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chickpea tacos with cilantro pesto

Spiced Chickpea Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

Nisha Vora
Pan-fried spiced chickpeas and a citrusy, spicy cilantro pesto make these tacos flavorful and fancy, but they're so easy and quick that you can have taco night ready in just 20 minutes.
5 from 73 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Mexican-inspired
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

Spiced Chickpeas

  • 1 15-ounce/425g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Squeeze of lime juice

Cilantro Pesto

  • 3 cups 36-40g loosely packed cilantro (leaves and tender stems, omit tough stems)
  • 1/3 cup 44g Simply Nature Roasted Cashews
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper or ½ of a jalapeño pepper, cut in half
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of Simply Nature Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-3 tablespoons water only as needed

Taco ingredients

  • 6 corn tortillas I used La Tortilla Factory Tortillas, handmade style
  • 1 large avocado diced
  • Salsa of choice I used Simply Nature Organic Thick & Chunky Hot Salsa

Instructions
 

  • Transfer the chickpeas to a clean dish towel or a layer of paper towels and gently pat dry as much as you can without smushing them.
  • Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat with the 2 teaspoons of oil and spread the oil out with a paper towel to evenly distribute it. Once hot, add the chickpeas and spread out in a single layer. Cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes to allow some browning. Toss and cook for another 3 minutes, or until chickpeas are golden brown and blistered in spots.
  • Add salt and spices, and toss well to coat the chickpeas. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes to allow flavors to blend, then take off the heat and hit with a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Meanwhile, make the cilantro pesto. Add the roasted cashews to a food processor and blitz until in small pieces. Add the cilantro, garlic, pepper, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and salt. Blend until a paste forms, scraping down the sides as you go along.
  • With the motor running, stream in the olive oil to start to form a sauce. Scrape down the sides again, and stream in more oil as needed until you have a smooth yet thick texture. If the pesto is still not smooth enough but you don’t want to add more oil, add a spoon of water at a time until the sauce comes together. Taste the pesto, adding more lime juice as needed. Store the pesto in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze up to 6 months.
  • Lightly char the tortillas (optional). Turn on an oven burner (or multiple burners) on medium-low. Place a tortilla on the burner. Allow the tortillas to char for about 30 seconds. Use tongs to check if they are somewhat charred underneath, then flip the tortillas until charred on the second side, 15 to 30 seconds. Adjust the heat as needed.
  • To assemble the tacos, spoon some cilantro pesto into the center of each tortilla. Add a handful of the spiced chickpeas. Top with diced avocado and salsa.
Keyword 20-minute, crispy chickpeas, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan tacos
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