Tag Archives: Spanish braise

Spanish Braised Chickpeas with Tuna and Olives

This simple and rustic Spanish recipe shows what a perfect match chickpeas and tuna are. Both ingredients have been eaten and enjoyed together throughout Spain for centuries. In this hearty dish they’re combined in a smoky tomato sauce made with garlic and onion, with a healthy measure of extra virgin olive oil to add depth and texture.

Robust ingredients commonly used in Spanish cooking are added, including sliced stuffed olives and red wine vinegar to heighten, but not overpower, the natural flavors of the other ingredients. The pairing of tuna and chickpeas isn’t only flavorsome, it also makes a very filling and nourishing meal that’s rich in both protein and fiber.

Serve this braise with crusty bread on the side to mop up every last bit of the luscious sauce, but you could also serve it with rice instead. Another accompaniment is crispy, golden pan-fried sliced potatoes, which is kind of like another classic Spanish recipe, Patatas Bravas. You could also use this mixture to stuff a baked potato, as a tasty empanada filling, or even served as a pasta sauce.

A rustic and flavorful Spanish dish of chickpeas cooked in a smoky tomato sauce, with canned tuna, and stuffed olives provided two hefty portions. Easily doubled for more diners. Our initial apprehension of too little tuna, was unfounded. We kept the ingredients the same as the original recipe and it was a perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Variations: Instead of canned chickpeas use white beans, or add some chorizo (cooked with the onion) in place of canned tuna. Serve with rice or potatoes instead of crusty bread.

Spanish Braised Chickpeas with Tuna and Olives

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 14 oz. canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Spanish smoked paprika (or use 1 tsp. regular paprika)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 6 o.z can tuna, drained and broken into chunks
  • 10 pimento-stuffed olives, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. INCREASE the heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chickpeas, stir to combine, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the tuna, olives, parsley and reserved tablespoon of oil.


Original receipe by Trudy for Mediterrasian