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!

Fava bean recipes collage pin

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 with top bean open

FAQs

What are fava beans?

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!

Do fava beans have another name?

Fava beans are also known as broad beans. The Italian word for “fava” means broad bean.

How to grow fava beans

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 bean nutrition

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.

Choosing and storing

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!

Cooking fava beans

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.

Is there a fava bean substitute?

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

Cooked fava beans in a bowl

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.

Spring Farro Salad with Feta, Lemon and Mint
This spring farro salad is a hearty vegetarian salad packed with spring produce, feta cheese, and the freshness of lemon and mint.
Check out this recipe
Spring Farro Salad closeup with fork
Fava Bean Dip
This 8-ingredient dip is great for snacking as well as wraps and sandwiches!
Check out this recipe
Fava bean dip in a white bowl on a serving board
Fava Bean, Burrata, and Mint Crostini
Fava Bean, Burrata, and Mint Crostini is fresh, creamy fava bean hummus served with toasted bread and Burrata cheese.  It’s the perfect spring appetizer!
Check out this recipe
Fava bean dip in bowl with crostini
Ricotta Gnocchi with Peas, Fava Beans and Mint
Homemade gnocchi is coated in a creamy ricotta sauce and tossed with fava beans.
Check out this recipe
Fava bean gnocchi on a plate
Fava Bean Puree
Fava bean puree is a bright tasting spread that pairs nicely with toast, crackers, and veggies.
Check out this recipe
Fava bean puree in a bowl with sesame seeds on top
Spring Risotto
Spring Vegetable Risotto is creamy vegetarian risotto packed with spring produce and bursting with fresh lemon flavor.  Recipe includes tips to make perfect risotto every single time!
Check out this recipe
spring risotto in a bowl with fork with lemon and oarsley
Potato Hash with Asparagus, Fava Beans and Green Garlic
This hearty spring breakfast hash is loaded with fava beans, asparagus, and potatoes.
Check out this recipe
Breakfast hash in a bowl with an egg on top
Ricotta on Toast with Fava Beans and Mint
Fava beans and fresh mint are piled atop ricotta toast for a fresh breakfast you won’t soon forget.
Check out this recipe
Fava bean crostini on a white plate
Vegan Ravioli with Fava Beans
This recipe walks you through the steps of making homemade ravioli stuffed with an cheesy fava bean mixture.
Check out this recipe
Vegan ravioli with fava bean filling
Grilled Vegetable Summer Succotash Pasta Salad
Grilled Vegetable Summer Succotash Pasta Salad is a hearty gluten free, vegetarian pasta salad tossed in a basil lime vinaigrette!
Check out this recipe
summer succotash pasta salad in white bowl
Chorizo Carbonara
This easy chorizo carbonara recipe has a short ingredients list, including 1 pound of fresh fava beans.
Check out this recipe
Chorizo carbonara with fava beans
Fava Beans with Prosciutto and Cream
Fava beans and salty prosciutto are simmered in a luscious sauce and finished with fresh chives.
Check out this recipe
Fava beans with proscuitto piled on a plate
Grilled Veggie Flatbread Pizza with Pesto
Grilled Veggie Flatbread Pizza is whole grain naan topped with pesto, fresh mozzarella, and plenty of veggies. It’s an easy, delicious healthy pizza option!
Check out this recipe
Pesto veggie pizza on baking sheet
Cacio e Pepe with Fava Beans
Cheesy, peppery pasta is made even better with the addition of fava beans. Cacio e pepe is a stunning dish that’s a breeze to make!
Check out this recipe
Cacio de Pepe with fava beans in a bowl
Breakfast Toast with Fava Bean Spread and Crispy Capicola
This easy breakfast toast recipe takes about 25 minutes to make and includes a creamy fava bean spread and plenty of flavor!
Check out this recipe
Breakfast toast with fava bean puree on parchment
Summer Succotash Salad with Tangy Lime Vinaigrette
Summer Succotash Salad with Tangy Lime Vinaigrette is an easy succotash salad recipe packed with grilled vegetables and lime dressing
Check out this recipe
close up front view of summer succotash salad in bowl
La Fritteda, Pasta with Fava Beans, Fennel, and Onions
Spinach pasta is taken up a notch with fava beans, peas, fennel, and artichokes.
Check out this recipe
Spinach pasta in a dutch oven
Fresh Fava Bean and Parmesan Salad
It doesn’t get much simpler than this fresh fava bean salad. It’s made with five basic ingredients and is the perfect side dish to serve alongside pasta or grilled meat.
Check out this recipe
Forkful of fava bean salad
Cheese Tortellini with Herbed Ricotta and Fava Beans
Packaged cheese tortellini gets a makeover in this easy pasta dinner with fava beans and plenty of veggies!
Check out this recipe
Cheese tortellini with fava beans in a serving dish
Marinated Fava Beans
Marinated fava beans will last two to three weeks in the fridge. Enjoy as is, spoon over toast, or add to a cheese board.
Check out this recipe
Spoon in a jar of marinated fava beans

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