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Spanish style chickpea stew with spinach

“Decanted” Dave Adams
Wine Pairings: Grenache

Pinot Noir

This rich, smoky, vegan stew lets you show off your culinary and wine pairing skills!


Savvy match: I like a deep, rich Tempranillo with notes of smoke and leather, a lively high-end Spanish Garnacha (or Washington state Grenache), or an acidic, lemony, dry white wine to act as a bright counterpoint to the richness of the chickpea stew. Spanish chickpea stew is ideally a communal meal, so treat your guests to a bottle of both red AND white; let them sort out which invokes their inner Flamenco! Salud!

This chickpea stew is a take on the traditional “Garbanzos con espinacas” recipe is an easy-to-make one-pot dinner that never disappoints. Serve as a main dish with hunks of crusty toasted bread or as a medley of Tapas dishes. 

If there’s one thing that sets this dish apart, it’s the traditional smoked, Spanish-style paprika, which I’ll admit I’ve resorted to stocking up on using a certain online retailer (hint, rhymes with Hamazon) to supply me with this magical smoke powder. However, DO NOT sub with Hungarian-style paprika; this isn’t paprikash. Cumin is the other essential spice, and although I recommend at least 2 teaspoons, that usually translates to a Tablespoon in my kitchen, but that’s just how I roll.

Generally, I go for the easy, canned route for the chickpeas, but the soaked, dried stuff works great too. For the olives, don’t mess around with anything other than the briny kick of Kalamata; they’re the perfect salty ride-along for the beans. Spinach is the ideal leaf for this dish, but so many others would be just as good, like kale, swiss chard, or arugula. Finally, I always chop up some flat-leaf parsley to sprinkle over everything just before serving, to add a bit of bright green drama to the presentation. 

Also, I’ve seen many versions of this recipe with a hard, tangy aged cheese grated onto the top before serving, and one is no exception, but I’ve had it without, and it’s just as good. Got a vegan parmesan recipe up your sleeve? Go for it! 

Always serve with a side-car of toasted whole-wheat bread or flatbread drizzled with fruity extra-virgin olive oil and flake salt, one crunchy chomp with some chick-peas perched on top, and you’ll understand why. 


  • 2 16 ounce cans of chickpeas
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 16 ounce cans of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter or butter substitute
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • ½ cup of dry red wine 
  Garnish (per serving):
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated, hard-aged cheese (goat & sheep cheese are great on this if you can find it) or more to taste



Preheat a high-sided, large skillet over medium heat.


Add the olive oil and onions, salt and pepper, stirring and sautéing until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Turn down the heat a bit if the pan gets too hot to avoid burning the onions. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.


Add all the remaining spices to the pan and mix in with the onions.


Add the peppers and let them cook for about four minutes.


While the onions and peppers are cooking, toast or grill the bread until it’s crusty and golden, set aside for later.


Over medium heat, add the wine, scraping all the brown bits off the pan bottom. Cook the wine down until reduced by at least a half.


Reduce the heat a bit again, add the tomato paste and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Then, add the diced tomatoes along with all their juice, stir together.


Add the kalamata olives and the chickpeas, coating them with the other ingredients. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for at least 7 minutes. Of course, you can simmer longer to let the flavors mingle; just remember to give it all a stir every few minutes to prevent sticking.


When you’re ready to serve, incorporate the butter, then add the spinach, tossing just until the leaves start to break down but remain bright green. Turn off heat.


Serve immediately with a side of bread garnished with parsley and grated cheese.

Chef Image

About “Decanted” Dave Adams

Dave Adams is not a professional chef but is a devoted home cook who strives to make memorable vegetarian and vegan meals that appeal to the people who populate his life, including adults and children. Dave is a "Negan" (nearly vegan), so vegans, please don't lose your mind if he recommends butter or cheese now and again. Since Dave is also a "wanna-be wine snob" and co-hosts the Decanted Wine Podcast (, food and wine pairing is an essential component of his lifestyle. Dave is also dedicated to the art of "Dad jokes," to the bemusement of everyone in his household.