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Spanish Garbanzos and Greens

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A muy satisfying vegan Spanish tapa.

Simple recipes are often the best. And this simple stewed garbanzos and greens Spanish tapas recipe proves it. A simple, one-pan dish of chickpeas stewed with kale or spinach, plus onion, spices, tomato, and garlic, this nourishing vegan recipe tastes earthy and satisfying. 

spinach and chickpea Spanish tapas in bowl with bread and cheese

How to Make This Garbanzos and Greens Recipe

One great thing about this recipe is its ease. A one pan dish that requires little more than stirring, it comes together easily and takes about 15 minutes to cook.

Here are the main steps for the recipe:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan. Small dice the onion and add it to the pan and cook until translucent.
  2. Add the chickpeas, tomato paste, salt, pepper, spices, and garlic and cook with a little water.
  3. Add the greens and let them wilt and cook into the chickpea mixture.
  4. Serve warm. (This is especially good with a side of crusty bread!)

kale spinach chickpeas onion garlic on wooden table

What Are Spanish Tapas, Anyway?

Spanish tapas (singular tapa) are basically any small snack or bite. In the northern Basque region, tapas are called pintxos.

Spain, like many countries, boasts many diverse, regional cuisines, so popular tapas may vary depending on the region. Some of the more common Spanish tapas include patatas bravas, omelet, ham, cheese, olives, croquettes, pan con tomate, and shellfish.

bowl of cooked chickpeas and kale Spanish tapas with bread

Spanish Chickpeas and Greens: Substitutions and Ingredient Notes

  • Can I substitute other greens?: Yes. The recipe uses baby kale or spinach interchangeably. Plain curly kale will work, but the cooking time may be longer. Arugula also makes a nice green to cook with, and has a peppery flavor.
  • What should the final texture be like? Chickpeas and greens make a stewy Spanish tapa that should be neither wet nor dry. The final texture should be moist and cohesive. If the garbanzos and greens seems soupy, keep cooking until it dries out a little more. If they look dry, add a couple tablespoons of water.

spinach and chickpea Spanish tapas in bowl with bread and cheese

  • What if I don’t have tomato paste? I recommend keeping a tube of tomato paste in your fridge for easy use. I vastly prefer tomato paste in a tube over the canned variety. (Inevitably, I only need a couple of tablespoons and don’t know what to do with the rest.) But if you don’t have tomato paste, one fresh medium tomato, crushed, makes a good substitute.
  • Can I substitute regular paprika for smoked paprika? Yes. Smoked paprika has an earthier, more robust flavor, but plain paprika also tastes great and will add some color. If you have neither, leave it out.
  • Is this recipe vegan? Yes! Some recipes for this dish call for chorizo sausage, or broth. But I keep things simple. The smoked paprika adds earthiness and flavor that you’d otherwise get from chorizo.

This has fast become one of my go-to snacks, so good I often eat it as a meal with a little crusty bread and maybe a little wedge of Manchego cheese. You’ll love it, too.

bowl of garbanzos and greens Spanish tapas

Love this tapas recipe for Spanish garbanzos and greens? You’ll also like:

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spinach and chickpea Spanish tapas in bowl with bread and cheese

Stewed Garbanzos and Greens: Easy Spanish Tapas

A simple vegan snack or side dish that is both flavorful and nourishing.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: spanish
Keywords:: chickpeas, garbanzos, healthy, kale, side, spinach, tapa, tapas, vegan
Servings: 4 people as a side


  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more to finish
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 15 -ounce can low-sodium chickpeas, drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water or so
  • 5 -ounce (or 6-ounce) bag of baby kale or spinach, cleaned if not pre-washed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste


  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas, garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, salt, and 1/4 cup cold water. Stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes. Add an additional cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas begin to slightly break down and half of the moisture cooks off, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the greens. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes more, until the greens are very soft and the ingredients are nicely combined. The final texture should be moist, neither watery nor dry. (If it looks dry, add an additional tablespoon or two of water.)
    Taste for seasoning and serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil and some crusty bread.


  • Erika Jimenez

    sounds delicious

  • 5 stars
    This has become our favorite “meatless Monday” dinner.

  • h. golden

    5 stars
    I would eat this for dinner with some rice or bread. Very satisfying and the smoked paprika adds excellent flavor.

  • 5 stars

  • Julia Wu

    5 stars
    This was very easy to make and everyone loved it! I am glad I bought the Spanish smoked paprika because it did have a very good flavor.

5 from 6 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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