Jamaican Jerk Chickpea Tacos

Jamaican Jerk Chickpea Tacos - from cilantro and citronella

Surfing the web the other day I came across this recipe for Jamaican jerk chicken tacos. Undeterred by the chicken part, I considered the options for turning it into a vegetarian dish. Seitan, tofu, chickpeas … let’s go with chickpeas. The chickpeas take on the flavours of the jerk spice mix amazingly well. Furthermore, the spice is surprisingly adaptable. Yesterday I threw a couple teaspoons into my omelette and it was delish. In addition to the cabbage in the original recipe, I decided to add a few of our favorite fruits: avocado and mango. Then I experimented with the sauce. The mayonnaise mixed with the jerk spice is awesome, and I also tried a cilantro-lime yogurt sauce for something a little more fresh. Take your pick, they’re both good! Originally I planned to categorize these tacos under “Caribbean”, but the photographs were not cooperating. Tucked in the back of a drawer I found this Bolivian textile. Not exactly Mexican, I know, but it convinced me enough to file these tacos under “Mexican”.

Jamaican Jerk Chickpea Tacos - From Cilantro and Citronella

Jamaican Jerk Chickpea Tacos

Jamaican Jerk Chickpea Tacos

Yield: 8 tacos
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes


For the Jamaican jerk spice

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the tacos

  • 8 small soft tortillas
  • 2 x 250 gram jars of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 teaspoons jerk spice
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 of a small cabbage, shredded
  • Cilantro for garnish

For the cilantro-lime yogurt sauce

  • 125 grams Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime

For the Jamaican jerk mayo

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican jerk spice
  • A squeeze of lime


  1. Mix all the Jamaican jerk spices together. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas with the jerk spice and water.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Pour in the seasoned chickpeas and cook, stirring, until the chickpeas are heated through and most of the water has evaporated.
  3. Mix together the avocado, mango, and red onion.
  4. Mix all the ingredients for the cilantro-lime yogurt sauce.
  5. Mix all the ingredients for the Jamaican jerk mayo
  6. To assemble the tacos, lay the tortillas out flat and place some cabbage down the middle, then the chickpeas, then the mango/avocado salad. Choose your sauce (or both) and garnish with a bit more cilantro.

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