variations on a taco

by Stacy

We were trading dinner ideas back and forth the other night (always the optimist, the Veggie-Hating Husband usually starts by suggesting mac ‘n’ cheese) when I came up with an idea I pitched as “Greek tacos.” The idea started with chickpea salad, but the phrase “chickpea salad” does not inspire much confidence in my spouse where his meals are concerned. I quickly pointed out that we could put olives on them and blazed onward.

Take some pita bread, chickpeas, olives, tomato, and feta cheese. Add some lettuce and dressing and call it a meal! Oh, and avocado slices because we live in California. It’s the law.

chickpeas with tahini dressing

The main filling is chickpeas drenched in lemony tahini dressing. A touch of cumin and a sprinkle of salt make it awesome. Topped with more goodies it even better.

I’ve made a simpler version to take for lunch and these just ramped up the intensity a bit. The preparation takes a bit of chopping and mixing, but dividing the work between two people would make it pretty quick. Make extra to take for lunch the next day.

You could also use a tortilla or flatbread wrap. We were out of fresh herbs, but some parsley and fresh mint would have been nice additions.

There are tons of possible variations, so I’ve just listed what was in these to keep it straightforward. How would you change this up for yourself? Eggplant? Tzatziki? What else?

loaded pita pockets

Lemony Tahini Dressing

Makes about 1/2 cup


  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • juice of half a medium lemon


  1. Whisk ingredients together until combined. Add water a teaspoon at a time and whisk until desired consistency is reached. Dressing should be smooth and a bit fluffy, but just thin enough to drizzle.

Greek “Tacos”

Serves 2-3

These measurements are all “to taste,” but I wanted to give you a starting point. If you soak and cook your own chickpeas (like I do) you may need to add more salt.


  • 2-3 pieces whole wheat pita bread
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Lemony Tahini Dressing (see above)
  • Additional fillings — lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, thinly-sliced onion, sliced avocado, salt and pepper


  1. Warm pita bread in the oven (350F for a few minutes) or in a skillet on the stove. Cut in half and open the pita pockets, or keep whole to wrap up like a gyro.
  2. Combine chickpeas with dressing. Try it to see if it tastes flat — if so, add a bit more salt.
  3. Stuff pita with fillings and enjoy.

loaded pita pockets

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

TreeHugginMomma November 18, 2010 at 6:15 am

MMMMMmmmm sounds yummy. I have a couple of cans of chickpeas but no tahini, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, feta or pita, but it might just make its way onto my shopping list this week. :)


Stacy November 19, 2010 at 11:40 pm

It’s a sad day at our house when we run out of olives. Granted, between these bad boys and having olives on the side of our mezze meals, we went through a whole jar of kalamatas last week. Oops.

It’s one of my favorite combos, though, and it works for pasta and pizza, too!


Molly November 18, 2010 at 8:21 am

Who can complain about anything that includes avocado? That’s like turning up your nose at a meal that is topped with goat cheese.

When I was living in Queens and working late a lot, I would come home desperate for hot food as a sign the day was done, but it had to be done fast. My solution came to be known in our house as the Indian taco: one frozen paratha toasted up in a skillet, then filled with chick peas, yogurt, and a few spoonfuls of Desert Trading Co.’s Salsa Diablo. Not elegant, but quite tasty and ready to snack on in just a few minutes.


Stacy November 19, 2010 at 11:43 pm


Mmm, that sounds tasty. Better than a microwaved frozen burrito, for sure!


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