By Mayo Clinic Staff
Fava beans with garlic

Dietitian's tip:

Once removed from the pods, fava beans are blanched to remove their thin but tough outer skins. This simple recipe lets their flavor shine.

Number of servings

Serves 4


  1. 2 pounds fava (broad) beans, shelled (about 2 cups)
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 cup vegetable stock, chicken stock or broth
  7. 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley


Bring a large saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the fava beans and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water to stop the cooking. To remove the skins, pinch each bean on the side opposite where it was attached to the pod; the bean should slip easily from the skin. Remove and discard the outer skins. Set the beans aside.

In a large saucepan with a tightfitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds; don't let the garlic brown. Add the fava beans and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, shaking the pan gently from time to time, until the beans are tender, about 15 minutes.

Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

  • Total fat 4 g
  • Calories 130
  • Protein 7 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Total carbohydrate 18 g
  • Dietary fiber 5 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 3 g
  • Saturated fat < 1 g
  • Sodium 293 mg

This recipe is one of 150 recipes collected in "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook," published by Mayo Clinic Health Information and Oxmoor House, and winner of the 2005 James Beard award.

April 15, 2011