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.

Chickpea Stew Garnished with Cilantro. More cilantro in a small bowl on the side

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.

Chickpea Stew with Spinach in Skillet

The Gist

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.

Spinach Cooked in Skillet

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).

Whole wheat bread and almonds cooking in skillet with spices

3. Cook onions and bell peppers, then add chickpeas, tomato sauce and water. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Simmer baby, simmer!

Chickpeas cooking in red sauce

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.

Spinach and almond and bread paste added to chickpeas to make chickpea stew

5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro, toasted bread, and toasted blanched almonds if you like.

Finished skillet of Chickpea Stew with a garnish of almonds and cilantro

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.

Spanish Chickpea Stew with Spinach and Almonds

Leftovers?

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.

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Chickpea Stew Garnished with Cilantro. More cilantro in a small bowl on the side

Spanish Chickpea Stew


Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

For garnish

  • Handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cubed bread, toasted in olive oil
  • Toasted blanched almonds

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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!

Notes

  • 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

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. This is an excellent and delicious recipe!
    I only had sourdough bread and I didn't remove the crusts. I only had flaked almonds. I didn't have peppers or spinach so I just left them out. I used a fresh tomato and just chopped it and cooked it down to use as the sauce.
    It was so good that now I feel I need to do it even more justice by following the recipe to the letter.
    The almond and bread mix really takes it to another level. And the cilantro/coriander and vinegar at the end makes it perfection.
    This is my kind of food.
    Thank you so much!

  2. Many years ago I had an entree' like this on vacation & was inspired to try this to see how close it might come to the original. Have made this twice now with outstanding results. Although a bit time consuming to prepare, it was worth the effort. It was prepared exactly as written with an extra 1/2 cup of water to create more sauce, Delicious, healthy, low cost & filling. Thank you!

  3. The Spanish Chickpea stew was outstanding, thank you so much! it tasted exotic and yet used cheap ingredients. I had no spinach so used chard from the garden which worked well ( it is part of the spinach family) I also used some slices of polenta from a prepared block which were oven roasted in chilli infused olive oil, this partnered it well although I appreciate it is mixing Italian and Spanish cuisine....why not though? The only problem I have is sometimes American names for ingredients are different to those we use in the U.K. e.g. cilantro is coriander here and zucchini is courgette. No worries though I can puzzle it our in the end.... As noted earlier, an outstanding dish, the family are keen for me to do it again!!

  4. Looks delicious. Do you have any ideas for nut allergies? Perhaps some sort of spice that could help mimic what the almonds add? I’m always wondering this with Spanish recipes.

    1. Hi Barbara, I am afraid I don't have a good substitute for the almonds here. but if I come across one, I'll come back and share.

  5. We do not eat any grains. How is it without the bread or is there anything one can substitute for it? How would it be if we added a small amount of chicken? Thanks

    1. Hi Barbara, the bread is part of this recipe traditionally. I have not tried it without bread so I'm afraid I don't have a great option for you. You can try and omit the bread.