Nutty and deliciously filling — that’s what you’ll get in every spoonful of Spanish Spinach and Chickpeas (Espinacas con Garbanzos). A great addition to any meatless weeknight dinner!
Almost every region in Spain has its way of making this classic dish — espinacas con garbanzos (literal translation: spinach and chickpeas).
Some add croutons to it and enjoy it as a tapa like in Barcelona, while some serve spinach and chickpeas as a traditional Easter dish, like in Andalucía.
Regardless of how you prefer to enjoy it, you will always get complex, delicious flavors in every serving — and it’s generally served the whole year-round nowadays!
IF YOU WANT MORE EASY SPANISH RECIPES, YOU WILL LIKE THESE POSTS!
- Almonds – I strongly suggest using blanched almonds when making this Spanish spinach and chickpeas recipe; get rid of the bitterness from the skin of the almonds.
- Olive oil – extra virgin, if possible.
- Garlic – minced or grated.
- Onion – chopped finely.
- Crushed tomatoes – I typically use canned crushed tomatoes because I always have them available.
- Chickpeas (garbanzos) – cooked and drained; canned chickpeas are also great, just make sure you rinse them properly.
- Stock – I generally use chicken stock for preparing spinach and chickpeas, but vegetable stock is also excellent.
- Spinach (espinacas) – use baby spinach if you can find them.
- Sherry vinegar – same when making traditional patatas bravas, you will need this staple in Spanish cuisine; but feel free to use sherry vinegar substitutes if that’s what you have on hand.
- Spices and seasonings – cumin, peppercorns, sweet roasted paprika, salt, and ground black pepper.
Start preparing your Spanish spinach and chickpeas by placing a medium-sized deep pan over medium heat.
Add the blanched almonds, cumin, and peppercorns (photo 1).
Cook for about four to five minutes, often mixing to avoid burning the spices.
Use a food processor to ground it into powder form, then set it aside (photo 2).
Place the pan back into the heat and heat olive oil.
Add garlic and onion once the oil is ready (photo 3).
Cook until the onion softens, then add the crushed tomatoes (photo 4).
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover with a lid, lower the heat, and simmer for about twenty minutes.
Pour the stock (photo 5).
Add the sherry vinegar and ground almond with spices from earlier (photo 6).
Mix to combine everything.
Add garbanzos and mix (photo 7).
Cover with a lid, adjust heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
Adjust heat to medium-low and let simmer for about ten minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
Add the spinach and mix until they’ve wilted (photo 8).
Transfer your espinacas con garbanzons into plates.
Drizzle with olive oil on top and serve.
- You can also use a blender to grind the almonds and the spices.
- Espinacas con garbanzos is closer to a stew than a soup. But if you prefer to have more sauce, just add half a cup of stock.
- If you have excellent fresh tomatoes, use them instead of the canned crushed tomatoes that I usually use.
- Use ground cumin instead of cumin seeds if that’s what you have on hand.
- Red wine vinegar. It’s an excellent sherry vinegar substitute and easier to find.
- Regular spinach. Feel free to replace the baby espinacas with the regular ones, but make sure you remove the stems because they tend to be hard.
- Stock. Vegetable stock is an excellent alternative for making Spanish spinach and chickpeas, especially if you want to keep the dish vegetarian.
- Stale bread. I’ve seen some areas in Andalucia where they add a handful of diced stale bread into the almonds and spices.
You can give it a try but note that it will make the sauce noticeably thicker — all good if that’s what you prefer.
Looks absolutely delicious right? So, give this Spanish spinach and chickpeas recipe a try one of these days!
Spanish Spinach and Chickpeas (Espinacas con Garbanzos)
- Medium-Sized Pan/Skillet
- handful almonds, blanched (about 20 pieces)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
- 5 pieces black peppercorns, whole
- 2 & 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely sliced
- 3/4 cup crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups stock
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 3 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained
- 3 handfuls spinach
- salt and pepper, to season
- Place a medium-sized deep pan (or skillet) over medium heat.
- Add the almonds, cumin, and peppercorns and cook for about 5 minutes. (Note: Make sure you don’t burn the spices, so mix often.)
- Transfer into a food processor, ground into powder form, then set aside.
- Place the pan back into the heat and add olive oil.
- Once the oil is ready, cook garlic and onion until it softens.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
- Cover the pan with a lid, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Pour the stock.
- Add the sherry vinegar and ground almond with spices from earlier.
- Mix to combine everything, then add chickpeas.
- Cover with a lid, adjust heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Adjust heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Add the spinach and mix until they’ve wilted.
- Transfer your Spanish spinach and chickpeas to plates.
- Drizzle with olive oil on top and serve.
- Cook’s Tip #1: If you don’t have a food processor, you can also use a blender to grind the almonds and the spices
- Cook’s Tip #2: Espinacas con garbanzos is closer to a stew than a soup. But if you prefer to have more sauce, feel free to add half a cup of stock.
- Cook’s Tip #3: If you have excellent fresh tomatoes, use them instead of the canned crushed tomatoes that I usually use.
- Cook’s Tip #4: Use ground cumin instead of cumin seeds if that’s what you have on hand.
- Cook’s Tip# 5: Not sure how to prepare blanched almonds? Then check out How to Blanch Almonds — QUICKLY!