Baked Rice with Garbanzos and Dates – Vegetarian Spanish Rice Recipe

Get this delicious baked rice with garbanzos recipe.
A delicious and easy Spanish rice dish.

While I’ve never fallen head over heels for Spanish rice dishes like paella, there was something about a recipe for baked rice with garbanzos that caught my attention. I’m a big fan of vegetarian Spanish rice recipes, and I adapted this one from the fantastic Claudia Roden Foods of Spain cookbook. I added a few small twists to make it even more delicious (in my humble opinion!). The best part? It’s super easy and really pretty– aka perfect for company. It’s also vegetarian friendly and pretty healthy.

Baked Rice with Garbanzos and Dates

5.0 from 1 reviews
Baked Rice with Garbanzos and Dates
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A easy and delicious baked rice recipe with garbanzos and dates. Vegetarian friendly and ready in an hour!
Recipe type: Rice
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole head of garlic, trimmed (take about ¼ inch off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¾ cup of assorted dried fruits (like prunes, dates, and apricots), chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced Julianne style
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon pimentón dulce (sweet Spanish paprika)
  • 2.5 cups vegetable stock (for the vegetarian version) or chicken stock
  • 11/4 cups of Spanish bomba rice
  • ¼ cup almond slivers (or raw almonds that you've crumbled with a rolling pin into large chunks)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F
  2. Ideally you will use an oven safe pan such as cast iron for this baked rice recipe. If not you'll have to switch pans before adding the rice (below)
  3. Sauté the onion in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until caramelized
  4. Add the minced garlic for 30 seconds
  5. Add ½ of the chopped dried fruits and sauté for two minutes
  6. Add the tomato paste and cherry tomatoes and stir
  7. Add the paprika, chickpeas, stock and salt and bring to a boil
  8. Add the rice and stir (if not using a cast iron pan that can go from stove to oven, transfer the stovetop mixture into an oven safe casserole pan before adding the rice)
  9. Place the whole head of garlic in the center of the pan and sprinkle the rest of the dried fruits on top of the rice
  10. Drizzle the head of garlic with a bit more olive oil (about a tablespoon)
  11. Bake the rice for thirty minutes at 400°F
  12. In the meantime, place the almonds in a hot frying pan (with a touch of olive oil if you wish). Sauté constantly until browned. Don't let them burn!
  13. Top the finished dish with the toasted almonds and enjoy.


See also: Easy vegetable paella recipe

Delicious, right? Let this baked rice with garbanzos and dates grace your dinner table this winter and everyone will be happy!


  1. Looks delicious!
    Kitchen tip: Pre-soak dried garbanzos for 24 hrs, drain and freeze. Whenever you need the beans, all you need do is cook the required amount for 30-40 minutes. No more pesky cans.

    1. Sounds great Frank! And they’re so much better– but sometimes the jars are a lifesaver. Sometimes I wish I lived in Catalonia, there the local markets sell cooked beans of all sorts. Basically someone else does all the work for you!

  2. Made this tonight with ham and mushroom, plus the prunes, onion, etc. (Doubled the pimientón with a tsp each of De la Vera dulce and agridulce since didn’t have any chorizo on hand.) Baked it all up in my 15″ paella pan at 375°F and 30 min. Also baked it with the cut garlic head turned upward so that we could serve roasted garlic on top along with the toasted sliced almonds. The flavors turned out so intense and earthy. Next time we’re going to put like two or three heads of garlic in the pan and raise the chopped prunes to a cup. Thanks for the inspiration! A nice change up from paella.

  3. Hi Lauren! I am going to make this dish and I have a question. As I understand, the recipe says to put uncooked rice in the oven. Does the rice cooks through well in the oven? Or I misunderstand something?

    1. Hi Irina, exactly– the rice was added to the pan and stirred into the stock. Since there in enough stock the rice will fully absorb that and cook during the half hour in the oven! Good luck, hope it turns out great!

  4. Hi Lauren,
    What size of pan do you use? I have some paella pans I could use, too, but they are wider than a mere 10 or 12 inch cast iron pan. (Trying to figure out cooking times if my pan is wider and shallower…)
    Thanks much,

    1. I used a 10 inch cast iron, but go ahead and experiment– the layer of rice will just be thinner (which I actually love) and cook time might have to be slightly adjusted.

  5. I will have to try this–I have a recipe that’s similar that uses dried currants along with the chickpeas, and it is very good.

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