Garbanzos Fritos (Cuban Style Chick Peas)

by Cristina | Last Updated: April 5, 2021

This one just feeds my soul. Garbanzos fritos? How is that possible? Yes, these are garbanzos also known as chick peas and they are delicious and hearty.

My Garbanzos Fritos Story

I’ve said it before, I have a huge family. My dad is one of 9 siblings, and with this is the gift (and curse) of 18 aunts and uncles since they have all married. I like to think, growing up with them, I have been able to take something from each of them.

The inspiration for this garbanzos fritos recipe, comes straight from my Tia Ata. That’s not her real name, but that’s what we have always called her. Ata, of all the sisters, really took the torch from Yaya (my Abuela) and ran with it. I tell her all the time she should start a restaurant. When Bobby and I first got married, she took me in and showed me the real basics of Cuban cooking. This isn’t her recipe, because I know she holds this dish near and dear. But, Chef Ani and I came up with a pretty amazing one. I dedicate this recipe to Ata, for always having a space at her counter for me.

The Garbanzos Fritos Ingredients

Dry Beans

If you using dried garbanzo beans, leave one bag covered in 4 cups of water overnight.  After soaking them overnight, drain.  Put them in a large pot in about 6 cups of water, along with half an onion and 2 bay leaves NO SALT, and bring to a boil.  They will need to boil for at least one hour to get soft and ready to throw into the recipe.

About 45 minutes into the hour of boiling your previously dry beans, you can get started with the skillet portion of the recipe.

Canned Beans

If you are using beans out of a can for these garbanzos fritos, this is where you would start.  In a hot deep skillet fry bacon pieces until crisp but don’t let it burn. Scoop the bacon out of pan and set aside in a separate dish.

Now your pan should be filled with greasy, delicious bacon drippings, add the onion into the pan and begin to cook. 

Then add the pack of sazon, teaspoon of paprika, and some salt and pepper. 

Stir for a minute, and then add the peppers, ham, and Spanish chorizo. Saute all until the onions and peppers are cooked down.

Then add tomato paste,  worcestershire sauce and vino seco.  Stir with the vegetables. 

Once it settles and starts to come together, clear a little space in the pan and add your garlic and cook it evenly before stirring in with the rest of the vegetables.  

Add the chickpeas, a teaspoon of salt and pepper (especially if working with fresh beans since they have not been salted at this point) turn the heat up to high.  Stir and let it all cook together for a 2-3 minutes.  

If you used dry beans, add 1 cup of water, lower the heat and let simmer all together for about 6 minutes or until the water has almost evaporated. 

Add half the parsley, and the bacon.

Stir well, and continue sautéing over medium low heat until your sauce is somewhat thick. Garbanzos fritos should have a thick sauce and not be soupy or watery. If you find the recipe too soupy, continue to stir and cook over a low flame for about 20 minutes.

Taste for seasoning salt, then serve over white rice or alone with crusty Cuban or French bread. 

My kids also love to eat these garbanzos fritos like a dip. Substitute these for salsa, hummus, or guacamole and substitute the tortillas with cuban crackers!


Want to add a dessert? Try this delicious cuban natilla recipe.