Recipe: Spanish Garbanzo Beans and Spinach

Spanish Garbanzo and Spinach

Growing up with a strong Spanish cultural influence, I have grown to love garbanzo beans. This specific type of bean is very popular in Spanish cuisine, especially in the south of Spain. Garbanzo beans are a legume and can be called a variety of names, like chickpeas, and have a long history in the culinary world dating back 7,500 years. Garbanzo beans most likely originated in Turkey and were cultivated by the ancient Egyptians then transported around the Mediterranean by merchants. In southern Spain, you will find them in many dishes. This side dish will bring the flavors of Spain into every bite, while enjoying a glass of Rioja wine.


  • 200 grams (7 oz) chickpeas canned (or use fresh by soaking overnight and cooking them)
  • 5 tablespoons of Spanish olive oil
  • 500 grams (18 oz) of fresh spinach, washed
  • 75 grams of white bread, cut into cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 small dried chili, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of saffron, soaked in 3 tablespoons of boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


  • Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add half of the Spanish olive oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add the spinach with a large pinch of sea salt.
  • Sauté well and remove when the leaves are just starting to wilt. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Toast the bread cubes until golden all over.
  • Add garlic, cumin, oregano and chili. Then cook 1 minute more, until the garlic begins to caramelize.
  • Transfer the mixture to a food processor along with the vinegar, and blend to a paste.
  • Return the mixture to the pan along with the drained chickpeas and saffron-infused water.
  • Stir until the chickpeas are hot and have infused the flavors of the bread mixture and saffron water.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the consistency is thick, add a little water.
  • Add the spinach and cook until hot. Sprinkle Spanish paprika on top before serving.

Enjoyed making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag us in your culinary creations. Need help making this recipe? Tweet @airculinaire for assistance.


If you have any questions about this recipe, contact me at

Related Articles