Espinacas con Garbanzos (Chickpea & Spinach Stew)

A Treat for the Semana Santa Festival in Spain

The Espinacas con garbanzos is a popular vegetarian dish and is often served as a main course, especially during Lent or on Fridays when many Spanish Catholics abstain from meat. It is also a mainstay in the celebration of Semana Santa in Seville, along with 11 other must-try dishes from Seville!

This is a dish that offers a great way to explore Spanish cuisine and culture. Spain has a rich culinary tradition that has been influenced by many different cultures over the centuries, including the Moors, who introduced cumin and other spices to the Iberian Peninsula. By trying espinacas con garbanzos, you can experience a taste of this history and tradition, and perhaps even inspire you to try other Spanish dishes.

The Recipe

The spices used in the dish, (cumin and paprika), give it a warm and earthy flavor that complements the sweetness of the tomatoes and the richness of the chickpeas.

The recipe consists of spinach and chickpeas cooked together in a flavorful tomato-based sauce with garlic, onion, and cumin.

Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach and Chickpeas)

One of the most famous tapas in Andalusia, vegetarian and delicious.
Servings 4 Servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • Pressure Cooker or a Large Saucepan, Cutting Board, Knife, Blender, or Pestle & Mortar


  • 600 Grams Fresh Spinach (20 oz)
  • 150 Grams Cooked Chickpeas (5 oz)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Slice Stale White Bread
  • 4 Tablespoons Tomato Puree
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika or Pimenton de la Vera
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  • Wash, remove the stems and dry the fresh spinach.
  • Boil it in salted water for 4 minutes, and put it aside in a strainer. Keep a glass of the water that the spinach was cooked in.
  • Peel and slice the garlic, fry it in olive oil until light brown in color, remove and put aside. Dice the bread and fry it in the same oil, put aside with the garlic.
  • Peel and finely chop the onion and then fry it in the same oil until caramelized.
  • Drain the chickpeas, and keep some of the chickpea water.
  • Blend the garlic and bread adding 2 Tablespoons of the chickpea water and 2 TBS of the spinach water, to make a paste. Put aside.
  • Off the heat, add paprika, cumin, chickpeas, salt, and pepper. Add the tomato purée or crushed tomatoes, and boil for 3 minutes, add the spinach, the bread/garlic paste, and the sherry vinegar. Boil for 2 minutes and adjust the consistency with the spinach water if it is too dry, It is supposed to be a little runny.
Author: Eric Fraudeau

Here are some tips for bringing your espinacas con garbanzos to the next level:

Use fresh spinach:

Fresh spinach will give the dish a bright, vibrant flavor and texture. Avoid using frozen spinach, as it can become mushy when cooked.

Cook the garbanzos well:

If you are using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse them well before cooking. You can also cook them from scratch by soaking them overnight and then simmering them in water for about 1-2 hours, or until tender.

Serve with bread:

Espinacas con garbanzos is traditionally served with bread, such as crusty baguette or rustic country bread. The bread can be used to sop up the flavorful sauce and add texture to the dish.

With these tips, you’ll be able to create delicious and authentic espinacas con garbanzos that will satisfy your taste buds and nourish your inner Spaniard. Qué Aprovecho!

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