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Spanish Chickpeas with Spinach

Andalucia, the most southerly state of Spain, is as large as England and is one of my favourite regions of Spain. With its Moorish influence and abundant natural produce, Andalucían cuisine some of the most delicious in Europe. Last weekend we celebrated their cuisine with a day of tapas on our Andalucían Tapas Class.

Here is one of our favourite dishes from the day, featuring wholesome chickpeas, fragrant saffron and smoked paprika. Loaded with nutritious spinach and protein-rich chickpeas, this Spanish recipe is as healthy as it is delicious, naturally vegan and easily made gluten-free.

Garbanzos con espinacas - Spanish Chickpeas with Spinach

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten-Free Option | Serves: 4


  • 100g dried chickpeas or 1 tin chickpeas
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 250g spinach
  • 75g white bread, cut into small cubes (can be gluten free bread)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • small handful of fresh oregano or marjoram
  • 1 small dried chilli
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • big pinch of saffron dissolved in 3 tbsp of hot water
  • pinch of sweet smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. If you are using dried chickpeas soak them overnight in plenty of water, next day drain, rinse, place in a large saucepan with lots of water, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 1-1 1/2 hours until the beans are tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. If using tinned beans, drain and rinse before use.
  3. Thoroughly wash the spinach and set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the bread cubes until golden, then add the garlic, cumin, oregano and chilli and stir fry for a minute until the garlic is golden.
  5. Add the chickpeas and saffron plus the soaking water. Stir for a minute until the chickpeas are hot and have absorbed the flavours. Add a little water if the mixture is too thick.
  6. Add the spinach a little at a time and heat through until it is well wilted-you can put on a lid to speed this up if you like.
  7. Taste and season with salt, lemon and freshly ground black pepper.
  8. Serve warm sprinkled with smoked paprika.

If you'd like to learn more about making Spanish tapas recipes like this one, check out our next Andalucian Tapas Class and our Moroccan and Southern Spanish Class. We also do an evening tapas class for those of you who work during the day.

Photos by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.

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