Chickpeas have become such a permanent staple in my diet due to their low cost in price and high content of protein. They also take on the flavor of whatever dish you are cooking them into, making them the perfect substitute for meat. I wanted to make a healthier, vegan version of taquitos so I swapped out the chicken for chickpeas and none of the authentic Mexican flavor was compromised.
Authentic taquitos are typically fried in oil to cook the tortilla, but instead I brushed them in a little oil and baked them. This cut back on the amount of oil and fat and also helped the flavors of the filling to infuse a little longer. Baking resulted in crispy but not crunchy taquitos. The avocado ranch dressing offsets the spice from hot sauce perfectly. There will probably be leftover dressing that could be used up on a taco salad, pizza, etc.
Some things to note in this recipe are to make sure you are using corn tortillas, not the fluffier wheat tortillas. This ensures they crisp up properly. Secondly, the amount of hot sauce can be adjusted to preference, adding more for extra heat or using less to make it more mild.
Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos with Avocado Ranch Dressing
- For the filling
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 can chickpeas
- 2 1/2 tbsp hot sauce
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- to taste salt & pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- For the dressing
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 15oz package plain, tart coconut yogurt
- 1/4 cup, loosely packed fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp lime juice
- to taste salt & pepper
- to taste garlic & onion powder
- to serve
- 6 small corn tortillas
- fresh cilantro
1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium sized pot over low heat, add olive oil. Add diced onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir and cook for a couple minutes to let the flavors infuse.
3. Drain the can of chickpeas and add to the pot. Using a potato masher, roughly mash the chickpeas into the pepper and onion mix.
4. Stir in the hot sauce, almond milk, and spices. Let this cook for about 5 minutes, continuously stirring. Remove from heat.
5. Add about 3-4 tbsp of the filling into each tortilla and roll it up. Lay seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Continue until filling is all used up.
6. Brush a little olive oil on each taquito and put them in the oven to cook, about 15 minutes.
7. While the taquitos are baking, you can prepare the dressing. Simply blend all of the ingredients together.
8. Serve taquitos topped with dressing and fresh cilantro alongside some salsa.
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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote