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Chickpeas with spinach (Espinacas con garbanzos) recipe

Chickpeas with spinach (Espinacas con garbanzos) recipe

May 14, 2024 By Sol Deli

Espinacas con garbanzos holds a special place in Spanish vegetarian cuisine, often taking center stage during Lent or Fridays when meat is eschewed by many Catholic Spaniards. It's also a cherished tradition during the Semana Santa festivities in Seville, standing proudly among 11 other culinary delights from the region.

Delving into this recipe is not just a culinary journey but also an exploration of Spanish culture and heritage. Spanning centuries of influences, from the aromatic spices introduced by the Moors to the rich tapestry of flavors woven into its culinary fabric, Spain's gastronomic legacy awaits discovery. By savoring espinacas con garbanzos, you embark on a voyage through time, tasting the essence of history and tradition that continues to shape Spanish cuisine today.

Now, let's uncover the recipe itself. This delightful dish harmonizes the warmth of cumin and paprika with the luscious sweetness of tomatoes and the hearty richness of chickpeas. Joining forces in a savory tomato-based sauce infused with garlic and onion, spinach and chickpeas unite to create a symphony of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.


- 1 jarred Rosara chickpeas (720 ml)
- 400 g spinach leaves (fresh or frozen)
- 2 thick slices of day old bread without crust, diced
- 100 ml Rosara tomato sauce
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ground cayenne to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked Spanish paprika or hot paprika


1. Begin by heating 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach, working in batches if necessary, and stir until wilted.

2. Transfer the wilted spinach to a colander and allow it to drain and cool.

3. In the same skillet, add a bit more olive oil and place over medium heat. Add the bread cubes, stirring until the bread becomes crispy on all sides.

4. Add the minced garlic, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper into the pan joining the bread and sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic becomes fragrant and light brown.

5. Transfer the bread mixture and some sherry vinegar to a blender or food processor, blending until a thick paste forms. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of water (or liquid from the chickpea jar) to achieve the desired consistency, being careful not to make it too thick.

6. Pour the bread paste back into the skillet, then add the garbanzo chickpeas and tomato sauce. Gently stir until the chickpeas are fully coated in the sauce, adding water to thin the sauce if needed.

7. Add the wilted spinach to the skillet, gently incorporating it until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Serve the dish hot in small bowls, drizzling each serving with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkling smoked Spanish paprika on top.



1. Opt for Spanish smoked pimentón dulce (sweet paprika) or pimentón picante (spicy paprika) to impart authentic flavor to the dish.

2. This stew can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. As it is tomato-based, the flavors will further develop and intensify if allowed to sit overnight.