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Garbanzo Beans + Chard

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Vegetarian
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Big Kids Plate

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Why we love it:

This recipe is ideally for dried beans not canned - so DO begin soaking them the night before. The texture and flavor of the broth you end up with is unmatched this way. If you forget to soak the beans overnight, you can start from dry, but will take an additional 30-40 minutes or so of cooking. Enjoy the process of this humble, old school, and warming winter dish.


  • 8 ounces Garbanzo Beans (dried)
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Clove (or ground cloves or nutmeg)
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 12 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 bunch Green Chard
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper (freshly ground)
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 12 cup Parmesan Cheese (freshly grated)
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Crusty Bread (1 loaf)

Cooking Instructions


    If you have time and remember to do so, soak the beans in a lot of water overnight.

  • 2. BEANS

    Put the beans in a large pot with (new, if you soaked) water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Cut the onion in half and use the clove to tack the bay leaf to the side of it (if you don't have a whole clove, just toss in the bay leaf and onion - use a teensy pinch of ground cloves or nutmeg, about 1/8th of a teaspoon).

  • 3. SIMMER

    Turn heat to medium and cover partially, stirring occasionally, cook for about 30 minutes. Then add 1 teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and skim any foam off that comes to the surface. Dice the second half of the onion and add it - and also remove the first half onion.
    Also add water if necessary to cover the beans, until the beans are tender but still intact (this will likely take another 20 - 30 minutes).

  • 4. GREENS

    Wash and chop the greens - go right through the stalks into 1” segments. Add the greens and cook until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Mince the garlic and add it.

  • 5. SERVING

    Ladle into large bowls and top generously with parmesan and drizzle olive oil over top. Serve with buttered crusty bread for dunking.

Check out our new features!


    omit parmesan
    at the end, add some 1-2” pieces of white fish, or salmon, and let them gently poach, or sear a filet and serve it on top
    use white beans like navy, cannellini, or pinto beans
  • CHARD:
    any leafy braising green. Baby greens are easy because they don’t need prep

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Serve more beans, less greens and broth
  • Add cheese or hummus to the bread
  • Fill plate with fruit or a hardboiled egg to make the meal more robust if they don’t eat it like soup

For Toddlers

  • Mash garbanzo beans to serve
  • Mince up greens finely or steam another vegetable
  • Add fruit and possibly an egg

For Choosy Eaters

  • You could boil a potato in with the beans
  • Serve garbanzo beans plain or rolled in butter and grated parmesan cheese, like plain pasta
  • Fill the plate out with things they’ll like - veggies, fruit, yogurt, hummus, egg

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. SOAK BEANS overnight in water that comes 3-5″ above the level of the beans
  2. Make dish entirely ahead and warm up like soup
  3. Clean and chop greens and store in tupperware for up to 2 days

Culinary Skills

Soak beans on the counter overnight in a very large bowl covered by at least 3 – 5 inches of water. Change water when cooking.

To use canned beans, look for low sodium and actually cook with the bean liquid in the can. Use about 2 15-ounce or 1 28-ounce cans for this dish. Reduce salt and taste as you go to get the proper amount. Simmer the beans with the diced onion (skip the first part with the half onion), and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes in the simmer step before adding the greens.

Instant Pot – add all ingredients (not the bread…) to the Instant Pot. Check your manual for ratio of water to dried beans. I don’t often make beans in the Instant Pot because they come out watery and that’s not my favorite but I’m sure you could make this work.

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