Basic Dried Fava Beans

Photo by: Sarah Shatz

by Whole Foods Market

over 2 years ago

Favas, also known as broad beans, were a staple in the ancient world and remain popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean. These broad, flat beans are one of the largest--and perhaps brawniest--of all dried beans. They range in color from khaki to green, and the largest of them boast a tough outer skin that is best removed. (Already-peeled dried fava beans are known as habas and eliminate this extra step.) Cooked fava beans are good in soups, salads and stews. They are also used to make the popular Egyptian dish called ful Mesdames (or ful maddamas), a cross between a bean salad and a stew. For more flavor, add a handful of coarsely chopped aromatics (such as onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and/or ham) to the pot at the start. You may also simmer the beans in broth in place of water.

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 cup dried fava beans
  • Salt to taste
  1. Pick over beans and rinse in cool water. Put in a large bowl, cover with water by 2 inches, and soak 4 hours to overnight. 
Drain and rinse well.
  2. For best flavor, remove the bitter outer skin before cooking. To do so: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pre-soaked beans, and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze each fava so it pops out of its skin (or use a paring knife to peel off the skin).
  3. Transfer beans to soup pot or large saucepan, add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered or loosely covered, until tender, about 1 hour (longer if you're making a puree, less time if using them in a salad). Add salt only toward the end of cooking, and add more water during simmering if beans start to dry up before they are tender. If you’re planning to puree the beans, leave them in the cooking liquid; otherwise strain and, if desired, reserve the cooking liquid for making soup.

Nutrition Info:


  • 111 calories
  • 1g total fat
  • 0g saturated fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 110mg sodium
  • 22g carbohydrate (0g dietary fiber, 0g sugar)
  • 10g protein
0 Comments Add a Comment

You can post comments here after you log in.

Recent Foodpickles