How To Prepare Fava Beans (Fresh & Dried)

Podded fresh fava beans in a white bowl.

Preparing fresh and dried fava beans require a few easy steps. You will have the best creamy and buttery texture when cooked after this preparation.



To Prepare Fresh Fava Beans:

  • 2 pounds (907g) fresh fava beans in pods
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To Prepare Dried Fava Beans:

  • 1 pound (450g) dried fava beans


To Prepare Fresh Fava Beans:

  1. Cut off one end and pull the tiny string down. This will open up the seam on the pod and you will see the beans inside. If you can’t unzip the seam with this method, you can just tear it open with your hands. Remove the beans from the pod by pushing them with your thumb and forefinger. Transfer them into a bowl.
  2. Make a small slit on the side of each bean. This will help the inner beans pop out easier after they are blanched.
  3. Fill a saucepan or a bowl with boiling hot water. Add in salt and mix. Throw the beans with a slit into this hot salty water (not over the heat). Let them soak for 10 minutes, drain and rinse under cold water.
  4. Take a bean between your fingers and gently squeeze the bean to remove it from the tough skin. If you cut a slit on each bean before blanching, it is super easy. But if you haven’t done so, you can use your nail to start the peeling and then pop them out of their skin.
  5. Use them in your dishes.

To Prepare Dried Fava Beans:

  1. Put the dry fava beans into a large bowl or pot and fill it with water. Let them sit at least 6-7 hours or overnight. 
  2. After soaking the beans, drain and rinse them well. Discard the soaking water.
  3. Pinch each bean with your thumb and forefinger, it will easily pop out of the skin. You can use your nail to start the peeling as you do when peeling fresh favas.
  4. Put them back into the pot. Fill the pot with water. You can use 7-8 cups of water for 1-2 cups of peeled beans. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 40-50 minutes or until tender. They should be tender but not mushy. Drain and let them cool.
  5. Use them in your cooking.


About Fresh Fava Beans:

  1. Alternative blanching method for fresh fava beans: This is a more common method that is used for blanching any vegetable. Bring a pot of salty water to a boil. Add the beans into the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Then, using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer these beans into a bowl of ice water. Let them sit there for about 5 minutes and drain. Now you can peel the outer skins.
  2. If you buy frozen fava beans from the store, they are probably peeled and you won’t need any of those steps above.

About Dried Fava Beans:

  1. Quick soaking method: If you don’t have time for overnight soaking, you can use this method. But it still requires about 1 hour. Put the beans into a pot and fill it with water, covering by 6-7 inches of water. Bring them to a boil, let simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Let them sit covered for 1 hour. And continue with the steps after soaking.
  2. If you buy canned fava beans, they are probably peeled and you won’t need the steps above. Just drain and rinse them and use in your cooking.
  3. If split dried fava beans are what you have, you should soak them in the same way described above, but don’t need the peeling step. Split fava beans are already peeled, so they are a great time saver.
  4. You can store both shelled fresh and dried fava beans in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them for up to 6 months. Make sure that they cool completely. To freeze the beans, resealable freezer bags are the best. You can measure 1 or 2 cups of beans in each bag. When ready to use, thaw them in hot water and then use in recipes.

  5. Servings and nutrition data refer to fresh fava beans only.


Keywords: how to prepare fava beans