A must-try Spanish Chickpea Stew with Spinach, Bell Peppers, and Almonds. Full of flavor from garlic, vinegar, and warm notes of cumin and smoked paprika. Perfect as tapas or a satisfying vegan dinner! Be sure to see the step-by-step tutorial and my tips for how to serve it.
Espinacas con Garbanzos: Spanish Chickpea Stew
In Seville, Espinacas con Garbanzos, which literally means chickpeas and spinach, is a popular dish served both at fine restaurants and tapas joints. It's typically served at room temperature with crusty bread to carry all the goodness!
I've had an obsessive fixation for all things chickpeas (no secret to anyone who's checked out the recipe archives), so I was excited to try my own take on this Spanish dish.
A hearty chickpea and spinach stew, cooked in a little bit of tomato sauce (a twist on the traditional), with a crumbly mixture of toasted almonds and bread that's been spiked with garlic, vinegar, and warm notes of cumin and smoked paprika. Loads of texture and flavor!
Intrigued? Take a look at how I make it!
How to Make this Chickpea Stew
1.First, cook the spinach in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Set it aside in a colander to drain.
2.Make the tasty almond and bread mixture. Sautee almonds and bread cubes in skillet with garlic and spices, then transfer to a food processor, add a splash of wine and pulse (sorry, i don't have a photo for that, but you're looking for a crumbly, chunky paste).
3. Cook onions and bell peppers, then add chickpeas, tomato sauce and water. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer baby, simmer!
4. Stir in the wilted spinach and almond-bread mixture (all the flavor in this mixture by the way!) Let simmer another 5 minutes or so.
5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro, toasted bread, and toasted blanched almonds if you like.
How to Serve It?
- Espinacas con Garbanzos (or chickpea stew) are traditionally served as tapas. In fact, just last night, I had this very dish just yesterday at Barcelona, a local Atlanta wine bar and tapas kinda place. On their menu, they called it Spinach-Chickpea Cazuela (or stew-pot). It was among the many small dishes our large group shared, served next to things like Spanish tortilla, small charcuterie boards, and assorted olives. We ate the chickpea stew at room temperature with super fresh crusty bread.
- As dinner? I say, absolutely! For my family of four, this vegan spinach and chickpea stew made a perfectly satisfying dinner. I served it warm garnished with a fistful of fresh cilantro and a generous extra drizzle of my favorite Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil...Oh, and good crusty bread, of course. To start, I served a large bowl of this simple Mediterranean Avocado Salad.
This chickpea stew will keep well for 3 to 4 nights, refrigerated in tight-lid glass containers. Serve it at room temperature, or you can heat it stove-top over medium heat with a little bit of water added.
Related recipes to try
- Mediterranean Spinach Stew
- Briam: Traditional Greek Roasted Vegetables
- Mediterranean Baked Lamb with Root Vegetables
- Mediterranean Kidney Bean Salad
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Flavor-packed Spanish chickpea stew with spinach and almonds. Serve it warm or at room temperature--as a tapas dish or dinner--with your favorite crusty bread.
- Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 8 to 10 oz/283.5 g baby spinach
- 2 ½ oz/ 70.8 g blanched almonds
- 2 slices whole wheat bread, crust removed, cut into small cubes
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, more for later
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small sweet bell pepper (any color), cored and chopped
- 1 lb canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (just over 2 cans of chickpeas)
- ½ cup/ 141.7 g tomato sauce
- Handful fresh cilantro leaves
- Cubed bread, toasted in olive oil
- Toasted blanched almonds
- In a large skillet like this one, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add spinach and cook, tossing regularly, until just wilted. Transfer spinach to a colander to drain.
- Return skillet to heat and add a little more extra virgin olive oil. Add blanched almonds and bread. Saute briefly until almonds turn a golden brown color, then add garlic, spices, and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook briefly until garlic gains a little color, be sure to toss well so that the spices coat the almonds and bread.
- Let cool briefly, then transfer almond and bread mixture to food processor fitted with a blade (a small food processor like this one works really well here.) Add vinegar and pulse a few times until you have a thick, crumbly, paste-like mixture. Set aside for now.
- Wipe the skillet and add a little more extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped onion and bell pepper and cook, tossing regularly, until tender. Add chickpeas, tomato sauce, and ½ cup (125 ml) water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a high simmer, then lower heat and let simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
- Add the wilted spinach and almond-bread mixture to the chickpeas. Stir and let simmer another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt and pepper and spices to your liking (if you like it a little more spicy, add a dash more cayenne. And if you want it a bit more smoky, add a dash of smoked paprika.)
- Finish with a splash more vinegar. Garnish with cilantro, toasted bread, and toasted blanched almonds (optional). Transfer to a serving bowl and add a generous drizzle of Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy warm or at room temperature with your favorite crusty bread!
- Cook's Tip to Prepare Ahead: To save some time, you can always prepare the the almond and bread mixture a day or so in advance. Keep refrigerated in a tight-lid glass container. When you are ready, you can resume at step #4.
- Cook's Tip: this dish will feed up to 8 people as tapas. For dinner, it can serve 4.
- Leftovers? This chickpea stew will keep well for 3 to 4 nights, refrigerated in tight-lid glass containers. You can serve it at room temperature, or heat it stove-top over medium heat with a little bit of water added.
- Recommended for this Recipe: Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). And from our all-natural and organic spice collections: cumin and smoked Paprika
- SAVE! Try our Greek Olive Oil Bundle. Create your own 3-pack or 6-pack from our spice collections. Visit The Mediterranean Dish Store.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Spanish
Keywords: chickpea stew, chickpea recipe, Spanish recipe