Espinacas con garbanzos served with crusty bread

Espinacas con garbanzos: a vegetarian dish from Southern Spain

Cristina Reina

Contributing writer

Andalusian cuisine is full of flavours and you can find a great diversity of dishes that use local ingredients. Regardless of the city or town you visit, you will find traditional recipes that you will want to eat again and again.

Despite the misconception that most food in Spain includes meat or fish, some delicious stews and soups are vegetarian or can be easily adapted for a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Andalusian cuisine was influenced by the presence of the Arabs in the county many years ago, and it is now characterised by the use of spices like sweet paprika and cumin as well as nuts.

One of my favourite recipes is espinacas con garbanzos (spinach with chickpeas), a traditional vegetarian stew that originated in the beautiful city of Seville. You can also find this dish in many tapa bars across Southern Spain.

The combination of spinach, chickpeas and spices like cumin and paprika is incredibly delicious.

This is a very special recipe that my grandma, who is from Seville, makes me every time I want comfort food.


  • 500g canned chickpeas
  • 400g frozen spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 slice bread (stale bread is fine)
  • 5g ground cumin
  • 5g ground coriander
  • 5g sweet paprika
  • 60g tomato sauce
  • 30g apple cider vinegar
  • 100ml water
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch salt


  1. 1
    Boil the spinach in a hot pot for approximately 10 minutes until defrosted and cooked.
  2. 2
    Drain the spinach in a colander and chop it.
  3. 3
    Add extra virgin olive oil and two peeled garlic cloves in a hot fry pan. Fry the garlic until golden, then add it to a blender.
  4. 4
    Fry the bread slice in the same pan and oil you fried the garlic.
  5. 5
    Once the bread is ready, wipe the oil with a kitchen towel and put the bread in a blender with cumin, coriander, tomato sauce and a pinch of salt. Then add apple vinegar, water and half of the olive oil. Blend, the set aside the paste.
  6. 6
    Add the olive oil from frying the garlic and bread in a big pan, add the spinach and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the bread paste to the pan and stir everything for two minutes to soak up all the flavours.
  7. 7
    Finally, add the chickpeas and stir fry for five minutes.
  8. 8
    Serve with a few slices of bread and a good glass of red wine.

Want to know more about food and eating out in Spain? Read our Spain food guide.

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Cristina Reina

Author - Cristina Reina

Cristina is a freelance writer, translator and blogger from Malaga in the Costa del Sol. She spends most of her time in the UK, but travels home regularly.

Last Updated 28 June 2023

Frigiliana, a white Andalusia Village with view of the Costa del Sol Spain


On the southern tip of Europe, Spain is renowned for its beautiful beaches, vibrant cities and fascinating history.