These vegan buffalo chickpea quesadillas are SO delicious and satisfying! Makes for a perfect healthy plant-based lunch or dinner, plus you can meal-prep them ahead. They combine a buffalo chickpea mixture with a sweet potato mash and a simple avocado dipping sauce. 100% vegan and dairy-free and they are much easier and quicker to make than it seems!
This is an amazing recipe you will want to make over and over again: Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadillas!
They are SO flavorful, gooey yet crispy, mildly spicy and jam-packed with plant-based nutrients.
The combo of vegan spicy buffalo sauce, hearty chickpeas and yummy sweet potato are simply perfect together. And I used whole wheat tortillas to make them more filling and earthier. They are the BEST vegan quesadillas we have had yet!
The homemade buffalo sauce is made using Frank's hot chili pepper sauce for a classic flavor and the meat is replaced by roughly mashed chickpeas to keep them filling and satisfying.
They are also made without cheese (no vegan cheese either), but you won't miss it at all! The flavor from the sauce is so intense and the mashed sweet potato paired with the silky buffalo sauce brings that stickiness that holds the tortillas together, no melting cheese needed.
They make for an amazing family dinner, but also great for parties, finger food, game day snacking and even perfect as an appetizer for a crowd.
There are a few steps to making these chickpea quesadillas, but it is so worth it! And actually, it does not take that much time to prep. The creamy buffalo sauce can be made ahead and I cooked the sweet potato in the microwave (7 minutes only!) to save some time. Then, all you have to do is to prepare the simple buffalo chickpea mixture and build/roast the quesadillas.
I also served these quesadillas with a super simple avocado mash that I made within 5 minutes. It is optional, but highly recommended since it brightens up the flavors of the quesadillas and gave them even more layers of texture.
Hope you like them ❤️
Why you will love this recipe
- This recipe is so full of flavor!
- Healthy, nourishing and wholesome.
- Rich-in-fiber and provides plenty of plant-based protein.
- The buffalo sauce is made without butter and is rich in good-for-you omega-3 fats.
- Amazing vegan comfort food recipe.
- Made with buffalo sauce, but the overall taste isn’t overwhelmingly spicy, thanks to the addition of sweet potato to balance out the flavor.
- Perfect meatless meal for the meat lover.
- Works well for meal-prep.
- Vegan, dairy-free and can be made gluten-free.
Ingredients you'll need
- Tortillas: I used the whole wheat tortillas from the brand 365, but use your favorite tortillas. I love using a whole wheat brand for health benefits and I find them to be more satisfying too. White tortillas are usually softer though and a little easier to manage in the pan, just something to keep in mind.
- Chickpeas: Use canned chickpeas for convenience, but feel-free to cook your own chickpeas from scratch! In that case, use about 1 and ¾ cups.
- Buffalo sauce: I always make my own vegan buffalo sauce! Made with hemp seeds instead of vegan butter (trust me, it works!) and takes 5 minutes to make in the blender. Everybody LOVES this sauce! BUT, sometimes we just need the easiest possible options, so in that case, feel-free to use a store bought vegan buffalo sauce such as this one from the brand Noble Made.
- Onion: adds a nice flavor and texture to the buffalo chickpea mixture.
- Cumin and paprika: to flavor the buffalo chickpea mixture.
- Sweet potato: simply cooked and mashed, helps the quesadillas stick and hold together and adds a nice sweetness naturally.
For the avocado dipping sauce
- Avocado: use a large avocado or 2 small to have enough dip for the 3 quesadillas.
- Lime juice: lemon juice works too.
- Cilantro: leave it out if you don't like cilantro.
How to make vegan buffalo chickpea quesadillas
Cook the sweet potato
Start by cooking the sweet potato: clean and pat dry the sweet potato and then, use a fork to poke through the skin a few times or use a knife to make an opening on top. Then, you have 2 options to cook it: either bake in the oven at 425º for 40-50 minutes or for a much quicker option, simply cook on high using the microwave until soft, about 7-9 minutes.
Once done, set aside for a few minutes to cool down enough so you can handle it and then, simply pull on the peel to remove it. Place on a plate and use a fork to mash it to smooth.
Make the buffalo chickpea filling
Start by making the 5-minute buffalo sauce in your blender. This can be made ahead during the weekend if you love to meal-prep.
Then, rinse, drain and transfer the chickpeas on a plate and use a fork to roughly mash them while leaving some whole.
Warm up a large non-stick pan with a little oil (optional, can be made oil-free) and then, cook the onion for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
Then, add the cumin and paprika, stir and cook for one more minute. Once the spices are fragrant, then transfer the mashed chickpeas to the pan and also about 1 cup of the buffalo sauce.
Stir and combine, but do not cook for more than 1-2 minute or the mixture will thicken too much. Add more sauce if needed: you are looking for a creamy but not too saucy mixture so it holds well in the quesadilla (you will have extra buffalo sauce to dip them in when serving). Transfer the chickpea mixture to a bowl and roughly clean the pan.
Make the vegan quesadillas
Once you have the cooked sweet potato and chickpea mixture ready, then make the quesadillas.
Warm up the large non-stick pan you used to make the chickpea mixture and then add some oil-spray (if using, can be made oil-free).
Then, place one tortilla in the plan and add some mashed sweet potato all over its surface and then also spread some chickpea mixture over. Place a second tortilla over and cook on medium heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer the quesadilla on a cutting board and keep going with the remaining of the filling. You should be able to make 3 quesadillas (or 4 if using less filling for each of them).
