Alubias Rojas con Garbanzos y Chorizo

red beans with chickpeas and chorizo

Red beans with chickpeas and chorizo is the kind of hearty stew that a Galician or Andalucian farmer might eat before setting out to plough a field with oxen, in a time before tractors. Being made with beans, chickpeas and potatoes the stew provides carbohydrate energy for extremely hard work on a low budget. Dried beans and chickpeas make up the bulk of the stew, other vegetables are seasonal and chorizo contains the flavour and protein. Cured chorizo is a fantastic ingredient which keeps for long periods of time – I sliced up a whole sarta chorizo picante (horseshoe shaped – both ends tied together with string) for an indulgent meal, but when times were hard a farmer or shepherd might only have used an inch.


Chickpeas were domesticated many millennia ago between Turkey and Jericho. They are a staple food throughout the Mediterranean and India.

alubias rojas

Beans of all types are incredibly popular in Spain, most of which arrived after the discovery of the New World – the common Mediterranean bean before that time was the fava or broad bean, first domesticated in Israel 10,000 years ago. Spanish alubias rojas are a small red bean (similar to red kidney beans, but rounder) grown in the north of Spain. Use red kidney beans if the Spanish variety is unavailable.

I particularly like the texture of beans and pulses cooked from dried – they have more bite, whereas tinned are softer. Using a pressure cooker means that dried legumes can be reconstituted without a long overnight soak. Immerse in water overnight, if you wish, or cook as per your pressure cooker instructions and do feel free to substitute canned pulses.

Alubias Rojas con Garbanzos y Chorizo receta (serves 4):

1 hot chorizo ring (sliced)
2 slices of smoked streaky bacon (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
6 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
4 large ripe tomatoes (grated)
1 carrot (chopped)
1 medium to large potato (cubed)
1 green pepper (chopped)
250g dried chickpeas (double the weight for tinned)
250g dried red beans (double the weight for tinned)
1/2 teaspoon pimentón de la Vera dulce
1 teaspoon pimentón de la Vera picante
2 dessertspoons sherry vinegar
1 pint chicken stock
2 large squirts anchovy paste
2 bay leaves
a dessertspoon chopped parsley
cracked black pepper (to taste)
Extra virgin olive oil


Slice the chorizo about 1/2 an inch thick (0.5 cm) and brown in hot olive oil. Remove to a plate when done.


Do the same with the chopped bacon.


Turn the heat down and gently poach (sofreír) the chopped onion, until it is soft. This will take 20 minutes or so.


When the onion becomes sticky, grate in 4 tomatoes – cut them in half, shred the wet side and discard the skin.


Stir the tomato in, along with the chopped garlic.

chorizo and bacon

Return the chorizo and bacon to the dish along with the pimentón.

pimiento verde y zanahoria

Mix in the green pepper and carrot,

patata y perejil

followed by the cubed potato, parsley, bay leaves, sherry vinegar and anchovy paste. Sprinkle on cracked black pepper to taste.


Add the beans, chickpeas and stock – cover and allow to simmer for a couple of hours, until the stew becomes thick and unctuous.

alubias rojas con garbanzos y chorizo

Check the seasoning and sprinkle some parsley on top before serving with crusty sourdough bread. I recommend that you wash this down with a glass of the funky red Pim Pam Poom from Saó del Coster in the Priorat wine region of Cataluña.

About Mad Dog
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16 Responses to Alubias Rojas con Garbanzos y Chorizo

  1. Eha says:

    Lovely to see you back Mad ! With an interesting recipe for me quite apart from a food history lesson. Having a strong medical nutritional background I am entirely pro-carb for a balanced diet. I have to admit tho’ that I am still coming ‘to grips’ with recipes which mix carbs as traditionally here. I have never been a ‘potato person’ and, besides rice and noodles, use a lot of beans and chickpeas, but until lately not all together . . . Your ‘workers’ stew’ looks like a very balanced, easy to make and certainly reasonably priced meal . . . *smile* . . . shall try with pleasure . . .

  2. jmcheney says:

    The first chilly day I will try to recreate your diliciosa alubias rojas, Mad. I don’t want the chill to come, but this attempt at a reasonable facsimile will make it all ok..

  3. jake90uk says:

    Another great recipe MD! As you know, I love chorizo, beans and with the flavour of anchovy paste – Nom nom. Not much better! Thanks for this one, must try it out.

  4. Nina says:

    Hi Craig!
    I have to get Yam to make it, it looks – as always – delicious! I hope you’re ok up there. We miss you.
    Hugs from Calella,
    Nina x

  5. Ron says:

    For me, this would be a perfect stew to enjoy after a hard day’s work or play on a cold fall day. I say after, as I fear if I eat it prior to working outdoors, I’d be snoring under a tree. Wait a minute, what a great idea to enjoy a bowl of your stew and have a nap under a tree.
    A truly tummy-warming stew and one I shall enjoy soon. I liked the idea of using yam in the dish.

  6. Had this last night for dinner. It was fabulous, so full of flavor. May have to introduce this into our regular rotation…

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Mad Dog, Well this is a dish I can say has to taste great with its combination of flavors. You will laugh but I made a similar Portuguese version of this kind of stew last week…the photos are still in my camera. 😊 And to those who think they should wait until cold weather to make it, don’t. We are still in the high 80’s here in Florida and a hearty bean dish like yours is perfect no matter the temperature.

  8. Fantástica receta! Especialmente ahora que empiezan a bajar las temperaturas… 🥶

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