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Chickpea Tacos & Avocado Cream

Serve this mildly spicy (or not!) taco filling in taco shells with Avocado Cream, lettuce, and other fresh veggies like chopped tomatoes, jicama, or cucumber. Or serve the filling simply over rice with the toppings, or tuck all into a whole-grain tortilla.
Course entree, Main Course, sauces
Servings 4


Chickpea Taco Filling

  • 2 14/15 oz 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 chile pepper to taste, see Note
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon molasses

Avocado Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups cubed ripe avocado about 1 large or 2 small/medium avocados
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • ½ - 2/3 cup water to thin as desired
  • 1/2 tsp scant sea salt


For the Chickpea Taco Filling

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.

For the Avocado Cream

  1. Using a blender or immersion blender and deep cup puree all ingredients (starting with ½ cup water) until smooth. With 1/2 cup water, the mixture will still be fairly thick, like a cream to dollop on soup or chili. For a thinner sauce, add the extra water (or more as needed), and then you can drizzle on pizza, burritos, salad, and more. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

Recipe Notes

  • Chile 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.


  • Avocado Cream Note: This cream/sauce is spectacular with spicy dishes like these tacos, chili, burritos, enchiladas, etc. However, it’s so luscious and creamy, you will want to try it on other dishes, like cooked grains, soups, baked potatoes, pizza, and salads.