When it comes to traditional Canarian cuisine, one dish that stands out is the flavorful and hearty “Garbanzas Canarias.” This traditional Canarian chickpea stew is not only a staple in the local diet but also a beloved dish that represents the rich culinary heritage of the Canary Islands. In this article, we will explore the origins, ingredients, preparation, and health benefits of Garbanzas Canarias, as well as provide some tips for enjoying this delicious dish.

The Origins of Garbanzas Canarias

Garbanzas Canarias, also known as “Canarian chickpeas,” is a traditional dish that originated in the Canary Islands, an archipelago located off the northwest coast of Africa. The Canary Islands have a unique cultural blend influenced by Spanish, African, and Latin American traditions, which is reflected in their cuisine.

The Canary Islands have a long history of agriculture, and chickpeas have been cultivated on the islands for centuries. The dish itself has evolved over time, with each island and even each household having its own variation. However, the basic ingredients and cooking techniques remain consistent, making Garbanzas Canarias a true Canarian classic.

The Ingredients and Preparation

Garbanzas Canarias is a simple yet flavorful dish that combines a few key ingredients to create a satisfying and nutritious meal. The main ingredients include:

  • Chickpeas: The star of the dish, chickpeas are cooked until tender and creamy, providing a hearty base for the stew.
  • Pork: Typically, Garbanzas Canarias includes pork, such as bacon or pork belly, which adds richness and depth of flavor to the dish.
  • Vegetables: Onions, garlic, and peppers are commonly used to enhance the taste and aroma of the stew.
  • Spices: Traditional Canarian spices like cumin, paprika, and saffron are often added to give the dish its distinctive flavor.
  • Stock: Chicken or vegetable stock is used to cook the chickpeas and create a flavorful broth.

The preparation of Garbanzas Canarias involves several steps to ensure the flavors meld together perfectly. Here is a typical method for preparing this delicious dish:

  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight to soften them and reduce cooking time.
  2. In a large pot, sauté the pork until it becomes crispy and releases its fat.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers to the pot and cook until they become soft and fragrant.
  4. Drain the soaked chickpeas and add them to the pot along with the spices.
  5. Pour in enough stock to cover the chickpeas and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat and simmer the stew for about 1-2 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender and the flavors have melded together.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once the Garbanzas Canarias is ready, it is typically served hot with a side of crusty bread or Canarian potatoes, known as “papas arrugadas.” The dish can also be garnished with fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro, to add a pop of freshness.

The Health Benefits of Garbanzas Canarias

Garbanzas Canarias not only satisfies the taste buds but also offers several health benefits. Here are some reasons why you should consider adding this delicious dish to your diet:

  • Rich in Protein: Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, making Garbanzas Canarias a great option for vegetarians and vegans.
  • Fiber-Rich: Chickpeas are high in dietary fiber, which aids digestion, promotes satiety, and helps maintain a healthy weight.
  • Heart-Healthy: The combination of chickpeas and vegetables in Garbanzas Canarias provides a good amount of heart-healthy nutrients, such as folate, potassium, and antioxidants.
  • Low in Fat: While the dish includes pork, the fat content can be controlled by using lean cuts and removing excess fat.
  • Gluten-Free: Garbanzas Canarias is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

By incorporating Garbanzas Canarias into your diet, you can enjoy a delicious meal while reaping the nutritional benefits it offers.

Tips for Enjoying Garbanzas Canarias

To fully savor the flavors of Garbanzas Canarias, here are some tips to enhance your dining experience:

  • Pair it with Local Wine: Canarian cuisine is often enjoyed with local wines, such as Malvasia or Listán Blanco, which complement the flavors of Garbanzas Canarias.
  • Experiment with Additions: While the traditional recipe is delightful on its own, you can personalize your Garbanzas Canarias by adding other ingredients like chorizo, potatoes, or even seafood.
  • Try Different Variations: Each island in the Canary Islands has its own take on Garbanzas Canarias. If you have the opportunity, try the dish on different islands to experience the regional variations.
  • Enjoy it Year-Round: Garbanzas Canarias is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in any season. Whether it’s a warm stew on a chilly winter day or a refreshing meal in the summer, this dish is always a treat.


1. Can I use canned chickpeas instead of dried ones?

While using canned chickpeas is a convenient option, the texture and flavor of the dish may differ slightly. Dried chickpeas require soaking and cooking, which allows them to absorb the flavors of the stew and become tender. If you choose to use canned chickpeas, rinse them thoroughly and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

2. Can I make Garbanzas Canarias vegetarian or vegan?

Absolutely! You can omit the pork and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to make a vegetarian or vegan version of Garbanzas Canarias. The dish will still be flavorful and nutritious.

3. Can I freeze Garbanzas Canarias?

Yes, Garbanzas Canarias can be frozen for later consumption. Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw the stew in the refrigerator overnight before