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Peruvian Garbanzo Swiss Chard Stew // Garbanzo con Acelga

Garbanzo Swiss Chard StewPeruvian Garbanzo Swiss Chard Stew is a highly nutritious and tasty Peruvian dish made featuring garbanzo beans and greens.

Although it is my goal to include beans, lentils and other legumes in our daily diet, it is not always easy for my husband and I to agree on a taste or recipe. At times, I make a pot of black beans and think they have never been tastier while he makes it clear that they don’t have his stamp of approval. Other times, I throw together a bean and squash chili with a touch of cocoa powder and he can’t wait for me to make it again. I am constantly looking for more options when it comes to bean recipes, always looking for that one I can make over and over again.

Garbanzo Swiss Chard StewPeruvian Garbanzo Swiss Chard Stew is one of those delicious options. Really, I threw it together one day convinced that I would be the only one eating it. Surprisingly, my husband asked for seconds! This comes together rather simply and I can have nearly everything on hand and just purchase the greens at the last minute. And I will make a confession, although this recipe is traditionally made with swiss chard, we prefer it with spinach. Please, use whatever appeals to you more!

Garbanzo Swiss Chard StewPlease don’t let the “peeled garbanzo bean” ingredient scare you off. If you want to use garbanzos straight from the (drained) can, please do so. I make it a habit to peel our garbanzos for meals like this and other dishes like Carapulcra de Garbanzo or Spinach Quinoa Salad with Beets. This is how things typically evolve here…we are watching our evening shows on the couch and my mind begins to wander and think about what I am going to cook in the next few days. I realize I need garbanzos or other beans of some sort. I boil water in the electric teapot (love how fast these work!) and place the dry beans in my slow cooker, pouring the boiling water over them. I close the lid and let the beans soak for a couple hours. I always make sure to check the water level because at times the water nearly disappears during this step. Once I am sure that there is enough water (usually covering the beans by about an inch) I turn the slow cooker on low and allow it to cook overnight, about 8 hours. Then the next evening during the same evening television shows, I pop the skins off of the garbanzo beans. I love the taste of the peeled beans – they almost seem more nutty. But then once I have a bowl full of the skins to toss in the garbage…well let’s just say I am thrilled that we won’t be eating them. Again, if you want to use canned garbanzos, be my guest….just promise that one time you will try them peeled to taste the difference!

Garbanzo Swiss Chard Stew

Peruvian Garbanzo Swiss Chard Stew

Yield: 6 servings

A highly nutritious and tasty Peruvian stew made from garbanzo beans and greens.


  • 1 pound garbanzo beans
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound turkey sausage, casings removed and crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 320 grams tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/2 pound fresh swiss chard, thinly sliced


  1. Prepare the garbanzo beans by soaking them overnight. Bring them to a boil in fresh water and simmer until tender. (As a note, the system I now use for beans is that I place the dry beans in the slow cooker, pour boiling water over them, and cook on low 8 hours overnight. This way, I have beans ready to go the next morning for whatever I am making.) Allow them to cool and peel them. (The peeling is optional, but I assure you, they taste delicious without the skins.)
  2. In a deep skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté onions until they start to get translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic and turkey sausage and continue to cook until sausage has cooked through, breaking up the pieces into bite-size crumbles. Season the mixture with oregano, salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Stir in the tomato sauce and ketchup. Bring to a low boil and add the garbanzo beans along with 1 cup of water. Simmer, covered, until sauce has thickened slightly, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Place sliced swiss chard on top of the garbanzo stew and replace the lid for a minute to give the chard a chance to wilt slightly. Stir chard into the stew to combine well.
  5. Serve with rice.


Again, peeling the garbanzos is optional but I highly recommend you try it once so that you can taste the difference.

As for turkey sausage, here in Peru I always buy the San Fernando brand of chorizo de pavita. The taste is far superior to other chorizos and it is free of added color.

Sometimes, I add a pinch of crushed red pepper when I add the tomato sauce just to add some kick. If you like things a little spicier, try that!


Garbanzo con Acelga is part of the 101 Reasons to Eat in Peru series.

Garbanzo Bean Stews in Other Kitchens:



2 Responses to “Peruvian Garbanzo Swiss Chard Stew // Garbanzo con Acelga”

  1. This is one of my favorite dishes. It’s so hearty, comforting and yummy. Greens, pork and the beans complement each other perfectly! My aunts make this dish a lot. I always thought it would be a complicated dish to make but it is not. It’s a very simple dish especially if you are used to sautéing onions and garlic which we Peruvians do with most all our dishes. Now with all that said, I have never had or made this dish with tomato or ketchup. Never add crush red peppers, if we want heat we add “aji” Amarillo at the end not while cooking because it will change the flavor. Never used sausage, we use pork butt or any other thick piece with minimal fat. Maybe a pork lion. Must try it!

    Posted by Pris | September 4, 2013, 7:30 pm


  1. [...] 38. Chicharrón 39. Chilcano 40. Escabeche 41. Espesado 42. Estofado de Pollo43. Frejolada 44. Garbanzos con Acelga 45. Juane 46. Lentejas Guisadas 47. Locro 48. Lomo Saltado 49. Malaya Dorada 50. Milanesa de Pollo [...]

    Provecho Peru - April 27, 2013

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