Vegan Taco Meat Made From Chickpeas

This soy-free vegan taco meat is so delicious and easy. Mild chickpeas easily absorb the flavors of the spices and seasonings. You can make this recipe compliant with a whole foods plant based diet by omitting the olive oil.

I keep posting so many chickpea recipes lately but I can’t help it! They’re extremely versatile, and I feel like I’ve just discovered so many new ways to use them. So I hope ya don’t mind me sharing yet another garbanzo bean recipe (did you know, chickpeas are known by a lot of names?).

So this time it’s chickpea taco meat. We’ve tried so many different ways to make taco meat without beef, and this is one of my favorites so far. Let me tell you why.

Typical ways to replace beef in a recipe in order to make it vegan tend to include ingredients made from soy. There are store-bought vegan taco crumbles, vegan sofritas made from tofu, vegan taco meat made from TVP (which is dried soy). You catch my drift? It’s always soy.

This Vegan Taco Meat is Soy Free

I like soy and I especially love tofu, but it can be difficult to find, even for me living in a large urban area. And some people can’t eat it due to allergies. So I wanted to try making it from chickpeas to see if it could be a good vegan taco meat alternative.

I am really happy with the way this recipe turned out – everyone who has tried it says it’s delicious, even the kids. The chickpeas have a bit more texture that’s nice because they’re not total mush in the tacos.

It’s Lower Sodium, too

I’ve been trying to use less salt lately so that I can hopefully avoid giving myself blood pressure problems later on. Since the canned chickpeas are already a little salty, I find I don’t need to add any. You can add in a little sprinkle if you prefer, of course!

Chickpea Taco Meat

A vegan taco meat option that's allergy friendly and WFPB if you omit olive oil.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
2 mins
Total Time 17 mins
Servings 6 servings
Calories 190 kcal


  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2 12oz cans)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (omit for WFPB)
  • ½ cup onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder (not cayenne)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • cup water
  • salt & pepper


  • Prep: Dice the onion and jalapeño pepper, mince the garlic finely, drain the chickpeas.
  • In a skillet on medium-high heat, heat the olive oil (replace with ¼ cup water if WFPB), and cook the onions and jalapeños until onions are soft and transparent.
  • Set stove heat to low. Add in the rest of the ingredients except the water. Using a strong blunt cooking utensil (such as a wooden spoon, potato masher, or spaghetti spoon) smash all the chickpeas.
  • Add the water and keep mashing the chickpeas a bit more, stirring the water so you get an even consistency. Let it cook uncovered about 2 more minutes, stirring now and then so it doesn't burn. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge up to 3 days.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican, Tex-Mex


Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 307mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 447IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg
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1 thought on “Vegan Taco Meat Made From Chickpeas”

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe, simple, healthy, and the fact that you didn’t include 7000 words of life story before the recipe like some sites do! lol seriously though, this was great!


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