Chickpeas are rolly polly little suckers, and they will exit your taco in a hurry. Mash some guacamole down on top of them – problem solved.

I wish all problems could be solved like that.

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com


5.0 from 4 reviews
Taco Tuesday: Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
This vegan taco recipe pleases both meat- and veg-eaters alike. Chickpeas make the ideal substitute for beef or chicken, and use the same taco seasoning.
Yields: 6 medium-sized tacos
For the tacos:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 14-oz can, drained and rinsed)
For the taco seasoning (or use 1/2 a packet of your favorite taco seasoning mix):
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
For serving:
  • 6 hard taco shells or medium-sized tortillas
  • 1/2 recipe Simple Guacamole
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges
  1. First, prepare the guacamole according to these instructions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all taco seasoning ingredients, including water. The tacos come together quickly, so it's best to have this taken care of first!
  3. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the garlic and onion and saute until onion is soft, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour in chickpeas and taco seasoning, and stir to combine. Saute, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are heated through and some of the water is evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve alongside taco shells, guacamole, cilantro and lime wedges.
  6. Devour!
Taco seasoning adapted from Budget Bytes.


Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

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  1. says

    Wait, not all problems can be solved by squishing guacamole on them?? haha :)

    I love chickpeas, but I also like lentils as a meat substitute! Defffinitely not as rolly polly. Both adopt the flavors of taco seasoning really well.

    • Erica says

      Guacamole solves all problems! At least that’s what I tell myself :) I’m a huge lentil fan, but haven’t loved them on tacos… if you have any good lentil taco recipes, send them my way!

  2. says

    Guacamole has a serious place in my heart (and stomach) so whenever I see a new way to use my good ‘ole guac, I’m interested. Love the idea of guacamole and chickpeas! Sounds like a pretty darn good lunch/dinner/snack to me! ;)

  3. Mom says

    These sound great! I’m making them for myself for dinner later this week! What a quick and easy meal for when Dad’s not home. Thanks!

  4. says

    TAAAAAACOOOOS! Tacos are one of my favorite food items of all time! I’ve never sauteed chickpeas and am thankful you added your tip – I tend to walk away from the stove while sauteeing, so I surely would’ve ended up with over-dry chickpeas! Love the tacos…love the guac!!

  5. says

    Tacos are my favorite food. Not an exageration: I’ve made tacos every single night for more than a week straight. Glad to add another kind to my taco rotation!
    P.S. great idea to use the stand and stuff type taco shells, looks like it would help stabilize the roly poly chickpeas

    • Erica says

      Taco lovers unite! I’m not sure whether the stand-and-stuff taco shells help or just exacerbate the problem… when they inevitably break, the chickpeas get messy :) Oh well, they taste good!

  6. says

    Hey Erica – Just stumbled upon your site and I’m really digging it! Especially your writing style and similar approach to cooking. This is a great idea for a meatless taco…especially that spice blend. Looking forward to following more…Tony

  7. Katharine says

    Tried these for dinner tonight and they were SO GOOD! I couldn’t believe how easy and quick the chickpeas came together. I already had some homemade guac, so my dinner prep took about 5 minutes! Will definitely make these again. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  8. Alice says

    I just made these for lunch and they were devoured by my hubby + child not to mention myself. I see myself making these tacos regularly. You are pure genius!

  9. Janie says

    Just made this!! Can’t believe how good it was-don’t think I’ll be using meat anymore. Thank you

  10. says

    These look fantastic! I love how you can use the same seasoning with chickpeas as you would with your meat. I am definitely going to have to try these. I love how you put your empty plate at the end! Ha!


  11. AJ says

    Made these last night with the guac the fast way (i.e., with store bought taco seasoning and packaged avocado). They were amazing! My husband and I are vegan, and we will definitely be using the chick-peas again and again in other Tex-Mex recipes instead of meat replacers or tofu.

  12. Ragan says

    Chickpeas are the bomb and anything covered in taco seasoning and guacamole; sign me up! Thanks for this cheap, quick and yummy recipe!

  13. Katie says

    These are great! I’m doing #30DaysofTacos in Minneapolis and made these for day 5. I used my spatula to kind of mash some of the chickpeas so they sort of held together better and didn’t roll out as easily. Really fab recipe, and only took 20 minutes tops! Can’t wait to make it again.

  14. Whitney says

    I made this two weeks ago and I’m making again. Super easy and TASTY. Thanks for the recipe!


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