These Crispy, Hot Sauce Soaked Chickpeas Make a Great Topping for Tacos

Since transitioning to “weekday veganism”, canned chickpeas have become the real workhorse of my pantry. They are the perfect base for curries, pastas, soups and stews.

I was craving tacos the other day, but I ran out of soyrizo and mushrooms. So, I grabbed a can of chickpeas to see what could be done to turn them into taco filling.

Related: I Committed to Cooking One Meal a Day Using My New Air Fryer—Here’s What Worked (And What Didn’t)

Turns out they don’t require much. After tossing them in a quick marinade made with a few additional staples — including hot sauce, olive oil, and a spice mix — I let them cook in the air fryer until they were hot. until they are perfectly crispy on the outside and just a little creamy on the inside.

The great thing about these chickpeas is that they stay crispy for a few days after air frying or baking on a baking sheet, making them ideal for lunches. Simply place them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to carry them separately from your taco fillings and tortillas.


Recipe: Spicy Chickpea Street Tacos



  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Fresh juice of 1 lime
  • Sprinkle generously with salt


  • 6 street taco flour tortillas
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and patted dry

Toppings (suggested)

  • Avocado slices
  • pico de gallo
  • Shaved radish
  • Dairy-free sour cream
  • vegan cheese
  • Lettuce or chopped greens
  • Green onions


  1. In a large bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients, making sure to do so. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.
  2. Add the drained and dried chickpeas to the marinade and toss, making sure they are well coated.
  3. If you are air frying the chickpeas, preheat the fryer to 400 and add them to the basket once it reaches temperature. Air fry for 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the basket regularly, until crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Alternatively, you can spread the chickpeas out on a prepared baking sheet and bake them at 400 for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking. In any case, watch the chickpeas carefully so that they do not burn (because a few minutes can make the difference).
  4. Remove the chickpeas from the air fryer or oven. At this point, it’s time to prepare your tacos. Pile them with some of the suggested plant-based toppings, including sliced ​​avocado, pico de gallo, shredded radishes, vegan cheese and sour cream, chopped lettuce or greens and scallions .

Want more food writing and recipes? Subscribe to the Salon Food newsletter.

More vegan recipes we love:

Salon Food writes about things we think you’ll like. Salon has affiliate partnerships, so we may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.