30-Minute Smashed Chickpea Taco Bowls

Drizzling aji verde sauce over a smashed chickpea taco bowl

Welcome to another EASY, nourishing, flavorful plant-based meal (we know you love them!). This EPIC bowl combines limey, salty, spicy smashed chickpeas with fluffy quinoa, caramelized roasted veggies, and an aji verde sauce so good you’ll want to lick the blender!

Ready in just 30 minutes, this nourishing meal is our new weeknight go-to and soon to be yours, too. Let’s get cooking!

Chickpeas, peppers, limes, red onion, salt, spices, aji amarillo paste, aji verde sauce, and quinoa

How to Make Chickpea “Taco” Bowls

These vegan taco bowls get their name thanks to the smashed chickpea taco “meat” made by mashing chickpeas with olive oil, lime juice, aji amarillo paste (or sriracha), salt, and dried herbs and spices. They’re smoky + spicy + limey + SO versatile!

Using a fork to smash chickpeas in a bowl

Once in the oven, they cook long enough to crisp around the edges while still remaining moist and “meaty.”

Spicy smashed chickpea taco "meat" on a baking sheet before baking

Then it’s on to the fajita-style veggies! Sliced bell peppers and onions get tossed with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder and bake at the same time as the chickpeas.

Sliced peppers and onions on a parchment-lined baking sheet

While they’re doing their thing in the oven, there’s time to prepare a batch of quinoa (in the Instant Pot is our preferred method!) and the vibrant aji verde sauce. Assemble into bowls, drizzle that sauce, and it’s mealtime!

Peruvian-inspired taco bowls with smashed chickpeas, roasted peppers and onions, and spicy aji verde sauce. A flavorful, hearty, vegan and gluten-free meal ready in just 30 minutes! #minimalistbaker #vegan #glutenfree #chickpeas #bowls

We hope you LOVE these taco bowls! They’re:

& SO delicious!

Enjoy them for an easy weeknight meal, or meal prep to enjoy throughout the week. They’d also be fun for a Friday night dinner party served with Chili Lime Mango Margaritas or Easy Vegan Flan (No-Bake!).

More Nourishing Plant-Based Bowls

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Quinoa, smashed chickpeas, and roasted peppers and onions topped with aji verde sauce and cilantro

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 4 (Servings)

Course Entree

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Peruvian-Inspired, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month (quinoa and chickpeas)

Does it keep? 3-4 Days (stored separately)


  • 2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed and well dried
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp aji amarillo paste (or sriracha)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp sea salt


  • 2 medium bell peppers, seeds and stems removed, sliced lengthwise (we used green and red)
  • 1 large onion (red or yellow), peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


  • CHICKPEAS: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

  • In a mixing bowl, toss the chickpeas with olive oil, lime juice, aji amarillo paste (or sriracha), cumin, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and salt until evenly coated. Mash with a fork until well broken down and cohesive.

  • Transfer to one of the parchment-lined baking sheets and spread into an even layer with some spaces between the groupings to encourage crisping.

  • VEGGIES: On the other baking sheet, add the sliced bell peppers and onions. Toss with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. Spread evenly over the pan. Roast the chickpeas and vegetables for 20-25 minutes until crispy, stirring/flipping halfway through.

  • QUINOA: Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. 1 cup dry quinoa yields ~3 cups cooked.
  • SAUCE: Make your aji verde sauce.
  • Serve the vegetables and chickpeas over quinoa and top with aji verde sauce. Sprinkle with optional cilantro and serve.

  • Leftovers can be stored separately in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The quinoa and chickpea taco “meat” can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amount of salt, a full batch of aji verde sauce, and without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 436 Carbohydrates: 53.9 g Protein: 13.1 g Fat: 20 g Saturated Fat: 2.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g Monounsaturated Fat: 11.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 995 mg Potassium: 626 mg Fiber: 9.4 g Sugar: 11.2 g Vitamin A: 462 IU Vitamin C: 89 mg Calcium: 84 mg Iron: 4.1 mg