20 Fava Bean Recipes (+ Produce Guide)
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with fava beans, look no further than this roundup of 20 delicious fava bean recipes! You’ll find recipes for salad, dips, pasta and more, along with an informative guide on how to grow fava beans, choosing and storing them, and nutrition information!
Summer is coming quickly, but I’m no where near ready to say good-bye to spring produce. I have many favorites, including asparagus, every variety of peas imaginable, leeks, rhubarb, radishes and of course, fava beans.
Before I went to cooking school years ago I’d never tried fava beans. I’d seen them in the stores and at farmer’s markets, but I truly had no idea how to prep them or what to do with them.
I was blown away by the texture and flavor of these beans. They’re similar to peas but they’re much more delicate, and they’re even more nutritious.
I’ve grown them every year since I started my garden 5+ years ago, and they’re a staple in spring dishes such as salads, risotto, pasta and even dip when they’re in season.
They’re truly special and the epitome of spring!
Fava beans are a species of flowering plant in the pea and bean family. The pods are very large with anywhere from 3-8 beans per pod.
Fava beans were widely cultivated in ancient civilizations and were a major food in the Mediterranean, especially for the Greeks and Romans.
The plants are very hardy and grow well even in harsh climates. The plants are often used as a cover crop to prevent erosion because they fix nitrogen in the soil. This makes them a great addition to your garden!
Fava beans are tender and delicate, much like peas, making them perfect for salads, spreads, pastas and so much more!
Fava beans are also known as broad beans. The Italian word for “fava” means broad bean.
Growing fava beans is very easy! I’ve grown them in my garden for years with great success. I plant the seeds in late September or October and harvest the beans from as early as March to mid-summer.
The seeds should be planted in full sun and in nutrient rich soil. I plant my seeds in the ground with a bit of plant food or garden mix about 1-2″ deep and about 6 inches apart. Cover the seeds completely and water thoroughly.
Fava bean plants grow from 2-5 feet tall, and need a trellis or some type of support. I have a fence that runs behind the plants, which I use to tie the plants up as they grow or clip them using garden clips. The plants may also be grown in raised beds, just make sure there is a trellis to provide support.
I water the plants about every other day for 10 minutes per day on a drip system. All in all, they’re very low maintenance plants!
Fava Beans should be harvested when the pods are about 6-8 inches long or about 1″ wide.
Fava beans are nutrient-dense powerhouses! They’re rich in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, phosphorous and vitamin B1.
They provide a lean source of protein and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. They’re also a great source of folate and dietary fiber.
When selecting fava beans, make sure the pods are heavy, bright green and free of bruising. The beans should be plump but not bulging.
The beans should be stored in the pod in a plastic bag in the crisper for 5-7 days. Once the beans are shelled, eat raw or cook within 3 days.
I’ve shelled and frozen my fava beans uncooked with the protective skin still intact for months and they’re still amazing! They’re not as bright green as they are when they’re fresh, but they’re just as delicious.
I’ve also cooked them and removed them from the protective skin and frozen them as well. Just thaw and add to your dishes!
Prepping fava beans is a labor of love as it is a bit time consuming, but they cook up very quickly. Refer to my post on How To Cook Fava Beans for a step by step guide and handy video to make prepping and cooking fava beans even easier.
Yes, you can use fresh lima beans in place of fava beans if you can’t find them in your area. Peas and edamame would also be great substitutes
20 fava bean recipes
Not sure what to do with fava beans? There are actually so many ways to prepare and enjoy them. Below are just 20 of my favorite fava bean recipes.
Whether you’re craving a fresh salad, a hearty pasta dish, or a simple appetizer, this list of fava bean recipes covers all the bases.