Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Garbanzo Bean Chili

Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Easy, quick and hearty, a bowl of Garbanzo Bean Chili makes for a perfect lunch or dinner meal.

You know those cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) that keep getting pushed back into the cupboard? Saving them for your favorite hummus recipe? Hummus is delicious, but how about a tasty sopa de garbanzos prepared with your favorite chili spices? Cook it down thick for a stew- or chili-like consistency or add more broth and serve it as a soup. My favorite way to enjoy a dish of Garbanzo Bean Chili is simply with a good dose of melted shredded cheese, green onions and slices of fresh chile pepper. Stock up on a few cans of garbanzo beans and fire-roasted tomatoes for a quick weeknight meal.


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  1. In a large skillet, add 1½ tablespoons of olive oil and cook over medium heat. Add the onions, poblano, jalapeño and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Mix in the tomato paste and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add in all of the remaining ingredients, minus the garbanzo beans. Stir well to combine. Bring to a boil, taste for salt and reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add in the garbanzo beans and continue cooking at a steady simmer for 35 to 40 minutes. You can adjust the seasonings to your liking as it cooks and thickens.
  5. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, green onions or sliced peppers.
  6. Serving suggestions: serve over cheesy polenta, mashed potatoes or rice for a hearty and complete meal.

Chef Notes

To prepare this recipe with dry garbanzo beans, cover 1 pound of garbanzos with water and soak overnight. The next day, drain water, transfer to a large pot and cover with fresh water. Add 3 cloves garlic, 1/4 onion, 2 bay leaves, a couple of sprigs of cilantro and two chile de árbol peppers (optional). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cover partially and cook at a steady simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender. Add salt towards the end. Keep a small pan of hot water nearby to add to the beans as they cook and the water level gradually decreases.

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