Fava Bean Stew (Koukia Yahnista or Yahni)

Fava Bean Stew - Koukia Yahnista

Lynn Livanos Athan

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
281 Calories
14g Fat
29g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 281
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 41mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 11g 39%
Protein 11g
Calcium 88mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fava Beans or Broad beans are known as Koukia (koo-KYAH) in Greek. They are delicious prepared yahnista (yach-nee-STAH) or yahni (yach-NEE) which means they are stewed with tomatoes and onions and spices.


  • 1 pound dried Fava beans (soaked overnight, see Note)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions (diced)
  • 1 1/2 pounds diced tomatoes (or substitute a 28 ounce can, drained)
  • 1 cup fresh parsley (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • Dash salt (or to taste)
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)

Steps to Make It

Note: Soaking dried beans rehydrates them and results in more tender beans and shorter cooking time. If you don't have an extra day to soak the beans overnight, you can try the quick soak method below.

Quick Soaking Method:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add beans plus enough water to cover beans by 2 inches to a pot.

  3. Add 2 tablespoons salt and stir.

  4. Bring beans to a rolling boil.

  5. Turn off heat, cover, and soak for an hour.

  6. Drain and rinse beans under cold water before using.

Preparing the Stew:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat.

  3. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the tomatoes, parsley, cumin, and bay leaves and continue to saute for another 5 to 10 minutes until the flavors are nicely combined.

  5. Add the water to the pot and bring to a boil.

  6. Add the Fava beans and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer covered for 45 minutes.

  7. Remove the cover and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  8. Simmer another 10 to 15 minutes until the beans are tender cooked but not mushy.

  9. Discard bay leaves.

  10. Serve with a drizzle of your favorite extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.

  11. Enjoy!

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