Make the avocado dip and serve
While you are cooking the quesadillas, make the quick avocado dip. Simply mash the avocado using a fork and then, add the lime juice, salt and cilantro. Stir well until combined and add some water for a saucier dip, if needed.
When the quesadillas are done, slice in quarters and serve with the avocado dip and the extra buffalo sauce. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it
- You can make your chickpea filling as saucy as you want by adding more buffalo sauce. I recommend to keep the mixture on the thicker side though as it holds better in between the tortilla bread and also, it makes it easier to flip them in the pan without creating a mess. I used about 1 cup of the buffalo sauce and dipped the quesadillas in the extra sauce when serving.
- When mashing the chickpeas, try to keep some texture while saving some of them still whole. This adds amazing texture and makes the quesadillas feel heartier.
- When you add the buffalo sauce to the pan, do not cook the mixture for very long, simply stir well to combine and warm up the sauce, but then remove from the heat. If the mixture thickened too much, then add a splash of water to loosen it up a bit.
Serving suggestions and variations
Serve the quesadillas right away while still warm with the remaining buffalo sauce and the avocado mash on the side to dip them in.
Here are more sauces that would pair well with these quesadillas if you feel like trying out something else:
These quesadillas are quite flavorful and a little spicy too, so try to serve them with something fresh and crisp, such as sliced cucumber, celery sticks or a light green salad. A side of pico de gallo would also freshen up the whole meal, such as this pineapple pico de gallo or this cucumber pico de gallo, just garnish the triangles with it for a nice presentation.
You can also vary the spices you use to flavor the chickpea mixture. Try adding some cayenne pepper if you are looking for a super spicy recipe or add a dash or two of chili or chipotle powder. You can also add finely chopped red pepper, jalapeño or corn to the chickpea mixture if you would like.
You can also serve the buffalo chickpea mixture completely differently! Use it in tacos, over vegan nachos or in sandwiches. It would also be great also to scoop the mixture using crunchy tortilla chips!
They are obviously at their peak crispiness when just done, but even though they turn softer over time, they actually store pretty well too. Just keep them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, warm them up in a pan to try to revive their crispiness (or use a mini toaster oven). You can use the microwave if in a pinch, although they will stay softer (but still so delicious!).
The avocado mash does not store very well since avocados darken after in contact with the ambient air for a little while. It is better to make smaller batches just when ready to eat. You can also buy small containers of store-bought single-portions of guacamole if you are planning on having leftovers.
Also, if you love to meal-prep, then simply make the buffalo chickpea mixture and cook the sweet potato ahead of time and build up/cook the quesadillas within 10 minutes when ready to eat.
More spicy recipes you might like
- Harrisa dressing
- Falafel buddha bowl with spicy tahini sauce
- Vegan buffalo "chicken" sandwiches
- Spicy garlic noodles
- Buffalo chickpea lettuce wraps
- Gochujang tofu
- Baked orange cauliflower
- Spicy jalapeño peach salsa
- Gochujang creamy pasta
- Sweet and spicy orange sauce
- Crusted tofu wraps with spicy mayo
- Gochujang vegetable soup
- Spicy kimchi ramen soup
I hope you like this buffalo chickpea quesadilla recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Buffalo Chickpea Quesadilla
- 1 large avocado
- ½ lime - juiced
- ¼ cup cilantro - roughly chopped
- salt to taste
- Start by cooking the sweet potato: make an opening with a knife on top or poke a few times through the skin with a fork. Then, microwave them for about 7-10 minutes or until soft and tender inside. You can also bake them in the oven at 425º for about 40-50 minutes. When done and cold enough to handle, remove the peel simply by pulling on it and mash the sweet potatoes on a plate using a fork.
- Meanwhile, add the chickpeas to a bowl and use a fork to roughly mash them while keeping a coarse texture with some chickpeas still intact.
- Also, make the buffalo sauce.
- Heat up a little oil in a large non stick pan (optional, can be made oil-free) and then, cook the onion for about 5-7 minutes or until softened. Then, add the cumin, paprika and cook for one more minute.
- Add the chickpeas and buffalo sauce to the pan, stir well and remove from the heat after about 1-2 minutes (the sauce will thicken pretty quickly, so don't cook it too much). Transfer the buffalo mixture to a bowl and set aside.
- Wipe clean the pan you used to make the chickpea mixture and warm it up on low-medium heat with a little oil (optional). Then, add a tortilla in the pan and cover it with some of the mashed sweet potatoes and then, layer some of the chickpea mixture over. Place another tortilla over and keep cooking for 3-4 minutes.
- Then, carefully flip and cook the other side for another 3 minutes or so. Transfer on a cutting board and keep going with the remaining chickpea mixture.
- While the quesadillas are cooking, mash the avocado with the lime juice, cilantro and salt. Set aside.
- Slice the quesadillas in quarters and enjoy with the avocado mash and the remaining buffalo sauce.
- The quesadillas are best when just made, but they also make for great leftovers! Keep them in an air-tight container for up to 3-4 days. They will soften as they rest, so try to reheat them in a pan (or toaster oven) to bring back some of their crispiness.
- Feel-free to make the buffalo chickpea mixture and cook the sweet potato ahead of time. Just warm up in the microwave before making the quesadillas.
- The avocado mash is best when freshly prepared as it will turn brown over time. You can buy individually packaged guacamole to serve with leftover quesadillas the next day.
- The homemade buffalo sauce tends to thicken quickly in the pan (because it is made without butter and using hemp seeds instead), so simply stir in with the chickpeas and then remove from the heat once warmed up, about 1 minute.
- Feel-free to use a store-bought vegan buffalo sauce if you prefer! This buffalo sauce from the brand Noble Made would work well.