How To Cook Fava Beans

Shelled green fava beans in a white bowl.

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This simple guide walks you through how to prepare and cook fresh fava beans. From choosing the perfect pods, to blanching and shelling the beans, this recipe will leave you with tender, sweet fava beans ready to be used in your favorite dishes. Enjoy their unique, buttery flavor in salads, pasta, risottos, or even as a delicious dip. Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer for a quick, healthy addition to future meals.


  • 2 pounds / 900 grams fresh fava beans (broad beans)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Removing the Beans from their Pods: To remove the beans from their pods, simply split open the pod and push out the beans. The pods can be composted or discarded.
  2. Preparing for Blanching: Before blanching, make a small slit on each bean. This will make it easier to remove the outer skin later.
  3. Blanching the Beans: Bring a pot of water to a boil and add some salt. Once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat and carefully add the beans. Let the beans soak in the hot water for about 10 minutes. This will loosen their outer skins and make them easier to shell.
  4. Cooling Down: After the beans have been blanched, drain the hot water and immediately rinse the beans in a sieve under cold running water. Give them a few minutes to cool down before the shelling process.
  5. Shelling the Beans: Once the beans have cooled, shell them by gently squeezing on one end. Then pull the skin from both sides. The inner bean should slip out easily. Discard the outer skins.
  6. Using the Beans: Your fava beans are now ready to be used in your favorite dishes! They can be added to salads, mashed into dips, combined with pasta, or sautéed with garlic and olive oil for a simple and delicious side dish.
  7. Storing the Beans: If you have leftover beans, cool them completely, then store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer storage, they can be frozen for up to 6 months.


  1. Selection: Choose firm, bright green pods without blemishes. Larger pods have more mature (and potentially bitter) beans.
  2. Quantity: A pound of pods yields about a cup of shelled beans.
  3. Blanch and Shell: This crucial step removes the tough skin, revealing a tender, sweet bean.
  4. Cooking Time: Avoid overcooking unless making a dip or puree where soft texture is desirable.
  5. Versatility: Fava beans can enhance salads, pastas, risottos, soups and dips.