These smoky and crispy chickpea tacos are a fantastic meatless alternative for your Taco Tuesdays. They’re filling, tasty, and easy to make!

Crispy Chipotle Chickpea Tacos | Killing Thyme

An Awesome Smoky, Crispy, Meatless Alternative

Sure, we love meaty tacos stuffed with shredded chicken, saucy ground turkey, spicy shrimp, etc. But this meatless version can totally give those babies a run for their money.

These tacos offer up a smoky chipotle crunch in every bite, and they’re packed with all of the refreshing taco toppers love.

The best part is that the chickpeas are crisped up in the air fryer, so you’re guaranteed that crunch—no greasiness necessary.

You’re going to LOVE these.

How to Make Crispy Chickpeas

There are tricks to getting soft chickpeas to crisp up nicely.

My preferred method is in the air fryer, because the air fryer does a great job at creating that crunch. If you don’t have an air fryer, the oven will work.

The key is to drain the chickpeas well and set them onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet to air dry. The dryer they are, the crispier they’ll get.

When fully dry, you can go ahead and toss the chickpeas in olive oil and seasonings before popping them into the air fryer or oven.

Crispy Chipotle Chickpea Tacos | Killing Thyme

The Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Canned chickpeas
  • Flour tortilla shells
  • Olive or avocado oil
  • Chipotle hot sauce
  • Chili powder
  • Chipotle chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic salt
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • + Whatever toppings you desire!

How to Make Crispy Chipotle Chickpea Tacos

Preparing the chickpeas

  1. Drain the chickpeas, then rinse them under cool water, giving them a good shake to get rid of excess water. Pop them onto a paper towel-lined baking sheet, carefully pat them dry, then let them continue to air dry for about 30 minutes, up to an hour.
  2. Pop the chickpeas into a mixing bowl and add the hot sauce as well as the spices listed. Stir them up well to ensure that the chickpeas are evenly coated.

Oven-baked chickpeas

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Transfer the seasoned chickpeas to a baking sheet and pop them into the oven for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, check on them. If they aren’t crispy enough, pop them back in for another 10 minutes and check again.
  3. When you remove the chickpeas from the oven, set them aside to cool; they’ll get crispier as they cool.

Air fryer chickpeas

  1. Transfer the seasoned chickpeas to the air fryer basket, shaking them into a single layer.
  2. Air fry them at 400º F for about 10-12 minutes, giving the basket another shake at the 5 minute mark. Check on the crispiness and if they need a bit more time, pop them back in for 3-5 minutes.

Taco Assembly

  1. Smear the flour tortillas with Greek yogurt or sour cream, then top with the chickpeas and your favorite taco toppings!


You Know What These Tacos Need? A Margarita!

Useful Tools for This Recipe

Recipe Tips + Tricks

  1. I wouldn’t serve crispy chickpeas in hard shell tacos. As much as I love them, they’ll take away from the crispiness of those beautiful chickpeas.
  2. If smoky flavors aren’t your jam, you can omit the chipotle hot sauce and chili powder completely. The chickpeas will still have flavor and be absolutely delicious!
  3. Suggested toppings for this are pretty basic: diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheese. I also like to add julienned radishes for a little extra freshness and crunch.

Have You Made This Recipe?

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Crispy Chipotle Chickpea Tacos | Killing Thyme — These smokey and spicy tacos are packed with plant-based protein for vegetarian perfection. Fabulous for Taco Tuesday, or any other day your belly wants tacos.