This stew is a delicious mix of Spanish and Moorish flavors from the South of Spain but I have added more vegetables and chicken to make it a super healthy and complete Paleo dish. With chicken stock, too, it’s high in protein and full of nutrients and fiber from all of the vegetables.
This stew is a staple in our home. It’s technically a stew, but it’s light enough to eat anytime of the year. It’s wonderful served with rice, Gluten Free bread, or my Best Cornbread Ever. It’s full of wonderful chard, spinach, Baby Bella mushrooms, and fiber-rich garbanzo beans. It’s Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and low in cholesterol.
To make it Low-FODMAP, I have used green onions instead of a regular yellow onion, and of course, I’ve left of any garlic. Just remember to only use the green parts of the green onions and not the white parts. If you’re following a strict Low-FODMAP diet, leave out the garbanzo beans or serve them on the side for anyone who is able to enjoy them. We have three completely different diets in our home, so I love dishes that can be adjusted to meet everyone’s dietary needs.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated called Espinacas con Garbanzos. As I kept making it week after week, I simplified it and also amped it up with more vegetables. We love chard in our home, and I think it works perfectly in this recipe. If you have a garden, grow it – it’s super easy in cooler zones and produces prolifically.
The original recipe called for using frozen spinach, but I prefer using fresh spinach. I also always have a big box of baby spinach to use for my morning green smoothies, so this is a terrific recipe to use up any spinach that’s nearing the end of its stay.
I have added chicken to make this dish more filling (since I took out the bread used in the original recipe to make it Paleo). I have also added Baby Bella mushrooms, because they add a meaty umami flavor to the stew.
I love that this recipe uses chicken broth, too, because chicken broth is so nutritious and healing for the gut. Added bonus: My kid loves soup, so even if she eats just a small bowl of this stew, she’s getting a ton of protein and nutrition from the chicken broth.
If you’re using store-bought chicken broth, check the label and make sure it doesn’t have cane sugar. I have found that I tolerate the small amounts of onions and other vegetables used in some chicken broths, but if you’re not sure if you do and are following a strict Low-FODMAP diet, then I recommend using homemade chicken stock so that you can control the ingredients.
This is really a one-pot stew, and I have streamlined the cooking process to make it super simple but still full of that warm, sun-drenched Southern Spain flavor. I usually serve this stew with basmatic rice, Gluten Free bread, or my Best Cornbread Ever.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Gluten Free
- Dairy Free
- Full of vegetables
- Gut-healing chicken stock
- Low in cholesterol
- One-pot meal
- Easy to make
Ingredients for Andalusian Spinach and Chicken Stew:
- olive oil
- green onions
- Baby Bella mushrooms
- tomatoes, diced
- chicken breast
- smoked paprika
- ground cumin
- ground cinnamon
- kosher salt
- chicken broth
- rice wine vinegar
- green chard
Notes on Ingredients:
Green onions – Green onions work perfectly in place of regular onions and make this stew suitable for folks following a Low-FODMAP diet.
Baby Bella mushrooms – I love these mushrooms, and I buy them already sliced so it’s less work for me. The mushrooms bring a rich umami flavor to the soup and a delightful chewy texture.
Tomatoes – Use whatever you have, just two medium sized tomatoes.
Chicken breast – Use organic if you can for the best flavor and biggest health benefits. This stew is a great way to stretch a pound of chicken, and the chicken is almost a sidekick to the vegetables which take the lead in this dish.
Smoked paprika, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, and saffron – This spice combination is divine. The cinnamon, cumin, and tomato flavor combination is really showing off its roots in Moorish cooking, and we see this combination showing off its roots in Gulf dishes like kabsa and also in Mexican dishes like salsa de chile rellenos. It’s a combination that is earthy and warm and tones down any natural bitterness from the spinach and chard. The smoked paprika gives just enough heat here (make sure you used “smoked” and not “sweet paprika”), and the saffron works to bring all of these strong spices into harmony. I love, love, love saffron, so I never measure and am quite liberal in my use of it.
Chicken broth – The chicken broth is what brings all of these beautiful flavors together. Plain water isn’t going to have the same effect. The chicken broth also gives this stew a huge nutritional boost and makes it more filling, rendering it a truly one-pot meal.
Rice wine vinegar – The original recipe called for Sherry Vinegar. I never seem to have that in my pantry despite the large collection of vinegars lurking there. But rice wine vinegar is a terrific substitute. The vinegar lends a subtle brightness from the acidity and really just highlights all of the other flavors.
Chickpeas - Use one can of chickpeas and please drain them and wash them well before using. Canned chickpeas are much easier to digest than dried cookpeas that have been cooked, so small quantities may be tolerated by people who are sensitive to FODMAPs.
Green chard - You can use any kind of chard – green, red, or rainbow. They all taste the same, and since they’re getting cooked down into a stew, you’re not going to see the pretty colors anyway. They’re all super healthy for you, too.
Spinach – You can use frozen or fresh spinach here. I prefer fresh spinach, because I always have it on hand, but if you have frozen instead, that’s just fine.
How to Make Andalusian Spinach and Chicken Stew From Scratch
Heat a large pot with a lid over high heat (not a soup pot, just a large pot). Add the olive oil and the immediately the green onions and mushrooms. Stir frequently and cook until the green onions are golden and the mushrooms have softened and taken some color.
Now, add the tomatoes, and cook them until they are dry, meaning that the juices have cooked out. We’re trying to get the tomato flavor, but we’re not trying to make tomato sauce.
Next, add the chicken. This is the time to add the spices and the salt, too. I like to sprinkle the spices and salt all over the chicken pieces. Cook the chicken until it has taken on some color, and stir to coat the chicken in spices and also keep the green onions from burning.
Add the chicken broth and the rice vinegar. Bring the broth to a boil. Once the broth is boiling, turn the heat down to medium.
It’s time to add the greens. Add the chopped green chard and the baby spinach. Don’t worry about the pot being completely stuffed with greens – they will decrease substantially in size as they cook. Just make sure you can still get the lid on the pot. Put the lid on the pot and let cook for about 5 minutes until the greens have softened.
Remove the lid and stir everything together. At this point, add the chickpeas if you’re using them and cooking them into the stew. Simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes, allowing the stew to thicken. At this point, your chicken should be completely cooked, but it never hurts to check it with a thermometer. Once the chicken is cooked, then you’re ready to serve it. Taste it first and add more salt to taste.
Serve the stew with rice on the side or Gluten Free Bread or my Best Cornbread Ever. Eat and enjoy!
Andalusian Spinach and Chicken Stew - Paleo
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bunch green onions
- 8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 lb chicken breast, chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon saffron
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 can chickpeas (15 oz), drained and rinsed
- 3 cups green chard, chopped
- 4 cups spinach
- In a large pot with a lid, heat olive oil overhigh heat. Add green onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently,until golden. Add the tomatoes and stir frequently, cooking until the juice from the tomatoes has cooked out.
- Add the chicken. Add the paprika, cumin, cinnamon, saffron, and salt. Stir to coat the chicken with thespices. Cook until the chicken takes onsome color.
- Add the chicken broth and rice wine vinegar. Bring the broth to a boil, thenturn the heat down to medium.
- Add the green chard and the spinach. Cover the pot with the lid for about 5 minutes until the greens have softened.
- Remove the lid and stir to combine everything. Add the chickpeas at this point. Simmer on low for another 5-10 minutes, allowing the stew to thicken.
- Turn off the heat. Season with extra salt to taste.
- Serve with gluten free bread, rice, or my Best Cornbread Ever.