Recipe: Chickpeas with Chilli and Spinach


I LOVE this dish. Simple, but flavoursome and healthy. Mop up juices with some home made focaccia.

Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Chickpea recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Spinach recipes here and here. Check out our easy Winter recipes here and here.

You can also make it with good, fresh beetroot leaves!


Chickpeas and Chilli with Beetroot Leaves

Chickpeas and Spinach with Chilli

175g dried chickpeas 1 clove garlic 6 Tblspn olive oil
1 – 2 bunches (450 – 900g) spinach or silver beet leaves, washed, large stems removed sea salt and black pepper 1 red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly 2 dried chillies, diced small
250 ml white wine 2 Tblspn home made tomato sauce/paste (see the note below in the recipe notes) 3 handfuls parsley or coriander leaves
2 Tblspn lemon juice extra virgin olive oil 2 Tblspn bicarb soda

Beforehand: Soak the beans in a generous amount of water overnight with the bicarb soda. Drain, and place in a saucepan with the garlic and 1 Tblspn of the olive oil and enough water to cover generously. Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Watch during the cooking process in case more water is required. Keep in the liquid until ready to use. Blanch the spinach and chop coarsely.

At the time: Heat the remaining oil in a large pan and add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook slowly for 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender. Season with the salt, pepper and chilli. Pour in the wine and reduce almost completely. Add the tomato sauce and reduce until very thick. Drain the chickpeas, and then add the chard and drained chickpeas to the pan and mix. Season and cook for 10 minutes. Add 0.75 of the parsley or coriander leaves, and add the lemon juice. Serve sprinkled with the remainder of the leaves and a little extra virgin olive oil.

Good with rice, focaccia or flatbread to soak up the sauce.

recipe notes
*  Use chickpeas that have been pre-cooked and frozen to save time.

*  900g of spinach is about 2 bunches. It seems a lot when you chop it up but it wilts down quickly. We recommend using 1 bunch of spinach if you want a dish that can be described as “Chickpeas with Spinach”, or use 2 bunches if you would like a dish called “Spinach with Chickpeas”.

*  To save time, you can add the chopped spinach without blanching, and it will cook down nicely.

*  The flavour content of this dish can be tailored to the moment in your kitchen. Add some dried chillies and a little home made chilli paste for a heat kick. A little roasted garlic could be added to give some added depth to the dish. These are not necessary, but feel free to add things that might be on your Kitchen Bench at the time.

*  While the recipe asks for 2 Tblspns tomato sauce or tomato paste, you can add a lot lot more. The rule of thumb would be — if you are using a really thick tomato paste, then 2 Tblspns will be enough. If you are using a home made, less reduced tomato paste, add as much as you think will provide the flavour balance that you require. (If you don’t have any tomato paste or tomato sauce, add a tin of crushed tomatoes and cook it down.)

* You can also use beetroot leaves in place of the spinach


From the Spinach Series






  1. In your beforehand, you have us drain the beans but don’t tell us how much water to add back in to then cook them. Otherwise, it sounds delicious. What does adding Bicarb soda to the beans when soaking do? I haven’t heard of that.


    1. Ganga108 says:

      Hi Brenda, Just cook in generous amounts of water, and watch that the water covers them during the cooking time. Drain the chickpeas before using. (I have altered the recipe above.)


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